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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 02-02-24

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

24 February

2002 Sunday

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 23, 2002. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    OIL FOUND IN DIYARBAKIR
    Energy Minister Zeki Cakan gave a good news in Feast of Sacrifice. He said oil was found in a well that was opened in southeastern Diyarbakir province. Cakan saıd the quality of the oil is like the oil extracted in Arab countries and that oil spurts out from the region for 10 days.

    According to the first estimations, Goksin-1 well has the capacity of producing 500 barrels of crude oil.

    FIRST TURKISH INVESTOR IN SYRIA
    Ahmet Mutafoglu, the textile company owner, became the first Turkish citizen making investment in Syria. Mutafoglu will produce machine-knit fabric in Aleppo, and will employ nearly 300 people.

    Mutafoglu said many facilities were given to him as well as the market factor.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    INTEREST OF ARAB TOURISTS INCEASES IN TURKEY
    Arab tourists, whose entrance became more difficult to the U.S. and the European countries following the September 11 terrorist attacks, directed to the third countries including Turkey.

    Turkey became one of the 5-6 countries for the Arab tourists to visit.

    Number of tourists coming from the Middle East countries increased 20 percent.

    TOURISM MINISTER TASAR INVITES FOREIGN TOURISTS TO TURKEY
    Tourism Minister Mustafa Tasar, who attended International Tourism Stock Exchange (BIT) fair in Milano city of Italy, invited foreign tourists to Turkey.

    When asked how a probable U.S. operation on Iraq would effect Turkish tourism, Tasar said, ''I wish there will not be such a probability. If such an intervention takes place, this will effect Turkey very much. Our government is against intervention on Iraq.''

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    BRAVE TURKEY
    The Wall Street Journal, one of the most important newspapers of the world, announced Turkey as ''the only brave country of Islam world''

    The newspaper said Turkey invited more than 40 Islam countries to meet with the Europeans, and later took leading wine and beer producers of the country as the sponsor of the summit.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    YAHNICI: WE ARE NOT AGAINST EU
    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which increased its criticisms toward the European Union (EU) recently, hosted dinner to European Union Commission's Turkey Representative Karen Fogg and ambassadors of 15 EU member countries.

    Sevket Bulent Yahnici, the Deputy Chairman of the MHP, who hosted the dinner at his home said, ''we thought such a dinner would be beneficial. The EU is open to dialogue if Turkey's sensitivities are conveyed.''

    ''We told them that the MHP is not against the EU, however that there were some misunderstandings,'' Yahnici said.

    NSC TO CONVENE ON WEDNESDAY
    National Security Council (NSC) will convene on Wednesday under the leadership of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in Cankaya Palace.

    The February regular meeting of NSC will start at 9:30 local time.

    Domestic and foreign developments will be evaluated at the meeting.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    PROMISE FROM MINISTER FOR NATURAL GAS
    Natural gas, which became the top item of the agenda a few months ago because of the extremely high invoices, was reported to be cheaper than the other heating systems.

    Zeki Cakan, the minister of Energy and Natural Resources, said natural gas was 23 percent cheaper than the other heating systems, noting that the consumption shinkage was seen because of the economic crisis.

    Cakan said revival was expected in consumption in parallel with the recovery seen in economy.

    EU SUPPORT FROM SPAIN
    Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan and an accompanying delegation met Spanish Prime Minister Jose- Maria Aznar, Foreign Minister Joseph Pique and Foreign Trade Minister Costa. Spain currently acts as the EU Term President.

    TUSIAD Brussels Representation said Ozilhan, during the meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, stressed Turkey's determination for EU full membership and the role of private sector in this respect.

    Spanish Prime Minister Aznar said Turkey's EU membership has an important place in Spain's Europe vision, noting that this situation was better understood in Europe particularly after September 11 terrorist attacks.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    QUAKE IN AYVACIK
    Minor earthquake occurred in Ayvacik township in Canakkale province in the early hours on Friday morning.

    Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Seismology Institute said a minor earthquake, measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale, was recorded in Ayvacik at 9:54 local time.

    READY TO WEAR GETS THE EXPORTATION RECORD OF JANUARY
    Exportation gave hope in January this year with 4.6 percent. Ready to wear got the exportation record of January with 642 million U.S. dollars.

    January total exportation is 2.4 billion U.S. dollars.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    AKAYEV: TURKISH SCHOOLS EDUCATE LEADERS OF NEW ERA
    Kyrgzstan President Askar Akayev said Turkish schools in his country educated the leaders of the 21st century, noting that ''Kyrgz people will not forget this support.''

    Praising the Turkish schools opened in Kyrgzstan by private sector and state, Akayev said, ''Kyrgzstan attributes great importance to education and science. Turkey expended great support to education and science when Kyrzstan gained its independence. We will not forget this.''

    TURKEY MONITORS NORTHERN IRAQ BORDER WITH LASTEST TECHNOLOGY
    Turkey equipped Northern Iraq border with advanced equipments to prevent illegal passages.

    Security forces signed this project to control passages to Turkey and against the new term strategy of the terrorist organization. The first of the equipments, which costed 35 million U.S. dollars, was deployed in the spot in which there was the most illegal passages.

    -JUSTICE MINISTER TURK SAYS TURKEY SHOULD NOT INDEX CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
    TO A SPECIFIC PERSON
    TRABZON - Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said Turkey should not index capital punishment to a specific person, but should evaluate it independently from that.

    Speaking to reporters, Turk said, ''Turkey should decide whether or not it wants to share the joint values of the EU, or delay it. As it is known, Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, was sentenced to capital punishment, and Supreme Court of Appeals approved this punisment. However, Turkey at the same time adopted European Convention on Human Rights, and accepted the authority of European Court of Human Rights. Ocalan had applied to ECHR as the capital punishment against him became definite and all the ways of by-law exhausted. He claimed that Turkey contradicted with the European Convention on Human Rights.''

    Turk said the ECHR would examine some of the claims of Ocalan, and noted that ECHR asked Turkey not to execute the decision before a decision was taken by them. ''Being a country which accepted the authority of ECHR, we have postponed to take a decision about this punishment till a decision is taken by the ECHR,'' Turk said.

    Turk said, ''I guess the ECHR may take a decision within one year. This issue will be evaluated once again after a decision is given. Capital punishments in Turkey depend on Parliament's issuing a law. The parliament will take the most appropriate decision.''

    Pointing out that Turkey took very determined steps on the way to democratization, Turk said those steps were very important in respect to integration with the EU.

    Recalling that Turkey made some commitments in membership process to the EU within the framework of the National Program, Turk said March was an important month in this respect.

    Turk also said the government was in an effort to recover economy, noting that, ''we may say that the problems are overcome. However, there are many things to do.''

    -NETHERLANDS REJECTS APPLICATION OF KESPIR FOR ASYLUM
    AMSTERDAM- The Netherlands rejected the application of Nuriye Kespir for political asylum. Kespir is reported to be one of the so-called chairmanship council members of the terrorist PKK organization.

    Dutch Justice Ministry State Secretary Elsa Kasbeek said Immigration and Citizenship Department got important evidences that Kespir got involved in activities which form violence and crime of humanity.

    Kalsbeek said this information and evidences, showing that terrorist Kespir commited crime, prevented them from giving refugee status to Kespir.

    Kespir had been captured on September 28 last year as she was trying to enter the Netherlands through illegal ways. She applied for political asylum during the time when she was under custody.

    Turkey demanded Kespir's extradition after learning her capture.

    The Dutch Justice Ministry still examines the extradition file of Kespir who is currently under detention.

    -ALPOGAN, TURKEY'S AMBASSADOR IN ATHENS, MEETS GREEK NAVAL
    TRADE MINISTER ANOMERITIS
    ATHENS - Yigit Alpogan, Turkey's Ambassador in Athens, met Greek Naval Trade Minister George Anomeritis on Friday.

    Fight against illegal immigration, prevention of double taxation in maritime sector, installation of naval transportation lines between Turkey and Greece, and environment and naval transportation security were discussed during the meeting.

    -FRENCH JOURNALISTS IN ISTANBUL
    ISTANBUL- French journalists, currently in Istanbul as the guest of Tourism Ministry, toured Istanbul Strait with boats.

    The journalists were invited aiming to promote Turkey before the ''Strasbourg Tourism Fair'' in which Turkey will attend as the ''honorary guest''.

    The journalists will return to their countries on February 25 after visiting historical and touristic regions of Istanbul.

    -HEALTH TOURISM IN ANTALYA
    -MANY TOURISTS, HAVING HOLIDAY IN THE REGION, RETURN TO THEIR
    COUNTRIES AFTER RECEIVING MEDICAL TREATMENT AS IT IS CHEAPER AND MORE
    SECURE

    ANTALYA - Many tourists, having holiday in southern Antalya province, return to their countries after going medical treatment as it is cheaper and more secure.

    Many hotels in Antalya province attracted tourists by establishing health centers. Many European countries, mainly Britain, officially applied to Akdeniz University Hospital for the medical treatment of their citizens.

    Akdeniz University Rector Prof. Yasar Ucar said many institutions in Britain, mainly the insurance companies, officially applied to receive medical treatment for their patients. Ucar said quality and cheap health services were given in the region.

    It was also reported that Russian tourists who visited Turkey generally applied to dentists.

    -SETTLEMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS MINISTER AKCAN:
    ''WORKS TO REMOVE THE RUBBLE AFTER AFYON QUAKE WILL START IN MARCH''
    SULTANDAGI - Settlement and Public Works Minister Abdulkadir Akcan said on Saturday that works would start in March to remove the rubble following the earthquake in Afyon on February 3.

    Akcan visited crisis centers in Sultandagi and Cay townships on the second day of Feast of Sacrifice.

    Pointing out that there was not much problem about the aid, Akcan said works to shift the rubble would start in March.

    -NUMBER OF GERMAN TOURISTS VISITING TURKEY
    REACHES THREE MILLION
    ISTANBUL- Germany ranked the first in number of tourists visiting Turkey.

    According to the State Statistics Institute (DIE) data, Germans formed 25 percent of the 11 million 619 thousand 909 tourists visiting Turkey. Number of German tourists visiting Turkey reached 2 million 881 thousand 443 with a 26.5 percent increase.

    The British tourists ranked the second with 845 thousand 932 people. The Russian tourists ranked the third in number of tourists visiting Turkey.

    According to DIE data, number of tourists visiting Turkey in 2001, and the first 25 countries are as follows:

    NUMBER OF CHANGE ACCORDING TO
    COUNTRY TOURISTS 2000 (%)
    --------------------- ---------- ----------
    1- Germany 2,881,443 26.5

    2- Britain 845,932 -7.6

    3- Russian Federation 757,121 11.8

    4- Netherlands 632,833 43.9

    5- Bulgaria 540,437 41.6

    6- France 523,777 16.5

    7- U.S. 428,989 -16.7
    8- Austria 360,145 12.3

    9- Iran 327,067 -14.1

    10-Italy 315,134 44.0

    11-Israel 310,714 -0.5

    12-Belgium 310,512 20.9

    13-Sweden 200,760 34.9

    14-Greece 189,028 -13.3

    15-Romania 180,941 -31.8

    16-Azerbiajan 178,861 -0.6

    17-Ukraine 177,402 2.2

    18-Georgia 163,970 -8.7

    19-Poland 150,993 27.8

    20-Switzerldand 126,545 55.7

    21-Denmark 126,013 24.8

    22-Serbia 125,818 -2.0

    23-Spain 116,021 24.6

    24-Macedonia 113,591 4.3

    25-Syria 109,723 -10.4

    -FESTIVAL ''TURKEY CRADLE OF CIVILIZATIONS''
    ANKARA - Festival, ''Turkey Cradle of Civilizations'' which will be held by Culture Ministry, will take place in 300 centers and with the participation of 4,000 artists.

    Culture Ministry said the festival will be held in April 15 and October 15 to enliven Turkey's culture and art life, and to increase culture, art and education level of people.

    State Symphony Orchestra, State Classic Turkish Music Chorus, State Folk Dance Groups and many other groups will attend the festival, and concerts will be given within the scope of the festival.

    -PRODUCTION OF COUGAR HELICOPTERS CONTINUE
    ANKARA - Production of 30 Cougar AS-532 general purpose, search and rescue helicopters, which is the need of Turkish Armed Forces, continue according to the project.

    Within the framework of the agreement signed by the two countries, 17 helicoptres were produced so far by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

    According to the program, 20 helicopters will be produced for Air Forces Commandship, and 10 others will be produced for Land Forces Commandership.

    -TOURISM MINISTER TASAR IN ROME
    -ITALIAN BUSINESSMEN TO VISIT TURKEY IN APRIL
    ROME - Tourism Minister Mustafa Tasar, currently holding contacts in Italy, said on Saturday that Italy was one of the countries which Turkey made cooperation the most in the Mediterranean, adding that the crisis caused by Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, was left behind.

    Tasar, who met Massimo Bugli, the National Alliance (AN) Party parliamentarian and three council members, said, ''Italy is one of the countries which we made cooperation the most in the Mediterrenean. We should forget about the past. We should leave behind the crisis caused by Ocalan. We are ready to exert every effort to improve cooperation.''

    Tasar called on Italian companies to invest more in Turkey.

    Bugli in his part said they did not know much about Turkish market, adding that they were thinking of entering the Turkish market in tourism and food sectors at the first stage.

    Meanwhile, it was decided that a delegation, comprised of Italian businessmen, which would visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in March 28 and April 2, would later proceed to Turkey to hold contacts.

    -STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BAHCELI (1):
    ''LIFTING OF DEATH PENALTY EXCLUDING CRIMES OF TERRORISM, MAY BE DISCUSSED
    IN PARLIAMENT IN PARALLEL TO CONSTITUIONAL CHANGES''
    ANKARA- Devlet Bahceli, the State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who also acts as the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said on Saturday that terrorist PKK organization rapidly engaged in politicization process, noting that they did not find lifting of death penalty right as this process continued. Bahceli said, ''when the issue is brought onto the agenda, the MHP will not cast positive vote to the lifting of death penalty in crimes of terrorism.''

    Bahceli responded to the questions of reporters in MHP headquarters.

    When asked if a constitutional or legal change was needed in lifting of death penalty, Bahceli said it was known that there was a tendency in Turkey to lift death penalty. Bahceli said death penalty was lifted in many countries of the world, yet also continued some other countries.

    Pointing out that death penalty was not carried out in Turkey since 1984, Bahceli recalled that lifting of death penalty was seen in Copenhagen criteria, particularly in the political sections.

    ''Following the Helsinki summit, Turkey's desire to be a full member of the European Union (EU), which continued for 40 years, accelerated. Accession Partnership Document and National Program, which was prepared in line with the document, left lifting of death penalty to the authority of the Parliament in medium term. Interparty Compromise Commission has been set up after a while, and an agreement could be reached on 37 articles. However, this was issued as 34 articles as the constitutional changes took place in the Parliament at the beginning of October. One of this was the Article 38 that is in connection with the death penalty. There, it was stated that death penalty could not be given to crimes unless there is war, the threat of war, and crimes of terrorism.''

    Bahceli said lifting of death penalty was brought onto the agenda again together with the discussions on education in Kurdish language.

    Pointing out that the National Program was prepared with the political will of the coalition government, Bahceli said constitutional changes were the will of the parliament.

    Bahceli said the MHP stated positive view to the lifting of death penalty apart from cases of war, close threat of war, and crimes of terrorism. ''Lifting of death penalty, that will exclude crimes of terrorism, may be discussed in the parliament. However, when the issue is brought onto the agenda, the MHP will not cast positive vote to the lifting of death penalty in crimes of terrorism.''

    Responding to a question of a journalist who said, ''your coalition partners brought this into the agenda in short term. What is the aim of your partners? It is seen that there are difference of opinions in the coalition regarding adjustment laws. Do you think that the coalition government was wounded?'' Bahceli said the 57th government was established to consolidate political stability and to solve socio-economic problems.

    Bahceli said the MHP exerted every kind of efforts for the continuation of the coalition government.

    -STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER BAHCELI (2):
    ''IF THE WAY FOLLOWED BY PKK IN POLITICIZATION PROCESS OVERLAPS THE WAY
    THAT IS PUT IN FRONT OF US BY THE EU, THEN, WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL THERE''
    ANKARA- Devlet Bahceli, the State Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, who also acts as the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said on Saturday that, ''if the way followed by the terrorist PKK organization overlaps the way that was put infront of Turkey by the European Union (EU), then we should be careful.''

    Bahceli responded to the questions of reporters in MHP headquarters.

    When asked about the lifting of death penalty, Bahceli said a constitutional change was necessary to lift capital punishment.

    ''If they say the Copenhagen criteria should be applied fully, then why do they propose the national program,'' Bahceli asked, noting that those who have insistency that death penalty should be lifted till March 19, should disclose the reason of their insistency.

    Bahceli told about the capture process of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, and noted that there was a change in strategy of the terrorist PKK organization following the capture of Ocalan. He said terrorist PKK organization revealed a political strategy, and that this strategy was sometimes revealed under the name of ''peace'' and from time to time under the name of ''democratic republic''.

    Bahceli said there was not a deviation from the beginning targets of the terrorist PKK organization, noting that it did not give up the dream of founding an independent Kurdistan. He said MHP's sensitivities stemmed from this.

    Responding another question, Bahceli said they favored continuation of the coalition government, and noted that, ''it will be beneficial for the country to apply the will of the parliament in case of disagreement in government.''

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:
    ''PROVIDING COOPERATION WITH OPPOSITION PARTIES, APART FROM THE
    COALITION, IS A PROCESS THAT MAY BE USED IN VERY RARE CASES''
    ANKARA- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that providing cooperation with opposition parties, apart from coalition, was a process that may be used in very rare cases. Ecevit said statements of State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli in this respect were right, noting that, ''I also preserve the same sensitivity.''

    Ecevit responded to the questions of reporters after celebrating Feast of Sacrifice of his party members and the citizens.

    Ecevit said some of Turkish soldiers celebrated Feast of Sacrifice in Afghanistan, noting that, ''I wish success to our soldiers who are there for world peace.''

    Pointing out that one of the leading conditions of Turkey's advancing on the way of prosperity was the continuation of the coalition government till the end of its period, Ecevit said, ''thus our reforms will succeed, and our people will reach the prosperity it deserved.''

    When a journalist said, ''MHP leader Bahceli said the government would be given another shape if MHP is excluded in the Parliament in the next process, and if new formations are set up, and if this happens often,'' Ecevit said, ''providing cooperation with opposition parties, apart from coalition, was a process that may be used in very rare cases.''

    Ecevit said statements of State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli in this respect were right, noting that, ''I also preserve the same sensitivity.''

    -RELATIVES EXCHANGE GREETINGS IN SYRIAN BORDER
    CEYLANPINAR - Citizens, who have relatives in Syria, started to exchange greetings with their relatives in Ceylanpinar Township in southeastern Sanliurfa province. Those people will be able to stay in their houses for 48 hours.

    A total of 2,966 people from Syria will pass the border to meet their relatives in Turkey.

    The passages from the border will last for two days, and 2,966 Syrian citizens from 1483 families will meet their relatives in Turkey during this period.

    A total of 1500 Syrian citizens will pass the border on the first day, and 1466 people will pass the border on the second day. Those people will return to Syria after two-day period.

    Relatives living in the two countries had to separate after borders of the two states were drawn with Ankara Agreement that was signed between the two countries in 1921.

    A protocol had been signed on December 27, 1999 by the Sanliurfa and Haseki governorships, and the relatives, living in provincial borders of the two countries, were allowed to see each other and exchange greetings with an administrative letter.

    -ONE FOURTH OF BANKS DO NOT EXIST NOW
    -20 BANKS BECAME HISTORY SINCE FEBRUARY CRISIS
    ANKARA- One fourth of the banks of Turkey don't exist now following the February crisis. A total of 20 banks became history since last year in February.

    Number of banks, which was 79 on February 17, 2001, reduced to 59 in February 2002. The decrease in number of banks was determined as 25.3 percent.

    In parallel with this decrease, number of branches of banks within the country reduced 12.1 percent. The branches, which had been 7, 734 at the beginning of the period, reduced to 6, 796.

    Bank branches abroad which had been 52, reduced 21.1 percent. Now that there are 41 bank branches abroad.

    Number of state banks, which was four in 2001, decreased to three with the closure of Emlak Bankasi. Branches of state banks reduced to 3,490.

    Here are some indications and their percentages when February 17, 2001 and February 17, 2002 are compared:

    2001 2002 CHANGE
    ------ ----- --------
    NUMBER OF BANKS 79 59 -25.3
    Branches within country 7.734 6.796 -12.1

    Branches abroad 52 41 -21.1

    ----- ----- -----
    State banks 4 3 -25.0

    Commercial banks 27 21 -22.2

    SDIF 13 4 -69.2
    Foreign banks 17 16 -5.9

    Development and investment 18 15 -16.7


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