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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-18

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>

Anadolu Ajans

ANADOLU AJANSI

NEWS

18 February

2002 Monday

Trkiye

Dnya

Parlamento

Ekonomi

Spor

Sanat-Magazin

Salk

T

urkey


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] U.S.-TURKEY INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP DELEGATION MEETS WITH STATE MINISTER TOSKAY
  • [03] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RELEASE A MESSAGE TO MARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF TURKEY'S NATO MEMBERSHIP
  • [04] DENKTAS SAYS VERHEUGEN'S STATEMENTS DAMAGE THEM
  • [05] A CAB DRIVER SETS HIS CAR ON FIRE IN FRONT OF PRIME MINISTRY (2)

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 18, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    BUSH EULOGIZES TURKEY AND GREECE
    U.S. President George W. 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. In his message, President Bush said, ''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. 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.''

    OLYMPIAD TORCH TO BE LIT WITH TURKISH GAS
    Cooperation between Turkey and Greece in energy has turned into concrete steps. High-level officials from Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and Greece's natural gas company DEPA will come together in Istanbul on Tuesday. Cooperation between Turkey and Greece in natural gas was consolidated during the meeting of BOTAS and DEPA in Athens in January with the slogan saying, ''Olympiad torch will be lit with Turkish gas''.

    EXPLOSION IN KAGITHANE CAUSES EXTREME DAMAGE
    Damage assessment works after Saturday's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank explosion in a factory manufacturing carburetors were concluded. It was revealed that the explosion had affected a 1.5 kilometers square area. 790 houses and 508 business places suffered damage in the explosion while a nearby school became uninhabitable. Total damage is expected to reach 5 trillion Turkish lira.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    HOLIDAY RESORT TO BE OPENED IN ANTALYA FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
    The world's first holiday resort for the disabled people will be opened in Manavgat township of southern province of Antalya. The holiday resort will cost 50 million U.S. dollars. It is expected to be finalized in 2003.

    USD 129 MILLION SURPLUS IN FOREIGN TRADE
    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.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    KIVRIKOGLU: ''EUROPE FEARS PKK''
    General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, said, ''Europe is negative about including PKK in the list of terrorist organizations due to two reasons.'' He enumerated these reasons saying, ''first of all, supporters of PKK have settled in several European countries. Therefore, these European countries are concerned about possible attacks of the PKK. Secondly, Europe wants ethnic groups in Turkey to have more rights. This is the long-standing policy of Europe.''

    DERVIS: ''TWO THOUSAND FIRMS CLOSED DOWN''
    State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy said that more than two thousand firms closed down last year while 29 thousand new firms were opened. Responding to a interrogation motion submitted to the parliament by Kemal Albayrak of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Dervis said, ''according to data of the State Institute of Statistics, more than two thousand firms closed down in 2001 while 29 thousand new firms were opened.''

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    DEATH PENALTY IS A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
    EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen's statements on the ''death sentence and education in Kurdish '' brought the discussions on the death sentence to the agenda again. National Movement Party (MHP) officials gave the message that they would not lead to uneasiness if an agreement which didn't disturb them was reached, while Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's formula that a solution could be found in the parliament by excluding MHP was prevented with the attitude of True Path Party (DYP). DYP officials said that they did not find to lift the death sentence completely convenient in that level.

    JUSTICE MINISTER TURK WANTS CENSOR
    Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk claimed that if the existing implementations continue and the media does not have interest in the death fasts and hunger strikes, the hunger strikes will end within six months or one year. Turk said that all kinds of efforts were and are being exerted to end the death fasts. He stated that the death fasts decreased fairly by the measures taken. Turk added that the death fasts and the hunger strikes will end within six months or one year if the press organs does not interest in them.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED AGAINST PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
    The Human Rights Association (IHD) organized a painting and writing contest in southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Children aged between 7 and 12 participated in the contest with 150 paintings and 140 writings. 20 children were awarded on December 15, 2001. The National Education Ministry launched a criminal investigation on February 1, 2002 against award-winning students and their teachers.

    ISTANBUL GOVERNOR COMMITS SUICIDE
    Istanbul Governor Sukru Ergun Ozakman committed suicide at his house by shooting himself in the head. 53-year-old Ozakman served as governor of Sinop, Karaman and Bitlis provinces.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    TEACHERS FORGET HOLIDAY
    Turkish Education Labor Union (Turk Egitim-Sen) said in a report that a teacher should work 117 hours without spending money to have a meal in a luxury restaurant and 33 days to stay ona night in a five-star hotel. 55 percent of the teachers doesn't even know what the summer holiday is. Turk Egitim-Sen Chairman Suayip Ozcan said that 55 percent of the workers in educational field could not go on holiday in the summer or in the feasts. He added that the employees in educational sector were living under Turkish standards and the monthly income of 49 percent of them was between 251 million and 300 million Turkish liras.

    TOBB CHAIRMAN HISARCIKLIOGLU: ''WE WILL UNDERSTAND CRISIS 10 YEARS LATER''
    Turkey Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said, ''we cannot realize how big the economic crisis, which we have currently, is now. We will comprehend the level of economic crisis which we have been living deeply when we looked back 10 years later.'' Hisarciklioglu, said that the statement of State Minister Kemal Dervis that the economy came out of a coma was not true, and added, ''another sign that we didn't catch the growth trend, is 681 trillion Turkish liras decrease in the loan stock last week. This shows the shrinking in the economy, not the growth.'' Hisarciklioglu has visited Zonguldak Chamber of Trade and Industry and evaluated Turkish economy. He responded the questions of the reporters and said, ''the obstacles in front of the trade should be lifted. If the trade does not occur, the production does not occur either.''

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    JAPANS TAKE CONTROL IN TURKEY
    In Turkey which the process of the EU membership extended further, Japanese firms are gradually taking under control the automotive market. Firms such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda which worked together with their Turkish partners, recently prefer to take under control all their shares and to grow.

    (UK-E-A)
    -TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 18, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    BUSH EULOGIZES TURKEY AND GREECE
    U.S. President George W. 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. In his message, President Bush said, ''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. 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.''

    OLYMPIAD TORCH TO BE LIT WITH TURKISH GAS
    Cooperation between Turkey and Greece in energy has turned into concrete steps. High-level officials from Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and Greece's natural gas company DEPA will come together in Istanbul on Tuesday. Cooperation between Turkey and Greece in natural gas was consolidated during the meeting of BOTAS and DEPA in Athens in January with the slogan saying, ''Olympiad torch will be lit with Turkish gas''.

    EXPLOSION IN KAGITHANE CAUSES EXTREME DAMAGE
    Damage assessment works after Saturday's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank explosion in a factory manufacturing carburetors were concluded. It was revealed that the explosion had affected a 1.5 kilometers square area. 790 houses and 508 business places suffered damage in the explosion while a nearby school became uninhabitable. Total damage is expected to reach 5 trillion Turkish lira.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    HOLIDAY RESORT TO BE OPENED IN ANTALYA FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
    The world's first holiday resort for the disabled people will be opened in Manavgat township of southern province of Antalya. The holiday resort will cost 50 million U.S. dollars. It is expected to be finalized in 2003.

    USD 129 MILLION SURPLUS IN FOREIGN TRADE
    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.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    KIVRIKOGLU: ''EUROPE FEARS PKK''
    General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, said, ''Europe is negative about including PKK in the list of terrorist organizations due to two reasons.'' He enumerated these reasons saying, ''first of all, supporters of PKK have settled in several European countries. Therefore, these European countries are concerned about possible attacks of the PKK. Secondly, Europe wants ethnic groups in Turkey to have more rights. This is the long-standing policy of Europe.''

    DERVIS: ''TWO THOUSAND FIRMS CLOSED DOWN''
    State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy said that more than two thousand firms closed down last year while 29 thousand new firms were opened. Responding to a interrogation motion submitted to the parliament by Kemal Albayrak of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Dervis said, ''according to data of the State Institute of Statistics, more than two thousand firms closed down in 2001 while 29 thousand new firms were opened.''

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    DEATH PENALTY IS A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
    EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen's statements on the ''death sentence and education in Kurdish '' brought the discussions on the death sentence to the agenda again. National Movement Party (MHP) officials gave the message that they would not lead to uneasiness if an agreement which didn't disturb them was reached, while Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's formula that a solution could be found in the parliament by excluding MHP was prevented with the attitude of True Path Party (DYP). DYP officials said that they did not find to lift the death sentence completely convenient in that level.

    JUSTICE MINISTER TURK WANTS CENSOR
    Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk claimed that if the existing implementations continue and the media does not have interest in the death fasts and hunger strikes, the hunger strikes will end within six months or one year. Turk said that all kinds of efforts were and are being exerted to end the death fasts. He stated that the death fasts decreased fairly by the measures taken. Turk added that the death fasts and the hunger strikes will end within six months or one year if the press organs does not interest in them.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED AGAINST PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
    The Human Rights Association (IHD) organized a painting and writing contest in southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Children aged between 7 and 12 participated in the contest with 150 paintings and 140 writings. 20 children were awarded on December 15, 2001. The National Education Ministry launched a criminal investigation on February 1, 2002 against award-winning students and their teachers.

    ISTANBUL GOVERNOR COMMITS SUICIDE
    Istanbul Governor Sukru Ergun Ozakman committed suicide at his house by shooting himself in the head. 53-year-old Ozakman served as governor of Sinop, Karaman and Bitlis provinces.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    TEACHERS FORGET HOLIDAY
    Turkish Education Labor Union (Turk Egitim-Sen) said in a report that a teacher should work 117 hours without spending money to have a meal in a luxury restaurant and 33 days to stay ona night in a five-star hotel. 55 percent of the teachers doesn't even know what the summer holiday is. Turk Egitim-Sen Chairman Suayip Ozcan said that 55 percent of the workers in educational field could not go on holiday in the summer or in the feasts. He added that the employees in educational sector were living under Turkish standards and the monthly income of 49 percent of them was between 251 million and 300 million Turkish liras.

    TOBB CHAIRMAN HISARCIKLIOGLU: ''WE WILL UNDERSTAND CRISIS 10 YEARS LATER''
    Turkey Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said, ''we cannot realize how big the economic crisis, which we have currently, is now. We will comprehend the level of economic crisis which we have been living deeply when we looked back 10 years later.'' Hisarciklioglu, said that the statement of State Minister Kemal Dervis that the economy came out of a coma was not true, and added, ''another sign that we didn't catch the growth trend, is 681 trillion Turkish liras decrease in the loan stock last week. This shows the shrinking in the economy, not the growth.'' Hisarciklioglu has visited Zonguldak Chamber of Trade and Industry and evaluated Turkish economy. He responded the questions of the reporters and said, ''the obstacles in front of the trade should be lifted. If the trade does not occur, the production does not occur either.''

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    JAPANS TAKE CONTROL IN TURKEY
    In Turkey which the process of the EU membership extended further, Japanese firms are gradually taking under control the automotive market. Firms such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda which worked together with their Turkish partners, recently prefer to take under control all their shares and to grow.

    (UK-E-A)

    [02] U.S.-TURKEY INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP DELEGATION MEETS WITH STATE MINISTER TOSKAY

    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - The five-member delegation of U.S. House of Representatives' United States-Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group came together with State Minister Tunca Toskay at breakfast on Monday.

    Any statement was not released following the meeting.

    House of Representatives members Robert Wexler, Kay Granger, Tom Granger, James Moran and Cliff Stearns will meet with Foreign Affairs Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal.

    Later in the day, 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.

    The delegation will come together with Turkey-United States Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Kamran Inan and members of the group. They will be received by Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi and State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli later in the same day.

    Members of the delegation are expected to hold a press conference at Ankara's Hilton Hotel on Tuesday.

    The delegation will proceed to Istanbul on Wednesday, and depart from Turkey on Thursday.

    (UK-A)

    [03] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RELEASE A MESSAGE TO MARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF TURKEY'S NATO MEMBERSHIP

    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday, ''the world has understood clearly the fact that terrorism posed a serious security threat for the humanity in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Turkey has been supporting initiatives that have been launched within structure of NATO against terrorism.''

    Prime Minister Ecevit released a message to mark the 50th anniversary of Turkey's NATO membership.

    In his message, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''Turkey, a part of modern, democratic and free world, joined the Alliance on February 18, 1952. During the darkest years of the Cold War, Turkey gained respect with its well- educated and disciplined armed forces as a sound ally in defending the common values of free and democratic nations.''

    ''The Alliance and the trans-atlantic tie that became vitally important within the Alliance, made a considerable contribution to efforts aiming at settling and protecting peace, democracy, economic prosperity and freedoms in the region of Europe-Atlantic following the World War II. North Atlantic Treaty provided the allied countries with a collective defense umbrella. This also strengthened security of our country, and made valuable contributions to our efforts to modernize our armed forces and to create a collective security structure,'' he said.

    Prime Minister Ecevit noted, ''the world has begun to change in the last decade following the Cold War era. Totalitarian regimes became a thing of the past and ideological obstacles were removed in the vast region of Europe-Atlantic. NATO remained as the only defense alliance of this region. It maintained its vital importance for security of both the allied countries and the whole world. Also, NATO took determined steps in order to adapt itself with the new atmosphere of security. Turkey having the biggest army among all other European allies, undertook an active and significant role during this process.''

    ''Today, problems such as ethnic clashes, terrorism, mass migration, weapon smuggling, illicit drug trafficking, internal turmoils, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have been continuing to pose a serious threat in the region of Europe-Atlantic as a result of cross-border impacts of globalization,'' he noted.

    Prime Minister Ecevit added, ''the world has understood clearly the fact that terrorism posed a serious security threat for the humanity in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Turkey has been supporting initiatives that have been launched within structure of NATO against terrorism. As a country that has fought against terrorism for years, Turkey has been making active contributions to works in NATO with its experiences.''

    (UK-A)

    [04] DENKTAS SAYS VERHEUGEN'S STATEMENTS DAMAGE THEM

    LEFKOSA, Feb 18 (A.A) - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Monday, ''statements of European Union (EU) Commissioner Guenter Verheugen for enlargement have encouraged Greek Cypriots and given serious damage to Turkish Cypriots.''

    President Denktas noted, ''Europe thinks that the face-to-face negotiations have alreadly been started, and they would be finalized in a short period of time. Verheugen says what should not be said.''

    ''Why does he do it? We observed him speaking about Cyprus with great anger. I cannot understand whether or not he is a xenophile. He says what should not be said. He does not help us. However, when he met with us and visited the Greek Cypriot side, he guided us. He told us that if we could reach an agreement, he could assist us. Instead of underlining these issues, he has been making statements, 'whether the sides reach an agreement or not, we will accept Cyprus's full membership.' His attitude contradicts with his mission. I think he considers Turkish Cypriots as criminals on the island. He could be deceived by propaganda. I hope that he would start to investigate the issues before talking about them,'' he added.

    (UK-A)
    -TURKEY-UNITED STATES PARTNERSHIP COMISSION MEETING TO BE HELD IN ANKARA
    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Turkey-the United States Economic Partnership Commission meeting will be held in Ankara between February 26 and 27, 2002.

    Sources told the A.A correspondent on Monday that Turkish side would submit a comprehensive preparatory package about establishment of qualified industrial zones in Turkey.

    The United States is in favor of establishment of qualified industrial zone in Southeastern Anatolia while Turkish sides wants qualified industrial zones to be established in ports, industrial zones and existing free zones.

    Turkish side is expected to reiterate its request to the United States to lift textile quotas.

    During Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to the United States between January 14 and 18, 2002, the sides decided to form a Turkey-the United States Economic Partnership Commission with the aim of further improving commercial and economic relations between the two countries.

    The commission will hold its first meeting in Ankara between February 26 and 27.

    Foreign Affairs Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal will head Turkish side while U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Alan P. Larson for Economic, Commercial and Agricultural Affairs will lead the U.S. delegation.

    (UK-A)
    -A CAB DRIVER SETS HIS CAR ON FIRE IN FRONT OF PRIME MINISTRY
    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - A cab driver set his car on fire in front of the Prime Ministry on Monday to protest the Prime Minister.

    The cab driver who had come to the Vekaletlet Street in front of the Prime Ministry called the television channels personnel waiting in front of the Prime Ministry and said ''follow me and take your cameras'', later he set his cab on fire.

    Thew cab driver who was not identified was rendered ineffective by civil guards while the fire in the taxi was extinguished.

    Meanwhile, sources said that before he set his cab on fire, the driver had shouted, ''Can you hear me Mr. Prime Minister, I want to talk to you.''

    (MS-A)
    -LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST MERVE SAFA KAVAKCI
    ISTANBUL, Feb 18 (A.A) - A lawsuit was filed against Merve Safa Kavakci who had been earlier stripped off her deputyship by the parliament and citizenship by the Council of Ministers decision, on charges of ''insulting the Republic of Turkey''.

    Indictment prepared by Prosecutor Nurten Altinok said, ''private TV channel Kanal-D broadcast an interview of Merve Safa Kavakci with Qatar-based Al- Jazira TV Channel on November 26, 2001. This news story was accepted as a criminal denunciation. During the interview, Kavakci claimed that women wearing Islamic-style headscarves were attacked in Turkey and that non- governmental organizations should intervene in this violation. 'I was prevented from taking oath at the parliament as a deputy. I was exposed to discrimination. 70 percent of women in Turkey prefers to wear headscarves,' she claimed in that interview.''

    The indictment sought imprisonment terms from one year up to six years to Kavakci on charges of ''insulting the Republic of Turkey'.

    Istanbul High Criminal Court will start hearing the case in coming days.

    (UK-MS)
    -IRAQI DELEGATION IN ANKARA
    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry's Turkey Desk Chairman Muhammad Ahmed said on Monday that trade between Turkey and Iraq had never been suspended.

    Ahmed held routine political consultations with Foreign Affairs Ministry's Middle East Department Director General Turkekul Kurttekin.

    Responding questions of journalists following the meeting, Ahmed pointed out that it was a routine visit.

    When recalled of routine political consultations were held on the level of undersecretariat, Ahmed said, ''this does not mean any decrease in the level of negotiation mechanism between the two countries. There are some personnel changes at our ministry. I came to hold routine political consultations since I am the most senior ambassador at the ministry. Position of undersecretary does not exist in Iraq.''

    When asked whether or not he brought a message from Baghdad, Ahmed said that he did not bring such a message.

    Noting that trade between Turkey and Iraq had never been suspended, Ahmed said that both sides wanted to further improve bilateral commercial relations.

    Responding a question about Iraq's allowing United Nations inspectors to enter the country, Ahmed said that Iraq's attitude regarding the issue was clear.

    (UK-MS)

    [05] A CAB DRIVER SETS HIS CAR ON FIRE IN FRONT OF PRIME MINISTRY (2)

    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Taxi driver Ibrahim Haluk Erenler who set his cab on fire near the Prime Ministry building on Monday made such a protest due to his credit card debts.

    Erenler who is married with three children had stopped his cab on the Vekaletler Street near the Prime Ministry and set fire to seats of his taxi to protest the Prime Minister.

    The fire in the car was extiguished.

    Sources said that Erenler made such a protest due to his credit card debts.

    Interrogation of Erenler at the Cankaya Police Station continues.

    (MS)

    -ECEVIT ISSUES CIRCULAR ON FOUNDATION OF ''TURKISH-U.S. ECONOMIC
    PARTNERSHIP COMMISSION''
    ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit issued on Monday a circular on foundation of a ''Turkish-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission'' with aim of reflecting close strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States also on the economic field.

    The circular sent by Ecevit to relevant organizations and institutions said that a ''Turkish-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission'' where the economic and commercial issues between the two countries would be taken up as a whole had been decided to be formed as a result of the meetings held during the visit paid to the United States between January 15-18, 2002.

    The decree said that the new consultative mechanism was foreseen to serve development of commercial relations, increase in investments and assistance to the successfully ongoing economic reform program in Turkey by broadening the economic dialogue between the sides.

    ''It has been conveyed that the the U.S. side's co-chairmanship of the Turkish-U.S. Economic Partnership Commission would be carried out by the U.S. State Department and it has been considered appropriate to grant the Foreign Ministry Turkish side's co-chairmanship,'' it said.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ecevit sent another decree informing the relevant organizations and institutions that State Minister Tunca Toskay would be the co-chairman of the Turkish-Chinese Joint Economic Commission.

    (MS-A)
    -GSO CHAIRMAN KOCER SAYS AFFLUENT TOURISM POTENTIAL OF REGION SHOULD NOT BE
    UNDERVALUED
    GAZIANTEP, Feb 18 (A.A) - Gaziantep Chamber of Industry (GSO) Chairman Nejat Kocer has said that the affluent tourism potential of Southeastern Anatolia should not be undervalued.

    Kocer said in a statement on Monday that the ruins of ancient city of Belkis (Zeugma), Rumkale, Duluk archaeological site and Yesemek in southeastern Gaziantep province; Mount Nemrut in southeastern Adiyaman province; Balikligol in Urfa province, Harran and Halfeti were the promising regions for the tourism sector.

    Kocer stated that Turkish tourism could gain a new acceleration in culture and religious belief tourism sectors by evaluating the cultural and historical affluences of the region well.

    Kocer added, ''this important potential should not be undervalued in these days when the country pursues the new initiatives.''

    (E-A)
    -DENKTAS:''REALITIES SHOULD BE ACCEPTED IN ORDER TO RESOLVE
    38-YEAR OLD PROBLEMS IN 38 DAYS''
    LEFKOSA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas has said that there would be no agreement between the two sides in Cyprus if the Greek Cypriots think that they don't need to make any compromises since they would join the EU, with our without an agreement.

    After a weekly meeting with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, Deputy Prime Minister Salih Cosar on Monday, Denktas said that all aspects of the Cyprus conflict have been examined and debated at the talks so far.

    The TRNC president listed the areas which cause stagnation as the Greek Cypriots' claims that they are the sole government of the island and their insistance not to step back from these claims. Greek Cypriots' trying to fiddle with the Guarantee Agreement by placing 60,000-70,000 Greek Cypriots in the TRNC and spreading Turkish Cypriots to the whole island was another obtacle.

    ''If they help us resolve these matters during the talks, then we would try to accomodate their wishes and we would reach a result. If they act thinking that 'why should we make concession to Turks because we would join the EU as the Cyprus government with or without an agreement' just like Verheugen said, there would be no progress even after June. But we also have to know if there would be a progress before June,'' Denktas commented.

    Denktas said that the Greek Cypriot side leaked information to public about the ongoing direct talks violating the self-imposed ban. Therefore, he said, they also had to make an announcement to the Turkish Cypriots in order to prevent misinterpretations among people.

    Stating that news leakage was in fact beneficial, Denktas said, ''it becomes clear for our people what Greek Cypriots have wanted. The Greek Cypriot newspapers were complaining that I asked for an exchange of properties. This is an issue that has been alive since the exchange of populations in 1975. What I have been asking is a realist, natural development,'' he said.

    He said that realities should be accepted by the Greek Cypriot side in order ''to resolve 38-year old problems in 38 days.'' He said that no point would be reached if the sides keep accusing each other. Stating that everything should be discussed, he urged people not to be pessimistic, but added extreme optimism was not good either.

    Denktas declined to make an evaluation of the first round of the direct talks when a reporter asked him and said it was early to do such an assessment.

    The TRNC president said that both sides presented their viewpoints on a number of subjects and in the coming meetings, they would try to bring these views closer to a midpoint. Denktas said that this week he would brief political party leaders about the point reached at the talks.

    About the visit of foreign mediators to Cyprus, Denktas said that this was a problem for them since they had to explain every visitor the Cyprus issue from the very beginning. He said some of these people were conditioned to see the issue from the point of view of the Greek Cypriots' side while some of them were aware of the real situation in the island.

    (SC)


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