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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-17

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

NEWS

17 February

2002 Monday

Türkiye

Dünya

Parlamento

Ekonomi

Spor

Sanat-Magazin

Sağlık

T

urkey


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 17, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    TURKISH SOLDIERS ARRIVE IN KABUL
    The first part of Turkish troops arrived in Afghan capital Kabul with a C- 130 cargo plane to join the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Turkish soldiers, the sons of modern and secular Republic of Turkey founded by Great Leader Mustafa Kemay Ataturk, will provide peace and security in Afghanistan which was dragged into darkness by Taliban regime.

    LPG TANK IN A FACTORY IN KAGITHANE EXPLODES
    Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank in a factory in Kagithane district of Istanbul exploded, injuring 12 people. LPG tank in the four-storey factory manufacturing carburetors exploded at about 06:00 a.m. on Saturday. The injured people were rushed to nearby hospitals for medical treatment. Two of them have been in critical condition. The explosion caused the factory building to collapse partially. Windows in nearby buildings were shattered in the explosion.

    FOGG: ''KURDISH PEOPLE SUFFERED MUCH BECAUSE OF OCALAN''
    European Union (EU) Representative in Turkey Karen Fogg said that Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, was the person who harmed Kurdish people most. She stressed that Ocalan was also responsible for the conditions in the region.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    U.S. AND ISRAELI WAR PLANES DUE IN KONYA
    Three military exercises will be held in central Konya province which was claimed to be used together with Incirlik Air Base in southern province of Adana in a possible operation against Iraq. U.S. and Israeli war planes will participate in these exercises to be held in April, June and October. The Netherlands and Germany will also participate in the second military exercise.

    GOVERNMENT ENTERS A CRITICAL PERIOD
    The coalition government that is planning to put into practice short term commitments for the European Union (EU) till March 19, 2002, has entered a critical period. State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), will meet with chairmen of relevant parliamentary commissions, deputy chairmen of political parties having seats at the parliament and with relevant deputies. Yilmaz is also scheduled to meet with representatives of non-governmental organizations and universities. Later, drafts will be given their final shape, and submitted to parliament.

    HIGH-LEVEL U.S. OFFICIALS DUE IN TURKEY
    U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will pay a visit to Turkey at the end of March of 2002. Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will come to Ankara within framework of his tour to Middle Eastern countries in March. During contacts of Cheney, Wolfowitz and Myers in Turkey, issues of Iraq, the Middle East and defense cooperation between Turkey and the United States are expected to be taken up.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    ANOTHER PICASSO PAINTING CONFISCATED IN USAK
    A painting which is believed to have been painted by worldwide famous painter Picasso, was confiscated in southeastern province of Usak. Acting on a tip-off, security forces launched an operation in Usak. They confiscated the painting and detained seven people.

    U.S. EXPERT WARNS EUROPE AGAINST PKK
    Prominent news agency Associated Press transmitted a news sory saying, ''PKK with a history of ruthless guerrilla attacks is abandoning the

    name it has used for 24 years in the hope of shedding its bloody image and transforming into a legitimate political force.'' The AP quoted Michael Radu, a U.S. terrorism expert with the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, as saying, ''the PKK is the old PKK with a different tactic. Ocalan is a much more effective public-relations strategist than Turkey, and he is telling Europe how nice his organization is.''

    SECOND CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM IS ON THE WAY
    The Parliamentary Inter-parties Compromise Commission will debate the second constitutional reform package following the upcoming religious holiday. The package envisages important amendments to some articles of the Constitution like abolition of State Security Courts (DGMs).

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    OCALAN ALERT IN SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA REGION
    Tight security measures were taken in Southeastern Anatolia to prevent a possible incident on the third anniversary of capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, on February 16, 1999. Supporters of Ocalan and PKK held street demonstrations. Security forces intervened in these demonstrations and detained 60 people.

    U.S. CONGRESSMEN IN TURKEY
    Culture Minister Istemihan Talay hosted a luncheon in honor of members of the U.S. House of Representatives' United States-Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group at Istanbul's Topkapi Palace Museum. Noting that the congressmen would proceed to Ankara on Sunday to start holding contacts, Talay noted, ''there are sound and friendly ties between Turkey and the United States. These ties have always been confirmed in cooperation and joint policies of two friendly and allied countries. Our guests will try to form a Turkey Working Group at the U.S. Congress. We are pleased to host these congress. I believe that their visit to Turkey would contribute to further improvement of relations between Turkey and the United States.'' Congressmen Robert Wexler, Kay Granger, Tom Granger, James Moran and Cliff Stearns will start its official programme on Monday by coming together with State Minister Tunca Toskay at breakfast. The delegation will proceed to Incirlik Air Base in southern province of Adana. On Tuesday, members of the delegation will be given a briefing at the General Staff. Later, they will be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    EU'S PLAN FOR TURKEY: RAPID NEGOTIATIONS AFTER 2004
    European Union (EU) Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said that 10 out of 13 candidate countries would become a full member of the union till 2004, and added that they had been working on a plan to accelerate Turkey's membership process. Verheugen noted that Turkey should be ready for a rapid negotiation plan.

    SECURITY FORCES IMPOUND 115 KG OF HEROIN IN ISTANBUL
    Security forces impounded 115 kg of heroin in an operation in Istanbul, and captured 10 people including a foreigner. Acting on a tip-off, security forces revealed that a considerable amount of heroin would be sent from Istanbul to Europe. Security forces stopped and searched a passenger bus near Bagcilar district of Istanbul, and confiscated 101 kg of heroin. They captured eight people including a foreigner. It was revealed that two members of the illicit drug trafficking network were waiting for the bus with 14 kg of heroin. They were captured and the drug was impounded. Security forces said that the heroin which was brought in from Iran, would be put up for sale in Germany.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    RED NIGHT
    Fenerbahce won the derby 1-0 against Galatasaray, which had topped the agenda for days and defined as ''match of the year'' while referee Ali Aydin sent off four Galatasaray players in the second half of the derby. Fenerbahce's goal was scored in the first half by Rapaic while the events started in the second half. The referee red carded defender Emre who blocked Rapaic and sent off midfielder Batista who hit Serhat's face with his head. Also Hasan Sas was sent off in this position who wanted to hold Serhat. Referee Aydin also red carded captain Bulent who clapped for his decision. And Galatasaray were down to seven men and completed the game with seven men.

    AKTAS DE FACTO OVER
    The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry said that Aktas company could not distribute electricity and make trade in the mentioned areas following transfer of its facilities.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    OUR CITIES UNDER SERIOUS HAZARD
    The danger of existence of gas stations, LPG filling stations and industrial factories in city-centers was once again revealed with yesterday's calamity in Istanbul. The LPG tank in a factory producing automobile radiators exploded at 6 a.m. The five-storey factory building collapsed in the explosion which was felt two-kilometer away. Eleven people were injured in the explosion which caused damage to many buildings including three schools.

    ''WE PRAY FOR SEZER FOR 800 TIMES A YEAR''
    Jewish community's leader Bensiyon Pinto said that they had been performing sermons in every wedding ceremony and every religious holiday and on every Saturday for the President of the Turkish state for 510 years. ''We pray for Mr. Ahmet Necdet Sezer for maybe 700-800 times in each synagogue,'' he said.

    -TREASURY TO AUCTION 2-YEAR BONDS ON TUESDAY
    ANKARA - Treasury will hold an auction on Tuesday, February 19 to sell two- year bonds.

    The value date of the two-year bonds is February 20, 2002 and maturity is January 21, 2004.

    This sale will be the re-issuance of the two-year debenture bonds which have floating interest rates and were sold on January 22,2002.

    -ILIKSOY SAYS TURKEY SUFFERED MUCH FROM TERRORISM
    ATHENS - Deputy Parliament Speaker Ali Iliksoy said on Saturday, ''Turkey, a country that suffered much from terrorism, is one of the countries well- understanding necessity of international fight against terrorism.''

    Speaking at the third meeting of European-Mediterranean Parliament Speakers started in Greek capital Athens, Iliksoy said, ''the whole world understood importance of fight against terrorism in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York, the United States, on September 11, 2001.''

    ''We suffered much from terrorism. We lost nearly 30 thousand people. Heavy cost of our fight against terrorism underlies today's economic difficulties. We should make an international definition of terrorism. Terrorism cannot be defined according to the regions. We should agree on a single definition. Global solidarity is the only way to fight against global terrorism,'' he stressed.

    Iliksoy emphasized, ''Turkey had to make some restrictions in its liberalist constitution because of acts of violence and terrorism. Today, we have been trying to amend our Constitution. Terrorism destroys the right to live, the most important right.''

    Noting that the Mediterranean Basin was the cradle of great civilizations and three monotheist faiths, Iliksoy said that all religious beliefs were based on tolerance and understanding.

    Stressing that it was a serious mistake to connect the Islam with the terrorism, Iliksoy said, ''these two words should not be used together. Such allegations and approaches will lead us only to misunderstandings.''

    Noting that representative of Greek Cypriot side used the expression of occupation of Cyprus in his speech, Iliksoy said, ''it will be benefical to refrain from using such expressions. Face-to-face talks process has been continuing on the island. And it is clear that such attitudes would affect the process negatively.''

    Referring to the Middle East crisis, Iliksoy stressed that the crisis should be resolved urgently.

    The meeting will end on Sunday after the final statement is released.

    -TURKISH CONTRACTORS DUE TO AFGHANISTAN
    ANKARA - Turkish-Afghan Business Council Chairman Guven Sazak said on Sunday that four people would participate in a ten-day visit to Afghanistan to be organized by the Asian Development Bank.

    Responding questions of the A.A correspondent, Sazak said, ''during Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to the United States, we met with Afghanistan's new prime minister and foreign minister. We also held contacts with the U.S. firms. The Asian Development Bank will organize a meeting in Pakistani capital Islamabad on March 2. This meeting includes a ten-day visit to Afghanistan. Four Turkish contractors will join the meeting and the visit. We will join the tenders in Afghanistan through the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.''

    Sazak said that Turkish-Afghan Business Council had been planning a visit to Afghanistan after March 15, and noted that State Minister Mehmet Kececiler was expected to join the visit.

    -IMPORTS DECREASE BY 50.6 PERCENT
    ANKARA - According to the Customs Undersecretariat data, imports reduced by 50.6 percent and exports decreased by 2.9 percent in January of 2002.

    Imports from foreign countries to Turkey decreased 50.6 percent to 2 billion 50 million U.S. dollars in January of 2002. In January 2001, Turkey imported goods of 4 billion 152 million U.S. dollars.

    Exports from Turkey to foreign countries dropped by 2.9 percent from 2 billion 244 million U.S. dollars to 2 billion 180 million U.S. dollars.

    As a result, the rate of exports meeting imports increased to 106.3 percent.

    While the foreign trade deficit had been 1 billion 908 million U.S. dollars in January of 2001, there was a 129 million U.S. dollars surplus in foreign trade in January of 2002.

    Foreign trade figures as of January 2001 and 2002 are as follows:

    (million U.S. dollars) Difference

    2001 2002 (percent)

    ------ ------ ----------
    Imports 4.152 2.050 -50.6

    Exports 2.244 2.180 -2.9

    Foreign trade deficit -1.908 129 -106.8

    --------------------- ------ ------ ----------
    Rate of meeting (%) 54.0 106.3

    -22ND INTERNATIONAL TRABZON SEMI-MARATHON HELD
    TRABZON - The 22nd International Trabzon Semi-Marathon was run on Sunday within framework of activities to mark the anniversary of Trabzon's liberation.

    The 21.1-kilometre semi-marathon started in Akcakale region in Akcaabat township of northern province of Trabzon and ended in Trabzon's Ataturk Square.

    Satilmis Atmaca of Turkey was ranked first in men's category while Milka Mihailova of Bulgaria came first in women's category.

    A total of 169 sportsmen and women including five foreigners from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the Netherlands, Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine participated in the semi-marathon.

    Medallist sporstmen and women are as follows:

    Men:

    1-Satilmis Atmaca (Turkey) 1.05.49

    2-Alexey Korobov (Russia) 1.05.52

    3-Abdulkadir Turk (Turkey) 1.06.00

    Women:

    1-Milka Mihailova (Bulgaria) 1.15.52

    2-Rumma Dubovik (Ukraine) 1.16.01

    3-Lale Ozturk (Turkey) 1.17.40

    -EXPLOSION IN KAGITHANE CAUSES DAMAGE TO SEVEN BUILDINGS
    ISTANBUL - Damage assessment works after yesterday morning's LPG tank explosion in a factory producing automobile radiators were concluded on Sunday.

    Following the damage assessment works in and around the Kale Oto Radyator factory in Kagithane, Istanbul, Kagithane district's head official Gokhan Guler told reporters that the explosion had affected a 1.5 kilometers square area.

    Guler said that windows of 790 houses and 508 business places had shattered in the explosion which had caused serious damage to 1 building and minimal damage to 6 other buildings.

    The explosion in the factory happened at 6 a.m. on Saturday, injuring 11 people, and 2 of those were seriously injured.

    -PRESIDENT SEZER MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF TURKEY'S NATO MEMBERSHIP
    ANKARA - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Sunday, ''as the alliance of countries sharing the common values such as democracy, human rights and supremacy of law, has always maintained its main target to settle a fair and lasting atmosphere of peace in Europe.''

    President Sezer released a message to mark the 50th anniversary of Turkey's NATO membership.

    In his message, President Sezer noted, ''half a century has passed since Turkey joined the Alliance on February 18, 1952. NATO has played a vital role in security and reconstruction of West European countries devastated by the World War II since it was founded in 1949. However, NATO's role has not been restricted with these countries and its place in security of Europe has broadened in the course of time. The Alliance was founded with the Washington Treaty signed by 12 countries in 1949. Number of its members increased to 19 and 10 countries want to become a member of the Alliance.''

    ''As the alliance of countries sharing the common values such as democracy, human rights and supremacy of law, has always maintained its main target to settle a fair and lasting atmosphere of peace in Europe. As a natural conclusion of principles put forward by Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Republic of Turkey has taken its place in NATO 50 years ago and made significant contributions to the Alliance by defending contemporary values, peace and freedom,'' he emphasized.

    President Sezer continued, ''while it has been developing new partnership relations with former Warsaw Pact countries and former Soviet Union republics after the Cold War came to an end, NATO, on the other hand, has put into practice new arrangements in which prosperous European allies could undertake more responsibilities. Today, there is a large family sharing common values and ideals in Europe-Atlantic region instead of hostile countries. Europe's undertaking more responsibilities in this new atmosphere became a natural requirement. I believe that our all European allies would display a fair and compherensive arrangement as undertaking this responsibility.''

    ''I want to reiterate once again that Turkey is ready to make any kind of contribution to development of the Alliance. I wish that the Alliance would continue to contribute to peace and stability in the world with great success,'' he added.

    -U.S. PRESIDENT BUSH SENDS MESSAGES TO PRESIDENT SEZER AND PRESIDENT
    STEPHANOPOULOS OF GREECE TO MARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF NATO MEMBERSHIP
    OF TURKEY AND GREECE
    ANKARA - U.S. President George W. Bush said, ''the Alliance now faces new, diverse, and global threats. The United States is prepared to counter those security challenges knowing we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with allies.''

    U.S. President Bush sent messages to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and President Kostis Stephanopoulos of Greece to mark the 50th anniversary of NATo membership of Turkey and Greece.

    The Presidential Prewss Center said on Sunday that in his message, President Bush said, ''it is with great pleasure that I am writing to congratulate you on the 50th anniversary of your country's NATO membership.''

    ''Fifty years ago NATO welcomed Turkey and Greece into its ranks in an effort to consolidate democratic countries in a Western alliance against a growing communist threat. There can be no doubt that the role your countries played throughout the Cold War was critical to eliminating that danger.''

    President Bush continued, ''our Alliance now faces new, diverse, and global threats. The United States is prepared to counter those security challenges knowing we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with allies. Your countries' support in NATO's invocation of Article 5 immediately after the tragic events of September 11 is indivative of the friendship and cooperation that has characterized the Alliance for over 50 years.''

    ''The anniversary of Turkey's and Greece's NATO membership is perhaps even more notable in light of the warming relations your governments have experienced over the last few years. Progress in your bilateral relations and joint commitment to the Alliance, including joint Greek-Turkish staffs in NATO air operations centers in both your countries, can only strengthen our ties. I extend my sincerest congratulations to you and to the citizens of Turkey and Greece on this important occasion,'' President Bush added.

    -TURK SAYS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT WILL BE ABSOLUTELY ABOLISHED ONE DAY
    AYDIN - Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said on Sunday that capital punishment would absolutely be abolished one day.

    Turk visited Emir Durmaz, the governor of western province of Aydin.

    Responding reporters' questions after the meeting, Turk recalled that under amendments to the Constitution, the capital punishment had been annulled except for three situations which were ''warfare'', ''close war threat'' and ''terrorist crimes''.

    ''Except these three situations, the offenses for which capital punishment had been foreseen earlier are now punished with life in prison. Our political parties have different approaches. Any capital punishment has not been carried out in Turkey in last seventeen years. However, death sentence in Turkey will be absolutely be annulled one day,'' he said.

    Responding a question about lifting of political immunity of members of parliament, Turk said that also some public officials and judges in Turkey had political immunity.

    ''Immunities can be lifted. This has always been a matter of discussion. It is very wrong to give an impression as if the problem stems only from parliamentarians' immunity and all corruptions are caused due to this,'' Turk said.

    -U.S.-TURKEY INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP DELEGATION PROCEEDS TO
    ANKARA

    ISTANBUL - U.S. House of Representatives member Cliff Stearns said on Sunday that all decisions about Iraq was taken in coordination with their all allies including Turkey, and added that decision would be taken for any possible attempt regarded with Iraq in consultation with the allied countries.

    The five-member delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives' United States-Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group proceeded from Istanbul to Ankara.

    The delegation that has currently been paying a visit to Turkey as the guest of Istanbul Textile and Ready-to-Wear Exporters' Association (ITKIB), responded questions of journalists at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport prior to departure for Ankara.

    Stearns said that they would exchange views on cooperation in fight against terrorism during their contacts in Ankara.

    Stressing that despite being in a sensitive atmosphere, Turkey had extended full support to the United States in fight against terrorism, Stearns said that they were grateful to Turkey.

    Responding a question about a possible U.S. operation against Iraq, Stearns said that all decisions about Iraq was taken in coordination with their all allies including Turkey, and added that decision would be taken for any possible attempt regarded with Iraq in consultation with the allied countries.

    Meanwhile, U.S. House of Representatives member Kay Granger said that their visit aimed at exchanging view with parliamentary and business circles in Turkey.


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