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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-11
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>Anadolu Ajansı
HURRIYET (LIBERAL)CIVILIZATIONS TO MEET IN ISTANBUL Leading politicians and men of thought from Islam and Christian worlds will meet at the Joint Forum of the European Union Union (EU) and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to start in Istanbul on Tuesday. The two-day summit meeting was organized by Turkey in order to emphasize that relations among civilizations in which tension has been escalated in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, should be based not on clashes, but on harmony. A total of 71 countries, members of the EU and the OIC, will meet at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul laying between the east and the west like a bridge. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem held a press conference at the Ciragan Palace, and said, ''this summit meeting will give the messages of peace, cooperation and harmony. The humanity urgently needs these important messages.''
AT LAST MR. NECATI WAKES UP
Necati Celik who served as minister during the rule of coalition government formed by the Welfare Party (RP) and the True Path Party (DYP), criticized Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the RP banned by the Constitutional Court. He said, ''Erbakan and his followers have been posing a serious threat against Turkey. If I had had the authority, I would have banned them from policy.''
CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES INCREASES
Consumption of alcoholic beverages increased during the economic crisis. Total consumption of alcoholic beverages rose by 13 percent in December of 2001. Meanwhile, production of liqueur climbed by 254 percent.
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)AKP SUBMITS A MOTION ABOUT TSK
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been trying to obtain information whether or not there was corruption in tenders aiming at meeting requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). AK Party Deputy Group Chairman Huseyin Celik submitted an interrogation motion, and asked National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu about the TSK's boat tender. Celik said that TSK preferred private sector in its tenders instead of public sector.
TURKISH WRESTLERS WIN 21 MEDALS
Turkey was ranked first in men's and women's groups in the 20th International Vehbi Emri Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament in Istanbul. A total of 184 wrestlers from 16 countries vied for medal during the tournament. Turkey won five gold, three silver and two bronze medals in men's greco-roman wrestling, and four gold, two silver and five bronze in women's greco-roman wrestling.
SABAH (LIBERAL)BOMB DEPOT ON FAULT LINE
LPG filling facilities in Istanbul's Ambarli district laying on a fault line, have been posing a serious threat. Istanbul Provincial Gerdarmerie Regiment Commander Hami Cakir sent a top secret document to Bakirkoy Chief Prosecutor's Office saying that these facilities could cause a grave calamity.
RAW WITH MINISTER CAUSES BANISHMENT
Turgal Ilhan, the former head office of Cay township of western province of Afyon that hit by a severe earthquake on February 3, was banished. During distribution of tents in the township, Ilhan warned State Minister Hasan Gemici not to intervene in his affairs. Three days after the earthquake, Ilhan has been appointed to Sefaatli township of central province of Yozgat. It was claimed that Ilhan was banished because of the raw with State Minister Gemici.
WEAPON BAN AT MIT
Following last week's murder and suicide at the National Intelligence Agency (MIT), the personnel was warned not to carry weapons in the building. Weapons of the personnel will be kept in a strongbox in the MIT building.
HALK BANKASI TO REDUCE ITS INTEREST RATE TO 55 PERCENT
Halk Bankasi Deputy Director General Bahri Ugras said that interest rate in loans to be given to tradesmen and artisans would be reduced from 75 percent to 55 percent. Ugras added that the bank increased its loan limits for tradesmen and artisans from 5 billion Turkish lira (TL) to 7.5 billion TL.
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)SUMMIT OF CIVILIZATIONS
Istanbul, the bridge of civilizations, will gather the two biggest religions, Christianity and Islam between February 12-13. Turkey's importance and its democratic-secular position will be once again put forward. The ''Summit of Civilizations'' in which representatives of EU and OIC countries will participate will also examine how nations of different religions, languages and cultures can live in peace. This summit is important as democratic-secular and Muslim EU candidate Turkey constitutes a ''model''. Participation in the meeting will be as follows: ''from OIC countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Malaysia, Qatar, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Iraq at ministerial level; from EU countries: Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia and Germany at ministerial level; intellectuals: Bernard Lewis, Edward Said, Muhamed Hassine Fantar, Thierry de Montbrial, Hasan Hanefi, Prince Hasan bil Tallal and Ilber Ortayli.'' President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will deliver speech at the opening session of the summit which will start tomorrow at the Ciragan Palace to display the importance that Turkey attributes to the matter.
''THIS IS THE BEST THAT STATE CAN DO''
Public Works and Settlement Minister Abdulkadir Akcan responded housing demands of quake survivors by saying, ''as the state, we could not hand over housing units to survivors of Mus-Varto earthquake. This shows the power of the state and this is the best that the state can do.'' Meanwhile, it was announced that aid between 250 million and 750 million Turkish lira would be given to owners of the 4,898 houses which had suffered damage in Afyon earthquake.
RADIKAL (LEFT)''SECOND ONE CAN BE HELD''
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that nearly 100 bilateral contacts would be held among the ministers who would attend the OIC-EU Joint Forum in Istanbul and that he had received demands for a bilateral meeting from nearly 30 ministers. Cem said that a similar meeting might be held in Athens if it was seen necessary.
TURKIYE (RIGHT)GREAT SUMMIT IN ISTANBUL
The world nations will come together in Istanbul tomorrow upon Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's call. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will attend the the ''European Union-Organization of Islamic Conference Summit'' in which politicians from 71 countries will participate. ''Peace among civilizations'' will be taken up during the summit in which 51 countries will participate at ministerial level.
TURKISH BUSINESSMEN FACE MAFIA TERROR
A group of racist Jews in New York, the United States attacked on business place of Turks who did not give protection money, with smoke bomb, stones and clubs. Incidents which were shot by the cameras astounded people in the United States.
CEM: ''VERY IMPORTANT''
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem stressed that holding of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum between 12-13 February in Istanbul was very important, adding, ''the meeting brings message of peace, cooperation and harmony to the whole world and humanity. This is a very important message.'' Cem said that 71 countries would participate in the Forum, adding that 51 of them would attend the meeting with their foreign ministers, which is very important. ''We will be societies who understand each other better with this meeting.''
ALSO IRAQ TO ATTEND
While the discussions on an operation against Iraq continue, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will send his Foreign Minister Naji Sabri Ahmad al-Hadithi to the summit in Istanbul and give new messages to the world.
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)TURKEY TO MAKE EUROPEAN AND ISLAMIC COUNTRIES COME TOGETHER
The Organization of Islamic Conference and European Union Joint Forum will start at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul tomorrow. About the forum in which 71 countries will participate, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said, ''only Turkey can host such a forum which does not foresee clash, but recognition of the different.''
WE KNIT SOCKS TO GERMAN ARMY
The German Armed Forces purchases socks from Denizli. Denizli which has an important place in field of textiles supplies the sock demand of the German army. Besides, exports are made also to France, Britain and Netherlands.
-FINANCE MINISTER ORAL IN BRUSSELS
BRUSSELS - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Sunday that year 2002 was very important regarding relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) and future of those relations.
Oral who attended the informative meeting held in Brussels by the Capital Market Board (SPK) told reporters that they attributed importance to informing Turkish citizens living abroad on the latest economic developments in Turkey.
''By holding such meetings in regions that are intensely populated with our citizens, SPK gives direct information about the capital market in Turkey and gets opinions of our citizens. Also we are giving information about sale of Treasury's immovables and properties. These meetings are very beneficial,'' Oral said.
Responding a question, Oral said that sources obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were different from the sources and necessary aid obtained from the EU within scope of the financial cooperation, adding that Turkey was very sensitive toward those issues.
''Especially year 2002 is very important for the relations between Turkey and the EU. Turkey's target is basically EU full membership. The final goal of the ongoing economic program and the National Program is accession to the EU. These two are the programs which target reforms in Turkey and will take Turkey to the EU target,'' he said.
Oral added that he would meet with Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders on Monday and that they targeted to revive commercial relations between Turkey and Belgium.
Oral will return to Turkey after his meeting with Reynders.
-U.S. DOLLAR INCREASES OVER TO 1,400 THOUSAND TURKISH LIRA
ISTANBUL - Selling price of one U.S. dollar at the Istanbul free market increased over to 1 million 400 thousand Turkish liras (TL) early on Monday.
One U.S. dollar is currently sold at 1 million 420-425 thousand TL at the Covered Bazaar.
Selling price of 1 U.S. dollar had started the day at 1 million 395 thousand TL.
-''WELCOME RECEPTION'' TO BE HELD AT CIRAGAN PALACE PRIOR TO OIC-EU FORUM
ISTANBUL - A ''Welcome Reception'' will be held at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul late on Monday prior to the ''Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum'' which will be organized after great support to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's proposal to hold such a meeting following terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Many representatives from 71 countries will attend the forum in which also President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will participate.
Sources said on Monday that the forum was very important since the OIC and EU countries would come together for the first time at foreign ministerial level and the message of peace, cooperation and harmony would be given to the whole world and humanity.
During the period in which the question ''whether or not the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 would create a clash of civilizations'' was being asked, Foreign Minister Cem proposed to host a conference on ''harmony of civilizations'' with participation of political and academic circles from the OIC and EU countries.
This proposal which Cem had expressed at several international meetings received great support from the OIC and EU administrations while this meeting would be the first activity in which the OIC and EU would come together for the first time, sources said.
Turkey which is the only EU candidate country among OIC members concluded preparations for the forum in a very short time as a result of intense works.
A ''welcome reception'' will be held at the Ciragan Palace at 7.00 p.m. the same day prior to the forum for which Turkey undertook an important role as ''being the crossroads and intersection point of civilizations beyond its role of traditional bridge between cultures''.
The forum will start at 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday with Foreign Minister Cem's statement. Later, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will make a statement.
In the opening session, also EU President Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique i Camps, OIC President Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabour Al Thani, European Council Secretary General and High Representative for Joint Defense and Foreign Policy Javier Solana and OIC Secretary General Abdelouahed Belkeziz will make statements.
On the first day of the forum, participants will have a ''family photo'' opportunity and come together at a working luncheon of which theme will be ''prevention of political and cultural fault lines''. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will make a statement during the working luncheon.
Two panels will be held on the first day of the forum and their themes will be ''confronting common challenges in today's environment'' and ''politics and media''. The first day will end with a buffet dinner that will be followed by the ''Sultans of the Dance'' show at Mydonose Showland.
On February 13, a press conference will be held after a panel on ''Who is the other? Does it really exist?'' The forum will end the same day with a closing lunch.
Participating ministers are expected to hold more that 100 bilateral contacts during the forum while Foreign Minister Cem will hold many bilateral contacts.
In addition to bilateral meetings, Turkey will come together with NATO candidates Romania and Bulgaria together with Greece. This meeting is expected to take place on the second day of the forum and possible contributions of Turkey and Greece to Romania and Bulgaria will be discussed.
Meanwhile, only the Anadolu Agency (A.A) and the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) will cover the sessions. Representatives of other press and media organizations will follow the panels from the monitors at the press center.
-CENTRAL BANK SAYS EARLY REDEMPTION OF USD 6.1 BILLION IMF LOAN IS MADE ON FEBRUARY 7
ANKARA - The Central Bank said on Monday that ''early redemption'' of the loans in total worth of 6.1 billion U.S. dollars which had been obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier and whose maturities were 2002 and 2003 under the rules of new stand-by deal, was made on February 7, 2002.
Releasing a statement, Central Bank said that as a result of this early redemption, nearly 14 billion U.S. dollars of loans that had been gotten from the IMF earlier reduced to 7.8 billion U.S. dollars.
It said that the banks managed by the Savings Deposits Insurance Fund (SDIF) had no remaining debts stamming from the repo transactions as of Friday, February 8, 2002.
The bank said that there was a 1.9 billion U.S. dollars of source from the 9.1 billion U.S. dollars of loan which had been immediately taken from the IMF under the new stand-by agreement, and this 1.9 billion U.S. dollars would be used in budgetary allowances.
It recalled that SDR 7.6 billion (9.4 billion U.S.dollars) part of the loans which it had taken from the IMF under the stand-by agreement signed in May 2001 had been transferred to the Treasury in return for the State Domestic Borrowing Notes (SDBN) which had same interest and maturity conditions as the IMF loans.
The bank said that the first tranche (9.1 billion U.S. dollars) of nearly 16 billion U.S. dollars that would be given by the IMF in 2002-2004 period had been deposited at Treasury's accounts on February 7, 2002.
Central Bank said that it made on February 7, 2002 early redemption of the loans in total worth of 6.1 billion U.S. dollars which had been obtained from the IMF earlier and whose maturities were 2002 and 2003 under the rules of new stand-by deal.
It said that as a result of this early redemption, nearly 14 billion U.S. dollars of loans that had been gotten from the IMF earlier reduced to 7.8 billion U.S. dollars.
It said that 2.4 billion U.S. dollars part of 6.1 billion U.S. dollars of repayment had been met from Central Bank sources and 3.7 billion U.S. dollars part had been met by early redemption of SDBNs which had been taken in return for the loans given to the Treasury earlier.
The remaining net source at Treasury's accounts was 5.4 billion U.S. dollars, it said.
-1ST TURKISH-GREEK JEC MEETING TO START IN ATHENS ON TUESDAY
ANKARA - The Turkish-Greek Joint Economic Commission (JEC) First Term Meeting will start in Athens on Tuesday.
The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM) said on Monday that Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen had left for Greece to head the Turkish delegation during the JEC meeting which would be held ''for the first time'' between Turkey and Greece.
During the two-day JEC meeting, the Greek delegation will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Andreas Loverdos.
All commercial and economic issues between Turkey and Greece will be discussed during the meeting and the sides will determine measures to improve and increase bilateral commercial and economic relations.
During the meeting, also issues like cooperation in fields of energy, industry, agriculture and small and medium scale enterprises, transportation and customs and interregional cooperation will be taken up.
Following the meeting, the Turkish-Greek JEC First Term Meeting Protocol will be signed on February 13. The protocol will cover the issues on which the sides reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, the foreign trade volume between Turkey and Greece had been 869 million U.S. dollars in 2000.
Total exports from Turkey to Greece had been 438 million U.S. dollars and total imports by Turkey from Greece had been 431 million U.S. dollars. The trade volume between the two countries was 539 million U.S. dollars in the January-September period of 2001.
-TURKISH-U.S. PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL MEETING TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN FEBRUARY 26 AND 27 IN ANKARA
ANKARA - The Turkish side will reiterate its demand from the U.S. to lift the quotas in textile and concluding a preferential trade agreement with the U.S. during the Turkish-U.S. Partnership Commission meeting to take place in Ankara on February 26-27.
Turkey will present the U.S. a detailed preparation package demanding the foundation of qualified industrialized regions in Turkey during the meetings.
The U.S. is warm to the idea of founding Qualified Industry Regions particularly in the Southeast Anatolian provinces of Turkey. However, the Turkish side prefers the regions to be formed in provinces which are near to the ports as they are more favourable in respect of qualified human labour and transportation.
The Turkish side will particularly bring onto agenda the demands which Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit voiced during his visit to the U.S.
The concept of qualified industry regions foresees setting up certain industry regions and the transfer of the goods to be produced there to the U.S. with no customs.
Turkey's other demand which is U.S.'s lifting of the textile quotas will give Turkey the opportunity to export more textile goods to the U.S. However, the U.S. is not very warm to this idea, noting that the textile quotas will be lifted in 2005 anyway within the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Signing of a free trade agreement between Turkey and the U.S., which is another demand of Turkey, will end the customs between them.
There is no quota between the U.S. and the EU due to the signing of a ''gentlemen's agreement'' in 1970s. As Turkey is a candidate country to the EU and as it is a member of the Customs Union, it wants to have the same category with the EU countries.
The first meeting of the Commission which was decided to be founded between the two countries during the visit of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the U.S. between 14-18 January 2002, will take place in Ankara between 26-27 Feb.
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal will head the Turkish delegation and the U.S. Undersecretary of Department of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Alan P. Larson is expected to head the U.S. side.
-NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU ASSESSES 2001
ANKARA - National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said on Monday that Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and his Ministry saved 89 trillion liras in electricity, water and fuel oil payments and 471,6 trillion liras in other current account expenses last year as a result of the effective measures.
These savings were transferred to the Defense Industry Support Fund to meet the sources of TSK's modernization projects, said Cakmakoglu in the news conference he held about the activities of the Ministry in 2001.
The Ministry Undersecretariat was re-organized last year, and the number of deputy undersecretaries was increased from two to three, he said.
Cakmakoglu said that the budget of the ministry was increased by 23,9 percent when compared to the previous year, adding that 41 projects went into force last year to meet the needs of TSK from abroad. The negotiations for 47 others continued, he said adding that 88 projects were postponed.
Cakmakoglu noted that Israel produced 23 planes within the scope of the project of modernizing 54 F-4 planes, adding that the modernization of three planes continued.
Noting that the recovery project regarding 162 Leopard 1 A1/A1A4 tanks' shooting control systems was signed between Military Electronics Industry and Trade Inc. (ASELSAN) and Defense Industry Undersecretariat, Cakmakoglu said that the project is expected to be completed in a period of 26 months.
Cakmakoglu said that the negotiations with Israel concerning the modernization of 170 M60 A1 tanks continued, adding that the contract negotiations with the U.S. Bell-Textron firm continued for buying 50 helicopters within the scope of Attack/Tactics Reconnaissance Helicopters (ATAK) Project. Cakmakoglu said the contract will be signed in June, adding that the first helicopter will join the TSK in 2005 and the last one in 2009.
-COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING HELD
ANKARA - Council of Ministers decided on Monday to pay money to beet producers in quake hit region on Feb. 13 instead of April, 2002.
The Council of Ministers' meeting headed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit lasted for three hours.
State Minister and Government Spokesman Tunca Toskay said that the cabinet firstly discussed the situation in western Afyon province which was hit by the earthquake on Feb 3.
Toskay said that Public Works and Housing Minister Abdulkadir Akcan, State Ministers Hasan Gemici and Suayip Usenmez, Interior Minister Rustu Kazım Yucelen, Health Minister Osman Durmus informed the cabinet members about the services fulfilled in Afyon. He said that State Minister Edip Safter Gaydalı, Labour and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan, Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk and National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu assessed the works undertaken in the region.
Toskay noted that the government will start to pay money for the beet to be purchased from farmers in Boldavin, Cay and Sultandagı towns of Afyon as of Feb 13 and the total cost of that is 1,36 trillion liras.
State Minister and Government Spokesman Toskay said that the cabinet decided to set up a committee among State Minister Gemici, Public Work and Housing Minister Akcan and Interior Minister Yucelen upon the instruction of Prime Minister Ecevit. The committee will coordinate all the works to be undertaken in the quake hit region and will inform the public opinion.
Toskay said that Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti also informed the cabinet about monetary policies.
-ISRAELI-TURKISH INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP TO COME TO ANKARA ON TUESDAY
ANKARA - Israeli-Turkish Interparliamentary Friendship Group will come to Ankara on Tuesday to pay a three-day official visit.
After visiting Ataturk's Mausoleum, the four-member Israeli parliamentary delegation headed by Eliezer Cohen will have a meeting with Chairman of the Turkish-Israeli Interparliamentary Friendship Group Tarık Cengiz and the members of the group.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Ali Ilıksoy, Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Kamran Inan, State Minister and Turkish-Israeli Joint Economic Commission Co-Chairman Hasan Gemici will also receive the guest delegation.
After wrapping up their contacts in Ankara, the Israeli deputies, who will proceed to Istanbul on February 13, will meet with members of the Turkish- Israeli Business Council, visit historical places there and leave Turkey on February 14.
-GERMAN NORTH RHINE WESTPHALIA STATE MINISTER BEHLER VISITS STATE MINISTER GUREL
ANKARA - Gabriele Behler, German North Rhine Westphalia State's Minister of Education, Science and Research, visited on Monday State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel.
Prior to the meeting, Gurel said that cooperation protocol in higher education which was signed by National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu and Behler put forward the importance of the relations between Germany and Turkey.
The protocol covers the integration of people of Turkish origin living in Germany, the importance of German education, the native tongue courses, teaching of Turkish language as a foreign language, teaching of Islamic courses in schools and the improvement of the relations with sister schools.
Gurel stated that the protocol would be very fruitful to improve the education of the Turkish people living in North Rhine Westphalia State.
Behler said that Gurel had invited her to Turkey when he was in Germany and she was pleased to respond favorably to that invitation in that short period.
Behler pointed out that the invitation showed that there were some joint projects not only for now, but also for the future between Germany and Turkey.
Gabrielle Behler added that she believed that they launched a cooperation which would provide the students of Turkish origins living in their state with all possibilities in the best way through the signed protocol.
-YILMAZ:''WE BELIEVE THAT TURKEY IS MAKING EVERY CONTRIBUTION
FOR THE SOLUTION OF CYPRUS PROBLEM''
ISTANBUL - Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has said that Turkey was making every contribution to bring a solution to the Cyprus conflict but stressed that Turkey would not yield to the Greek Cypriot administration in order to join the EU.
Speaking at a meeting entitled ''Turkey's Place in the EU'' on Monday, Yilmaz said that the Cyprus conflict was constituting the biggest obstacle in front of Turkey's EU membership goal.
He said that the EU earlier announced that they could accept the Greek Cypriot administration as a member even if the problem persists between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides.
''Of course, this was a decision taken with Greece's pressure. This way it was stated that Turkey has no right to veto the membership of Cyprus. We believe that Turkey is doing everything to bring a solution to the Cyprus problem. But this doesn't mean that Turkey would yield to the Greek Cypriot administration for the sake of joining to the EU,'' he asserted.
He stressed that Turkey's efforts solely would not suffice to solve the problem, but the Greek Cypriot side should also adopt a constructive approach.
''I think that the EU would also pressure the Greek Cypriot side for the solution of the problem. They will postpone the EU membership of the Greek Cypriot administration for a certain time if a concrete solution is not reached. This is the best contribution that the EU could have for the solution of the problem,'' he commented.
Responding to a question on the role of the United States in Turkey-EU relations, Yilmaz said that the United States supports Turkey against the circles in the EU who are stressing religious differences or who claim that the unemployment and rapid population increase in Turkey would negatively affect the EU.
About a question on commercial obstacles, Yilmaz said ''The EU is growing very quickly and forming its own rules. We're having difficulty in following these rules. We sometimes miss adjustment to technical developments in the adjustment process. We have to follow the EU regulations well if we don't want to face obstacles.''
-CAKAN: ''OIL BILL HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THE PRIME MINISTRY''
ANKARA - Energy and Natural Sources Minister Zeki Cakan declared that the new oil bill was presented to the Prime Ministry when he spoke at a press conference on Monday.
He said that the bill would soon be opened to signature in the Council of Ministers and then it would be sent to Parliament. Cakan indicated that the bill aims to make the oil market function under market conditions.
The bill proposes to decrease the state's share in the oil sector and that the government would only be in charge of supervision and inspection activities through privatization. He also said that the bill aims to create a competitive environment and prevent unfair competition. Cakan also said that quality control would become very important if the bill passed.
-COMMISSION REPORT ABOUT AYDIN PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT CHAIRMANSHIP
ANKARA - The Parliamentary Investigation Commission presented a report to Parliament Chairmanship about the allegations regarding the former Public Works and Housing Minister Koray Aydin.
The report which was prepared in two months collected information from seven bureaucrats, five suspects and Aydin.
The commission decided not to try Aydin at the Constitutional Court with ten votes against five votes from opposition parties.
The report will be printed in ten days and distributed to deputies. Later it will be discussed at the Parliamentary General Council.
After the discussions, the General Council will reach a decision. If the Parliamentary General Assembly decides to try Aydin at the Constitutional Court, the file will be sent to the court within a maximum of seven days.
-PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:''WE HOPE NO MILITARY OPERATION AGAINST IRAQ TO BE IN QUESTION''
ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday that he hoped no military operation aganst Iraq to be in question.
Speaking to reporters, Ecevit said that ''we hope that our region would be a peaceful region, not a military one. We believe that the problems in the region can be solved without fight.''
Stating that he hoped de facto war atmosphere in Israel to end as soon as possible, Ecevit said that ''there are difficult problems in the region. We will do our best to solve these problems without any fight. We will also try not to cast shadow on our efforts to sort out the economic problems. I believe that we will be successful in that.''
-PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SAYS AN OPERATION AGAINST IRAQ
IS DIFFICULT AS TURKEY IS AGAINST IT
ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday that ''it is very difficult to stage an operation against Iraq as Turkey is against it.''
Responding to questions of journalists asking if he was worried by the letter of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Ecevit said that ''no, but the letter gives the impression that there has been no change in the mentality and attitude of Saddam Hussein up to now. But we warned Iraq. I have not discussed this issue with the U.S.''
''There will be high ranking visits to Turkey from the U.S. in the coming days. Will you make new suggestions to the U.S. administration?'' asked another journalist to Ecevit who said that ''as you know both U.S. President George W. Bush and also other officials promised to consult with us before
starting an operation against Iraq. We told the U.S. officials that the problems in the region including the ones with Iraq had to solved without war.''
When asked if there was any demand from Turkey in Saddam's letter, Ecevit said that as the letter was written by Saddam Hussein, it was him who should explain the content of the letter. ''We will not add anything to his statement,'' Ecevit said.
''Will you take any initiatives about the developments in the Middle East?, '' asked journalists to Ecevit who said that ''we always take initiatives on the issue. As I always say, the U.S. should take concrete initiatives to end the Israeli-Palestinian clash as soon as possible.''
When asked about the effects of a possible operation against Iraq, on the Turkish economy, Ecevit said that ''we are determined to do all we can to prevent a military operation in our region. I have no doubt that we will succeed, so I hope our economy will not be damaged by this.''
Upon another question on the same issue, Ecevit said that ''it is very difficult to stage an operation against Iraq without Turkey. From that point of view I am not very worried.''
Ecevit added that Iraqi Foreign Minister and Iranian Foreign Minister requested to meet with him.
-COURT POSTPONES TRIAL OF 20 SUSPECTS WHO WERE INVOLVED IN
KILLING TWO BRITISH SOCCER FANS IN 2000
ISTANBUL - Beyoglu Court postponed the trial of 20 suspects who allegedly were involved in the violent incidents before the match between Galatasaray and Leeds United in April 2000, since three of the suspects did not come to the court.
Ali Umit Demir who is under arrest, Kazim Dalga, Yilmaz Tutus, Zaafer Yildirim, Suleyman Aydin and Suleymand Gokhan Guven who are tried without detention attended Monday's hearing. Three other suspects who have an arrest warrant issued about them didn't come to the court.
Suleyman Demir and Suleyman Gokhan Guven repeated their earlier defense. Lawyer of Ali Umit Demir claimed that his client was staying far from the bodies of the two British men who were killed and he was involved in the fight only to help his uncle Suleyman Aydin. He said that it was not clear who committed the murders. Akkoyunlu has been under arrest about two years.
Koksal Bayraktar who was representing the families of the British fans who were killed asked the court delegation to listen to the policemen who drew the murder scene as witnesses.
The court delegation postponed the hearing to a later date since three suspects failed to attend the hearing.
Foreign press members also watched the hearing.
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