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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-12

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

12 February

2002Tuesday

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 12, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    EUROPE AND ISLAM HAND IN HAND IN ISTANBUL
    Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman, who came to Istanbul to attend the OIC-EU Joint Forum said that Europe and Islam gave hand in hand as a result of the efforts launched by Turkey, adding that ''terrorism does not have a religion.'' Responding to questions of the paper, Osman said that the attacks launched in the U.S. on September 11 were terrorist attacks. ''Islam does not permit killing of innocent people. The Islamic world made cooperation with the international society in the fight with terrorism. Terrorism does not have religion and state,'' he said. He stressed that Turkey played an historical role by holding the Forum in which 42 foreign ministers will attend.

    MUSLIM SOCIETY STATUS GIVEN TO TRNC AT FORUM
    The most important meeting hosted by Turkey which will constitute a new bridge between Islam and Christianity, starts today. However, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) which will be represented by TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu will attend the meetings not as a country, but with the status of ''observer'' of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In return to this formula found by Turkey not to cause reaction in the West, the Greek Cypriot side will be represented by its foreign minister Yannis Casulides as EU candidate state.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    IS HE THE ONLY GUILTY PERSON?
    While contractors who claimed the lives of hundreds of persons acquitted, Hasan Yıldırım who built his own house in Sakarya province has been imprisoned as his house collapsed during the Marmara quake. Adapazarı Criminal Court sentenced Hasan Yıldırım and his two friends to 10 months for causing the death of his wife due to carelessness. Yıldırım says ''almost all of the buildings in Adapazarı collapsed during the quake. No body was imprisoned. Am I the only guilty person in the quake?''

    LET'S SOLVE THIS CYPRUS PROBLEM!
    Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Yannakis Kassoulides who came to Istanbul to attend the OIC-EU Joint Forum called TRNC President Rauf Denktas to solve the Cyprus problem. Noting that the conflicts between Turkey and Greece and the Cyprus question have to be solved, Kassoulides said that ''Greek and Turkish Cypriots should be together in Cyprus. The problem has to be solved for the future of my daughter.'' Kassoulides hopes to solve the problem and come together with TRNC President Rauf Denktas, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou in the Bosphorus and drink raki together.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    ATTACK ON IRAQ NOT TO CAUSE ECONOMIC CRISIS
    Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti told the cabinet yesterday that a possible intervention in Iraq would not affect the economy as it is expected. Serdengecti noted that ''probably such an operation will affect the economy, but if the basis of the economy are strong, and if there is political resolution, its effects won't be very heavy.'' Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said after the meeting that it was very difficult to stage an operation against Iraq as Turkey was against it. ''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,'' he added.

    HISTORICAL SUMMIT IN ISTANBUL
    The historical meeting between the European Union and Organization of the Islamic Conference will start in Istanbul today. One of the most important meetings of the Forum will be between Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers. The Aegean problem, which the EU wants to be solved till 2004, will be taken up for the first time in Cem-Papandreou meeting.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    ECEVIT'S IRAQI CONCERN
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said yesterday that ''it is very difficult to stage an operation against Iraq without Turkey. From that point of view I am not very worried.'' However, Ecevit asked Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti and State Minister Kemal Dervis how such an operation against Iraq would affect the Turkish economy. Serdengecti said in his part that ''all measures that will protect the economy from crisis have been taken.'' Serdengecti noted that they fight with inflation and they would start implementing the inflation targetting regime as of June this year.

    CIA DOES NOT REGARD PKK AS THREAT
    CIA President Tennet submitted a report to the U.S. Congress yesterday. Turkey was uneasy about the non-inclusion of terrorist organization PKK in the list, which regarded DHKP-C as a terrorist organization that is needed to be fought with. American diplomats noted that there was no new list. Responding to questions of the paper, one American diplomat said that PKK has never attacked the U.S. targets, adding that yet it was the U.S. which encouraged the EU to include PKK into its list of terorrist organizations.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    ISTANBUL WHERE CIVILIZATIONS MEET
    Representatives from EU and OIC countries, totally 89 countries will come together in Istanbul today to refute the belief of ''clash of civilizations'' which was often voiced in the world following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. The Joint Forum between EU and OIC is the first big meeting of this century. The summit is totally political and secular, religious authorities were not invited to the meeting. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is the person who proposed the two organizations to come together in Turkey.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    AKBULUT JOINS DYP
    Yıldırım Akbulut, an independent deputy from Ankara, joined the True Path Party (DYP) yesterday. Akbulut had resigned from the Motherland Party (ANAP) on February 7, 2002. With the joining of Akbulut in DYP, the number of its seats in the parliament increased to 86. Speaking in the ceremony held for Akbulut's joining DYP, Akbulut criticized his former party ANAP and government, noting that the central right parties have to unite to solve the problems of the country.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    ESREF BITLIS'S SON HAS QUESTION MARKS ABOUT HIS FATHER'S DEATH
    Tarık Bitlis, the son of Gendarme General Commander Gen. Esref Bitlis told the paper that he had still question marks in his mind about his father's death. Gen. Bitlis died when the military plane carrying to him from Ankara to southeastern Diyarbakır province on Feb 17, 1993 crashed. Tarık Bitlis says that he has also difficulty in explaining to his son about his grandfather's death. Bitlis added that the parliament has to respond to his questions about Gen. Bitlis' death.

    -OIC-EU JOINT FORUM STARTS
    ISTANBUL - The ''OIC-EU Joint Forum'' in which the theme of ''Civilization and Harmony: The Political Dimension'' will be discussed upon the proposal of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, started in Istanbul on Tuesday.

    Foreign Minister Cem welcomed the guest ministers and delegations at Cıragan Palace where the Forum takes place.

    The Forum later started by the opening speech of Cem.

    Following the opening speech of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, EU Term President Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique, OIC Term President Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabour Al Thani, EU Secretary General of the European Council, the High Representative of Common Defense Foreign Policy, and OIC Secretary General Abdellouahed Belkeziz will issue statements.

    The opening session will end following the speeches to be issued by some other ministers and by their pictures taken.

    In the afternoon, a luncheon to be hosted in which Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will speak. The theme of the luncheon will be ''Prevention of Political and Cultural Fault Lines.''

    Two panel discussions will be held in the afternoon in which themes of ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' and ''Politics and Media'' will be discussed.

    -FM CEM SAYS EU AND OIC CARRY COMMON RESPONSIBILITY
    IN CONTRIBUTING TO EFFORTS TO HAVE BETTER UNDERSTANDING
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Tuesday that Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and European Union (EU) which are two important political organizations carry common responsibility in efforts aiming to reach a better understanding.

    Addressing the opening speech of the Forum, Cem said that the Forum is the first important meeting of the 21st century.

    Cem stressed that there was a concrete need and danger felt by all countries which necessitated the holding of the Joint Forum, adding that the attacks in the U.S. on September 11 have revealed the fact that the basic understanding between different cultures and civilizations was not strong.

    Cem said that the first reaction to the September 11 attacks was definition of terrorism in respect of culture and religion in a way which provoked one part of the humanity against another. This approach have caused deepening and increasing fault lines in global respect, Cem said.

    Noting that the Sept. 11 attacks have also brought with it consciousness in the international atmosphere, Cem said ''this consciousness has come out after we have seen that we don't have enough information about each other, we needed a new relation mechanism and we needed respect for cultural diversification. Today, we understand the fact that terrorism does not have religion and geography. It can't be described on cultural basis and it can't be excused anyway.''

    Cem said that the stability and peace dynamics determined the taking up of the concept the ''Other'' throughout the history, adding that denying or humiliating the 'Other'' has resulted in clash and enmity.

    ''We also witnessed that harmony, information and prosperity can only come true by communication between different nations and their respect to each other's cultures,'' Cem said.

    Cem stressed that Turkey hosts this Forum by carrying a special importance and mission, adding that Turkey is both devoted to OIC and EU, it is both eastern, and western.

    ''Your great participation in Istanbul gives message of hope, understanding, peace and cooperation,'' he added.

    -PRESIDENT SEZER SAYS OIC AND EU COUNTRIES HAVE TO DETERMINE PROBLEMS OF
    HUMANITY
    TOGETHER AND SEARCH FOR WAYS TO SOLVE THEM
    ISTANBUL - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Tuesday that the OIC and EU countries have to come together in the beginning of the 21st century, to determine together the problems of humanity and search for ways to solve them as this will contribute to the universal peace and prosperity.

    Speaking after Foreing Minister Ismail Cem in the Forum, Sezer said that the Fourm has the character of an historical meeting in respect of its timing and content, adding that OIC and EU gathers countries in different geographies under one roof.

    The integrity of the vast values which is called civilization today can't be attributed to a certain value and nation, Sezer said and noted that ''historical experiences show that mutual understanding, dialogue and cooperation among the nations had strengthened harmony, peace and prosperity. Discriminatory tendencies which isolate peoples from each other both incited clashes and prevented them from contributing to each other. We believe that the successes achieved by the countries which are members of OIC and EU are a product of interaction and mutual contributions. The OIC- EU Joint Forum is an important step in this respect.''

    -FM CEM SAYS TURKEY WORKS FOR CONTINUATION OF FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem the OIC-EU Joint Forum gave a peace message to the world, adding that Turkey aims the continuation of the Forum.

    Speaking to A.A correspondent during last evening's Welcome Reception, Cem said that he hoped the Forum to achieve its goal.

    Cem said that the Foreign Ministry works on continuation of this formation.

    Turkey aims to cover the statements and speeches to be issued during the Forum in a booklet and cd-rom and hand them out to attendees.

    Turkey aims to transform the Forum not into a regular organization, but into a formation which will convene when a certain country calls for a meeting when necessary.

    Diplomatic sources said that this can revive initiatives such as EUROMED and Mediterranean Forum which could not be heard much at the international platforms to date.

    -SOLANA SAYS OIC AND EU REPRESENTATIVES COME TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME
    ISTANBUL - Javier Solana, the Secretary General of the European Council and High Representative of CFSP said on Monday evening at Welcome Reception that ''OIC and EU representatives came together for the first time by this Joint Forum.''

    ''We have many things to share and to clarify. We aim to make the world be a better place to live. Not only politics, but issues of cultures and civilizations will be taken up in the Forum,'' told Solana to A.A correspondent in the reception.

    When asked if he would launch any initiatives to overcome the differences of opinion between Turkey and Greece about ESDP, Solana said that he was always ready for such a mission.

    When asked if he expected any result to be taken from the Middle East Peace Process from the summit, Solana said that discussions will be held to re- start the process.

    -PAKISTANI FM SAYS TURKEY IS RIGHT COUNTRY FOR HOLDING SUCH A FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Settar said on Monday evening at the OIC-EU Forum Welcome Reception that ''Turkey, which hosted many civilizations throughout the history, is the right country for holding such a Forum.''

    ''I congratulate Turkish country, and I am happy to represent Pakistan,'' he told A.A, stating that he hoped the understanding and peace atmosphere would be dominant between the civilizations at the end of the Forum.

    ''We have not needed peace so much since the Second World War. Therefore, holding such a meeting which brings together the OIC and EU countries is a very wise decision,'' he said.

    -IRANIAN FM KHARRAZI SAYS FORUM IS IMPORTANT IN
    PREVENTION OF CLASHES AMONG CIVILIZATIONS
    ISTANBUL - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Monday evening in Welcome Reception that the meeting in Istanbul is very important in respect of prevention of clashes among civilizations.

    When asked if he was warm to the idea of the final declaration's referring to the Middle East problem, Kharrazi said that there were many issues to be taken up in the Forum.

    ''The Palestinian problem is the biggest problem of the Islam world today. Therefore, if it is taken up at every opportunity, this will be fine, because we witness the violation of the rights of Palestinian people every day. Yet the final declaration will become clear at the end of the negotiations between the sides,'' he said.

    -SYRIAN AND LIBYAN FOREIGN MINISTERS STRESS IMPORTANCE OF OIC-EU FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq Al-Shara said on Monday evening at the OIC-EU Forum Welcome Reception that ''this meeting is very important as it is held in Istanbul where the civilizations of Islam and European civilizations meet.''

    Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammad Abdulrahman Shalkam said in his part that certain regional problems could come onto agenda in the meeting, but the real aim was to search for different ways of compromise among civilizations.

    ''Therefore, I don't expect the Forum to take a decision about a certain problem like that of Palestine,'' he added.

    -ARAB LEAGUE'S SECRETARY GENERAL MOUSSA EXPECTS
    CONSTRUCTIVE VIEWS TO BE VOICED IN OIC-EU FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League said on Monday in the Welcome Reception that he expected constructive views to be voiced and positive debates to take place in the OIC-EU Joint Forum.

    When A.A correspondent asked his views about Iraq, Moussa said that ''we convened here to discuss civilizations, cultures and harmony.'' He noted that he supported foundation of dialogue regarding the Iraqi issue.

    When asked if he expected concrete results to be taken up in the Forum, he said ''why not,'' adding that ''it is not possible to solve the problems in one meeting, but we needed such an initiative. The meeting is a great step.''

    Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alavi Bin Abdullah said in his part that he hoped the Forum to help in developing the understanding between the western and eastern worlds.

    -AZERBAIJANI FM GULIYEV SAYS FORUM WOULD HOPEFULLY LEAD
    TO A MUTUAL TRUST AND PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE IN WORLD
    ISTANBUL - Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vilayet Gulivev said on Monday evening in the OIC-EU Joint Forum Welcome Reception that the gathering of the OIC and EU foreign ministers will hopefully lead to a mutual trust and peaceful atmosphere in the world.

    Stressing that Turkey has both an important status in the OIC, and it is also a EU candidate country, the guest minister told A.A that Turkey fulfilled its responsibility of bringing together the two organizations.

    Noting that Turkey is a country which unites the east and the west and the two cultures, Guliyev said that the meeting can prevent the publication of news which don't tell right things about the Islam world following the terorrist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11.

    -PRESIDENT SEZER SAYS TERRORISM COMES FIRST AMONG
    PROBLEMS WHICH HUMANITY FACES TODAY
    ISTANBUL - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Tuesday that terrorism comes first among the problems which humanity faces today and which have to be solved immediately, adding ''the adoption of an approach based on common sense by both the OIC and the EU against terrorism, is promising.''

    Addressing the opening of the OIC-EU Joint Forum, Sezer said that respect to human rights and general rights and freedoms has become the common value of international society.

    ''The U.N. and other international cooperation platforms, including the OIC and the EU have shown that efforts for peace, harmony and solidarity can yield positive results,'' said Sezer.

    Noting that the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11 have revealed the frightening dimensions of this threat, Sezer said that Turkey, which has suffered a lot from terrorism for years, has been defending the view that terrorism didn't have religion, geography, and nationality, and terrorism could not be excused anyway and it has to be fought with international cooperation.

    ''Terrorism should not be attributed to any religion or ethnic group. A common definition of terrorism has to be done, its social, political and economic resources have to be determined well and countries have to act together against it. The definition of terrorism has to be objective. We believe that the OIC and the EU have a great responsibility to play in fighting with terrorism,'' he said.

    Human civilization can only last by harmony, tolerance and dialogue, said Sezer and noted that it has been a good coincidence for Turkey, which aims reaching the modern civilization level and peace, to host this meeting. I hope the Forum to give positive results for the whole humanity, he said.

    Sezer will receive Egyptian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers in the afternoon.

    -OIC-EU JOINT FORUM MEETING
    -SOLANA SAYS HE IS AGAINST CORRELATING TERRORISM WITH ISLAM
    ISTANBUL - The EU Common Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP) High Commissioner Javier Solana said on Tuesday that the EU was against correlating terrorism with Islam following the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11.

    Speaking in the opening of the OIC-EU Joint Forum, Solana referred to the political dimension of the Forum, noting that ''the EU is determined to reject any correlation between terrorism and Islam.''

    Stressing the importance of dialogue among civilizations, Solana said that ''we are political actors who must use our means to bring people closer to each other.'' Solana noted that the political dialogue has to set up long term relations, increase the ties of trust and develop understanding between civilizations.

    Solana said that he does not regard dialogue of civilizations as a difference between the two different blocks, adding that such an understanding is a cliche and it ignores the realities.

    ''We are in search for harmony, harmony is important for peace,'' said Solana and noted that lessons have to be drawn from the clashes of the past.

    ''We must resist the oppression on any group due to their differences of race or religion. We must not permit our value system to be ruined,'' he said.

    Noting that the development of the harmony depended on prevention of clashes, Solana said that the OIC and the EU worked together for reconstruction in Afghanistan in the meeting held in Bonn. ''We can do better things,'' he said.

    Referring to woman's rights and death penalty, Solana said that the EU is against death penalty. ''We don't criticize a civilization or attitude,'' he said, adding if the U.S., Russia or China execute somebody, the EU also criticizes them.

    Solana stressed that the Forum will have three important issues, listing them as abolishment of terrorism, implementation of the decisions taken in Bonn meeting for reconstruction of Afghanistan and finding a solution to the Middle East problem.

    Solana said that the Middle East problem has to be solved peacefully, adding that a solution which is based on two states can be the only solution and that the EU is resolved on the issue.

    -OIC SECRETARY GENERAL BELKEZIZ SAYS THEY ARE PLEASED WITH COURAGEOUS
    APPROACH OF FRANCE REGARDING MIDDLE EAST PEACE
    ISTANBUL - Abdelouahed Belkeziz, the Secretary General of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said on Tuesday that they were pleased with the courageous approach of France regarding the Middle East peace process.

    Speaking at the opening session of the OIC-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Belkeziz noted that they supported the new peace plan prepared by France for the Middle East peace process.

    Belkeziz stated that the tragedy of the Palestinian people should be ended in the possible shortest time.

    Palestinian people should be granted the right to self-determination and other legitimate rights that would end the occupation of its soils, and thus, the arrangement which would end Arab-Israeli disagreement should be made, Belkeziz said.

    Belkeziz stated that organization of the forum in Istanbul was the right choice and said that this forum was an important opportunity to review the relations between the two organizations, build understanding and confidence and overcome differences in points of view.

    Noting that Islam world and West Europe had many common values, Belkeziz pointed out that they aimed to create a perspective towards the future with the dialogue process launched in Istanbul.

    Touching on September 11th process, Belkeziz said that it was a big injustice to keep a religion responsible for a terrorist attack.

    Belkeziz pointed out that regarding the Islam civilization as equal to the September 11th terrorist attacks made the situation easier for those who staged the attacks.

    Noting that economic and cultural issues should be debated at the forum, Belkeziz said that real civilizations could be established among the nations within the scope of the ''acceptance of respect, equality and the other.''

    -OIC-EU JOINT FORUM
    -EU TERM PRESIDENT SPAIN'S FM PIQUE SAYS SEPT. 11
    CAN'T BE EXPLAINED BY LACK OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN CULTURES
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Ministers of Spain, and Qatar, the Term Presidents of EU and OIC respectively called for dialogue between civilizations in the OIC- EU Joint Forum meeting on Tuesday.

    Josep Pique, the Foreign Minister of Spain said in the opening of the Forum that Istanbul was a very suitable city for such a meeting.

    Noting that the world changed a lot in the last ten years and the countries became closer and more dependent on each other, Pique said that ''the terrorist attacks of September 11 are tragic indicents and they can't be explained by lack of trust between the civilizations. This was a terrorist incident. Terrorism is our common enemy and it concerns everybody irrespective of his/her religion, race, and language. Societies should be set up on love and solidarity rather than hatred.''

    Pique said that the terrorist attacks of September 11 showed that everybody was so vulnerable and fragile, adding that human rights are universal, basic and indivisible.

    Noting that the Muslim intellectuals played a very important role for European societies in the history, Pique said that ''if there were no such persons, Europe would not become Europe today.''

    The Spanish minister said that the EU set up close relations with other parts of the world as it aims to end poverty.

    OIC Term President Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabour Al Thani thanked Turkey for the meeting, adding that ''we regard this initiative very positive. Turkey has an important status which unites the Islam world with Europe.''

    Noting that the Islamic world was subject to certain accusations due to the Sept. 11 attacks, Al Tani said that ''in fact Islam is innocent. September 11 only concerns itself, not Islam. These accusations cast shadow on Islam.''

    Al Tani said that different cultures had to find common denominators, adding that ''countries have to give up accusing each other. The right of people to determine their own destiny-self determination-can't be regarded as same with terrorism. Nobody can disregard human rights which have been determined as a result of international agreements. They talk about clash of civilizations, we have a Palestinian problem in front of us. While trying to set up dialogue, we must launch efforts not to make it one-sided. When the west defines terrorism, it considers this as isolation of Arabs and Muslims.''

    Al Tani said that Qatar favoured the continuation of the Forum, and he voiced the Qatari Amir's proposal for a meeting which will bring together the OIC and EU Term Presidents and whose date will be fixed later.

    -GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU SAYS THEY SHOULD PROVE THAT NEW
    MILLENIUM
    WILL NOT BE A STAGE FOR CONFLICTS AMONG CIVILIZATIONS
    ISTANBUL - Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said on Tuesday that there were people who wanted the new millenium to be a stage for conflicts among civilizations and noted that they should prove that this would not occur.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Papandreou thanked host country Turkey and expressed condolence over the earthquake which hit Aegean Afyon province.

    Papandreou noted that he considered the forum very important and said they were here because there were people who wanted the new millenium to be a stage for conflicts among civilizations. Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou stated that they had to prove that this would not happen and that their aim was to remove the division.

    Papandreou pointed out that the economic and social reasons lying under terrorism had to be found and that people should not think with prejudices.

    The world was facing Palestinian dispute today, Papandreou said. He stressed that different views had to be accepted and people had to listen to each other.

    Papandreou stated that none of the communities should be excluded from the globalizing world and Islam world should also given a place.

    Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou proposed the discussion of issues like human rights, civil freedoms, definition of terrorism, poverty and secularism.

    Greece was a bridge between the East and the West and between the Christian and Muslim communities, Papandreou said.

    Papandreou noted that the olympics that would be held in Greece two years later would lay a suitable ground for intercultural dialogue.

    -FM MARTONYI OF HUNGARY SPEAKS AT OIC-EU JOINT FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi of Hungary said on Tuesday that terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States had been staged against common values and heritage of humanity, adding, ''Hungary is against every kind of thought which tries to link terrorism to Islam.''

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Forum, Martonyi said that he was coming from a country which had fought against the Ottomans for two centuries and that the monument which had been constructed in memory of bloody wars in those centuries and dedicated to Kanuni Sultan Suleyman was a proof for the compromise with the past.

    Regarding the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, Martonyi said, ''these attacks constitute crimes committed against common values and common heritage of the humanity.''

    Noting that the expression of ''anyone who killed a person is considered murderer of whole humanity'' took place in all monotheistic religions, Martonyi said, ''we are against identification of terrorism with Islam. Hungary is against every kind of thought which tries to link terrorism to Islam. Those who believe in Islam become victims of terrorism. Today, the Western and the Eastern worlds should join forces against such incidents which claimed thousands of lives.''

    -SYRIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CRITICIZES UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL
    ISTANBUL - Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Farouk al-Shara criticized on Tuesday the United States and Israel.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, al-Shara said that the United States could not still understand the concept of ''the other.''

    Al-Shara noted that conflicts should be prevented in order to cooperate with the other.

    Of course, Al-Shara said, they were understanding and sympathizing the U.S. people following the September 11th attacks.

    Al-Shara noted that because, they had also suffered from the behaviours of Israel.

    Today, Israel was showing September 11 as a reason with the support of the United States, Al-Shara said.

    Al-Shara noted that the things that Israel had done to Palestine could not be accepted.

    Stressing that the media was very important in today's world, Al-Shara said that the media of today was under occupation, unilateral and was showing the incidents only from the perspective of the United States.

    Al-Shara said that the media could not make the voice of the other world heard, and asked through which media the Arab world would make its voice heard in a powerful way today.

    The Syrian foreign minister said that the roots had to be diagnosed well to fight against terrorism and asked how they could treat a disease if they did not know its cause.

    -FM LAGUMDZIJA OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA SPEAKS AT OIC-EU JOINT FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija of Bosnia Herzegovina said on Tuesday that his country which was a Balkan country where ''radical forces exist'' was against terrorism which emerged with religious feelings.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Joint Forum in Istanbul, Lagumdzija said that it was important to increase level of education and prosperity of societies through dialogue instead of clashes.

    Lagumdziga said that there was currently not a clash among civilizations and that efforts were being expended to remove differences among civilizations.

    Lagumdziga said, ''this cooperation between the Western and Islamic countries and their cultures will not only be beneficial in fight against terrorism, but also have a characteristic of fight against poverty and injustice. And only in this way, the third millennium can be better than the previous one.''

    Recalling that Slobodan Milosevic had been brought to court due to genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lagumdziga said, ''and this is the thing what should actually be done. Similar projects which are not in conformity with civilization should be prevented in the very beginning. Political leaders should expend efforts not to experience examples like Milosevic with cooperation of their organizations and institutions.''

    -FM AARTSEN OF NETHERLANDS SPEAKS AT OIC-EU FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Jozias Van Aartsen of the Netherlands stressed importance of ''symbolic characteristic'' of Istanbul in regard to the ''OIC-EU Joint Forum'' and said that Turkey belonged to each of the two worlds.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Forum, Aartsen said that any political reason or pretext could not justify the terrorist attacks on September 11 in the United States.

    Recalling that they had come together for fight against terrorism but there was need for more knowledge and understanding, Aartsen stressed importance of mutual respect and supremacy of law.

    Aartsen added that opportunities of further cooperation should be evaluated in a more comprehensive way, which would help them get rid of misunderstandings.

    -IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS TRAGIC ATTACKS ON SEPTEMBER 11 HAD TARGETED
    HONOUR OF ALL COUNTRIES
    ISTANBUL - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday that the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States had targeted the honour of all the countries.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Kharrazi noted that he should say that the international community should immediately re-evaluate the unilateral and military approach of the United States.

    Kharrazi thanked Turkish government for organizing the forum that was held at the right time.

    The September 11th terrorist attack led to an international movement against terrorism and its causes, Kharrazi said.

    Kharrazi noted that unfortunately, the U.S. officials had perceived that global sympath as a sympathy totaly towards themselves and continued their wrong communication with other countries and their general aggressive stance.

    They thought that this approach did not help fight against terrorism and was not beneficial for international peace and security, Kharrazi said.

    Kharrazi stated that he thought that the international community should immediately re-evaluate the unilateral and military approach of the United States.

    OIC and EU countries undertook a special responsibility in restoring dialogue and mutual understanding, Kharrazi said.

    Kharrazi pointed out that the representatives of both organizations were included in the global agenda accepted at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly last November.

    The Islam world had some expectations that the EU should stand more rigid towards the things that Israel was doing, Kharrazi stressed.

    Kharrazi noted that to this end, they expected the EU to assume a fairer and more pragmatic approach toward the Middle East.

    Developments had made dialogue of civilizations more important, Kharrazi said.

    Kharrazi pointed out that this was no more an alternative but an obligation.

    Dialogue was their only strategic choice, Kharrazi said and added that they had to choose that way to ensure real justice, peace and honor of humanity.

    -FM ISMAIL OF SUDAN SPEAKS AT OIC-EU FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail of Sudan said on Tuesday that factor of terrorism had brought together the OIC and the EU in Istanbul.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Joint Forum in Istanbul, Ismail said that the forum had prepared the basis of exchange of opinion about the factor of terrorism and international fight against terrorism.

    Noting that the world was seeking the definition of terrorism, Ismail defined terrorism as ''resorting to violence for political, economic or social targets, using force against civil society and carrying out acts under the name of war of freedom''.

    Ismail defined the act of preventing communication among people as a kind of terrorism.

    -DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER OF SAUDI ARABIA SAYS A DEEP AND CONSTRUCTIVE
    DIALOGUE COULD BE ESTABLISHED WITH FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Nizar Ubeyd Medeni, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, said on Tuesday that a deep and constructive dialogue could be established with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum.

    Speaking at the forum which began in Istanbul, Medeni noted that the forum was ''an opportunity for Europe and the West in general.''

    Medeni stated that however, mutual respect could be established, fanaticism and prejudice could be removed and a deep and constructive dialogue could be established by this forum.

    They wanted to contribute to restoration of peace and justice, Medeni said.

    Medeni pointed out that they did not believe that the religions were separatist.

    There were some economic differences, Medeni said. But, he noted, there were some common values stemming from the same origin among their civilizations. Medeni said that they had similar cultural desires and targets, and ehey were living in a world which was getting closer and closer each day. None of the states could exist by itself, Medeni noted.

    Medeni said that if they wanted to reach those targets, they had to end bad relations among the nations.

    He would like to stress that they could reach their targets with good will and determination, Medeni noted.

    Medeni stated that this would be the right approach and added that God would help them reach their targets and restore mutual confidence and constructive dialogue.

    -AFGHAN FM SAYS RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN AFGHANISTAN SHOULD BE LESSON FOR
    EVERYBODY
    ISTANBUL - Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said on Tuesday that the recent developments in Afghanistan should be a lesson for everybody.

    Speaking in the OIC-EU Joint Forum meeting, Abdullah said that the best sign of the humanity's fight with certain things had been seen in Afghanistan in the recent years,'' said Abdullah.

    Noting that members of different religions and cultures face certain common threats, Abdullah said that ''certainly there are many things that can be done to develop our common civilization. The most important common threat in the world today is terrorism. And the incidents in our country showed that terrorism could even be defeated and prevented if cooperation is made with the international society.''

    Afghanistan had become the centre of international terrorism, said Abdullah and noted that ''certain groups tried to prevent our resistance to terrorism. Certainly we recorded progress, but we must record progress more.''

    Abdullah stressed that the people were deprived of their rights in this process, adding that the group which governed the country before September 11 gave damage to the country and it violated many things. The situation in Afghanistan changed following September 11 attacks, he said, adding that ''there are lessons which all of us have to take when we look at the history of civilizations. When dialogue of civilizations was in question, the world become safer and more peaceful. But when the tension among the civilizations intensified, and when everybody started to protect its own right, the world was no longer a good place for anybody. We hope this dialogue to be the beginning of a new dialogue and a new movement. We hope this movement to lead us to a better world.''

    -PALESTINIAN FM KADDUMI SAYS ONE OF MOST IMPORTANT REASONS OF
    TERRORISM IS ANNEXATION OF CERTAIN COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
    ISTANBUL - Palestinian Foreign Minister Faruq Kaddumi said on Tuesday that one of the most important reasons of terrorism is annexation of certain countries and territories.

    ''Palestine resists to these acts of others. But the support of the all international society is needed,'' he said, addressing the OIC-EU Joint Forum meeting.

    Noting that the Forum is important for the future of the humanity, Kaddumi said that ''there is no country, no body who does not condemn the attack staged on U.S. on Sept. 11. But we must come together to understand the reason and origins of this incident.''

    After determining the reasons, a solution can be found, said Kaddumi and noted that technology caused big developments and differences, but it also led certain countries and persons to think as if they were isolated.

    ''But we must not forget the fact that the majority of the religions is not a reason of conflict. All of us have common goals. These common goals are important criteria for ensuring tolerance and harmony. There can be sections in the society which may want to set up hegomony. One of the most important reasons of terrorism is annexation of certain countries and territories and the deprivation of the rights of people living in these territories. For instance, Israel occupied our country depriving the basic and legitimate rights of our people. Palestine resists to that, but we need the support of the international society. The U.S. had a difficult experience. And it is not possible for us to understand why the U.S. does not support Palestine for using their rights. We, our people want to use this right. Mr. Solana stressed this right. I would like to thank him for his support to my country which suffers from the pressure of Israel,'' he said.

    Kaddumi noted that this support should spread to all the international society.

    -MOROCCAN ISLAMIC AFFAIRS MINISTER ALAOUI SPEAKS AT OIC-EU FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdelkebir M'Daghri Alaoui of Morocco said on Tuesday that the OIC-EU Joint Forum created an important opportunity for harmony and dialogue between civilizations, adding that the meeting should be the beginning of a lasting process.

    Speaking at the forum, Alaoui said that contribution could be made to harmony and dialogue between civilization if such a lasting work and program could be formed.

    Noting that today's world had very complicated problems and structures which confused some people, Alaoui said that people should try to see accurate dimensions of those problems.

    Stressing that some prejudices still existed in the world, Alaoui said, ''those prejudices are sometimes put forward in such a way that they are almost used as main criteria to judge Muslims and Islam. Meanwhile, our references are kept in the structure that has been given to us since the early periods of Islam.''

    ''They compare moderate Islam with radical Islam. This is a wrong comparison. Because, this radical and moderate Islam comparison addresses only specific groups. However, these groups are not the groups which bring forth the voice of the majority, the real voice of Islam. So we should find and determine the common denominators and we should form a basis in favor of everybody by using those common denominators,'' he said.

    Alaoui added that this international meeting should continue to provide for a basis that would help especially the Palestinians.

    -TREASURY SELLS 661.1 TRILLION LIRAS NOMINAL-VALUED 3-MONTH REFERENCE BONDS
    ANKARA - The Treasury Undersecretariat sold 661.1 trillion Turkish liras (TL) of nominal-valued 3-month refence bonds in an auction it held on Tuesday.

    The total bid had been 1 quadrillion 606.3 trillion TL in the auction which was held to set coupon interest rsates of floating interest payment notes.

    The net sale in the auction was 580 trillion TL while composite interest rate became 68.78 percent and simple interest rate became 55.92 percent.

    -ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THEY CAN FIND THE TRUTH BY THINKING
    ISTANBUL - Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana said on Tuesday that as Ataturk, the Founder of Turkish Republic, said, the mankind had the power of thinking and noted that they could find the truth by thinking.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Geoana said that otherwise, they would have an ill mind.

    Geoana stated that the Middle East was a center from where three big religions came out and Istanbul, where they currently were, was a place where their ancestors had lived and which contributed to many civilizations.

    They were all human beings, Geoana said and pointed out that they needed dialogue, mutual dialogue and understanding.

    Geoana noted that the September 11th attacks were attacks staged on concepts of freedom, democracy and civilization and against doctrines of religions.

    What the extreme factions were doing was to demolish everything that were not in compliance with their own thoughts, Geoana said.

    Geoana noted that what should be done in that respect was to bring together especially the young generations and help them learn more about each other.

    All of them knew well about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Geoana said. He noted that as Ataturk said, mankind had the power of thinking and that they could find the truth by thinking.

    Otherwise, they would all have an ill mind, Geoana added.

    -SPANISH FM PIQUE SAYS MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS HAS TO BE REVIVED
    ISTANBUL - Josep Pique, the Foreign Minister of EU Term President Spain said on Tuesday that terrorism threatened all the humanity without paying attention to culture, religion and race, adding that the number of meetings similar to OIC-EU Joint Forum had to be increased.

    Speaking in a news conference in Cıragan Palace, Pique said that the tension in the Middle East intensified, adding that new ideas have to be presented and the peace process has to be revived to decrease the tension in the region.

    Noting that the EU is closely interested in the regional problems, Pique said that the Middle East problem would probably come to agenda in the OIC- EU Joint Forum meeting in Istanbul.

    Responding to a question about the candidacy of Greek Cypriot side and Turkey to the EU, Pique said that ''Cyprus (the Greek Cypriot side) is among the candidate countries to the EU which started the negotiations and which fulfilled many criteria. Our negotiations with Cyprus will continue within the scope of criteria determined for all the candidate countries. Turkey is also a candidate state which will start the negotiations. The EU said in the Laeken summit that it regarded positive the developments in Turkey and the negotiations would start soon. These two issues are totally independent from each other and the EU wishes both candidates to complete their process with success.''

    When asked if the preparation of the Greek Cypriot side's purchasing attack helicopters would affect the dialogue between the two sides in Cyprus, Pique said that EU fully supported the negotiations in Cyprus. He added that it would be better if the two sides would refrain from all sorts of activities that would damage the warm atmosphere between the two sides.

    Pique stated that if the issue of European Security and Cooperation Policy (ESDP) is not totally solved, the common foreign policy of the EU will not be sound.

    He noted that the Ankara Document on which Turkey, the U.S. and Britain reached an agreement as a result of series of meetings held in London and Ankara constituted a basis for reaching a result in ESDP.

    When reporters reminded him about the increasing tension between the U.S. and Iraq, Pique said that the policies of the EU about Iraq were very clear and the Iraq has to abide by the resolutions taken by the U.N. Security Council about the mass destruction weapons.

    Pique said that the EU was ready to help Iraq in developing its relations with the West, adding that Iraq had to cooperate with the U.N. in this respect.

    Upon a question, Pique also assessed the recent situation in Turkey-EU relations and said that the EU openly voiced its good will to improve its relations with Turkey during Laeken summit. Noting that Turkey's continuing its reforms in political and economic field is very important, Pique said that ''there are many things to be done, but the thing that matters is not only taking these reform decisions, but also implementing them.''

    Stressing to the importance of the structural reforms in the Turkish economy, Pique said that similar decisions were taken in Spain recently which helped the country to have a sound economy.

    -KUWAITI FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ARE FACE TO FACE WITH
    AN EXTREMELY INHUMAN TREATMENT
    ISTANBUL - Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammad Sabah al-Salim said on Tuesday that the Palestinian people were face to face with an extremely inhuman treatment.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, al-Salim said that they were fighting against terrorism, poverty and ignorence.

    Al-Salim noted that they wanted people to know more about each other and drew the attention to the importance of discussing terrorism at an international meeting held by the United Nations (U.N.) and making a full definition of terrorism.

    Giving an example of terrorism, al-Salim said that the Palestinian people were face to face with an extremely inhuman treatment.

    Al-Salim stated that the other side did not want the continuation of the negotiations and applied to terrorist methods.

    Another example was September 11, al-Salim said. He noted that the Muslims were perceived as responsible for those terrorist attacks at the beginning.

    Al-Salim stated that they should not make a generalization in attacks of radical groups and said that it was wrong to see all Muslims as terrorists.

    They had to play a positive role, al-Salim said.

    Al-Salim noted that they should overcome such phobia, adding that the September 11th terrorist attacks urged them to meet at a common point.

    -CULTURE MINISTER OF LUXEMBOURG STRESSES ON IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING
    AMONG CULTURES
    ISTANBUL - Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, the Culture Minister of Luxembourg, stressed on Tuesday on the importance of understanding among cultures.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Schoepges said that the EU was in favour of cultural diversity and held a symposium that served this aim in Luxembourg.

    Schoepges noted that they had to understand the other and know its views and the roots of the civilization in order to accept the other.

    Stressing that dialogue should not always be within the scope of religion, Schoepges said that then, they could more obviously see all the points uniting them rather than seeing the points which divided them.

    Schoepges stated that there should not be any discrimination of gender in that dialogue.

    His civilization was ready to extend support for development of humanity, Schoepges said.

    Schoepges noted that the EU should continue to be a model of respect and solidarity, adding that the EU would also continue to be an element that developed relations with every country that were represented at the joint forum.

    -TURKISH-GREEK 1ST TERM JEC MEETING STARTS IN ATHENS
    ATHENS - The First Term Joint Eceonomic Commission (JEC) Meeting between Turkey and Greece started on Tuesday in Athens.

    The Turkish delegation was headed by Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen and the Greek side was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos.

    Speaking at the opening session of the meeting, Tuzmen said that JEC meeting constituted a new beginning for further development of relations between Turkey and Greece.

    Noting that the trade volume between Turkey and Greece was not at the desired level, Tuzmen said, ''as of end of 2001, 58 Greek companies are operating in Turkey. However, the share of these companies in total foreign capital investments in Turkey is very low. I believe that we should mutually increase this.''

    Noting that contracting services was one the field in which the two countries could cooperate, Tuzmen said, ''Turkish contractors are ready to make business with Greek companies both in Greece and in the Balkans. Cooperation during this process will be the most concrete result in short term of the Turkish-Greek rapprochement. Turkey has been attributing great importance to development of commercial relations with its neighbors in last two years. All countries in the world make most of their trade with their neighbors. In accordance with a decision we took two years ago, we focused on our neighbors. We are carrying out successful works in this field. The share of exports to our neighbors in total exports was 5.5 percent two years ago. Today, this rate had reached 11 percent. We target to increase it to 15 percent in 2002.''

    Stressing that he believed powerful economic and commercial relations with neighboring countries played a very important role in settlement of atmosphere of lasting stability, Tuzmen said, ''within this framework, relations with Greece have gained more importance. Development of relations between our two countries in accordance with mutual confidence, respect and common interests constitutes the basis of our commercial relations.''

    Tuzmen added that the target should be ''implementing the agreements signed between Turkey and Greece and carrying out joint activities to deepen the relations''.

    Meanwhile, Andreas Loverdos said that organization of the first JEC meeting was a very important development for the two countries.

    ''Actually, this first meeting is not the first step. The first step was taken in 1999 by foreign ministers Mr. George Papandreou and Mr. Ismail Cem, '' he said.

    Noting that the Greek side's proposal was the continuation of works in Ankara in the second half of 2002, Loberdos stressed that the two countries should review their relations in this field, and ''analyze them and correct the hitches''.

    Loverdos said that prevention of double taxation was an issue which should be solved in 2002 and that cooperation in tourism should be developed.

    Noting that the third issue which should be taken up was initiatives in field of trade, Loverdos said that the annual trade volume between Turkey and Greece was one billion U.S. dollars, adding that increasing it to two billion U.S. dollars in short term was a good target and they should encourage businessmen to this end.

    The Turkish-Greek 1st Term JEC Meeting will end after signing of the JEC protocol on Wednesday.

    -AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTER DIALOUE SHOULD BE PREFERRED IN SOLUTION OF
    PROBLEMS
    ISTANBUL - Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Vilayat Quliyev said on Tuesday that dialogue should be preferred in solution of problems.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Quliyev said that this initiative of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was a very important step for reaching the common goals.

    Quliyev stressed that the September 11th terrorist attacks helped the world understand the importance of dialogue.

    Dialogue should be preferred to illegal methods in solution of problems, Quliyev said.

    Quliyev added that they also used that method in the solution of their problems with Armenia.

    -IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS A FOREIGN INTERVENTION IN IRAQ WILL BE
    FOR BENEFIT OF NEITHER IRAQ NOR TURKEY
    ISTANBUL - Iraqi Foreign Minister Naci Sabri said on Tuesday that a foreign intervention in Iraq would be for the benefit of neither Iraq nor Turkey.

    Responding to questions of reporters about a possible U.S. operation on Iraq, Sabri said that Turkey and Iraq should promote their relations within the framework of respect to each other's independence, security and territorial integrity and should not allow a foreign intervention.

    Sabri noted that a possible intervention would be a violation of international law and said that ''this was their message.''

    When a reporter noted that Turkey did not approve an operation on Iraq, Sabri asked why Turkey was not saying this to the United States.

    Sabri said that he would hold a meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit but did not respond to questions about United Nations (U.N.) inspectors and second border gate.

    Touching on bilateral relations, Sabri pointed out that Iraq and Turkey, two friendly countries, had historical, geographical and cultural ties.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SAYS ARGUMENT OF CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
    HAS LOST ITS VALIDITY IN CONSIDERABLE EXTENT
    ISTANBUL - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that the argument of clash of civilizations and cultures has lost its validity in considerable extent, adding ''the way to integration between the east and the west in all respects has been opened.''

    Ecevit addressed the luncheon in which the theme of ''Prevention of Political and Cultural Fault Lines'' were taken up.

    Noting that Turkey is very pleased to host representatives of OIC and EU countries in Istanbul, Ecevit said that the meeting is a great opportunity to improve harmony and dialogue between the west and east and among different religions.

    ''Istanbul is a proper place for launching such an effort where people come and go between Europe and Asia every day,'' said Ecevit and noted that the gradual unification of the two continents has brough a central status to Turkey in Eurasia process.

    ''Famous British writer and poet Rudyard Kipling claimed that the destiny of the east and west was to stay apart and different. This prediction reflected the mentality and strategy of certain imperialist powers. These powers tried to keep away the East, the countries of Asia and Africa from the cultural, scientific and economic successes of the imperialism and to protect the latter's political and economic superiority. Yet the end of imperialism started to decrease the cultural differences and opened the way to scientific, economic, technologic progress. I believe that in this respect the argument of clash of civilizations has lost its validity in considerable extent and the way to East and West to unite an all aspects has been opened.''

    Recalling that the clashes among ideologies and hatred among races caused wars and genocides, Ecevit said that religious clashes took the place of ideological clashes in certain geographies recently.

    Ecevit said that religion has a deeper place than ideology in the souls of individuals, noting that clashes based on religions can be more dangerous than other clashes. Ecevit stressed that the Turkish Republic took up this problem meticiously and successfully, adding that the traditional attitude and the respect of the secular Turkish Republic to different religious feelings and beliefs eased this understanding.

    Ecevit said that the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11 drew the interest of the world on the big terrorism threat, adding that ''this incident showed that terrorist incidents can be carried out very cheaply and easily, but the measures against terrorism are very difficult and expensive. Therefore, we need effective international cooperation against terrorism.''

    Ecevit said that the group which carried out the terrorist activities in the U.S. on Sept. 11 claimed that it acted in the name of Islam, adding that ''this is a deception which can't be accepted and which can't be tolarated. The world would be divided dangerously if the Islam countries didn't immediately react to this claim and if the Christian countries didn't avoid from identifying this activity with Islam. Such a disaster was prevented thanks to God. This joint forum in Istanbul, which is a Eurasian metropol proves the resolution of the humanity to resist terrorism and to prevent religious clashes together.''

    -YILMAZ SAYS TURKEY DOESN'T DESIRE POSSIBLE MILITARY INTERVENTION IN IRAQ
    ANKARA - State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said on Tuesday that ''a possible military intervention in Iraq is a situation which is not desired by Turkey''.

    ''It is clear that such a situation will definitely have negative effects on Turkey's economy. How much this negativity would be, is open to speculation. However, at the moment we hope that such an intervention would not happen,'' he said.

    Responding a question which said, ''you earlier stressed that short term targets should be fulfilled until March 19. As the government, did you determine your priorities? Which laws will be adopted until March 19?'' Yilmaz said, ''as the Secretariat General for the European Union, we determined what should be done about short term targets. We will bring them to the government soon. Also we have a formula for harmony with the schedule. We will fulfil our commitments in time if we receive necessary support from the government.''

    When asked which laws they would adopt, Yilmaz said that they would publicly announce them when they reached a compromise with the government.

    When asked whether or not also the Law on Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) would be amended in short term and whether or not broadcast in Kurdish would be in question, Yilmaz said, ''as I said that we have not discussed these with the government yet. We will announce them to the public opinion after we discuss them with the government and turn them into draft laws.''

    -ALGERIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THEY NEED A GROUND
    FOR DIALOGUE, SOLIDARITY AND TOLERANCE
    ISTANBUL - Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem said on Tuesday that they needed a ground for dialogue, solidarity and tolerance.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Belkhadem noted that the countries were face to face with more difficulties today when compared to the past.

    Belkhadem stated that the representatives of OIC and EU member countries met by an initiative of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and said that this was the beginning of a new era.

    They were facing many new facts in this new era, Belkhadem said and stressed that the initiative that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had launched three years ago for a dialogue of civilization gained more importance today.

    Belkhadem noted that there were more difficulties today when compared with the past and that they needed a ground for dialogue, solidarity and tolerance.

    The wave of shock following the September 11 terrorist attacks spread around the world, Belkhadem said and stated that nobody was totally away from these threats.

    Belkhadem pointed out that to this end, everybody should act together.

    Stressing the importance of self-determination, Belkhadem said that the self-determination right of especially the Palestinian people in the Middle East was extremely important.

    Belkhadem noted that those who occupied the soils of Palestinians refused to abandon these soils and that this led to uneasiness of Palestinian people. They fully supported the Palestinians at this point, Belkhadem said.

    Belkhadem noted that every kind of isolation created uneasiness in the world and there was need for international cooperation to overcome the uneasiness.

    People and nations could benefit from common opportunities only after the cooperation was established, Belkhadem said.

    Belkhadem added that to this end, they needed a global dialogue and thus, everybody would have equal opportunities.

    -LIBYAN SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN LIASON SAYS IF THEY WANT TO FIGHT AGAINST
    TERRORISM, THEY NEED INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
    ISTANBUL - Abd Al-Rahman Shalgam, the Libyan Secretary of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, said on Tuesday that if they wanted to fight against terrorism, they needed international cooperation.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Shalgam said that terrorism was an international threat which concerned all the world.

    Shalgam stressed that it was not possible for countries to fight against terrorism by themselves and said that the United States was also among these countries.

    It was not correct to correlate terrorism with Islam, Shalgam said. Because, he noted, terrorism was in fact an act against science, development of women and every other kind of development.

    Shalgam stated that they were suffering from not only armed terrorism, but also intellectual terrorism because some Arab intellectuals were unfortunately influenced by such extreme thoughts.

    They responded to terrorism with a political act, Shalgam said. He noted that this movement should be broadened not only by OIC, but also by EU member countries.

    Shalgam said, ''but, when doing this, we should not forget something. For example, you are criticizing us about polygamy by considering the issue in your point of view. However, you consider the marriage of homosexuals as natural in the Western world. To this end, we have to respect each other and should not approach with prejudices. We should behave by being aware that we are living in a global village and create a frank and honest atmosphere based on mutual respect which welcome the mutual values with respect.''

    -TRNC FOREIGN MINISTER: ''WE FEEL SAD THAT CONCEPT OF ISLAMIC TERRORISM
    HAS COME TO THE AGENDA AS A TERMINOLOGY''
    ISTANBUL - Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the Foreign Minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Tuesday that they felt sad that the concept of ''Islamic terrorism'' had come to the agenda as a terminology.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Ertugruloglu noted that he would like to hail the other participants with deep respect and friendly feelings of Turkish Cypriots and his government.

    Ertugruloglu said that the cruel September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States affected everybody and said, ''we share this deep tragedy and grief of the Americans. But, despite our grief, we feel sad that concept of 'Islamic terrorism' has come to the agenda as a terminology. It is really a wrong point of view to correlate Islam with terrorism.''

    People had always been afraid of the unknown, Ertugruloglu noted.

    Ertugruloglu said that the only way to overcome this fear was to acquire information about other cultures and civilizations.

    TRNC Foreign Minister Ertugruloglu underlined the view that correlating Islam with terrorism would increase disputes.

    -IRAQI FM SABRI SAYS THEY NEED DEFINITION OF TERRORISM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Naji Sabri Ahmad al-Hadithi of Iraq said on Tuesday that first of all, there was a need for definition of terrorism, adding, ''Iraq believes that this should be a global definition''.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Joint Forum in Istanbul, Sabri said that incidents happened in recent months brought forth hatred and terrorist acts.

    Recalling that those acts had been condemned by the whole world, particularly by Europe and the Islamic world, Sabri said, ''however, some prejudices were also mentioned. Undoubtedly, the thing we should do is to act firstly over common images and ideas in order to set up a world of stability. We have to set up an international democratic system and at the same time democratic and economic system by rejecting the opinion of supremacy of a culture than the other one and by leaving aside every kind of occupation, hatred, hegemony, economic and social hegemony, extreme points and movements.''

    Noting that such a system should be fair and egalitarian, Sabri said, ''we saw how an unjust treatment the Palestinians were exposed to under Israeli occupation. And this example once again shows us how much important the settlement of dialogue is.''

    Defending that Iraq which had been the cradle of all ancient civilizations beginning from Babylon was exposed to acts of hatred and attacks, Sabri said that they had been under a great siege for 12 years.

    Noting that the United States and its allies had imposed great restrictions on Iraq, Sabri said, ''and in this way, every kind of opportunity for stability and development is being taken out of our hands. First of all, we need a definition of terrorism. Iraq believes that this should be a global definition. However, this undoubtedly should not prevent us from making necessary differentiations.''

    -DELIBERATIONS CONTINUE ON MIDDLE EAST ISSUE DURING
    PREPARATION OF JOINT DECLARATION
    ISTANBUL - While the sessions continue within the framework of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, the preparatory works of the joint declaration expected to be released following the forum also continue.

    Diplomotic sources told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that how the Middle East issue would take place in the joint declaration was the main agenda of the deliberations.

    Turkey, which pays attention to remain neutral in the deliberations as the host country, does not take an active role in the deliberations held by the EU and OIC officials.

    Sources said that while Islam countries request that Israel be harshly condemned in the joint declaration for its policy towards Palestine, the EU side thinks that this issue should be mentioned but a more cautious stance should be assumed.

    A high-level official told A.A correspondent that Turkey had not taken an active role in those deliberations so far but that it was ready to intervene if the two sides did not reach a compromise.

    Meanwhile, the same official said that he did not agree with the comments that the Forum was ''OIC-EU front against the United States.'' The official noted that the forum was organized to prevent the probability of conflicts of civilizations that had come to the agenda after September 11. To this end, the official said, the forum did not aim to create new disagreements.

    Palestinian Foreign Minister Farouk Kaddoumi, who is also attending the forum, called on Monday that Israel should be harshly condemned in the joint declaration to be issued at the end of the forum.

    -PRESIDENT SEZER RECEIVES ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL
    ISTANBUL - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer received on Tuesday Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

    The meeting lasted for almost half an hour.

    Moussa is in Istanbul to attend Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum.

    -GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE'S FM KASOULIDES SAYS THEY SHOULD
    PREVENT USE OF DIFFERENCES AS A SOURCE OF DISPUTE
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides of the Greek Cypriot administration said on Tuesday that joint challenges and fight against terrorism should unite countries and within this framework, they condemned attacks against common consciences.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Joint Forum, Kasoulides said that they were acting as a bridge among three continents and they considered it responsibility.

    Noting that their responsibility was to bring peace, prosperity and stability to their region, Kasoulides said, ''today, we are on a historical turning point. We should prevent purposedly use of differences as a source of dispute. However, disputes can be removed through dialogue and cultural violence can turn into culture of peace through dialogue.''

    Meanwhile, Malaysian Foreign Ministry Special Representative Tan Sri Abdulkadir Muhammed said that Islam which stressed universal brotherhood was peaceful.

    Noting that definition of terrorism should be made at international and national levels for fight against terrorism, Muhammed said that fight against terrorism should be carried out in every place.

    Meanwhile, State Minister Gun-Britt Andersson of Sweden said that dialogue should be developed and prejudices should be removed, adding that they could cope with terrorism and fundamentalists only in this way.

    Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Muratbek Imanaliyev of Kyrgyzstan said that they should unite globally in order to prevent acts of violence.

    Noting that terrorism posed threat for both the world and each country, Imanaliyev said that the forum was serving as a bridge among the different centers in the world.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER OF MAURITANIA CONDEMNS SEPTEMBER 11TH TERRORIST ATTACKS
    ISTANBUL - Minister of Foreign Affairs Dah Ould Abdi of Mauritania condemned on Tuesday the September 11th terrorist attacks.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Abdi said that those attacks did not have any connection with Islam.

    Abdi noted that dialogue of civilizations was important.

    Reminding the listeners that Belgium condemned the President of Mauritania, who came to the power by elections, with a decision it took in 1993, Abdi said that they would like to condemn that behaviour and decision against their president.

    Abdi noted that this was a racist behaviour and an action against human rights, adding that they considered it as an insult against their country.

    -SLOVENIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS A MECHANISM THAT CAN HELP EXISTENCE OF
    MANY DIFFERENT GROUPS TOGETHER SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED
    ISTANBUL - Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said on Tuesday that a mechanism that could help existence of many different groups together should be established.

    Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum, Rupel said that what OIC and EU should do was to develop those mechanisms.

    Rupel noted that he wanted to mention different ethnic groups and said that there were many different groups in his country.

    The most important issue in the societies where different groups could live together was ensuring every group to live equally and without violating the rights of the other, Rupel stressed.

    Rupel noted that a mechanism that could help existence of many different groups together should be established, adding that what EU and OIC should do was to develop those mechanism.

    -CULTURE MINISTER URBANI OF ITALY SAYS THEY SHOULD MAKE ACCURATE
    DETERMINATIONS AND REACH ACCURATE SOLUTIONS TO COPE WITH COMING TOUGH
    PERIOD

    ISTANBUL - Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani of Italy said on Tuesday that the massacre in the United States on September 11 caused the darkness and suspicions to be dominant in the new century.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Joint Forum in Istanbul, Urbani said that the reason for their participation in the forum was to come together against this threat.

    Urbani said, ''we require a universal movement. We have to make accurate determinations and reach accurate solutions in order to cope with the coming tough period. I hope that we would make use of this opportunity and display how we are determined in fight against terrorism.''

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''FORUM HAS ALREADY BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL''
    ISTANBUL - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum had already been very successful.

    Responding to questions of reporters after the working lunch, Ecevit said, ''expression of Istanbul spirit has been adopted.''

    Asked if the forum was successful, Ecevit said, ''the meeting still continues but, it has already been very successful.''

    Ecevit will hold bilateral contacts with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw, Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar, Council of Europe (COE) Secretary General Walter Schwimmer, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri Ahmad al-Hadithi, and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

    -BARONESS SYMONS SAYS TERRORISM THREATENS EVERBODY'S LIFE
    ISTANBUL - British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Baroness Symons of Verham Dean said on Tuesday that terrorism threatened life of every individual.

    Speaking at the OIC-EU Joint Forum on behalf of Britain, Baroness Symons said that dialogue was not a simple topic, adding that there was a need for settlement of real communication between the Western world and the Islamic world.

    Baroness Symons added that she wished the forum would be successful in every aspect.

    -AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TO OPEN REPRESENTATION
    ANKARA - State Minister Nejat Arseven for human rights said on Tuesday that the decree which enabled Amnesty International to open a representation in Turkey had been sent to the President's Office.

    Arseven told reporters that the Amnesty International had applied to the government to open a representation and said that the decree was signed by the ministers, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and later sent to the President's Office.

    The decree would enter into force after it was ratified by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Arseven noted.

    Arseven continued, ''Amnesty International is an organization which functions in many countries in the world and which has exerted very valuable efforts on human rights. The organization's opening an office in Turkey is the indicator of the importance that Turkey attributes to non- governmental organizations within the framework of its European Union (EU) candidacy and National Programme.''

    ''Amnesty International is an organization that was presented with United Nations (U.N.) Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 and U.N. Human Rights Prize in 1978. At the same time, the Amnesty International had exerted efforts and prepared reports during the unfair treatment to Turkish citizens in Bulgaria. And, the Turkish Foreign Ministry distributed the reports prepared by this organization those days. The office to be opened in Turkey will not prepare a report related with Turkey under a rule in its by-laws. However, it will carry out works in Turkey related with human rights and other issues in other countries,'' Arseven said.

    Arseven noted that he hoped that the office would carry out works on many issues which concerned Turkey, especially the Turkmen issue in Northern Iraq.

    International Amnesty had offices in 56 countries even in Algeria, Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, which had many problems with Western countries regarding human rights and which were the target of the severest criticisms, Arseven pointed out.

    Arseven stated that the existence of an office in Turkey would help development of human rights and make the society more conscious.

    -PRESIDENT SEZER RECEIVES PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER
    ISTANBUL - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer received on Tuesday Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar.

    Sezer-Sattar meeting lasted for almost 40 minutes.

    Meanwhile, it was reported that President Sezer's Cabinet Chief and Foreign Affairs Chief Adviser Tacan Ildem would make a statement regarding Sezer's contacts.

    -REPRESENTATIVES OF OIC AND EU AGREE THAT TERRORISM CAN'T
    BE ATTRIBUTED TO A RELIGION OR CULTURE
    ISTANBUL - The OIC-EU Joint Forum which brings together the OIC members countries and EU member and candidate countries, continues with a panel on ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' while respresentatives of the two organizations which made statements during morning session agreed on the issue that terrorism cannot be correlated with a religion or culture.

    Leaders who made statements during the forum which started with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's opening remarks, underlined that correlation of terrorism with a religion, race or culture was a dangerous approach, and stated that international cooperation was obligatory for fight against terrorism which should be considered a serious threat against humanity.

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri and Palestinian Foreign Minister Farouk Kaddoumi became the politicians to whom reporters showed great interest at the Ciragan Palace which resembles the United Nations General Assembly as a resulf of the high number of participants.

    Sabri and Kaddoumi received insistent questions from reporters due to the escalating tension between the United States and Iraq and increasing acts of violence in the Middle East while Vedrine received questions about the new proposal for the Middle East which had been put forward by France, foreseeing recognition of the Palestinian state. Meanwhile, Turkish, Greek and Greek Cypriot reporters are closely following Papandreou.

    Another panel discussion on ''Politics and Media'' would be held within the scope of the forum on Tuesday.

    Following this second panel discussion, the guests would have a dinner at Mydonese Showland in Yesilkoy district and later watch ''Sultans of the Dance'' show.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will attend the quartet summit on Wednesday which will take place between Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

    The Forum will end with a final declaration to be issued following the panel discussion on ''Who is 'the Other?' Does it Really Exist?''

    It has not become clear whether or not the Middle East issue will take a place in the final declaration or how it will take place.

    Several sources told A.A correspondent that the exchange of views among OIC and EU countries regarding this issue continued.

    The Forum, which is live broadcast by state-run TRT channel, is being broadcast also to whole world via European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), Mydonese Showland, Denizbank, Turkish Airlines, Siemens, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Mahdumlari, Turkish Travelling Agencies Union, CNN Turk, Kavaklidere Wines, Turk Telekom and Efes Pilsen are sponsoring the forum.

    Guests are staying at Ciragan, Conrad, Swiss and Divan hotels.

    No problems have been faced so far while the delegations attending the forum said that Turkey was very successful in organizing such a comprehensive meeting in a short time.

    A total of 720 journalists, including 216 foreign and 494 Turkish journalists, have applied for accreditation form.

    -TREASURY TO SELL 174-DAY BONDS THROUGH PUBLIC OFFERING
    ANKARA - Treasury will sell 174-day bonds through public offering.

    Releasing a statement, the Treasury Undersecretariat said on Tuesday that the public offering would be held on February 14 and 15.

    The period interest rate of bonds was foreseen to be 28 percent, annual simple inrerest rate was foreseen to be 58.57 percent and annual composite interest rate was foreseen to be 67.60 percent, it said.

    The value date of these bonds is February 14, 2002 and maturity is August 7, 2002, it said.

    The selling price for each of the 100,000 Turkish liras (TL) nominal-valued bond will be 78,125 TL on February 14 and 78,223 TL on February 15.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM HOLDS BILATERAL CONTACTS WITH OIC-EU REPRESENTATIVES
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem continued on Tuesday his bilateral contacts with the ministers who are attending the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum.

    Cem met with his Dutch counterpart Jozias van Aartsen, Pakistani counterpart Abdus Sattar, Jordanian counterpart Marwan Muasher, Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Maher, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem, Bangladeshi counterpart Morshed Khan and OIC Secretary General Abdelouahed Belkeziz.

    Sources said that Cem took up European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), Cyprus and Afghanistan with van Aartsen while debated the importance of the forum with Sattar and Belkeziz, Middle East peace process and developments regarding Iraq with Muasher and Maher, and bilateral relations with Khan.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES BRITISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN
    AFFAIRS
    ISTANBUL - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Tuesday British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw.

    Ecevit-Straw meeting lasted for almost half an hour.

    Sources said that Ecevit and Straw took up Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East and bilateral relations during their meeting.

    -''PREVENTION OF POLITICAL AND CULTURAL FAULT LINES'' DEBATED AT WORKING
    LUNCH

    ISTANBUL - ''Prevention of Political and Cultural Fault Lines'' were debated on Tuesday at a working lunch held within the scope of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit spoke at the luncheon. After his speech, Ecevit shared a table with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Jordanese Prince Hassan, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw, EU Term President Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique, Dutch Foreign Minister Jozias Van Aartsen, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammad Sabah al-Salim, and intellectual Bernard Lewis.

    Ecevit and the guests chatted sincerely during the working lunch.

    -FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS ISTANBUL SPIRIT WILL LEAD TO A FRANK DIALOGUE
    BASED ON MUTUAL RESPECT
    ISTANBUL - French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said on Tuesday that Istanbul spirit would lead to a frank dialogue based on mutual respect.

    Speaking at a panel discussion on ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' held after the working lunch, Vedrine noted that when theory of ''conflicts of civilizations'' was mentioned, the development which they would come across was ''dialogue.''

    Vedrine said that views had been put forth politely at United Nations (U.N.) meetings or similar occassions. However, he noted, although these meetings were platforms where civilizations expressed their different views, they were all superficial, not a dialogue.

    French Foreign Minister Vedrine stated that the status of women in Muslim world was a status which could not be perceived by the western countries.

    They might condemn this, Vedrine said. He noted that maybe, the west was wrong but the west had to say it obviously.

    Vedrine said that another example was the capital punishment.

    They were in favour of frank and honest dialogue, Vedrine pointed out and said that every issue should be debated honestly at the meeting.

    Vedrine said that they did not need bureaucracy in Istanbul today and that Istanbul spirit would lead to a frank dialogue based on mutual respect.

    They could talk about these issues frankly, Vedrine noted and thanked their Turkish friends for the Istanbul spirit.

    Vedrine stated that they had to start such a dialogue after September 11 and that everything might seem difficult.

    Islam and the West had always been hostile, Vedrine said.

    Vedrine noted that historical conflicts created some hostility but at the same time brought some understanding, adding that they could overcome such misunderstandings at such meetings.

    -FISCHER SAYS EAST AND WEST SHOULD EQUALLY PARTICIPATE
    FOR SUCCESS OF ISTANBUL SPIRIT
    ISTANBUL - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said on Tuesday that the East and the West should equally participate in the ''Istanbul spirit'' for its success.

    Speaking at a panel discussion on ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' held after the working lunch, Fischer said, ''the West and the East should equally participate in for the success of Istanbul spirit. Dialogue means speaking with a common understanding. All of these will bring us from a point to another in the 21st century.''

    Noting that three million Muslims, most of whom were of Turkish origin, were living in Germany and as a result of this, they were concretely experiencing the tolerance among religions in their society, Fischer said that as a result of this experience, they understood the meaning of being a tolerant society.

    Stressing that there should be a common concrete basis for dialogue, Fischer said, ''don't we accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights in the same way? Because, they are indispensable parts of dialogue.''

    Noting that this was the way of protecting societies againt fundamentalism, Fischer said that treatment of minorities was the real boundary of culture of tolerance.

    Noting that the Muslim population was discriminated in some places in Europe, Fischer said that Europe was trying to overcome this.

    ''There is not a difference of opinion between Islam and Christianity. Social and political differences should be removed. Here, violence should never be used. We should give up the culture of giving lessons to each other and the culture of learning from each other. How can Islam want to contribute to this? Is implementation of Islamic law ready for removing contradictions regarding implementation of basic rights? Is there a decision to give up explaining attacks of suicide bombers under the guise of religion? Are we ready to give equal rights also to Israeli people in addition to Palestinians about living in peace on their territories? Does the Islamic world has the intention of seeking the problem in other places instead of accusing only Israel about the issue of solving the Middle East problem? Of course, also the Islamic world has some questions similar to the questions I have asked. We have a common future. With this respect, our dialogue should be successful. We can altogether provide tolerance,'' Fischer added.

    -JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ISTANBUL FORUM IS A CHAIN OF CULTURE OF HARMONY
    ISTANBUL - Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher said on Tuesday that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum was a chain of culture of harmony.

    Speaking at a panel discussion on ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' held after the working lunch, Muasher noted that they were working with ''Istanbul spirit'' and said that there was capacity of love in Istanbul spirit.

    Muasher said that there were moral values and that Turkey was a good example of cultural unity.

    Islam could make many contributions to all the civilizations, Muasher stated.

    Muasher said that the world could be wrong if it examined the incidents only in the point of view of the United States.

    They had to end poverty, intolerance, hatred and terrorism by working together, Muasher stressed and requested efforts be launched to serve this aim.

    Touching on importance of culture of harmony, Muasher said that this meeting was a chain of the culture of harmony.

    Muasher noted that the meeting to be held in Valencia on April 23 should be the continuation of this meeting.

    They were always talking about security, weapons, economy and oil, Muasher said.

    Muasher noted that they were leaving culture and humanity to the end, adding that in fact, honour of people was the milestone in every security project which would bring stability.

    -PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS ISTANBUL FORUM IS MEETING OF BRAVE MEN
    ISTANBUL - Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar said on Tuesday that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum was the meeting of brave men.

    Speaking at a panel discussion on ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' held after the working lunch, Sattar reminded the words of Rudyard Kipling who said that ''the east is east and the west is west. These two can never come together.''

    Reminding the epigram saying ''everything can be solved when two brave men come face to face at a bridge'', Sattar said that Kipling's word was correct, but until two brave men came face to face.

    Sattar noted that this meeting was the meeting of such brave men.

    The wisdom of peace was included in the United Nations (U.N.) Charter adopted following the World War II that was defined as ''the biggest disaster of the world'', Sattar said.

    Sattar stated that ''justice and equity'' were the principles and keys that could solve all the disputes.

    -FM CEM SAYS THEY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY MEET REQUIREMENT
    FOR CREATION OF SIMILAR PLATFORMS
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem made the closing statement of the panel discussion on ''Confronting Common Challenges in Today's Environment'' which was held within framework of the OIC-EU Joint Forum in Istanbul on Tuesday.

    Speaking at the meeting, Cem thanked Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and panelists.

    Noting that a number of thoughts had been expressed during the forum, Cem stressed that he believed that participants would make many things out from the the ''Istanbul spirit''.

    ''Cultural dimension, approach to daily problems. Showing courage to approach every issue frankly although how difficult they are. Beyond these, I believe that we can develop new opinions, thoughts and initiatives. We should absolutely meet the requirement for creation of similar platforms although they won't be so open and great. We should take up issues frankly. We should continue these discussions without being afraid of running counter to each other,'' Cem added.

    -ECEVIT RECEIVES PAKISTANI FM SETTAR
    ISTANBUL - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Tuesday Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul.

    Sources said that Ecevit and Sattar had discussed bilateral relations between Turkey and Pakistan and Afghanistan issue.

    Ecevit and Sattar had taken up especially bilateral trade and within this framework, Sattar had praised Turkish companies operating in Pakistan, sources said.

    Sources said that Sattar had conveyed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's letter of invitation to Ecevit.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ecevit had conveyed his concerns about Iraq issue during his meeting with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw, sources said.

    Sources said that the meeting had focused on Afghanistan issue and the issue of which country would take over command of international force in Afghanistan after Britain had also been discussed.

    Diplomatic sources said that Britain had reiterated its demand for Turkey's undertaking the command while Ecevit had underlined the cost of commanding the international force to Turkey.

    -PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR SAYS THEY WILL WELCOME PROPOSAL OF FRANCE
    ISTANBUL - Fouad Yaseen, the Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey, said on Tuesday that they had not officially received the proposal put forth by France regarding the Middle East peace process and noted that they would welcome it if it was officially conveyed to them.

    Responding to questions of A.A correspondent, Yaseen said that they did not know about the details of the proposal named ''French Initiative'' but that they were following the developments from the press.

    The ''recognition'' which was often mentioned in the proposal was not a new issue, Yaseen noted.

    Yaseen stated that Palestine had been recognized in Oslo agreements and that there were currently 35 countries which recognized Palestine as a state.

    Yaseen said that the new element which was a key point in the propasal was ''the recognition of Palestinian state by Israel.''

    ''After Israel recognizes Palestine as a state, Palestine will recognize Israel as a state. And, thus, there will be equality and balance not only in meetings, but also in all the documents that will be signed by the two sides,'' Yaseen noted.

    Yaseen pointed out that he had the opportunity to discuss this issue with the representatives of the EU member and candidate countries during the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union (EU) Joint Forum and said that there were positive reactions toward this issue.

    He got the impression that the EU was standing at a point close to a compromise on the proposal, Yaseen said.

    Yaseen noted that some more time would be needed to reach a full compromise in the EU but that he guessed that the proposal would be conveyed to them soon.

    The Middle East issue should take a place in the final declaration to be issued on Wednesday, Yaseen added.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES COE SECRETARY GENERAL AND IRANIAN FM
    ISTANBUL - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Tuesday Council of Europe (COE) Secretary General Walter Schwimmer and Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.

    Ecevit-Schwimmer meeting lasted almost 20 minutes while Ecevit's meeting with Kharrazi lasted 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, Ecevit had a ten-minute meeting with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    -CEM MEETS WITH PAPANDREOU DURING OIC-EU JOINT FORUM
    ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met on Tuesday with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou who attended the OIC-EU Joint Forum.

    Following their meeting which lasted nearly one hour, Cem and Papandreou answered questions of reporters.

    Noting that they had held a ''constructive'' meeting, Papandreou said that they had come together with Cem for ''hundreds of time'' earlier and they had held positive discussions on many issues.

    Stating that they targeted to continue the process of dialogue they had initiated in New York, Papandreou said that they wanted to further develop bilateral relations and that such meetings would deepen bilateral relations and help solution of problems.

    Stressing that the OIC-EU Joint Forum was a ''positive initiative'', Papandreou said that the forum was continuing in an ''optimistic'' atmosphere and created an ''open and clear atmosphere of dialogue''.

    Noting that they had also taken up Cyprus issue, Papandreou said he hoped a solution would be found.

    Stating that Cem and he would come together with foreign ministers of Romania and Bulgaria, Papandreou said that they would take up different issue at that meeting which would held early on Wednesday.

    Making a brief statement after Papandreou, Cem said that they had held a positive meeting and that there was not anything to add what Papandreou had said.

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