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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-19

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

19 February

2002 Thuesday

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 19, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    ROW BETWEEN SEZER AND ECEVIT COST USD 51 MILLION
    February 19 started as an ordinary day last year. However, it changed into a day that has never been experienced in the history of the Republic of Turkey. During the monthly routine meeting of National Security Council (NSC), a row broke out between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. President Sezer threw a copy of the Constitution in front of Prime Minister Ecevit. This extraordinary event triggered a serious economic crisis in Turkey. Crisis caused Turkey's national income to decrease by 51 billion U.S. dollars.

    YILMAZ SOLVES PROBLEM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
    State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said that constitutitonal amendment was not required to lift capital punishment. He said, ''annulment of death sentence can be arranged with a law. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the Constitutitonal Court agree with it.''

    GURUZ: ''REQUEST FOR EDUCATION IN KURDISH IS NOTHING BUT SEPARATISM''
    Higher Education Board (YOK) Chairman Prof. Dr. Kemal Guruz said, ''some circles' request for education in Kurdis is not innocent. They aim at separating Turkish state and nation.''

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    ''CAN YOU HEAR ME MR. PRIME MINISTER?''
    A cab driver set his car on fire in front of the Prime Ministry to protest the Prime Minister. 32-year-old Haluk Erenler who had come to the Vekaletler 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. He was rendered ineffective by civil guards while the fire in the taxi was extinguished. Before setting his cab on fire, the driver shouted, ''can you hear me Mr. Prime Minister, I want to talk to you.''

    THREE RIDERS OF TERRORISM
    During intelligence works to find whereabouts of Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden, a connection among three fundamentalist terrorist organizations was revealed. Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, Turkish Hezbollah organization and Cemalettin Kaplan's caliphate state have been using a mosque in Austria together. Turkish intelligence units revealed that al- Qaida network had been supporting Turkish Hezbollah and Kaplan's caliphate state.

    U.S. DELEGATION BRINGS UZAN FAMILY ONTO AGENDA
    The five-member delegation of U.S. House of Representatives' United States- Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group expressed their uneasiness about the case between the Uzan family and the Motorola during their meeting with State Minister Tunca Toskay. The delegation noted that lawsuit filed by Motorola and Nokia against the Uzan family's wireless carrier Telsim caused U.S. entrepreneurs to delay their investment plans in Turkey. The world's largest mobile phone makers filed the suit alleging that the Uzan family, which owns Telsim, borrowed money from them with no intention of paying it back.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    FEMALE PROSECUTOR FILES A LAWSUIT AGAINST MERVE SAFA KAVAKCI
    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, ''during an interview with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV Channel, 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'.

    MHP PROPOSES TO HOLD A REFERENDUM
    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Group Chairman Ismail Kose said that a referendum should be held on the issues of annulment of death sentence and Turkey's European Union (EU) full membership.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    U.S. AND IRAQI DELEGATIONS IN ANKARA
    The five-member delegation of U.S. House of Representatives' United States- Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group and Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry Turkey Desk Chairman Muhammad Ahmed held separate contacts at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Robert Pearson, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, described it as a 'coincidence'. Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh said that Iran was opposed any U.S. operation in Iraq.

    WORLD BANK WANTS FINALIZATION OF TOR ISSUE BY APRIL
    The World Bank wants finalization of the issue of ''transfer of operation right'' (TOR) by April for approval of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars of programmed public and finance sector adjustment loan (PFSAL2). Bank officials said that there was not a problem either about Development of Effective Management in Public and Increase in Transparency arrangement or about Public Finance and Borrowing Management bill but the only obstacle existed in the arrangement about energy market.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    PROFESSORS' REBELLION FOR THEIR SALARIES
    The lecturers, who have met with all ministers to better their salaries for more than a year, finally sought help from Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. The delegation of the rectors headed by METU (Middle East Technical University) Rector Ural Akbulut told Ecevit, ''no promise which was given us has been fulfilled.'' The delegation critizing the decree which will eliminate the salary imbalance in the public requested an arrangement covering only the lecturers. Akbulut demanding the measures to be taken to increase the number of the foreign students and said, ''the teachers are on the lookout for an opportunity to transfer to the foundation universities.''

    DERVIS VISITS TOFAS FACTORY
    State Minister Kemal Dervis visited the TOFAS motor vehicles factory and received information from the factory officials in Bursa. Dervis who talked with the workers in the factory said, ''we will revive the economy step by step in 2002 and we will grow rapidly in 2003. Meanwhile, we will also beat the inflation in this period. Interest rates of consumer loans are very high. We are working with the Central Bank and other ministries. Such high interest rates make it difficult to expect a sound revival. Consumer loan interest rates should decrease. However, decrease in interest rates should not cause a crisis in finance market.''

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    THERE IS NO GATE TO TERRORISM
    Prime Minister Bulent 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.'' 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.''

    REACTION OF RETIRED PEOPLE
    The retired people, members of the Retired People's Labor Union (Emekli- Sen), reacted to Labour and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan's statement, ''there is no pension to the people retired from Social Insruance of the Self-Employed (Bag-Kur) before the Feast of the Sacrifice.'' The retired people, members of Emekli-Sen of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Union (DISK), who gathered at the entrance of historical Kemeralti Bazaar in Izmir, launched a signature campaign including the demands of 7 million retired people. Emekli-Sen Organization Department Chief Veli Beysulen said that they wanted to arrange their pensions, which were under the poverty limit, as to the conditions of the these days.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    INDUSTRY SITE WORTH OF 2 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS IS EMPTY
    The people started to interested in the industry facilities in the city with the explosion of a LPG tank in Istanbul Kagithane. Many facilities aren't moved out of the city. The Organized Industry Region in Ikitelli in Istanbul, which costed 2 billion U.S. dollars, works only with 15 percent capacity. The most of the small industry sites in the big cities stand empty. The concern for the cheap employment for the enterprises and the overlooking of the local governments to that matter lead the small industry facilities to remain in the cities.

    -SUNKEN AUSTRALIAN SUBMARINE TO BE DISPLAYED
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - The AE2 submarine which sank during the World War I off the coast of Karaburun, will be salvaged by Turkish and Australian divers, and displayed in a pool in Gelibolu National Park.

    Releasing a statement, the Culture Ministry said on Tuesday, ''the AE2 was the first enemy submarine entering the Sea of Marmara. It was sunked by the Sultanhisar Torpedo Boat on April 30, 1915. It wreckage was found 4 nautical miles north of Karaburun coasts.''

    ''Culture Minister Istemihan Talay hosted a meeting on January 29 with the participation of Australian Ambassador to Turkey. During the meeting, the sides decided to salvage wreckage of the submarine and display it in a pool in Gelibolu National Park after being restored,'' the statement added.

    -TOBB TO COOPERATE WITH KYRGYZ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) will sign a cooperation agreement with the Kyrgyz Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Releasing a statement, the TOBB said on Tuesday that Kyrgyz Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Boris Perfiliev would come to Turkey together with President Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan later in the same day.

    Perfiliev and TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu will sign the agreement at the Cankaya Presidential Palace on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Kyrgyz businessmen will visit the TOBB.

    -FINANCE MINISTER ORAL SAYS NON INTEREST BUDGET SURPLUS
    CONTINUES TO DEVELOP POSITIVELY
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Tuesday that the rate of budget revenues meeting the non-interest budget expenses has been 139,1 percent in January this year.

    Issuing a written statement on the issue, Oral said that the non-interest budget surplus, which is one of the most serious performance criterium of the economic programme, continued to develop positively.

    Oral said that the state achieved a revenue worth of 5,86 quadrillion liras including a tax revenue of 3,88 quadrillion liras in January this year.

    Interest expenses constituted 6,78 quadrillion liras and non-interest expenses constituted 3,65 quadrillion liras of the total expenses worth of 10,44 quadrillion liras.

    Non-interest budget surplus has been 1,42 quadrillion liras.

    Revenues increased by 64 percent, taxes increased by 55,6 percent and non- interest budget surplus increased by 10,7 percent in January this year when compared to the same period in 2001.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES U.S.-TURKISH INTERPARLIAMENTARY
    FRIENDSHIP GROUP DELEGATION
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Tuesday the five-member delegation of U.S. House of Representatives' United States- Turkish Interparliamentary Friendship Group.

    Turkish-U.S. Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Kamran Inan and Robert Pearson, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, were also in attendance at the meeting.

    During the meeting, members of the delegation thanked Turkey for its support to the United States' fight against international terrorism in the wake of the tragic event of September 11, 2001.

    They said that both U.S. public opinion and the U.S. administration were aware of the importance of Turkey's support, and noted that they agreed with U.S. President George W. Bush who stressed in an earlier statement that the U.S. relied on its real allies Britain and Turkey in fight against international terrorism.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ecevit told members of the delegation that Turkey was not in favor of an operation against Iraq.

    ''Such an operation will negatively affect Turkish economy which has already been in a sensitive situation. I believe that the issue of Iraq could be solved with other methods,'' he added.

    Members of the delegation stressed that Turkey's sensitivity would be absolutely taken into consideration while taking a decision about Iraq.

    Economic relations between Turkey and the United States were also taken up at the meeting. Members of the delegation said that economic relations had been neglected so far despite perfect political and military relations between the two countries.

    Noting that Turkish-U.S. Economic Commission meeting would be held in Ankara between February 26 and 27, members of the delegation said that measures to be taken to accelerate economic relations between Turkey and the United States would be taken up at the meeting.

    -TREASURY SELLS TWO-YEAR BONDS
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - Treasury sold 915.5 trillion Turkish liras (TL) of nominal valued 2-year debenture bonds in an auction on Tuesday.

    The net sale in the auction was 952.1 trillion TL while sale to public became 147.1 trillion TL.

    The total bid had been 1 quadrillion 504.5 trillion TL.

    The periodic interest rate became 16.76 percent.

    The maturity of these bonds is January 21, 2004.

    -FM CEM MEETS WITH U.S.-TURKEY INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP MEMBERS
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met with the members of the U.S.-Turkey Interparliamentary Friendship Group members in luncheon on Tuesday.

    Addressing the luncheon, Cem said that Turkey extends full support to the group members in their studies at the U.S. Congress.

    Noting that the studies of the Group would further improve the good relations between Turkey and the U.S., Cem said that these studies covered many issues within the context of common fields of interest.

    Cem said that certain regions and issues to which the U.S. attribute great importance are in the historical geography of Turkey, adding that Turkey follows the developments in this field carefully.

    Robert Wexler, the Chairman of the Delegation said that they brought two messages to Turkey, adding that they brought with them the appreciation of the American people for the support Turkey extended to U.S.'s fight with terrorism. Turkey showed a unique example of friendship to the U.S. with its solidarity, Wexler said and noted that U.S. President George W. Bush showed Turkey as a model to other Islam countries.

    Wexler stressed that their second aim in visiting Turkey was to further improve the existing good relations in the fields of politics and strategy and also in economic field.

    Wexler noted that the personal abilities of Foreign Minister Cem also played an important role in improvement of relations between Turkey and the U.S.

    -TOSKAY: ''TOYOTA'S EXPORT MOVEMENT WILL GIVE MORAL TO TURKISH ECONOMY''
    ADAPAZARI, Feb 19 (A.A) - State Minister Tunca Toskay has said that the export movement started by Toyota would give moral to the Turkish nation and the economy, adding that the Turkish economy could get out of the vicious circle it was trapped by increasing its export revenues.

    Toyota will start exporting Corolla Sedans which are manufactured in Adapazari Factory to European countries. The company will export 40,000 cars this year, 60,000 cars in 2003 and 120,000 cars in the coming years.

    Praising Toyota's achievement, Toskay said Turkey had to increase its export revenues radically in the next five years. ''Turkey can pull itself out of this economic vicious circle only by increasing its export revenues, otherwise it will face serious problems,'' he commented.

    Toskay indicated that Turkey had two problems in export.

    ''These are sectoral dependency and looking for regional markets. We received important signals of overcoming the sectoral dependency problem in 2001. Automative sector obtained 4 billion USD of export revenues. We should work to increase this figure to 5-7 billion USD. We have to create a good market to guarantee this export,'' he said.

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan said a system should be formed to draw foreign capital to Turkey.

    ''As the government, we have to do our part to draw foreign capital to our country, to create employment and to increase export,'' he said.

    -IRANIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER AMINZADEH IN ANKARA
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh had a meeting with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal.

    After a three hour meeting Ziyal told reporters that their meeting covered all aspects of Turkey-Iran relations and it was a very beneficial meeting. He said they discussed economy, security and cultural issues and fully agreed on all these fields.

    Aminzadeh defined the meeting as ''very important'' for both Turkey and Iran adding that the Turkish-Iranian relations had a bright future.

    Answering a question about the trade deficit between two countries, Aminzadeh explained that the trade deficit existed with all countries which buy oil and natural gas from Iran. He said he and Ziyal discussed this issue into depth. ''We understand Turkey's worries in this field and we'll do our best to ease Turkey's concerns,'' he said, adding that his government had a number of proposals to Turkish companies, private and state companies in order to help to close this deficit.

    Aminzadeh also pointed to the recently started cooperation between Turkish and Iranian private sectors and said this cooperation was very pleasing.

    -FINANCE MINISTER ORAL SAYS GOVERNMENT TO SUBMIT SPECIAL
    CONSUMPTION TAX BILL TO PARLIAMENT IN APRIL
    ISTANBUL, Feb 19 (A.A) - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Tuesday that the government would submit the special consumption tax bill to the parliament in April.

    Speaking in a panel discussion held in Marmara University, Oral said that the special consumption tax is composed of 14 items.

    ''The rates of Value Added Tax (VAT) will be decreased by the special consumption tax,'' Oral said. Stressing that the most important character of the tax is its adjustment with the EU tax system, Oral said that they aimed to make the tax system be more developed, effective and modern by a three-year tax strategy.

    Oral said that they revised the tax rates in 2001, adding that ''we could not decrease the tax rates in 2002 as the public finance balance is at a very sensitive line. I suppose we will do that in 2003. Particularly the VAT rates can be decreased. The year 2002 is a tough year, but it will be the end of our difficulties.''

    ''The tax administration has to be stronger than tax law. The tax administration has to be based on computer system,'' he said.

    Oral said that the most important problem of the budget system is interests, adding that ''the budget system will solve the interest problem in the end. When we make the banks system sound, this interest burden will decrease. When the interest rates are not taken into consideration, the taxes will meet the budget expenses. When we sort out the interest issue, the budget state finance will be sound.''

    -FIRST ROUND OF CYPRUS DIRECT TALKS TO BE COMPLETED TODAY
    LEFKOSA, Feb 19 (A.A) - The first round of direct talks which started on January 16 upon the initiative of Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to find a permanent solution to Cyprus problem, will be completed by the 14th meeting on Tuesday.

    Denktas and the Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides discussed the functions and structure of the new partnership, constitutional issues, law, security, territory, property and ''immigrants'' to date.

    There are big differences of opinion between the two sides regarding the issues which were discussed. The leaders will take up again the issues that were discussed before and determine a general framework today.

    The talks will recess due to the Feast of Sacrifice and re-start on March 1, Friday. The second round of talks is expected to focus on main issues and to take the form of ''give and take.''

    The Turkish side defends the foundation of a new partnership by two states, formation of a common central government by the authorities given by the two sides and the idea of a rotational presidency. There will be two states at the national level and one state at the international level. The Turkish side which objected to a possible change in the 1960 Guarantee System underlines the fact that it won't give up the guarantee of Turkey. The Turkish side which objects to the idea of making the ''immigrants'' be immigrants again, defends the idea that the issue of properties to be sorted out by reciprocal exchange of properties and by compensations.

    The Greek Cypriot side which is against the idea of a new partnership to be formed by two states, insists on the idea of reviving the ''Cyprus Republic.'' It defends the federation solution which is bi-zonal and bi- communal.

    The Greek Cypriots also ask land from the Turkish side which will force thousands of Turkish Cypriots to leave their homes, return of immigrants to their homes, free movement and free settlement of persons. Greek Cypriots which want to make amendment in 1960 Guarantee System, try to make ineffective the guarantorship rights of Turkey.

    -TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS MEETS WITH CLERIDES
    LEFKOSA, Feb 19 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) met with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides in the buffer zone on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters before leaving for the meeting, Denktas said that they would hold the last meeting of the first round of direct talks the same day and they would come together again on March 1 after the interval.

    The two leaders will discuss the issues which were earlier taken up today.

    The talks will recess due to the Feast of Sacrifice.

    -THREE MEMBERS OF BEYYIAT EL IMAM ORGANIZATION CAUGHT IN VAN
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - One Palestinian and two Jordanian members of the Beyyiat El Imam Organization (Union of Imams) and seven Turks who helped them were caught in an operation in Van on Tuesday. It was reported that the three suspects were planning suicide bomb attacks in Israel.

    Briefing reporters about the operation, Security General Directorate's Spokesman Feyzullah Arslan said that security police caught four people including one Turk were caught in a car after they attempted to escape from the police on Feb. 15, 2002. Istanbul and Van security directorates carried out joint operations and caught six more people. The suspects had fake passports and identity cards, and documents in Arabic which explained how to make a bomb.

    The three suspects Firas Fuleiman, Mustafa Hasan and Ahmet Mahmud are members of Beyyiat El Imam Organization which is led by Abu Mus'ab. Three terrorists received military training in Afghanistan's Taliban camps. Later they joined Taliban's ranks in war. Suleiman was also given bomb training in Afghanistan.

    Under the instruction of Abu Mus'ab, the terrorists entered Iran in 2001 and they were also instructed to stage a bomb attack in Tel Aviv or Ramat Gan in Israel.

    During his interrogation, Suleiman said that they were planning to pass to Jordan and his two friends who were caught with him were unaware of the planned attack in Israel. He also said that they were not planning any violent attacks in Turkey. Suleiman confessed that he was going to stage a suicide attack with his friends in Israel. Three other people who were not identified were also involved in the incident and they received money to help the the suspects.

    Arslan stated that the Turkish police revealed a violent attack that was going to be staged outside Turkey and therefore contributed to world peace.

    He declared that they provided detailed information to U.S.and Israeli experts about the incident.

    The suspects came to Iran from Afghanistan after Sept. 11 attacks.

    Arslan said that one Iraqi and seven Turkish nationals who helped the suspects get tickets and passports had no links with the organization.

    -INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP SET UP BETWEEN TURKISH
    PARLIAMENT AND U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    ANKARA, Feb 19 (A.A) - An Interparliamentary Friendship Group was set up between Turkish Parliament and U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

    A delegation headed by U.S. House of Representatives Turkey Friendship Group Chairman Robert Wexler had a meeting with Turkey-U.S. Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Kamran Inan and group members at Parliament.

    During the meeting, the two sides signed an agreement to form an Interparliamentary Friendship Group between the Turkish Parliament and U.S. House of Representatives.

    The agreement aims cooperation between two parliaments in bilateral, international and regional issues. It was stated that the group aims to contribute to international peace and stability through a dialogue based on mutual understanding and respect.

    Under the agreement, Turkey and the United States would form a study group that would work to overcome obstacles that could be faced while developing cooperation in economic, political and security fields.

    A dynamic program will be prepared that would allow information exchange between Turkey and the United States at regional and international issues. Delegations from both sides will hold meetings in Turkey and the United States every year to discuss the points included in this program.

    Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Kamran Inan briefed the U.S. delegation about Turkey's geopolitical location and the problems in the region Turkey is situated.

    Inan said that this region was still a shaky region of the world and that the recent developments required a closer cooperation between Turkey and the United States.


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