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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-12-08

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>

Anadolu Agency

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

08 DECEMBER 2000

Friday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] PANEL DISCUSSION ON ''TURKEY-GREECE RELATIONS''
  • [03] TURKISH FOOD SECTOR EXAMINED BY EU

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 8, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    U.S. AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY PEARSON VISITS ADAPAZARI
    Robert Pearson, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, said that aid sent to Turkey by the U.S. after the earthquake displayed the rooted historical friendship between the two countries. Pearson and his wife Margaret Pearson visited Cahit Kirac, the Governor of quake-stricken Sakarya province, and Aziz Duran, the Mayor of Adapazari to get information on latest situation of works in the region and needs of the quake survivors. Pearson stressed that Turkey deserved the European Union (EU) full membership.

    ERCEL: ''ANY CHANGE IN MONETARY AND CURRENCY POLICY IS OUT OF QUESTION''
    Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said that any change in existing monetary and currency policy was out of question. Ercel said that more powerful macroeconomic policies which would be followed in 2001 would also cut and reduce the reflection of domestic dynamics on the balance of payments. Speaking to the private NTV television channel, Ercel said, ''together with inflation rates in November, the Turkish lira has gained almost eight percent in value on consumer prices basis and almost 4-5 percent in value on wholesale prices basis since the beginning of the year.''

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    BANKS TO GIVE ALMOST ONE BILLION U.S. DOLLARS FOREIGN EXCHANGE TO MARKET
    Is Bankasi, Yapi Kredi Bankasi, Akbank and Garanti Bankasi will give almost one billion U.S. dollars of foreign exchange to the market in next few days as a support to the economic programme. These banks had made such a decision after their meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan two days ago. Sources said that this situation would contribute to efforts to relieve the financial markets which were suffering from a liquidity shortage.

    EARTHQUAKE JOLTS ERZINCAN
    A mild earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Erzincan province. Ataturk University's Seismology Center said that the quake was centered on Refahiye township of Erzincan province. The quake was also felt in neighbouring settlement places. There were not any immediate reports of casualties or damages in the quake.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    SEPARATIST SLOGANS IN NICE
    Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Nice, France, to protest the European Union summit. Clashes erupted between the demonstrators and security porces. 20 policemen were injured in the clashes. There were members of the terrorist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), the Turkish Workers and Peasant Liberation Army (TIKKO) and the terrorist organization PKK among the demonstrators.

    HARSH RESPONSE FROM ARMY
    As Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was in Nice to attend the European Union (EU) Summit, the General Staff reacted harshly to the Western countries. The General Staff recalled that several EU members had supported the terrorist organization PKK in the past, and noted, ''some EU units have gone too far by considering the terrorist organization as their interlocutor. Such an attitude has given rise to our suspicions that this support was continuing.''

    VERHEUGEN:''BEGINNING OF FULL MEMBERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS DEPENDS ON TURKEY''
    Guenter Verheugen, the European Union (EU) commissioner for enlargement, said that beginning of full membership negotiations depended on Turkey.

    Responding to questions of journalists about the Accession Partnership Accord for Turkey which was announced on November 8 by the EU Commission, Verheugen noted that Turkey would prepare the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis, and that beginning of full membership negotiations depended on Turkey's taking steps in human rights and democracy. Stressing that Turkey should lift capital punishment, Verheugen said that they expected Turkey to record concrete progress in struggle against torture, implementation of emergency rule and on other issues regarded with human rights.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    DYP RE-SUBMITS ITS CENSURE MOTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT
    The True Path Party (DYP) re-submitted the censure motion it later withdrew to protest the coalition parties' proposal of integrating it with the censure motion of the Virtue Party (FP). The DYP claimed in the censure motion that ''the government seems in a position of getting orders from the officials of IMF and the World Bank and it hurts our national pride.''

    TURKISH CARGO SHIP RUNS AGROUND AT CANAKKALE STRAIT
    The Turkish cargo ship which was carrying 100 tons of mineral water from Spain to Istanbul ran aground at the Canakkale Strait. The ship after it entered the strait from the Aegean sea got out of its course and ran aground in front of Kumkale. The ship had not asked for help and the crew was trying to rescue the ship with their own efforts.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    DENKTAS GAVES POSITIVE MESSAGES
    President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said, ''we do not escape from the negotiation table. If Alvaro de Soto, the Special Representation of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to Cyprus comes to the island, we will hold talks with him.''

    FIVE HEZBOLLAH MEMBERS CAPTURED
    A total of five members of the terrorist Hezbollah organization were captured when they came to the Court House in southeastern Diyarbakir province to watch the trial of their friends. Meanwhile, 15 members of terrorist Hezbollah organization who were captured in Diyarbakir, were transferred to the Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecutor's Office on Thursday. Detainees were transferred to the Diyarbakir DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office after their interrogation was completed at the Security Department.

    YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

    TURK: ''F TYPE PRISONS WILL BE OPENED AFTER AT LEAST SIX MONTHS''
    Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said, ''without adoption of three draft laws, the F type prisons won't be opened. In this case it seems that these prisons will be opened after at least six months. The European Committee for Prevention of Torture has been invited to visit the F type prisons this year. Our aim is to open the F type prisons after making them fully in line with human rights standarts.''

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    ECEVIT: ''WE ARE IN HARMONY WITH EU''
    European Conference ended with the family photograph of the leaders. Turkey was represented by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Ecevit said they had held very beneficial talks within framework of the conference. ''We did not discuss controversial issues. We expressed our opinions about internal reforms of Europe. With this respect, it was very beneficial.'' The Prime Minister promised to make contribution to EU in Caucasus and Central Asia.

    WE REMAIN AT LAUNCH PAD
    Another failure happened in the Turksat 2A which was scheduled to be launched today. Transportation and Communications Minister Enis Oksuz who had proceeded from Ankara to Istanbul to leave for France to attend the launching ceremony returned back to Ankara when he was informed about the system failure.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    CITIZEN GETS IT IN NECK
    Citizens became the side which was punished to meet the losses of the crisis and emptied banks. The government doubled the tax rates on many items. According to the new tax package, the eight percent value added tax (VAT) on natural gas rose to 17 percent. The VAT on communication services was increased from 17 percent to 25 percent. Sources said that tax rates had been increased in accordance with the agreement reached with the IMF.

    TURKEY EXCLUDED FROM ESDI
    European Union (EU) leaders who decided to accelerate the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) approved to exclude non-EU member NATO allies from the decision-making mechanisms.

    AMNESTY DRAFT LAW SHAKES GOVERNMENT
    A crisis erupted between Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies due to Haluk Kirci, a suspect of assasination of seven young people in Bahcelievler, during discussions on the amnesty draft law by the Parliamentary Justice Commission. Devlet Bahceli of MHP intervened in the crisis and persuaded MHP deputies. Meanwhile, demand for amnesty to torturers brought Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk to level of resignation.

    ZERO PERCENT INCREASE RESULTS IN ACTION
    Bayram Meral, the Chairman of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is), said they would turn Turkey upside down with strikes and actions if the government proposed zero percent salary increase to workers. ''We didn't hear it from the prime Minister but it is told by the IMF delegation. I hope the government won't accede to this demand.''

    [02] PANEL DISCUSSION ON ''TURKEY-GREECE RELATIONS''

    ANKARA, Dec 8 (A.A) - A panel discussion on ''Turkey-Greece Relations: Escaping From Security Dilemma in Aegean'' which was organized by the Foreign Ministry Strategic Researches Center and sponsored by the Political Sciences Faculty (SBF) and NATO was held on Thursday.

    In the first session of the panel discussion, political and military dimensions of Turkey-Greece relations were taken up while the economic and socio-cultural dimensions of Turkey-Greece relations were discussed in the second session.

    Participants who assessed the economic relations stressed that consolidation of those relations would serve interests of both countries.

    Panagiotis Liargovas from the Patras University said that Turkey and Greece had similar economic structures and similar products for the European market, adding that it was difficult to bring the trade to the desired level as long as the political tension and crises continued.

    Prof. Jurgen Brauer from the Augusta State University said that he didn't agree with the opinion that there was an armament race between Turkey and Greece. ''Turkey should realize that it is not as powerful as it thinks and Greece should realize that it is not as weak as it thinks. On my personal view it is the time for the two countries to reach a consensus by realizing all these factors.''

    Selami Sezgin from the Afyon Kocatepe University gave information about the two countries' defense industries and defense expenses.

    Sezgin said that Turkey and Greece became the two NATO allies whose defense expenses had increased in last decade while there had been a 35 percent decrease in defense expenses in the whole world.

    Dr. Ozcan Uzun from the SBF assessed macroeconomic performances of the two countries' economies since Greece became a EU member in 1981.

    Herkul Millas from the Ege University said that the relations between Turkey and Greece had a ''fragile'' structure. ''Due to its fragile structure, the relations can go backwards even in a little crisis.''

    Noting that great expectations caused serious disappointments, Millas said that Turkey and Greece failed to criticize themselves so they admitted that they were right in each matter.

    Millas said that one of the most important tasks of the Turkish and Greek peoples was to elect managers who would follow foreign policies purified from prejudices.

    Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran from the SBF said that problems of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace had been reduced a little after the elections in Greece in 1993.

    Noting that the Greek government followed two policies which contradicted with each other toward Western Thrace issue, Oran said that pressures in Western Thrace had reduced but the Greek government was trying to create conscious of Gypsys and Pomaks in Western Thrace.

    Polina Lampsa who spoke at the panel discussion on behalf of the Turkish- Greek Forum said that two countries had recently found out their common interests and she thought that the positive process would continue.

    -TERRORISTS' PROTEST AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
    -TURKEY REQUESTS INFORMATION AND INVESTIGATION THROUGH INTERPOL
    BRUSSELS, Dec 8 (A.A) - Turkey requested Belgium on Friday to launch an investigation against two members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) who had staged a protest against Foreign Minister Ismail Cem at the European Parliament on November 28, through Interpol.

    Representatives of Interpol in Belgium conveyed Turkey's request to the relevant units of the Belgian Justice Ministry.

    In its request, Turkey asked, ''how can members of DHKP-C move so easily in Belgium? How could they enter the European Parliament Building and for what purpose? Which proceedings are being implemented on terrorist actions in Belgium?''

    Sources said that Turkey's initiative created uneasiness in Belgium.

    They claimed that Belgian police and gendarme did not have the authority to launch an investigation at the European Parliament, an international institution.

    They also said that the European Parliament did not denounce two members of the DHKP-C.

    Two members of the illegal DHKP-C opened a banner and chanted slogans during Foreign Minister Cem's speech at the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission on November 28.

    They came near Cem and threatened him.

    The terrorists were taken out of the Parliament building and released.

    Any investigation against these terrorists who were taken into the building by an extreme leftist Italian parliamentarian, has not been launched yet.

    Nicole Fontaine, the Speaker of European Parliament, sent a letter to Cem, and expressed his sorrow over the incident.

    -MURAT DOGRU SAYS ENERGY COULD BE EXTRACTED FROM NUT SHELLS
    LONDON, Dec 8 (A.A) - Murat Dogru, a Turkish scientist who extracted useful energy from the nut shells, said on Friday that he was inspired by the idea that the wastes could be reused and energy could be extracted from them.

    Dogru added this was one of the main problems of today's world.

    Murat Dogru is currently carrying out his Phd studies in the Newcastle University of England. The invention of Dogru was published in the outstanding science magazine New Scientist on Friday.

    Noting that he wanted to carry out a study that could be applicable in Turkey, Dogru said when he visited northern Trabzon province in 1996 he learnt from the officials that a total of 250 thousand tonnes of nut shells was incinerated.

    Dogru said he decided to use these wastes and asked for a ton of nut shells when he arrived back to Britain. Dogru worked on the project for two years to find out a way to produce a clean and environment friend combustible gas.

    During his researches Dogru found out the electricity could be produced in the engines via the reactors, by the combustible gases which is produced by the burning of the nut shells, and heat energy could be produced in the heaters with the same method.

    Dogru said they were producing electricity and heat energy with this method at the moment, adding that they were aiming at designing a reactor which could fit in the baggage of a car.

    ''We are working on producing combustible gas other than oil and diesel fuel by the burning of the nut shells,'' said Dogru.

    Dogru who will continue his studies in the Newcastle University said it was possible that a famous automative company such as Mercedes of BMW could sponsor the researches.

    Stating that BMW had 40 cars using pure hydrogen at the moment, Dogru claimed that although the project of BMW was also an environment friend one, his project was cheaper and the wastes could be reused in his project.

    Dogru added a combustible gas comprising 15 percent of hydrogen, 25 percent of carbon monoxide, two or three percent of methane gas and 57 percent of carbon dioxide and nitrogen was produced by the burning of the nut shells, and that the hydrogen wasn't decomposing in his project and thus this was the reason why his project was cheaper than BMW's.

    Dogru said 250 tonnes of nut shells were incinerated in the northern Turkey adding that six thousand tonnes of hydrogene could be produced form this amount.

    Three thousand BMWs could be produced with this amount said Dogru and added each car could go 32 thousand 500 kilometers annually with this amount.

    Dogru who will continue his studies in Britain in the coming years said he would like to go to Turkey after completing his studies to find out other regional wastes that could be useful for the mankind.

    -EU COMMISSION'S REPRESENTATIVE TO TURKEY FOGG
    SAYS ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP DOCUMENT VERY IMPORTANT
    FOR ACCESSION STRATEGY
    ADANA, Dec 8 (A.A) - Karen Fogg, the European Union (EU) Representative to Turkey said on Friday that the decisions taken in the EU Council on Dec. 4 are very important for Turkey and the erlargement process of the EU.

    Speaking in a press briefing, Fogg said that Turkey's having an Accession Partnership Document is very important, adding that this document which determines the frame of the relations between Turkey and the EU, is very important for the accession strategy.

    The document is a list of the reforms that will be undertaken in line with the strategies determined at Helsinki Summit, Fogg said that ''development reports are prepared every year for candidate countries,one has to look at the essence of the criteria without focusing on the details. Turkey has short and long term priorities. Short term ones cover one year, medium term ones cover a period of two-three years. In my opinion the most important element of the Document is making transparent the public areas and broading the union rights.''

    Fogg noted that the improvement of the prison conditions, protection of hygiene there and protection of public health can't come true in short term.

    ''Some people defend the view that Turkey will never join the EU as it has borders with the east. Turkey can provide its border security in the medium term,'' she said.

    Fogg indicated that the Document is a tool for Turkey to get modernized, adding that the government launches efforts to abide by the EU legislation.

    ''If there are problems in the studies undertaken for Hungary and Estonia, this will also affect Turkey,'' said Fogg and noted that the enlargement process does not only concern a certain stratum, adding that the support of the people of the EU member and candidate countries is very important.

    Responding to a question about the statement of the General Staff about the ''Kurdish tv'', Fogg said that ''I didn't read the statement of the General Staff, thus I can't say anything. But it is a fact that this institution should also join the debate. All the institutions have to express their opinions if an issue is discussed in Turkey.''

    Responding to other questions about EU's sending letter to PKK, Fogg said that ''I would like you to undertand that the letter sent to PKK is an administrative mistake.''

    Fogg commented that the basic condition of joining the EU is to be in a position to implement the EU policies, adding that they wanted to see Turkey in the EU. ''We must work for this,'' she added.

    -DRAFT COMMUNIQUE OF EU SUMMIT IN NICE
    NICE, Dec 8 (A.A) - In the draft of communique which will be released at the end of the European Union (EU) heads of state and government summit in Nice, France, Turkey's exclusion from the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) was confirmed once again.

    The draft said, ''the European Council has adopted arrangements with the non-EU European NATO allies and the candidate countries in order for them to be consulted and involved as extensively as possible in operations undertaken by the EU in response to crises.''

    It said, ''the European Council approves the Presidency Report, plus annexes, on the European security and defense policy, including member states' capabilities commitments and the decision to establish the permanent political and military structures (Political and Security Committee, Military Committee and Military Staff of the EU) required for crisis management by the EU, in compliance with the principles laid down in the United Nations Charter. Effective decision-making machinery will make it possible for the EU, under the Council's authority, to manage international crises, which are essentially comprehensive in nature, using the full range of the Union's external action resources.''

    ''The EU will have an autonomous capacity to take decisions and, where NATO as such is not engaged, to launch and conduct crisis management operations, '' it said.

    The draft noted, ''the European Council welcomes the further contributions announced by non-EU European NATO Allies and by countries which are candidates for accession. The European Council has adopted arrangements with the non-EU European NATO allies and the candidate countries in order for them to be consulted and involved as extensively as possible in operations undertaken by the EU in response to crises.''

    ''The EU intends to develop a close, trusting relationship with the NATO. The Alliance continues to form the basis for its members' collective defense,'' it said.

    The draft added that the objective was that the EU should quickly be made operational.

    -DRAFT COMMUNIQUE OF EU SUMMIT IN NICE
    NICE, Dec 8 (A.A) - The draft of the communique which will be released at the end of the European Union (EU) heads of state and government summit in Nice, France, said, ''Turkey is requested swiftly to submit its national programme for adoption of the acquis, basing on the Accession Partnership.''

    The draft which was prepared during the EU Summit in Nice noted, ''the European Council welcomes the progress made in implementing the pre- accession strategy for Turkey, and is very pleased at the agreement reached on the framework Regulation and on the Accession Partnership at the Council meeting on December 4, 2000.''

    It said, ''the European Council highlights the importance of that document for closening relations between the Union and Turkey along the lines mapped out by the Helsinki European Council conclusions. Turkey is requested swiftly to submit its national programme for adoption of the acquis, basing on the Accession Partnership.''

    ''The European Council believes that the time has now come to lend fresh impetus to the enlargement process. The candidate countries are requested to continue and speed up the necessary reforms to prepare themselves for accession, particularly as regards strengtening their administrative capacity, so as to be able to join the Union as soon as possible. The road map for the next 18 months will ease the way for further negotiations,'' the draft noted.

    -PEARSON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY SAYS U.S. WANTS TURKEY
    TO OVERCOME ITS DIFFICULTIES WITH ECONOMIC REFORM PACKAGE
    GOLCUK, Dec 8 (A.A) - Robert Pearson, the Ambassador of the U.S. to Turkey said on Friday that the U.S. which has always supported Turkey, wants Turkey to overcome its difficulties by implementing the current economic reform package adding that the U.S. will extend support to this end.

    Pearson who made statements to the journalists during his visit to Golcuk township said the U.S. was extending support to the economic reform package.

    Nevertheless said Pearson the realization of the economic reforms, which would be implemented in Turkey, wouldn't be easy.

    Noting that the decisions of the government in this process would be of primary importance, Pearson said the U.S wanted Turkey to overcome its difficulties in the economy.

    In reaching the targets, the determination of the governments were important said Pearson and added the outcomes were depending on the measures that would be taken.

    The U.S. would continue cooperation with Turkey and continue to give support to Turkey, said Pearson.

    Pearson added overcoming the economic crisis in Turkey was depending on the continuance of harmonious work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to which they had been witnessing for three years.

    -EXPORTS FROM AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR RISE 6.5 PERCENT
    TO 2.12 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FIRST 11 MONTHS
    ANKARA - Exports from the automotive sector in first eleven months of 2000 rose 6.5 percent to 2 billion 124 million 48 thousand 313 U.S. dollars.

    Total exports from the sector in the same period of 1999 had been 1 billion 994 million 936 thousand 168 U.S. dollars.

    According to the statistics of the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD), total exports from the automotive main industry in the first eleven months of 2000 decreased 1.2 percent to 907 million 480 thousand 460 U.S. dollars while total exports from the by-industry rose 13.1 percent to 1 billion 216 million 567 thousand 853 U.S. dollars.

    In the January-November period of 2000, exports of automobiles reduced 9.3 percent to 554 million 480 thousand 877 U.S. dollars while exports of buses increased 4.9 percent to 199 million 68 thousand 246 U.S. dollars.

    In the same period, exports of other motor vehicles rose 30.9 percent to 153 million 931 thousand 337 U.S. dollars.

    Exports from the by-industry increased 13.1 percent to 944 million 406 thousand 226 U.S. dollars, exports of tire tubes and tires rose 9.7 percent to 245 million 342 thousand 702 U.S. dollars, exports of car batteries climbed 34.3 percent to 14 million 428 thousand 652 U.S. dollars, and exports of windshileds increased 90.2 percent to 12 million 390 thousand 273 U.S. dollars.

    Breakdown of exports of motor vehicles in first eleven months of 2000 is as follows:

    Average

    (percent) Piece

    ------- ------
    Pass.Car 16.7 77,091

    Tractor 32.4 7,232

    Lorry -41.1 667

    Midibus -36.8 3,155

    Pick Up 73.4 397

    Minibus 128.1 260

    Bus 31.2 1,537

    -U.S. AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY PEARSON VISITS QUAKE-STRICKEN GOLCUK
    -PEARSON: ''I AM DEEPLY IMPRESSED BY TURKISH WOMEN'S HANDWORKS AND MOOD''
    GOLCUK - Robert Pearson, the Ambassador of the United States to Turkey, said on Friday that he was positively affected by the handworks and mood of the Turkish women.

    Pearson visited the prefabricated workshops erected at the Fleet Commandership and in Sirinkoy in quake-stricken Golcuk township Kocaeli by the Women's Solidarity Foundation and American aid organization UMCOR.

    In these workshops, quake survivor women are making production.

    After visiting these prefabricated workshops, Pearson said that he was deeply impressed by the Turkish women's handworks and mood.

    Recalling that he had come to the region to show respect to the relatives of the people who had lost their lives in the earthquake, Pearson said, ''I came here to boost quake survivors' morale. However, they boosted my morale and encouraged me. The United States is a country which frequently suffers from natural disasters. So we believe that there is a tie between the Turkish people and us. We believe that there are many things to know from Turkey when such natural disasters happen. I got beneficial information on the region and I was informed on the problems of the people in this region. Support of the U.S. will continue.''

    Later, Robert Pearson proceeded from Golcuk to quake-stricken Duzce province.

    -TURKISH FIRMS TO CONSTRUCT ALMATY SUBWAY AND AIRPORT PASSANGER TERMINAL
    ALMATY - The consortium formed by two Turkish firms will construct Almaty subway, which couldn't be constructed till today.

    Eko Construction and Trade Inc. and Uzman Investment Holding Inc. which formed a consortium namely Eko-Uzman, will also construct the passanger terminal of Almaty Airport which burnt in the past.

    The project of Almaty subway is planned to be completed in the beginning of 2005. Nearly 80 percent of the 1000 workers will be native under the agreement signed between Almaty governorship and the consortium.

    The consortium also targets to finish the construction of the Almaty Airport's passanger terminal in 22 months. The cost of the project is 50 million dollars.

    [03] TURKISH FOOD SECTOR EXAMINED BY EU

    ANKARA - Two delegations from the European Union (EU) Commission's Directorate General of Health and Consumer Protection observed whether or not rules on hygiene and food safety at the level of EU are respected in aquacultural products facilities and some slaughterhouses for poultry in Turkey.

    Sources said on Friday that two delegations from the Directorate-General's Food and Veterinary Office in Dublin had a paid a visit to Turkey between November 6 and 10.

    Delegations had inspected whether or not aquacultural products quality control system in Turkey was in harmony with the instructions of the EU, whether or not the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry had extended a guarantee to the EU about this issue and whether or not aquacultural products facilities had respected rules on hygiene and food safety at the level of EU.

    In their preliminary observations, the delegations said that the quality control system was in harmony with the EU standards, the services carried out by the Ministry in this field were sufficient and the facilities respected rules on hygiene and food safety at the level of EU.

    Stressing that Turkey had recorded progress in aquacultural production and processing facilities, EU inspectors requested guarantee from Turkey to correct some defects that could be removed in short term.

    The EU's Standing Veterinary Commission will make a decision within few weeks on Turkey's letter of guarantee and the delegations' report on these production and processing facilities.

    The EU had banned imports of aquacultural products from Turkey in 1994 as Turkey failed to provide the technical and hygienic conditions at the level of EU.

    Turkey exports almost 100 million U.S. dollars aquacultural products a year.

    The second inspection by the EU officials in slaughterhouses of five poulterer companies in Turkey was made between November 20-24.

    According to preliminary observations of the delegation, slaughterhouses are technically sufficient but some of them failed to fulfil hygienic conditions.

    The delegation is expected to submit its report within a few weeks.


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