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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-07

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

07 February

2002 Friday

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 February 7, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    ADJUSTMENT BILL ADOPTED
    The adjustment bill known as ''mini democracy package'' was adopted by the Parliamentary General Assembly. Articles 159 and 312 of the bill were changed before being approved. Meanwhile, coalition partners have not reached compromise for the first time since the coalition government was formed. While the deputies of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) cast their votes for adoption of the bill without any change, deputies of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) supported enlargement of freedoms.

    LETTERS TO BE SENT TO FAMILIES OF STUDENTS ABOUT SATANISM
    National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu who signed a series of decrees prepared to prevent suicide attempts among students and to support psychological support, wrote a letter to families of nearly 14 million students. These letters will be sent to families of students together with students' report cards at the end of the first semester. The letters give information about satanism and warn families not to use violence on their children.

    TURKEY TO PROTEST BELGIUM
    Ankara has taken action after learning that three Belgian parliamentarians met with Osman Ocalan, the brother of terrorist organization PKK head Abdullah Ocalan, in Northern Iraq. Jean Matthysen, the Belgian Ambassador to Turkey, was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. During the meeting, Turkish side expressed its uneasiness about recent developments. Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said that necessary initiatives had been launched both in Belgium and in Turkey.

    PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE CENSURE MOTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT
    The Parliamentary General Assembly will debate on February 12, 2002 whether to take censure motion submitted by the True Path Party (DYP) against the government onto parliamentary agenda. The DYP claimed in its censure motion, ''agriculture of tobacco has come to an end-point as a result of the government's economy policies depending on the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Agriculture of tobacco concerns 3 million citizens together with 600 thousand farmers. Tobacco producers have been left alone against foreign monopolies.''

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    QUAKE TIME FOR ISTANBUL
    TUBITAK Marmara Studies Center Director Prof. Dr. Naci Gorur who is known with his deliberate statements, said, ''a major earthquake jolts Istanbul once in 250 years. Latest period of 250 years will come to an end in 2016. We have observed recently that gas volcanos in Marmara Sea have begun to be active again. An earthpuake measuring 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale could occur in Marmara in coming years. We do not want to scare anyone. However, this is what the science told us.''

    CLASH ERUPTS BETWEEN SECURITY FORCES AND DRUG TRAFFICKERS
    Security forces revealed an illicit drug trafficking network, and launched an operation to capture members of this network in Istanbul. Clash erupted between security forces and three armed members of the network. Drug traffickers opened fire on security forces, injuring a policeman. Meanwhile, security forces captured seven members of the network at the end of the operation.

    PKK MEMBER CAPTURED IN MOSCOW
    The Russian Federation that has recenty begun to give the message that it wanted to cooperate with Turkey against terrorism, captured a member of the terrorist organization PKK for the first time. The terrorist was taken into custody as he was preparing to leave Russia from Moscow's Sheremetyova Airport. He was identified as Sahin Gokalp. Gokalp was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Turkey.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    JUSTICE COMES AFTER TEN MONTHS
    Dinc Bilgin who submitted important documents to court delegation about the investigation into the Etibank, was released by the court yesterday. Istanbul High Criminal Court no: 5 decided to release Bilgin together with other businessmen Cavit Caglar and Nail Kecili. During the court session, Bilgin proved with documents that some of the crimes mentioned in the indictment of the case, were committed under the pressure of BRSA former chairman Zekeriya Temizel.

    A RAW BREAKS OUT ABOUT LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS DRAFT LAW
    A raw break out between the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) about the article of the Local Administrations Draft Law saying, ''provincial special administrations should carry out the investments about primary and secondary education, environment, potable water, sports, health, culture, village roads, agriculture and other services that are approved by the Council of Ministers.''

    PUBLIC BANKS START MAKING BENEFIT
    The total loss of Ziraat Bankasi and Halk Bankasi which was 598 trillion Turkish lira (TL) in April of 2001, have been changed into a benefit of 543 trillion in December of 2001. Meanwhile, Halk Bankasi's loss of 740 trillion TL decreased to 570 trillion TL in the same period.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    ''HARMONY'' DESTROYED
    A bill on which the coalition government partners could not reach an agreement during the 57th government's term in office was adopted by excluding the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The adjustment bill which had created a crisis in the coalition government was adopted by the parliament. MHP officials accused their partners of ''behaving impolite and irresponsible''. After adoption of the bill, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said, ''we respect the parliamentary will.''

    JAPAN WARNS BUT NO MONEY
    It was mentioned that the Japanese delegation which had observed the bridges and viaducts reported that those bridges and viaducts might suffer damage in a possible earthquake in Marmara Sea or Istanbul and that especially Bogazici, Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Halic bridges and four viaducts needed seismic reinforcement. Public Works and Settlement Minister Akcan annunced that those projects would be put into practice when loan was obtained.

    TURKEY IN LIST OF ATTACK TARGETS
    CIA Chairman George Tenet said that al-Qaede and other terrorist organizations were planning to attack on the United States and that especially Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were ''under serious risk''.

    RISK OF NEW EARTHQUAKE
    Prof. Dr. Tuncay Taymaz from the Istanbul Technical University Seismology Department stressed that the Sultandagi fault line had still a part which had not broken yet and they were expecting an earthquake measuring more than 6.0 on the Richter scale due to this part. Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Naci Gorur said, ''the fault line between central Marmara and Tekirdag is risky. This can cause an earthquake measuring 7.0 or more at any moment.''

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    IS THERE A BARGAINING?
    It was claimed that ''security units'' had given a 12-article memorandum to the PKK on January 16, 2002. Removal of ''Kurdistan'' word in the name of PKK was one of those articles. Neither the General Staff nor any state organ confirmed that it had sent the memorandum in question. Two days ago, PKK announced that it would not carry out activities in EU countries and Turkey under the name of PKK. It is claimed that ''Kurdistan'' word would not take place in the new name. This development creates a question mark: ''Is there a bargaining?''

    ''FORGET EU WITH THESE LAWS''
    Prominent jurist Prof. Guy Braibant who is known as the father of the European Convention evaluated articles 159 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code: ''now, there is not any law which restricts freedom of expression in Europe. Turkey cannot enter EU with such laws.''

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    CAGLAR, BILGIN AND KECILI FREED
    The Istanbul High Criminal Court heard 18 witnesses including bank managers, chiefs and personnel under the Etibank case. Witnesses said that they had not done any transaction and anything violating the procedures and laws. In his opinion on the merits of the case, the prosecutor requested release of businessman Cavit Caglar from prison and release of Nail Kecili and businessman Dinc Bilgin on bail. The court decided to release Caglar, Kecili and Bilgin for their trial without arrest.

    312 AND 159 AMENDED
    The adjustment bill which created a tension among the coalition government partners was legalized with the amendmend proposals submitted by the Democratic Left Party (DSP) although the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) opposed to it. The bill was taken up by the Parliamenntary General Assembly yesterday upon the DSP's application. The expression of ''possibility of destruction of public order'' which was mentioned in Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) was changed as ''danger of destruction of public order''. The expression of ''persons'' in the same article was changed as ''nation''. The last part of the article remained as ''person who insults a certain part of the nation in a way which denigrates them and damages human dignity is sentenced to imprisonment terms from six months up to two years.'' This amendmend proposal was legalized with votes of DSP, Motherland Party (ANAP) and opposition although the MHP voted against it. The text of Article 159 of TCK was protected as it is by the motion submitted by the DSP, but the punishment foreseen in Article 159 was amended. Those who openly curse laws of Turkish Republic and resolutions of parliament will be given imprisonment terms from 15 days to six months. If this crime is committed in a foreign country by a Turkish citizen, this punishment will be increased from one third to half. With the new arrangement, the heaviest punishment was reduced from six years to three years and fines were lifted.

    AEGEAN GESTURE TO ATHENS
    Turkey unilaterally made a nice gesture to Greece, which will reduce tension in Aegean and started to give early information about the daily flights over Aegean to Greece through the NATO. With this new implementation, Turkey has been giving early information about number of Turkish war planes which fly over Aegean and their routes to Greece since December 2001. During these flights, Turkish pilots also answer questions of Greek towers about their identity and places. Greek had firstly rejected this nice gesture but the sitation had changed when the Greek Foreign Ministry had known about it. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said that information given by Turkey was a positive step. Athens now considers the information sent by Turkey ''Official Nato Document''.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    DSP AND ANAP REACH AGREEMENT WITH OPPOSITION TO AMEND 312
    The ''mini democracy package'' which covered amendment to articles 312 and 159 of the Turkish Penal Code was recovered and adopted by the parliament. While the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Motherland Party (ANAP) reached an agreement with the opposition, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the first time ran counter to its partners and remained outside of this agreement.

    TURKEY-ISRAEL ALLIANCE AGAINST IRAN GRADUALLY GETTING STRONG
    Russia-Iran Coordination Program Center Chairman Recep Safarov claimed that Turkey and Israel whose relations were gradually improving could set up a political and military alliance against Iran. Safarov defended that Israel wanted to reach Central Asia and Caspian by making use of Turkey.

    CUSTOMS OFFICIALS CONFESS BRIBERY
    The Anadolu University (AU) carried out a survey at customs. According to the survey, 39.8 percent of customs officials said that there is bribery at customs.

    -U.S. VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY DUE TO TURKEY
    WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will visit also Britain and Turkey during his Middle Eastern countries tour including Israel in mid- March.

    U.S. administration officials said that Cheney's visits would focus on meetings with government leaders on the phases of United States' fight against terrorism after Afghanistan.

    Cheney's assistant Mary Matalin told reporters that Cheney who knew the region well and had had professional and personal relations with the region for a long time would have meetings within framework of mutual interests, particularly on campaign against terrorism and regional security issues.

    Cheney was planning to visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, sources said.

    U.S. administration officials said that Cheney would not meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat although he would visit Israel, adding that Cheney would also visit Britain and Turkey which had made great contributions to war in Afghanistan.

    -SECURITY FORCES INTERCEPT 5 FOREIGNERS IN CESME
    IZMIR - Gendarme forces intercepted five foreigners of Afghan origin who were trying to escape to Chios island of Greece with a boat from Cesme township of western province of Izmir.

    Sources said on Thursday that acting on a tip-off, Gendarme forces had captured five Afghans who were planning to escape to Chios with a boat from Cesme.

    Gendarme officials said those Afghans would be deported.

    -AKBULUT RESIGNS FROM ANAP
    ANKARA - Motherland Party (ANAP) deputy Yildirim Akbulut resigned on Thursday from his party.

    ANAP presented his resignation to the Office of Parliament Speaker while did not show any reason for his resignation.

    After Akbulut's resignation, the number of seats that ANAP occupied at the parliament decreased to 78 while the number of independent deputies increased to 15.

    Below listed the distribution of seats at the parliament:

    Democratic Left Party (DSP) ................................ 129

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)............................ 127

    True Path Party (DYP) ...................................... 85

    Motherland Party (ANAP) .................................... 78

    Justice and Development Party (AK Party) ................... 53

    Felicity Party (SP) ........................................ 48

    Socialist Democracy Party (TDP) ............................ 3

    Independent ................................................ 15

    Vacant ..................................................... 12

    Total ...................................................... 550

    -FM CEM RECEIVES REPRESENTATIVES OF BUSINESS WORLD
    ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem received on Thursday the representatives of business world in Turkey and noted that they discussed the methods of strenghtening the economic relations between Turkey and the U.S. with them.

    Speaking before the meeting, Cem said that they had a preliminary study for the meetings to be held with the American delegation on February 26-27.

    ''A discussion started on the method of further improving the economic relations with the U.S. and we decided to continue discussing it. A delegation headed by U.S. Assistant Secertary of State will come to Turkey and our delegation will be headed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal,'' he said.

    Noting that he didn't expect to get immediate and big results from this process which will start with the U.S., Cem said that ''we will do our best in the short term for Turkey-U.S. relations and we aim to give it a strong basis in the middle term.''

    Undersecretary Ziyal was also present in the meeting.

    -PRIME MINISTER: ''OUR PEOPLE WILL NEVER ACCEPT DRAGGING OF THE POLITICS
    INTO BOTTLENECK IN A PERIOD WHEN ECONOMY HAS STARTED TO RECOVER''
    ANKARA - Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that the Turkish people would never accept dragging of the politics into a bottleneck in a period when the economy had started to recover.

    Speaking at the group meeting of his party, Ecevit said that he believed that the coalition partners would pay the necessary attention to this issue.

    Ecevit noted, ''I guess everybody accepts that the style has vital importance in political relations.''

    A very important step had been taken for the development of freedom of expression, human rights and democracy with the Adjustment Law that was adopted on Wednesday, Ecevit said.

    Ecevit stated that they had met some problems regarding that law and said, ''however, thanks to DSP's compromising efficiency, these problems have been overcome. Despite many problems, this law was concluded in a positive way thanks to contributions of DSP deputies.''

    -TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS RECEIVES PRIME MINISTRY DEPUTY
    UNDERSECRETARY POLAT
    LEFKOSA - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) received on Thursday Prime Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Selcuk Polat and accompanying delegation who had come to Lefkosa to review the economic programme in the TRNC.

    Speaking at the meeting, Denktas said that they were pleased to host economic delegations coming from Turkey, adding, ''your outlook on our economy closely concerns us. This is our main problem. We are grateful to Turkey's assistance.''

    Asking the delegation to closely examine the current economic situation in the TRNC, Denktas said, ''according to results of your observation, you determine what can be done. You will discuss what kind of recovery and progress you want to see in our performance.''

    Meanwhile, Polat said that they wanted to visit the TRNC President and get his instructions before starting their contacts.

    Noting that he was being accompanied by a technical delegation, Polat said, ''we will observe the progress recorded in the TRNC economy as a result of the ongoing measures and determine whether or not there is need for new measures. And we will submit a report on our opinions to the TRNC government.''

    -PRIME MINISTER: ''OUR STATE HAS FULFILLED ITS
    RESPONSIBILITIES IN QUAKE''
    ANKARA - Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that the state had fulfilled its responsibilities in the earthquake which rocked Aegean Afyon province on Sunday.

    Speaking at the group meeting of his party, Ecevit said that the Red Crescent passed the test in this earthquake.

    Ecevit noted that they did not need any foreign aid at the moment and thanked everybody who proposed help.

    The earthquake damaged buildings more than expected in Afyon due to false urbanization, Ecevit said.

    Turkey had to take measures by taking into consideration that it was situated on a quake-belt, Ecevit stated.

    Ecevit pointed out that the demolition of the industry zone was the most important indicator of false settlement and construction.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SAYS SOME GOOD DEVELOPMENTS
    HAVE BEEN MARKED IN ECONOMY
    ANKARA - Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that some good developments were being recorded in economy.

    Speaking at the group meeting of his party, Ecevit said that the tranche of the loan provided from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth of 9 billion U.S. dollars had come to Turkey or was to come.

    Ecevit noted that this was the result of the confidence in Turkey's economic program.

    Turkey had recorded significant progress in overcoming the economic crisis, Ecevit stated.

    Ecevit said, ''by the measures we have taken, we have recorded significant developments in overcoming the economic crisis. There were some negative expectations about the sustainability of the program. But, these concerns have been overcome. Not ony our own people but also the foreign world and foreign financial organization accept that Turkey has reached the stage to overcome economic crisis.''

    The beginning of revival in production, the increase in exportation were hope inspiring developments, Ecevit noted.

    Ecevit said, ''however, we should not drowse. We have to show the determination that we have shown so far also from now on. Our people also look at the future with confidence and hope.''

    Prime Minister Ecevit added that he believed that the economy would recover in the possible shortest time by the determination of the government, contribution of business circles and workers and confidence of people.

    -PRIME MINISTER: ''WE WANT AND EXPECT THE SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS
    RELATED WITH IRAQ WITHOUT BREAKING OUT OF A WAR IN OUR REGION'
    ANKARA - Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that they wanted and expected the solution of the problems related with Iraq without breaking out of a war in the region, especially at Turkey's border.

    Speaking at the group meeting of his party, Ecevit said that he obviously expressed his expectations and views about this issue during his visit to the United States.

    Ecevit noted that he sent a letter to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and stated, ''I think that Iraqi administration will not have any doubt about my bona fide initiative. Yesterday, we received a hope inspiring news. It was announced that Saddam Hussein was ready to meet with United Nations (U.N) officials without any preconditions. I hope this news is accurate. I hope that any problem related with Iraq will not occur in our region.''

    -PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS' BUDGET FIGURES IN 2001
    ANKARA - The Finance Ministry announced the year 2001 budgetary figures of public institutions.

    According to the figures, 11 state institutions made savings in expenditures.

    The allocated allowances to some public institutions and their expenditures at the end of 2001 are as follows:

    ALLOCATED ALLOWANCE TOTAL EXPENDITURES
    (billion TL) (billion TL)

    ------------------------ ----------------- --------------
    Parliament 106.229 103.430

    Presidency 13.558 9.650

    Constitutional Court 1.472 1.630

    Prime Ministry 397.402 532.099

    Treasury Undersecretariat 21.578.697 47.445.169

    Religious Affairs 302.026 400.148

    Justice Ministry 449.353 543.829

    National Defense Ministry 5.126.252 5.357.474

    Interior Ministry 253.765 311.838

    Security Directorate General 1.173.164 1.682.851

    Gendarmerie Command 825.017 953.036

    Foreign Ministry 207.594 242.491

    Finance Ministry 6.424.503 6.612.078

    National Education Ministry 4.033.224 5.139.034

    Public Works & Housing Ministry 186.780 902.677

    Health Ministry 1.276.201 1.821.305

    Transportation Ministry 106.787 77.838

    Agriculture & Rural Affairs Ministry 316.577 412.821

    Labor & Social Security Ministry 27.104 34.050

    Industry & Trade Ministry 74.695 76.310

    Energy & Natural Resources Ministry 58.325 87.524

    Environment Ministry 29.036 34.981

    Forestry Ministry 93.080 125.126

    -PRESIDENT SEZER VISITS QUAKE HIT AFYON REGION
    AFYON - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Thursday that the state will find solutions to the difficulties of the citizens living in quake hit Afyon region, adding that ''the state and the nation are powerful enough to find solutions to these problems.''

    Sezer started his observations in the quake hit region. After visiting Sultandagı Crisis Centre, Sezer was briefied by Afyon Governor Ahmet Ozyurt about the studies undertaken.

    Noting that the visit of Sezer to Afyon gave power to citizens living in Afyon, Ozyurt said that the citizens spent the first night under difficult conditions. Ozyurt said that 41 citizens died in Afyon, 318 others were injured and 16 of them were still treated in hospitals.

    Ozyurt said that as majority of the houses were made of sun-dried bricks the damage is high, adding that 509 houses were severly damaged, 232 houses had middle-scale damage, 957 buildings were slightly damaged. He added that 224 business places were severely damaged, 45 others had middle-scale damage and 82 business places were slightly damaged.

    Ozyurtsaid that the damage assesment work continued, adding that the debris will start to be taken as soon as possible. He noted that 1,091 cattles and 8,402 sheep died during the quake.

    Ozyurt requested President Sezer declaration of the region as disaster region, continuation of sending food stuff to the region and erasing or postponing of the farmers' debts.

    Noting that the industry site of Cay town totally collapsed, Ozyurt demanded the government to give credits to tradesmen to found their business places again.

    Ozyurt added that Afyon had to be taken among the provinces which have priority in development.

    President Sezer said in his part that the whole nation is in great sorrow due to the quake disaster, adding that the state would soon meet the difficulties as soon as possible.

    ''We must benefit from the information of science in determining new settlement areas,'' Sezer noted.

    Sezer later talked to citizens in the region. Citizens complained Sezer about their problems and noted that no damage assessment work was undertaken in the region.

    Sezer also visited the industrial site in Cay town of Afyon which was severely damaged during the quake.

    -DYP APPLIES TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REQUESTING
    ABOLISHMMENT OF THREE ARTICLES OF LAW RELATED TO BANKING
    ANKARA - True Path Party (DYP) applied on Thursday to the Constitutional Law requesting the abolishment of three articles of the law on reconstruction of debts to financial sector.

    DYP parliamentary group deputy chairman Nevzat Ercan and DYP deputy Ahmet Iyimaya came to the Constitutional Court and submitted the petition to the Secretary General Ahmet Hamdi Yapıcı.

    Ercan said in his part that DYP requested abolishment of Article 6, 7 and provisional Article 1 of the law.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer had sent back the law on banking to the parliament as he wanted the latter to reconsider the same articles. When the parliament adopted the law in the same form, President Sezer approved it.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER: ''WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THE POLITICIZATION EFFORTS OF PKK''
    ANKARA - Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen said on Thursday, ''we all know about politicization efforts of the terrorist organization PKK.''

    When reporters reminded him about the news that the terrorist organization PKK was getting prepared for a change in its name and asked if he had received such intelligence, Yucelen said, ''intelligence is not for being shared with public opinion. It is given to take measures in case of a situation which closely concerns the public and which harms the rights of the public.''

    Yucelen added, ''to this end, we should evaluate these things in that way. We have to talk very cautiously about the intelligence. We all know about the politicization efforts of PKK. However, such an effort will not bring back the killing of children, elderly or others and the blood of 35 thousand people. We have to talk about these firstly.''

    Asked if re-discussion of the situation of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, could be in question and if his file could be sent to the parliament, Yucelen said, ''everything is written in our laws. We will not create an interpretation from the beginning. The response of an action is written in our laws. You will ask the question if the file would be sent to the parliament to the Prime Minister.''

    Asked about his evaluations regarding the amendment to article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code, Yucelen said, ''everything is obvious. This is the will of the parliament. What will you discuss? You will say that the sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation. You will say that the parliament is the place where the democracy is manifested. The parliament convened and took a decision. I cannot understand what you will discuss.''

    -TRNC PREMIER EROGLU RECEIVES PRIME MINISTRY DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY POLAT
    LEFKOSA - Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday that he hoped that they would get the results of cooperation with Turkey in 2002 to overcome economic problems.

    Eroglu received Prime Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Selcuk Polat and accompanying delegation who had come the island to hold economic contacts.

    TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Economy Salih Cosar, TRNC Finance Minister Mehmet Bayram and Turkish Ambassador to the TRNC Hayati Guven attended the meeting.

    Speaking at the meeting, Eroglu said that they would have the opportunity of evaluating the works carried out so far with the delegation, which was very important in regard to direction of works in the future.

    Noting that they aimed to bring the TRNC's economy to a better position as a result of agreements and protocols with Turkey, Eroglu said, ''I believe that we will left behing the currently existing economic problems with the support of Turkey.''

    Meanwhile, Polat said that they had come to the island to technically observe the recent developments in the TRNC's economy, adding, ''such visits will be paid periodically once in every three months. We think that we should unite the daily events of the people of the island with the economic programme during these meetings.''

    -TURKISH-BULGARIAN BUSINESS COUNCIL CO-PRESIDENT ERKOC SAYS THEY AIM TO
    INCREASE TRADE VOLUME TO 1 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS
    ISTANBUL - Turkish-Bulgarian Business Council Co-President Faruk Erkoc said on Thursday they aimed to increase trade volume between Turkey and Bulgaria to 1 billion U.S. dollars in 2002.

    Turkish-Bulgarian Business Council annual meeting started in Istanbul under the auspices of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).

    Speaking at the meeting, Erkoc said that he hoped that trade between two countries would reach a better level as the free trade agreement was signed.

    Erkoc noted that the current trade volume between the two countries was 700 billion U.S. dollars and that 300 billion U.S. dollar of this figure was Turkey's exportation and rest was its importation.

    Turkey could not reach the stage it wanted in its trade activities with Bulgaria because it could not benefit from European Union (EU) funds, Erkoc stated.

    Erkoc pointed out that Turkish contracting companies could take part in all tenders to be made by EU funds in Bulgaria as of the beginning of this year.

    Prime Ministry Deputy Secretary General for EU Erdal Guven said that the two countries carried out EU adjustment works intensively and noted that there were significant similarities between the macro economic indicators of Turkey and Bulgaria.

    Guven stated that Turkish direct investments was around 125 billion U.S. dollars in Bulgaria as of 2000.

    -EU-OIC JOINT FORUM MEETING TO BE HELD IN ISTANBUL NEXT WEEK
    -29 FOREIGN MINISTERS TO ATTEND FORUM
    ANKARA - The Joint Forum meeting between the European Union (EU) and Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) will take place in Istanbul on February 12-13.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem brought agenda for the first time the proposal to hold a conference to bring together the political and academic personnel of EU and OIC countries and to discuss the issue of ''harmony of civilizations'' last October following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11.

    Cem voiced his proposal to hold EU-OIC Joint Forum meeting firstly in the OIC foreign ministers meeting held in Doha and later in European Conference held in Brussels.

    Noting that the best response that can be given to tendencies of causing a clash among civilizations is to launch a common initiative, Cem stressed the importance of having common struggle againts initiatives aiming to cause problems between different religions and cultures. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem proposed holding the meeting in Istanbul, which has been the capital of religious and cultural tolerance throughout the history.

    Cem reiterated his proposal in the international meetings he attended, firstly in the EU-Mediterranean meeting and then in the U.N. Geheral Assembly meetings in New York.

    One written copy of the proposal was handed out to the representatives of EU and OIC countries during the EU and candidate countries meeting held within the scope of U.N. meetings and during the OIC annual coordination meetings. Positive reactions started to come from international circles to the conference which will bring together the EU and OIC countries for the first time.

    The statement issued after the OIC coordination meeting extended full support to the proposal of Turkey to hold a conference in Istanbul.

    The written proposal of Turkey which was handed out to the representatives of OIC and EU countries, pointed out to the importance of common understanding, harmony and peace among nations to solve the problems that closely concern these countries, noting that it is to the benefit of everybody to discuss common issues, values and approaches in a political platform.

    Meanwhile, Turkey speeded up its works for the EU-OIC Joint Forum meeting. A working group was formed in the Foreign Ministry to put into practice the proposal, and the Foreign Ministry officials took up the issue with the representatives of EU and Qatar, the OIC Term President in a luncheon.

    In December, a preliminary meeting was held in Istanbul for the summit in Istanbul.

    The attendees issued good willing messages hoping the EU-OIC Joint Forum meeting to bring peace to world.

    Lastly Spanish Ambassador to Turkey Manuel de la Camara met with Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sencar Ozsoy today and they controlled the last preparations for the meeting and discussed the details of the joint declaration expected to be issued at the meeting of the summit.

    According to the latest information conveyed to the Foreign Ministry, 29 foreign ministers will attend the EU-OIC Joint Forum in which more than 40 countries are expected to participate.

    Bosnia-Herzegovina, Malaysia, Qatar, Iran, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Egypt, Bahrein, Oman, Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan and Syria, which are the members of OIC, will attend the meeting in the level of foreign ministers.

    Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan are expected to participate in the forum in the level of heads of state, deputy foreign ministers and other levels.

    Meanwhile, the European countries which will be represented in the level of foreign ministers are Spain, Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Greece and Germany.

    Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Luxembourg and Czech Republic will be represented in the level of heads of state, deputy foreign ministers, or other levels.

    Diplomatic sources said that Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah is expected to represent the interim government in Afghanistan at the meeting. Afghanistan has topped the agenda of the world following the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States.

    While Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is joining the summit as OIC observer, the Greek Cypriot administration will be represented under the EU candidate country title. In which level both of the sides will attend the summit has not become definite yet.

    Council of Europe (COE) Secretary General Walter Schwimmer, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, OIC Secretary General Abdelouhed Belkeziz, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary General Jan Kubis, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Abdurrahman Bin Hamad al Attiyah are the other participants of EU-OIC Forum.

    EU Joint Defense and Foreign Policy Commissioner Javier Solana will also attend the meeting.

    Bernard Lewis, Eduard Said, Dr. M'hammed Hassine Fantar, Thierry de Montbrial, Professor Hassan Hanafi, Prince Hassan bin Tallal and Professor Ilber Ortayli are also among the attendees of the meeting.

    The forum will begin with a ''welcome reception'' on February 11.

    The forum which will start with the opening speech of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will continue with the sessions.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit are also expected to attend the meeting.

    The issue which will be taken up during the luncheon is entitled ''Prevention of Political and Cultural Fault Lines.''

    Three panel discussions will be held during the meeting, including, ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'', ''Politics and Media'', ''Who is 'The Other'?Does it Really Exist?''

    The participants will watch Sultans of the Dance show.

    The forum will end by the press statement to be released on February 13.

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