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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-01-31

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

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

Anadolu Ajansı

ANADOLU AJANSI

HABERLER

31 January

2002Thursday

Türkiye

Dünya

Parlamento

Ekonomi

Spor

Sanat-Magazin

Sağlık

Türkiye


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 31, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    MINES TO BE SWEEPED OFF BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit went to Bulgaria yesterday for an official visit. He signed an agreement with Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe- Coburg-Gotha, the former Bulgarian king to destroy land mines. Calling on Turkish businessmen to invest in Turkey, the Bulgarian Prime Minister said his country had its doors wide open for the Turkish capital and he assured that the Bulgarian government would do its best to help Turkish businessmen who are interested in making investments in his country. The Bulgarian prime minister also thanked Ecevit for Turkey's support to Bulgaria's NATO membership.

    TURKISH COMMANDER WARNS
    Land Forces Commander Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, who went to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said yesterday that the foundation of a partnership based on two states on the island was the only way of preventing a crisis. Ozkok said that Turkey would not accept unilateral membership of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU without finding a solution on the island.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    NATURAL GAS PRICES DECREASE
    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan said that the Turkish Pipeline Transportation Inc (Botas) decided to decrease natural gas prices as of February 1, 2002. Holding a press conference, Cakan said that Botas would decrease price of natural gas it sold to distributors (municipalities) by 6 percent and reduce price of natural gas it sold to industrial enterprises by 10 percent as of February 1.

    UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT STARTS TO BE GIVEN
    Those persons who paid money since June 1, 2000 for 20 months to benefit from unemployment pay and those who were dismissed from the work without their own will, will start to benefit from the pay as of today. The state will pay at least 81 million and at most 163 million liras to unemployed people.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    AMERICAN JUSTICE PUTS PRESSURE ON UZANS
    Uzan family was not punished in Turkey due to the ineffective and slow judiciary mechanism. However, the American justice is faster than Turkey and it started to put pressure on Uzans. Just after one day following the filing of the suit against Uzans by Motorola and Nokia GMS companies, the judge brought precautionary measures on the properties and 8 million dollars of the family in the U.S. The judge also decided to hear the first hearing on February 11. Motorola and Nokia accused the Uzans for committing many crimes such as ''draining money, laundering money, stealing, theft, trick, cheating, defrauding, criminal fraud, extortion, bribing, rackeetering, intimidation, illegally obtaining assets, conspiracy, mob activity and for having multiple illegal schemes.''

    YILMAZ SAYS NO BODY HAS RIGHT TO REGARD EVERYBODY AS TRAITORS
    Mesut Yılmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister told at the party group meeting yesterday that certain circles regarded everybody as potential traitors while discussing the content of the adjustment bill, adding that ''no body has the right to regard all the people living in Turkey as traitors. We must give up the state mentality which regards its citizens as enemy to itself and which regard the society as enemy to the administrators and which regard the individuals as slaves of the state institutions.''

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    INHARMONIOUS COALITION
    Motherland Party (ANAP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz stating that they found the adjustment law complicated said, ''the draft doesn't reflect our view. However, it is not a competition. The problem should be solved by compromise. It should not be turned into a disagreement with National Movement Party (MHP).'' MHP insisting that, ''we don't give the approval, they shall change the draft without us in the Parliament.'' MHP deputy Sevkat Cetin blamed ANAP for doing ''vote hunting''. Justice Minister Sami Turk said that the rights and the freedom could be further enlarged.

    TAYLOR SAYS PROGRAMME WILL BE FOLLOWED
    U.S. Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor asked for an active working against financing for the terrorism and reminded the government that the necessary steps should be taken for the support of International Monetary Fund (IMF). Taylor said that the programme for the credit would be followed. Taylor who met with Deputy Prime Ministries, State Minister Yilmaz Karakoyunlu and Finance Minister Sumer Oral on Wednesday reviewed the works related to lifting the obstacles in front of the Privatization Law and investmens of the foreign capital.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    EU TO GIVE MONEY TO TRNC
    The European Union (EU) decided to give an aid worth of 206 million Euros to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) between 2004-2006. The money will be given within the scope of EU support package to develop the economies of candidate countries. Yet there is a condition for TRNC to benefit from the money, that is; to find a political solution on the island. The reason of EU's aid to TRNC is the fact that the national income per capita in TRNC is 75 percent less than the EU.

    VETOED BILL BACK TO PRESIDENT
    The parliament overrode a presidential veto and approved a bill to bail out banks that is key to securing new loans from the International Monetary Fund. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed three articles of the bill last week. He cannot veto the bill a second time, although he can refer it to the Constitutional Court. The government ignored his calls for a revision, rushing the legislation through parliament in time for an IMF board meeting scheduled for Feb. 4. That is when the international lending body is due to approve a new 12 billion dollars three-year loan package to back the economic recovery program. The IMF has already committed 19 billion dollars to Turkey.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    GENERAL SAYS TSK IS READY TO DO ITS MISSION IN ISLAND
    Land Forces Commander General Hilmi Ozkok said that Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were ready to do its mission in all kinds of crisis which would occur in Cyprus. Ozkok who came to the island to inspect the Turkish Cypriot peace forces command units said that he supported the Cyprus talks started by TRNC President Denktas. He added that ''we hope these talks would be successful and yield positive result. But if the talks don't come to be succesful, crises can take place in the region. In such a case, the Turkish Armed Forces will do its mission.''

    BANKING SECTOR LAW PASSES FROM PARLIAMENT
    The Parliament passed the banking sector law in the same form which was partly vetoed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The law foreseeing re- structuring the debts to the financial sector and amendments on some laws will be sent to Presidential Palace on Thursday. President does not have the authority to veto the law again, but Sezer can open a suit of nullity to the Constitutional Court.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    TEACHER APPOINTMENTS HINDERED BY IMF
    A total of 5 thousand teachers whom National Education Ministry needs cannot be appointed due to the given promises to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu had announced in November at the Parliament that they asked for an additional 5 thousand teachers from Finance Ministry and if those teachers were included in the list of the staff, the teachers would be appointed in December. Bostancioglu claimed that the ministry made all the preparations, but Finance Ministry did not provide the list of the staff for teachers. Sources say that the teacher appointments were not made due to Turkey's letter of intent which was given to IMF.

    -STATE MINISTER DERVIS ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - State Minister Kemal Dervis for ecomomy arrived in Washington D.C. late on Wednesday.

    Dervis, who was scheduled to go to New York to attend ''World Economic Forum'' on Wednesday, will pass to New York on Friday.

    Dervis is expected to hold contacts with International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials on Thursday.

    Officials at IMF told A.A correspondent that there was no change in the date of the meeting (Feb. 4) on which IMF Executive Board planned to discuss Turkey's new stand-by regulation.

    Over 16 billion U.S. dollars are expected to be given to Turkey for a period of three years when IMF approves the new stand-by accord and Turkey's letter of intent.

    -AK PARTY LEADER ERDOGAN:''WE DON'T WANT A STATE BASED ON RELIGIOUS RULES''
    WASHINGTON D.C.- Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his party didn't want a state based on religious rules, adding that his party regards the constitution of the Turkish Republic as the reference point. Erdogan who addressed many think tanks in Washington D.C. for three days, participated in a meeting held in National Democratic Institute (NDI).

    When his views were asked about secularism, and sharia, Erdogan said that ''we don't want a state based on religious rules, Islam is universal. The reference point of AK Party is the Turkish Republic's Constitution.''

    Claiming that the people is not pleased with secularism by the model implemented in Turkey, Erdogan said that secularism in Turkey is not similar to those in the U.S., Britain, Australia and European countries.

    Erdogan pointed out that AK Party wants choosing of a model in which people from different beliefs can live together, adding that the secularist regime should be at equal distance to all believers.

    ''Belief groups are kept under pressure by showing secularism as an excuse, '' claimed Erdogan. Noting that the AK Party does not target to found an ideological state, Erdogan said that his party was against all ideologies, including Kemalism.

    ''Kemalism is an ideology and it does not mean the principles of Ataturk. The latter are found in the Constitution. They are the principles of having a secular, democratic, social and legal state. We respect these four principles. Secularism and democracy are not in contradiction with each other. AK Party is an important model for prevention of the clash of civilization between the West and Islam following the September 11 attacks, '' he said.

    Stressing that democracy and human rights are needed by the Islamic world, Erdogan said that ''AK party is against both political Islam and the implementation of secularism in a totalitarian way.''

    Upon a question about the Israeli-Palestinian clash, Erdogan said that his party didn't have any problem with the recognition of Israel as a state, adding that Palestine should also be recognized as a state.

    -ANOTHER PICASSO PAINTING FOUND IN KAHRAMANMARAS
    ELBISTAN - A painting of Picasso was found in garbage dump in Elbistan town of southern Kahramanmaras province on Thursday.

    A person whose name was kept confidential handed over the painting to the gendarme telling that he found the painting in the garbage of Kızılcaoba neighbourhood.

    The painting which was one of the 16 paintings that were stolen from Kuwait museum during the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1991, has the seals of Kuwaiti Museum and a U.S. insurance company.

    As a result of the investigation, it was found out that the painting was insured for 1,5 million dollars.

    The gendarme informed the Cultural Ministry about the issue to investigate whether the painting was original or not.

    Interpol was also searching for the painting.

    -FINANCE MINISTER ORAL SAYS STUDIES ABOUT PROPERTY TAX TO FINISH WITHIN 3-4
    DAYS

    ANKARA- Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Thursday that the commission formed to solve the problems related to the property tax will be completed within 3-4 days.

    Oral who participated in the Ankara Industry Chamber (ASO) assembly meetings, said before the meeting upon questions of reporters that the commission would convene the same day.

    -FOREIGN TRADE STATISTICS
    -28 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS GOODS EXPORTED AND 37 BILLION
    U.S. DOLLARS GOODS IMPORTED IN 2001
    ANKARA - Turkey exported 28,62 billion U.S. dollars of products and imported 37,15 billion U.S. dollars of products in January-November 2001.

    The exports increased by 13.2 percent compared to same period in 2000 while the decrease in imports reached 25.8 percent.

    In the same period in 2000, the total exports were 25,28 billion U.S. dollars, the total imports were 50,65 billion U.S. dollars. The foreign trade deficit decreased to 8,53 billion U.S. dollars in 2001.

    The rate of exports meeting the imports increased to 77 percent in the eleven months of 2001. The same rate was 50,5 percent in the same period in 2000.

    In November 2001, Turkey exported goods worth of 2,8 billion dollars and imported goods worth of 3,44 billion dollars.

    The exports of Turkey was 2,49 billion dollars and imports was 5,36 billion dollars in November 2000.

    The exports in November 2001 increased by 12.1 percent and the imports decreased by 35.7 percent when compared to November 2000.

    The foreign trade figures between January-November 2000 and 2001 according to the State Statistics Institute data are as follows: (million U.S. dollars)

    . 2000 2001 Difference

    . Jan-Nov Jan-Nov (Percent)

    EXPORTS 25,28 28,62 13.2
    IMPORTS 50,06 37,15 -25.8
    Foreign Trade Deficit -24,77 -8,53 -65.6

    Rate of

    Meeting (%) 50.5 77.0

    -GAP'S EXPORTS TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES INCREASE BY 42.6 PERCENT
    GAZIANTEP- Exports of agricultural and industrial products from Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP) region increased by 42.6 percent to 17, 599 million U.S. dollars to the African countries in 2001.

    In 2000, the region exported agricultural and industrial products worth of 12 million 336 thousand U.S. dollars.

    Officials at Southeastern Anatolian Exporters' Association told the A.A correspondent on Thursday that the region exported animal and animal products worth of 176 thousand U.S. dollars, cereals worth of 2 million 634 thousand U.S. dollars, dried fruit worth of 1 million 86 thousand U.S. dollars and textile worth of 13 million 703 thousand U.S. dollars in 2001.

    The region exported mostly knitted textile and other textile products to African countries.

    -TOUR OPERATORS ASSOCIATION'S SECRETARY GENERAL BARANER:
    ''NUMBER OF TOURISTS VISITING TURKEY WILL INCREASE BY 20 PERCENT''
    ANKARA- Tour Operators Association's Secretary General Huseyin Baraner has said that many countries and tour operators were refraining from promotion following September 11 attacks in the United States and that development was a very important opportunity for Turkish tourism.

    Baraner told A.A correspondent on Thursday that the number of tourists who would visit Turkey in 2002 tourism season would increase by 20 percent.

    Baraner said, ''the world tourism sector continues to refrain from activities of joining fairs and promotion as of the first weeks of the new year. Some tourism companies and some countries have taken decisions not to attend the biggest tourism fair of the world which will be held in Berlin on March 16. Even Neckerman and Lufthansa are among those companies.''

    Huseyin Baraner went on saying, ''Turkey as Tourism Ministry, travel agencies and tour operators continue to take part in all key fairs and promotions in the world. Turkish companies take their places on key stands in the fairs and this is a very important chance for Turkey.''

    Pointing out that Turkey was a leading one among the countries which could market its products in the world tourism market, Baraner noted that Turkey would especially come to the forefront in significant markets such as Germany, Russia, Britain, Poland and France in 2002.

    He emphasized that the countries which were the rivals of Turkey did not have their own tour operators and that they were dependent on the promotions of foreign companies.

    Baraner said, ''Turkey has Turkish origin tour operators such as Oger, GTI, Vezyr Tur, Mos Travel, Tur-Tes and Pasa.''

    The number of tourists will increase by 20 percent in 2002 in Turkey, if there is no clashes or terrorist attacks in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions, Baraner added.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT IN BULGARIA
    SOFIA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Thursday Ahmet Dogan, the leader of the Rights and Freedoms Movement (HOH) which is a partner of the Bulgarian coalition government.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dogan said that he felt proud of meeting with Prime Minister Ecevit.

    Dogan said that relations between the Turkish and Bulgarian governments had been taken up and Turkish capital's interest in Bulgaria had been evaluated at the meeting.

    Noting that Turkish businessmen had been ''so late'' in the issue of investment in Bulgaria, Dogan said, ''Turkish capital oriented itself much more toward the Central Asia countries and it clearly ignored Bulgaria. However, Bulgaria which is a European Union candidate, is much more attractive to foreign investors.''

    Ahmet Dogan added that the visa problem between the two countries and the Gorna Arda project had been discussed at their meeting and Prime Minister Ecevit had written down notes.

    Later, Ecevit received Chief Mufti of Muslims in Bulgaria Selim Mehmet and accompanying delegation.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Selim Mehmet said that he had talked about the religious rights that the Muslims living in Bulgaria had gained in recent years and that he had expressed his opinion that the religious education in Bulgaria should take the religious education in Turkey as a model.

    Mehmet added that he had made a request from Ecevit about acceptance of diplomas given by the Higher Institute of Islam in Bulgaria by the Higher Institute of Education in Turkey.

    Later, Ecevit received Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergey Stanishev.

    Relations between the two countries were evaluated at the meeting and Stanishev explained Bulgaria's political priorities to Ecevit.

    Noting that his party which was the opposition party in Bulgaria appreciated Turkey's support to Bulgaria's NATO membership, Stanishev added that they wanted the Turkish-Bulgarian relations improved in every field.

    Later, Ecevit received chairmen of associations of Turkish businessmen in Bulgaria.

    At the meeting, businessmen had explained the problems they were facing in Bulgaria and asked the Turkish government to make necessary initiatives especially about the visa matter.

    -FOREIGN TRADE STATISTICS (2)
    ANKARA- Manufacturing industry products had the highest share with 91.5 percent in 28 billion 620.4 million U.S. dollars of exports from Turkey in the January-November period of 2001 and it was followed by agricultural products with a 7.2 percent share, mining and quarry products with a 1.1 percent share and fishery products with a 0.1 percent share.

    According to the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) data, exports of manufacturing goods rose 13.4 percent to 26 billion 201 million U.S. dollars in the January-November 2001 period. Exports from the manufacturing industry had been 23 billion 96 million U.S. dollars in the first eleven months of 2000.

    As of the same periods, exports of mining and quarry products reduced 13.4 percent to 315 million U.S. dollars. Exports from this sector had been 364.5 million U.S. dollars in 2000.

    In the first eleven months of 2001, exports of agricultural products increased by 16.2 percent and exports of fishery products rose by 17.4 percent.

    According to DIE statistics, imports of consumer goods decreased 44.3 percent to 3 billion 735.6 million U.S. dollars in the first eleven months of 2001. Imports of consumer goods had been 6 billion 711.4 million U.S. dollars in the same period of 2000.

    Imports of capital goods which had been 10 billion 279.2 million U.S. dollars in first eleven months of 2000 decreased 37.9 percent to 6 billion 385.2 million U.S. dollars. Imports of intermediary goods decreased 18.8 percent from 32 billion 898.2 million U.S. dollars to 26 billion 703.5 million U.S. dollars.

    Total imports by Turkey in the first eleven months of 2001 was 37 billion 154.3 million U.S. dollars while share of capital goods was 17.2 percent, share of intermediary goods was 71.9 percent and share of consumer goods was 10.1 percent in these imports.

    Meanwhile, 66.4 percent of total exports was made to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and 62.5 percent of total importas was made from OECD countries in the first eleven months of 2001.

    According to statistics, 18 billion 993.5 million U.S. dollars of exports were made to OECD countries in this period. In the same period last year, total exports to OECD countries had been 17 billion 360.9 million U.S. dollars.

    In this period, exports to European Union (EU) countries rose by 12.1 percent while exports to European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries reduced by 6.6 percent.

    In the first eleven months of 2001, exports to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries rose by 15.4 percent and exports to Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) countries increased by 17.8 percent while exports to Turkic republics reduced by 5 percent.

    In the same period, exports to Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) states rose by 7 percent and exports to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) nations increased by 25 percent.

    Meanwhile, imports from OECD countries reduced 29.4 percent from 32 billion 905.2 million to 23 billion 221.4 million U.S. dollars.

    In this period, imports from EU countries fell by 32.1 percent and imports from EFTA countries reduced by 21.3 percent.

    In the first eleven months of 2001, imports from CIS countries dropped by 18 percent and imports from BSEC countries reduced by 16 percent and imports from Turkic republics decreased by 56.2 percent.

    In the same period, imports from ECO states fell by 14.9 percent and imports from the OIC nations ireduced by 16.1 percent.

    -SIX-MEMBER IRANIAN DELEGATION ATTENDS SECURITY MEETING IN IGDIR
    IGDIR- Mustafa Tamer, the governor of eastern province of Igdir, hosted a meeting on ''border security''.

    Sources said on Thursday that also a six-member delegation from Iran had attended the meeting which was held once in every six months.

    At the meeting which was closed to press, the sides had taken up the security issues on the Turkish-Iranian border, sources said.

    Speaking to the A.A correspondent prior to the meeting, Tamer said that there was not a problem on the Turkish-Iranian border, adding that there had been a good harmonization between the two countries for a long time and that borders were secured.

    Meanwhile, Igdir, Agri and Van provinces' Iranian Border Officer Colonel Yakup Rizazade said that they attributed importance to relations between Turkey and Iran, adding, ''this meeting which takes place once in every six months is held in a sincere atmosphere. Start of transfer of Iranian natural gas to Turkey is a signal of continuation of good relations between the two countries.''

    -TUSIAD DELEGATION VISITS U.S. ON JAN. 29-30
    ISTANBUL- Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) delegation visited the United States on Jan.29-30 in order to assess the point reached in Turkish-U.S. relations.

    During their two day stay in the United States, the delegation which was headed by TUSIAD Deputy Chairman Mustafa Koc, met with U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfolitz, U.S. President's Afghanistan Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Deputy Foreign Trade Secretary Catherine Novelli, former U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Mark Parris, Deputy Secretary of State Earl Antony Wane and Congress member Tom Lantos' assistant Alan Makovski.

    Mustafa Koc, Akin Ongor and Yilmaz Arguden delivered speeches at a think- tank called Heritage Foundation briefing the participants about the latest state of the Turkish economy.

    Adding variety to commercial relations, alternatives, rebuilding of Afghanistan and what Turkish and Iraqi companies could do to preserve peace were the major topics of the meeting.

    Koc said that their visit to the United States was very beneficial. ''It's very important to clearly define Turkey's goals, follow up certain matters with U.S. authorities and prepare very well for the upcoming meetings. Besides, significant amounts of funds have been put aside to rebuild Afghanistan; therefore, Turkish companies should use this opportunity well, '' he said.

    -ECEVIT ADDRESSES BULGARIA-ATLANTIC CLUB CONFERENCE
    SOFIA- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that the gap between the poor and rich countries might create new threats for the peace in the world in near future and that the time to mention the Balkans with peace had come.

    Ecevit delivered a speech during a conference organized by the Bulgaria- Atlantic Club at the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    Stressing that today's world had intentions which contradicted with each other, Ecevit said, ''in the positive part of these intentions, the globalization process which is gradually getting strength is creating a new society of nations which are dependent on each other more. While giant steps are being taken in fields of science and technology, winds of democracy are blowing in the places of the world where such winds have never reached. The Western Alliance is now not encountering a hostile pact also in the field of security. Some of the countries where were separated with ideological walls once upon a time are now friendly states and even allies. The bi-polar system makes the world more stable.''

    Noting that despite those positive developments, some unsolved problems of humanity continued to exist and poverty and underdevelopment were still effective in most part of the world, Ecevit said, ''if this gap which is getting deeper between the poor and rich countries cannot be removed and compensated, this may create new threats for the security and peace in the world in near future.''

    Stating that some states and non-state actors in international area had the intention of obtaining mass destruction weapons, Ecevit said that also regional problems posed threats against the peace in the world and that many countries were facing ethnic violence.

    Stressing that also the Balkans reflected this picture, Ecevit said, ''however, the picture is now changing. Balkan countries' multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural structure should be protected whatever the cost is. Because, the alternative to this is blood and pain for the whole region. The time has come to save the word Balkans from its negative meaning and to enable it to bring positive concepts like ethnic harmony, mutual respect and living in peace to people's minds.''

    -TURKEY AND AZERBAIJAN SIGNS JEC PROTOCOL
    BAKU- State Minister Resat Dogru and Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Abid Serifov signed Thursday Turkey-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Commission 2nd protocol agreement.

    After the signature ceremony, Dogru said that both sides had the will to develop economic relations and increase commerce.

    The agreements covers a number of issues including investments of Turkish businessmen in Azerbaijan, setting up new Turkish companies in this country, developing transportation between the two countries, cooperation in Kars- Tbilisi-Baku railroad and tourism.

    Serifov said that he and Dogru covered all the important issues and there were no problems left. He said that they are planning to double or triple the trade volume between Turkey and Azerbaijan which is currently about 230- 250 million U.S. dollars. He said the necessary conditions were present to increase the trade volume. He underlined that his government expected Turkish businessmen to increase their investments in Azerbaijan.

    He pointed to the contribution of Turkish businessmen in the development of Azerbaijan and added that the difficulties encountered by Turkish businessmen were also affecting Azerbaijani businessmen and investors coming from other countries.

    Dogru indicated that Turkey and Azerbaijan had certain problems in their economic relations but added that Azerbaijan was being helpful in the solution of these problems.

    -ECEVIT ADDRESSES BULGARIA-ATLANTIC CLUB CONFERENCE (2)
    -''TURKEY'S INTEREST IN BALKANS IS VERY STRONG''
    -''WE CONTINUE SUPPORTING BULGARIA'S AND ROMANIA'S NATO MEMBERSHIPS''
    SOFIA- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that Turkey had a positive regard for NATO expansion and with this respect, it supported Romania's and Bulgaria's memberships.

    Ecevit delivered a speech during a conference organized by the Bulgaria- Atlantic Club at the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    Recalling that the European Union (EU) and the NATO were in new enlargement and expansion processes, Ecevit said that Europe would be rising on racial, cultural, linguistic and religious differences when those processes were completed.

    ''Where is Turkey situated in this picture? The Balkans is Turkey's bridge to Western Europe. People of Turkish origin are living in many Balkan countries including also Bulgaria. Meanwhile, there are citizens living in Turkey whose grandparents and families emigrated from the Balkans in the past. Clashes in the region cause humanity tragedies and serious problems like high number of immigrations to Turkey. Due to these reasons, we have a strong interest in the region,'' Ecevit said.

    Noting that Turkey supported international initiatives aiming to stop bloodshed in the Balkans as a result of the same reasons, Ecevit recalled that with this respect, Turkish troops and police units continued the roles they had undertaken to provide security in several parts of the former Yugoslavia.

    Stressing that Turkey attributed importance to the Southeast European Cooperation Process, Ecevit expressed his pleasure with the existing tri- partite cooperation among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.

    Noting that NATO's expansion targeted peace and stability in the Europe- Atlantic area, Ecevit said that Turkey continued supporting the Alliance's open-door policy and with this respect, it desired Bulgaria's and Romania's memberships.

    Stressing that Turkish-Bulgarian relations, stability in the region and the dialogue between the two countries should be deepened in every field, Ecevit said he believed cooperation between Turkey and Bulgaria had accelerated as a result of increasing contacts in recent years.

    Noting that terrorist attacks on September 11 had showed that terrorism threat had unbelievable dimensions, Ecevit said that fight against terrorism necessitated international cooperatieon.

    Stressing that there were many things to do in the Balkans, Ecevit said, ''Turkey and Bulgaria have same points of view about all of these issues. We want to build a better future which is far from clashes for the next generations.''

    -TURKEY-FRANCE FRIENDSHIP GROUP CHAIRMAN PELCHAT VISITS ANKARA TO MEND
    RELATIONS
    ANKARA- Recently elected Chairman of the Turkey-France Friendship Group of the French Senate Michel Pelchat is having official contacts in Ankara to help continue mend relations which had grown strained after the French Parliament passed a bill recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide last year.

    Pelchat had a meeting with a group of Turkish journalists at the French Embassy and answered their questions on a number of topics on Thursday afternoon.

    Pelchat said that he and a group of friends resisted the efforts to pass the bill but failed. He said the passing of the bill was not because French senators were against Turkey, but because they didn't know Turkey well.

    Answering a question on the ongoing constitutional changes in Turkey, Pelchat said ''Things are not going all that well in our country either, there are parties which find democracy too much.'' About the discussions on education in Kurdish language, he said he was coming from the Breton ethnic group in France and speaking that language was forbidden in France until 15 years ago.

    ''This is still a sensitive issue in France. The spirit of republic suggests the cohabitation of people from different ethnic groups; therefore, there should also be a single language,'' he commented.

    Answering a question about the EU's list of terrorist organizations which didn't include PKK and DHKP-C, French Ambassador Bernard Garcia said that the EU listed the terrorist organizations active in Europe.

    Garcia claimed that European countries didn't support these terrorist organizations and added that these organizations could have been maybe ''tolerated'' when they abused the freedoms in Europe. He also said that this was the first list and there would be other additions.

    Garcia underlined that these two organizations were banned by the French government, adding that the EU's legal and punishment systems were not the same all around Europe.

    Senator Pelchat will hold meetings with Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Parliament Foreign Commission Chairman Kamran Inan and Turkish members of the Turkey-France Friendship Group and try to repair the relations.

    -IMF FOREIGN RELATIONS DIRECTOR DAWSON: ''PRECONDITIONS STILL EXIST''
    WASHINGTON- IMF's Foreign Relations Director Tom Dawson has said that the IMF Executive Directors' Council's proposed date for the Turkey meeting, Feb.4, was still valid.

    Speaking at a press conference at the IMF Headquarters on Thursday, Dawson said ''The IMF Executive Directors' Council meeting will take place on the scheduled date. We'll let you know if there are any changes.''

    Dawson said that the banking law and another measure had to be implemented as a precondition, but he refused to specify what this measure was. He said this measure continued to exist as a precondition and the meeting could be postponed for a few days until that precondition is fulfilled.

    -5TH EUROPE-MEDITERRANEAN BUSINESS SUMMIT TO TAKE PLACE IN ISTANBUL ON
    MARCH 1-2
    ANKARA- The 5th Europe-Mediterrranean Business Summit will take place in Istanbul on March 1-2.

    The summit which is organized by Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) and European Industrialists' and Businessmen's Union (UNICE) will last for two days.

    Businessmen and ministers from Mediterranean countries and representatives of international organizations will participate in the summit.

    State Minister Kemal Dervis, Industry and Trade Minister Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu and Spanish Foreign Minister Miquel Nadal will deliver a speech at the meeting.

    -BORROWING PROGRAMME IN FEBRUARY
    ANKARA- Treasury will make a 2.9 quadrillion Turkish liras (TL) domestic borrowing redemption to markets within framework of its Borrowing Programme in February.

    Releasing a statement, the Treasury Undersecretariat said on Thursday that it also foresaw a 2.1 quadrillion TL of domestic borrowing in February.

    On February 12, Treasury will auction 3-month reference bonds of which value date is February 12 and maturity is May 15, 2002.

    The issuance at the auction on February 12 will be net 580 trillion TL and this amount is 15 percent of the total payments to markets and average sales repayments in February. In this auction, there will not be average sale and option sale.

    Within framework of the borrowing strategy in February, Treasury's total domestic debt servicing will be 4.7 quadrillion TL and total external debt servicing will be 1.2 quadrillion TL.

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