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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-08

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

Anadolu Ajansı



08 February

2002 Friday












    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 8, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


    Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen asked for the carrying out of a survey on corruption in the organizations under his responsibility. The survey carried out among the people indicated that the people were giving bribes. Yucelen set up special civil bribery teams throughout Turkey to capture policemen who takes bribes red-handed. Thus, these policemen were captured. Yucelen said, ''I dismissed 400 policement in the last three months.''

    Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sent a jet response to the letter of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in which he noted that ''U.S. President George Bush was serious.'' Iraqi President said that if Ankara wanted to show its sincerety about Iraq's territorial integrity, it should stop Northern Wath flights from Incirlik Air Base.


    One U.S. dollar increased over 1 million 340 thousand Turkish liras (TL) in the interbank markets which feel the Iraqi tension while one U.S. dollar gained 2.5 percent value against the TL and increased to 1 million 341 thousand in the free market.

    The True Path Party (DYP) sent the Banking Law to the Constitutional Court by taking into consideration the reasons for the veto of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. DYP filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court on Thursday demanding the annulment of three articles of the Law on Amendment to Some Laws and Restructuring of Debts to Financial Sector.


    Prime minister Bulent Ecevit warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with a very polite style. However, Saddam complained about Turkey to the United Nations (U.N.) : ''Do not intervene in my internal affairs. Otherwise, it will be very bad.'' The response to the letter in which Ecevit warned Saddam against a possible U.S. operation on Iraq came yesterday. Saddam is still obstinate, and continues his threats, challenges, and harshly accuses Turkey. Saddam wants Ankara to clarify its Iraqi policy and take concrete steps for his country's territorial integrity. Iraqi leader stressed that his palaces will not be opened to U.N. inspection. Saddam, who wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, harshly complained about Turkey: ''Turkey should give up violating our air space. It should not intervene in our internal affairs and it should close its bases to U.S. and British planes.'

    Yildirim Akbulut resigned from the Motherland Party (ANAP), which he had lead and which had made him the Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker. Akbulut is joining the True Path Party (DYP). Thus, Akbulut became the first politician who resigned from the party he had lead and joined another party.


    U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, U.S. Chief of General Staff Richard Myers, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz are expected to pay visits one after the other to Ankara in March. That Cheney will also visit Jordan, Syria and Kuwait, which all have borders with Iraq, has led to comments that the United States is getting prepared for a possible operation. Ecevit said, ''we want and expect that the problems will be solved without any war.''

    The decision of the terrorist organization PKK to change its name was considered in Ankara as a step of the new politicization strategy of the terrorist organization. The security forces drew the attention that the aim of the terrorist organization to set up an independent state had not changed and its efforts to create a ''kurdish nation'' continued. The experts warned that Ankara had not created a strong strategy against new policies of the terrorist organization PKK yet.


    The Natural Disasters Insurance Agency, the Public Works and Housing Ministry and Afyon Governorship gave different figures about the damaged buildings in the quake-hit Afyon province but reached a compromise on 2, 050. The death toll was decreased from 43 to 41 due to ''wrong writing.'' The Governorship is still demanding tents. The Red Crescent: ''We have set up 14,500 tents. Five tents per one person.''

    The path of the convoy of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Chief of General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu was blocked during their visit to the quake zone. The quake survivors who said that they were hungry and no aid was coming were tried to be silenced by the security forces. Sezer changed his programme and went to Deresenek. Some aid lorries were sent to the hamlet.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the adjustment law that was adopted at the Parliamentary General Assembly the previous day was a big step in respect of democratization. Ecevit touched on the discussion among his partners Motherland Party (ANAP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and said, ''pay the necessary attention not to drag politics into a bottleneck.''


    The workers who joined the survey in which ''the confidence in politics was interrogated' said, ''we will not vote for any of the political parties.'' Half of those who joined the survey carried out by the Health Employees' Union said that ''they had confidence in the politics'' while all of them said that ''they could not vote for any of the existing political parties.''

    Parliamentary Inquiry Commission decided not to send former Public Works and Housing Minister Koray Aydin to the Constitutional Court. The commission finalized its deliberations on the claims regarding Aydin in two months. The claims were related with the operation on the corruption in tenders of the Public Works and Housing Ministry. Aydin had resigned from his office and deputyship on September 5, 2001.


    The jurists are cautious about the new arrangement in the articles 159 and 312 of Turkish Penal Code (TCK). The amendments to articles 159 and 312 of TCK passed from the parliament the previous day. The old shape of Article 159 was preserved, but only the limit of punishment was changed from 6 to 3 years. However, some changes had been made in the article 312. The expression ''possibility'' was replaced with the word ''danger.''

    The European Union (EU) found the amendment to articles 312 and 159 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) ''positive'' but ''insufficient.'' Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for enlargement, sent messages to Ankara prior to his visit to Turkey in the following week through his speaker. Verheugen's speaker Jean-Christophe Filori told a group of Turkish journalists that they ''noted'' the amendments to articles 312 and 159 of TCK however, they had expected more. Filori stressed that they expected Turkey to take more serious steps regarding especially the freedom of expression and said that they wanted the continuation of political reforms of Turkish government. Filori added that Verheugen would bring into the agenda the issues regarding these amendments during his visit to Ankara in the following week.

    GAZIANTEP - Southeastern Anatolia Region exported 10 thousand 18 tons of sheep in 2001 and raised 14 million 993 thousand U.S. dollars from this exportation.

    According to figures of Southeastern Anatolia Exporters Association, besides 10 thousand 18 tons of sheep exports, the region exported 436 tons of goat and obtained 440 thousand U.S. dollars, 55 tons of intestine and gained 1 million 87 thousand U.S. dollars.

    The region obtained 95 thousand U.S. dollars in return for 135 tons of frozen chicken and exported 1,615 tons of several animal products and gained 1 million 986 thousand U.S. dollars.

    Lebanon and Saudi Arabia were the countries where the region exported sheep while the sheep intestines were exported to Germany.

    ANKARA- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan worth of 9.3 billion U.S. dollars has been deposited in the Central Bank account.

    Sources told A.A correspondent on Friday that the first tranche of the 16- billion U.S. dollar stand-by deal with IMF would be ready for use as of Friday.

    The loans and repayments of the IMF is being made through Central Bank.

    AThe first tranche will be used to repay almost 6.2 billion U.S. dollars in domestic borrowing.

    The loan released by the IMF is expected to be repaid in 4 years while there will be no repayment in the first two years and three months.

    ANKARA - Japan will donate 200 thousand U.S. dollars for the citizens who suffered from losses due to Aegean Afyon earthquake.

    A statement of Japanese Embassy in Ankara said on Friday that the Japanese government would donate 200 thousand U.S. dollars to contribute to healing of the wounds of the quake zone.

    A strong earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale rocked Afyon last Sunday.

    IZMIR - Muharrem Kayhan, the Chairman of the High Consultation Council (YIK) of Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), said on Friday, ''if we miss the train during the negotiations for the European Union (EU) full membership of ten countries together with Bulgaria and Romania this year, we will be in trouble.''

    Kayhan told reporters that opening full membership negotiations with EU at the end of this year was very important and said that Turkey had fulfilled majority of the preconditions for EU membership since Helsinki Summit.

    The reforms that the coalition government had made in finance sector were very important, Kayhan noted.

    Kayhan continued, ''I think that the financial reforms that the government has made by being aware or unaware and under obligation, are the most serious of political reforms and I also think that they fix the step coming after this one. I think that some steps have been taken in freedom of thought and individual rights regarding the political criteria.''

    ''A serious training has been made on torture and human rights violations, about which the EU was sensitive, for 1.5 years. In the report prepared by the EU, it is noted that 22 thousand security officials in Turkey were trained about this issue and Turkey has recorded a progress,'' Kayhan said.

    Kayhan stated that Turkey should not miss the EU membership train this year.

    The screening process was foreseen for Turkey this year, Kayhan said and noted that the incident named screening was a serious thing.

    Kayhan said, ''the comments regarding the national program and the fulfilment of short-term constitutional amendments gives Turkey the right to say 'let's begin direct negotiations after the screening.' This is Turkey's demand. However, the things that have to be done from now on are not so few. These should be accomplished very fast.''

    The word EU had to be pronounced in the following year, Kayhan pointed out.

    Kayhan said that despite some deficiencies or pauses in fundamental issues, TUSIAD would make a serious pressure.

    EU membership would bring many things to Turkey in respect of economics, Kayhan noted and said, ''we only think that the EU should approach to Turkey fairly not with doubts and should keep in mind that leaving Turkey outside will cost too much for both of the sides.''

    Kayhan said that the economic program had serious political results and continued, ''I think that one of the basic fields of the following year should be growth and basic steps. That is, Turkey should dwell upon which industries it will work, what it should do, and according to what it will plan its training and infrastructural needs? Turkey is a country which others will envy in the long term. It had recorded a growth over 4.5 percent in the last 25 years. But, in some years it grew 8 percent while in some years it shrank 6 percent. All these harm economy and questions sustainability.''

    Only the amendments to Political Parties Law and Election Law were not enough to ensure political stability, Kayhan stated.

    Kayhan said, ''however, we think that they should start from this point if they want to ensure stability. TUSIAD has some preparations. We will present a draft law on political parties as of March. There is also a bill regarding the election system which has not been concluded yet.''

    ANKARA- Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is) sent on Friday a letter to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in which it expressed concerns over the draft law on graded retirement submitted to the Prime Ministry.

    The letter signed by Turk-Is Chairman Bayram Meral and General Secretary Salih Kilic requested that a new draft be prepared in the direction of the proposals of the confederation.

    By the amendment to Social Security Law and Social Insurance Law, the retirement age was increased to 58 in women and 60 in men for the people who would start working after September 8, 1999, the letter said.

    The letter noted that the retirement age of those who were working at that date were gradually increased by taking into consideration their period of work.

    The Constitutional Court cancelled the b,c, and d paragraphs of the temporary article 81 of the law which regulated the retirement right of the people under the auspices of the Social Security Agency before September 8, 1999, the letter stated.

    The letter noted that a draft law prepared by the Labour and Social Security Ministry to fill the legal gap without consenting to the social sides was sent to the Prime Ministry.

    Upon the reaction of the social sides, a meeting was held at the Labour and Social Security Ministry with the participation of the relevant social sides, the letter said.

    The letter noted that the participants agreed on the limitation of the legal arrangement with the articles cancelled by the Constitutional Court and making the arrangement by taking into consideration the reasons for the annulment.

    However, the letter said, they could not agree on the draft prepared by the Ministry did not coincide with the cancellation reasons of the court and which was even more negative.

    The proposal prepared by Turk-Is was also adopted by other labour confederations, the letter stated.

    The letter added that they request that a new draft law be prepared by taking into consideration the proposal of the labour confederations.

    The proposal of Turk-Is which is supported by Moral Rights Workers Union (Hak-Is) and Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Union (DISK) is as follows:

    Women workers can get retired,

    -at the age of 39 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 16 but less than 18 years if they pay premium for 5,000 days.

    -at the age of 40 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 14 but less than 16 years if they pay premium for 5,000 days.

    -at the age of 41 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 12 but less than 14 years if they pay premium for 5,150 days.

    -at the age of 42 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 10 but less than 12 years if they pay premium for 5,300 days.

    -at the age of 43 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 8 but less than 10 years if they pay premium for 5,450 days.

    -at the age of 44 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 6 but less than 8 years if they pay premium for 5,600 days.

    -at the age of 45 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 4 but less than 6 years if they pay premium for 5,750 days.

    -at the age of 46 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 2 but less than 4 years if they pay premium for 5,900 days.

    -at the age of 47 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 1 but less than 2 years if they pay premium for 6,000 days.

    -at the age of 48 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 1 year if they pay premium for 6,000 days.

    Men workers can get retired,

    -at the age of 44 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 21 but less than 23 years if they pay premium for 5,000 days.

    -at the age of 45 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 19 but less than 21 years if they pay premium for 5,000 days.

    -at the age of 46 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 17 but less than 18 years if they pay premium for 5,150 days.

    -at the age of 48 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 13 but less than 15 years if they pay premium for 5,450 days.

    -at the age of 49 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 11 but less than 13 years if they pay premium for 5,600 days.

    -at the age of 50 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 9 but less than 11 years if they pay premium for 5,750 days.

    -at the age of 51 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 7 but less than 9 years if they pay premium for 5,900 days.

    -at the age of 52 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 5 but less than 7 years if they pay premium for 6,000 days.

    -at the age of 53 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 3 but less than 5 years if they pay premium for 6,000 days.

    -at the age of 54 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for more than 1 year but less than 3 years if they pay premium for 6,000 days.

    -at the age of 55 if they have been working under the auspices of SSK for less than a year if they pay premium for 6,000 days.

    ANKARA - Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp will go to New Zealand on Saturday.

    A statement of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry said on Friday that Gokalp will pay an official visit to New Zealand between February 11 and 15 by a delegation of representatives of public and private sectors upon the invitation of New Zealander Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Trade Negotiations and Minister Responsible for Rural Affairs Jim Sutton.

    The statement said that Gokalp would hold contacts about especially ovine and bovine animal breeding, animal health, agricultural quarantine, fishery rehabilitation and management, and food processing.

    Gokalp, who would hold meetings with Suttan, and representatives of public and private sector organizations, would visit the installations with which Turkey wanted to have cooperation, the statement noted.

    The statement added that Gokalp will return to Turkey on February 15.

    ANKARA - World Bank Vice President Johannes Linn for Europe and Central Asia will visit Turkey between February 14-18.

    Sources said on Friday that Linn was expected to meet Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and ministers for economy and other economy officials.

    Linn, who will attend a conference on the development of foreign capital and investment possibilities in Ankara, will go to Istanbul on February 16.

    Johannes Linn is expected to participate in another conference in Istanbul on anti-corruption.

    Linn, who will meet with the representatives of business world and financial sector in Istanbul, is foreseen to depart from Turkey on February 18.

    Meanwhile, sources said that Linn would focus on relations between financial sector and real sector, direct investments and fight against corruption during his contacts.

    The negotiations with the World Bank delegation regarding the 1 billion 350 million U.S. dollars of public and financial sector special adjustment loan (PSFSAL2) were completed last week.

    Bank officials have started to examine the report of the delegation.

    Vice President Linn stressed that he would hold contacts regarding the additional financial assistance loan necessary for the financial sector.

    Linn is also expected to hold contacts regarding the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) which is planned to be operated within this year.

    World Bank Executive Board is expected to convene at the beginning of March to discuss this loan.

    PFSAL will back Turkey's financial and public sector reform program.

    With the banking reform to be backed by World Bank loan, the banking sector will be rehabilitated, public banks will be restructured and privatization will be continued.

    PSFSAL2 loan is also aims to ensure rehabilitation in state tenders, rationalization of public investment programs, implementation of tax system rehabilitation strategy and accelerate public expenditure and institutional reforms.

    The World Bank commits to extend a total of 3 billion U.S. dollars of loan to Turkey this year, including the PSFSAL2 worth of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars.

    The interest rate of this loan, to be extended under suitable conditions, is +Libor 0.75 percent and its maturity is 17 years. It will not be repaid for 5 years.

    ANKARA- Shlyeo Takenaka, the Japanese Ambassador to Turkey, said on Friday that Japanese government decided to donate 200 thousand U.S. dollars for survivors of strong earthquake of Aegean Afyon province.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received Japanese Ambassador Takenaka.

    Following the meeting, Takenaka told reporters that in the end of some examinations, it was seen that there was not any dangerous situation in Istanbul related with a possible earthquake, but security measures had to be taken.

    Takenaka said that he informed Ecevit about the financial aid decision of Japan during their meeting and that they sent a team to the quake zone following the strong earthquake of Sunday.

    The Japanese Embassy in Ankara had also sent a delegation to the quake zone following the massive earthquake two years ago, Takenaka noted.

    Takenaka stated that this time, they realized that Turkey was well- organized and also, the Red Crescent was working efficiently.

    But, they saw that the quake survivors were facing bad conditions due to cold, Takenaka said.

    Takenaka pointed out that they told the Japanese government that they could extend psychological assistance to those people.

    Noting that there were some statements that the bridges in Istanbul were under threat, Takenaka said that he gave information to Ecevit regarding this issue.

    Takenaka noted that they had proposed to help Turkish government in a project to increase the quake-resistance of the viaducts and bridges in Turkey last year and said that he informed Ecevit about the initiatives carried out by the Japanese government in that respect.

    Japanese Ambassador Takenaka said that a Japanese delegation came to Turkey last year and carried out examinations for two weeks.

    When a reporter said that quake disasters happened often in Japan, but there were not so much damages in that country and asked what Turkey should do, Takenaka said that he saw that Turkey was exerting utmost efforts regarding this issue.

    Takenaka noted that most of the houses in Japan were made of wood, not from sun-dried bricks like in Turkish villages.

    Asked if there was a danger related with bridges in Istanbul, Takenaka said that there was not a dangerous situation.

    But, Takenaka noted, he was talking cautiously. He said that what would happen in case of a strong earthquake was not clear.

    To this end, he stated, the report noted that Turkey had to take security measures.

    ANKARA- Industrial production regressed by 9.4 percent in December 2001 when compared to the same month in 2000.

    According to figures of State Statistics Institute (DIE), the production in mining sector fell 7.2 percent while the decrease in manufacturing industry was 10.9 percent.

    Electricity, gas and water production increased by 2.1 percent in December 2001 when compared with the same month in 2000.

    When the year 2001 is compared with the year 2000, the industrial production recessed by 8.9 percent, the production in mining sector decreased by 7.9 percent. The decrease in manufacturing industry was 9.9 percent and 1.5 percent in water sector.

    According to the figures, the industrial production dropped by 4.1 percent in December 2000.

    The production in mining sector fell by 7.2 percent while the decrease in manufacturing sector was 10 percent in 2000. The production in gas and water sector increased by 0.002 percent in 2000.

    ANKARA- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, speaking about the letter which Iraqi head of state Saddam Hussein sent him, pointed out that, ''there is not any change in the attitude of Saddam Hussein.''

    The letter sent by Hussein to Ecevit, reached Prime Ministry.

    ''There is not any change in attitude of Saddam Hussein,'' Ecevit said while speaking to reporters.

    ISTANBUL- Press Council Chairman Oktay Eksi was elected as the Chairman of the World Association of Press Conferences (WAPC).

    Issuing a written statement on the issue on Friday, Press Council said that WAPC which aims to create a freer and more respectable press, launches initiatives to form a mechanism to protect the principles of the press in cases of violations.

    Noting that WAPC has 19 members which are press councils, the statement added that Austrian, Turkish, Sri Lankan, Nigerian and New Zealander press councils formed WAPC in 1992.

    The first chairman of WAPC was Lord Oliver Mc Gregor, who was also the Chairman of British Press Council, the Press Council said and noted that the term in office of previous Indian Press Council Chairman R. Sawant ended last October.

    Oktay Eksi was elected as the WAPC Chairman for four years in a recent meeting.

    ANKARA- Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Friday about a question regarding the response of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's letter that ''we don't see a general positive development.''

    Responding to questions of journalists after holding a joint news conference with Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abd Al-Rahman Shalgam, Cem said that Turkey did its mission as a neighbour of Iraq.

    ''I know that the U.N. Secretary General and the Iraqi administration have contacts,'' he said, adding that he hoped Iraq would start to implement the U.N. resolutions.

    Upon another question, Cem said that Iraq can't have an attitude against Turkey, adding that the written correspondence with Iraq is carried out in a polite manner.

    ''Everybody is aware of the fact that Turkey launches efforts with good will and appreciates that. But every country pursues its own policy just like Turkey pursues its own,'' said Cem.

    Cem said that he didn't use the words ''I don't see a positive development'' in respect of the letter, adding that it was not proper to talk about a letter which was presented to the prime minister.

    Noting that Turkey will regard Iraq's accepting the U.N. weapon inspectors into its territory as a positive step, Cem said that Turkey has always told Iraq that if the relations between Iraq and the U.N. improve, Turkey will use its influence in various platforms like the EU and Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) for lifting of the economic sanctions on Iraq.

    ''In such a case, Turkey can have contacts with Jordan, Iran and Syria, the neighbours of Iraq on this issue, and I had clearly written this in my letter to Iraq,'' Cem said. When a journalist asked him if this proposal was still valid, Cem said ''yes.''

    ''We hope this issue to be solved in a peaceful manner,'' said Cem and recalled that every country determines its own policy, adding that all countries with which Turkey had contacts supported the policies of Turkey.

    STRASBOURG - Parliamentary General Secretary Vahit Erdem on Friday called on European Union (EU) not to delay full membership negotiations with Turkey.

    Speaking at meeting of secretary generals of the parliaments of countries which are members or candidates to the EU in Strasbourg, Erdem briefed about the fundamental reform efforts ongoing in the Grand National Assembly, and noted that Turkey recorded important stages in human rights, democratization and economy.

    Recalling that 360 laws and 36 constitutional changes were adopted in the Parliament, Erdem called on the EU to fulfil its responsibilities pertaining to the starting of full membership negotiations.

    Role of national parliaments within EU decision mechanism was discussed in the morning session of the meeting.

    Clarity in enlargement perspective, transparancy, parliamentarian activities, and consultation perspective in respect to enlargement will be discussed at the meetings.

    ISTANBUL- Istanbul Criminal Court No. 1 gave on Friday a decision of non- jurisdiction in the case regarding the seige of Swissotel last April, noting that State Security Court (DGM) had to try the 13 suspects.

    The case file was sent to the Supreme Court of Appeals to solve the disagreement.

    Istanbul Criminal Court noted that the suspects had to be tried under Law No. 4422 on the fight with organized crime groups.

    The court sent the case file to Supreme Court of Appeals as the case file was earlier transferred to them by the DGM which also gave a non- jurisdiction decision on the case.

    A suit was filed against Muhammed Emin Tokcan and other 12 persons for seiging Swissotel and for keeping hostage the clients of the hotel for 12 hours to protest Russia for its policy towards Chechnia on April 22, 2001.

    AFYON- One person who was injured and taken under medical treatment following the quake in Afyon, died on Friday and the death toll increased to 42.

    Veli Dogan who was from Yesilciftlik hamlet of Sultandagı town of Afyon and who was injured during the quake, died in hospital.

    The medical treatment of 13 other wounded persons continues.

    ANKARA - Turkey paid its membership fees to international institutions which it could not pay for a certain period of time due to economic difficulties.

    Diplomatic sources said on Friday that Turkey paid 20 trillion liras of fees to 66 international institutions including the U.N.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem had written a letter to State Minister Kemal Dervis last December stressing the importance of the issue as Turkey could lose its right to vote in international institutions for not paying its membership fees.

    ANKARA- Turkey plans to sell waters of Manavgat river to North African country Libya.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Libyan counterpart Mohammed Abd al- Rahman Shalgam held joint news conference following their meetings.

    Prior to the news conference, the two ministers signed a protocol pertaining to the establishment of permanent consultation mechanism between Turkey and Libya, and consulship agreement.

    Cem said preliminary works continued to see whether or not transportation of waters of Manavgat river could be made from Turkey to Libya, and noted that, ''we want to accelerate the works to transport waters of Manavgat River to Libya. This is not only an economic but also a symbolical issue.''

    Pointing out that Turkish-Libyan relations improved in the recent years, Cem said both sides were willing to further improve relations.

    ''Libya is important for Turkey,'' said Cem and pointed out the historical dimension of bilateral relations. Cem recalled that joint fight had been launched against the Italians who occupied Libya with imperialist aims. Cem said Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had stayed in Banghazi for sometime and fought against occupiers.

    Cem said they wanted to further improve relations, adding that they expected a delegation from Libya within this framework, adding that the delegation in question would hold contacts in related institutions and ministries.

    Noting that Libya was interested in Turkey in oil, energy, investment and banking areas, Cem said they targeted to prepare a joint action plan to see what the two countries could do in third countries.

    The Libyan minister will meet State Minister Edip Safter Gaydali in this respect this afternoon.

    Cem said he and Shalgam developed an idea pertaining to the tomb of Turgut Reis, the Ottoman sailor. Cem said they would search for ways to repair the tomb, which is in Tripoli, with a joint work.

    Ismail Cem said that he would start an initiative to read and understand well certain documents which are important for the history of Libya.

    Noting that they took up important international issues like Cyprus, Iraq, Middle East, Afghanistan and Central Asia in the meetings, Cem said that the negotiations about these issues would continue during the lunch.

    Cem said that they had briefied the guest minister about Cyprus, adding that ''Turkey and Libya can contribute to each other in the field of economy, politics and culture.''

    The guest minister Shalgam said in his part that the number of Turkish firms which worked in Libya exceeded 130 and the amount of their business volume exceeded 10 billion dollars to date.

    Noting that 70-80 percent of the products consumed by the Libyan people were made in Turkey, Shalgam said that there are Libyan students who study in Turkey.

    ''We want to improve the relations in every field, we will determine new working fields to this end,'' said Shalgam.

    Shalgam said that he conveyed the concern of Libya about the situation of the Palestinian people and about Iraq during his talks with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    All sides have to launch efforts to prevent further escalation of the tension against Iraq, he said, adding that the region could not stand further escalation of the tension.

    When asked if the consultation mechanism formed between the two countries was against Iraq, Shalgam said that it was a general mechanism which didn't cover a certain country.

    Shalgam said that he would go to Greece and Cyprus soon, adding that it was beneficial for him to come to Turkey and get the views of Turkey about the island.

    Shalgam said that ''Cyprus is close to us and we monitor closely Cyprus due to our interests. Our contacts with Turkey are important. I benefitted from the views of Mr. Cem about Cyprus.''

    SANLIURFA- Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration will organize an intercultural communication worshop by the cooperation of Kent State University of the U.S and Bahcesehir University of Istanbul.

    GAP Regional Development Administration Directorate said on Friday that deputy governors, chairmen of trade and industry chambers, non-governemntal organizations and farmers' organizations in GAP region will join the workshop which will start on February 12, 2002 and which will last for one day.

    The aim of the worshop is to further improve the sensitivity about intercultural communication and to work on experiences that are unique to the GAP region and Turkey.







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