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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-01-01
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
01 JAN 1998
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on January 1, 1998. Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HÜRRİYET (LIBERAL)CILLER: I SENT THE FAX MESSAGE
True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said she was responsible from a fax message, urging for democracy and criticizing the army and the presidency, which was sent to the Office of General Chief of Staff.
MİLLİYET (LIBERAL)AGAR AND BUCAK IN STATE SECURITY COURT
Constitutional Court rejected a nullity law suit filed by DYP Deputies Sedat Bucak and Mehmet Agar for the annulment of a case against themselves with charges of involvement in a corruption scandal. Thus, Bucak and Agar can be judged in State Security Court.
SABAH (LIBERAL)NEW STATE IN NEW YEAR
''Transparency reform'' is ready: Citizens cannot be frightened with ''state secret'' anymore. The gangs in state will be eliminated. Information will be open to everyone.
CUMHURİYET (LEFT)CORRUPTION IN PRIVATIZATION
No law has been issued to privatize TEKEL, state monopoly for cigarettes and alcoholic drinks. And contract for operating TEKEL has not been signed either.
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)SUSURLUK LAW
New laws are prepared to prevent gangs in state. Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu said that there are positive examples in the World concerning the laws they are preparing. He said Italy also took positive results by a law.
RADİKAL (LEFT)TV RASH OF WELFARE PARTY
Welfare Party is panicked by the State Security Court's decisions regarding fundemantalist broadcasts. Welfare Party tries to buy Channel 6 through Yimpas Holding when possibility has arisen that Channel 7 may not be provided with frequency to broadcast by Radio and Television Supreme Council.
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)''TERRORISM HAS ENDED'': GEN CEVIK BIR
Second Chief of General Staff Gen. Cevik Bir said that PKK terrorism has finished. Stating that terrorist organisation has been marginalized, Bir said social and economic precautions also increased considerably. He said that the organisation has been shrinked to its 1983 position.
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)NEW YEAR TARGETS
Government's targets in 1998 are to provide discipline in economy and tax reform.
FİNANSAL FORUM (ECONOMY)'98 TAKES OVER HEAVY BURDEN
Reforms should be realized as soon as possible to open the way for economy in Turkey which enters 1998 with big problems.
 TURKEY-ITALY-ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - TURKEY READY FOR RETURN OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - Turkey said on Wednesday that it was ready to accept the return of hundreds of people illegally smuggled to Italy from Turkey's coastal areas, after 825 illegal immigrants were rescued by Italian coastguards when their ship run aground.
''Those who are determined as Turkish citizens, or foreign citizens whose last point of departure was determined as Turkey, can immediately be returned to Turkey,'' the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
Emhpasizing that the number of illegal immigrants who want to go to Europe increased recently, the statement recalled that Turkish flagged ship ''Ararat'' which carried illegal immigrants run aground off Italy, and said Turkish and Italian officials have contacts regarding the issue.
The statement said Turkey is ready to cooperate to prevent illegal immigrant smuggling which turned into a slave trade.
Stating that Turkey warned earlier all related countries and called them to cooperate to prevent illegal immigrant smuggling which was carried out by international crime and terrorist organisations, the statement pointed out that awarding political asylum to economic migrants by European countries encouraged others to attempt the same journey. The statement said people with such expectations became an easy victim for crime organisations, especially terrorist organisation PKK, which regard these people as finance sources.
 TURKEY-GREECE-MANOUVRES IN THE AEGEAN - FM SPOKESMAN UTKAN: ''IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND REACTIONS IN GREECE''ANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan said late on Wednesday that they have difficulty to understand the reactions in Greece to Turkey's planned manouvers in international waters and airspace of the Aegean Sea.
Responding to a question on reactions in Greece to Turkish military operations to be realized between January 2 and 23 in the Aegean, Utkan said that Turkey is very sensitive to abide by 1988 agreements in all of its activities in the Aegean. ''Our activities in the Aegean are all based on our rights stemming from international law,'' he said.
Utkan said both countries which have shores in the Aegean have the right to use international waters and airspace of the Aegean. Recalling that Greece realized 20 manouvers in the Aegean whereas Turkey's manouvers were 12 last year, Utkans said, ''during this term, Greece used 98 regions of the Aegean in its manouvers, but Turkey used only 21 regions. The duration of manouvers in these regions was 900 hours for Greek manouvers whereas Turkey's manouvers were limited to 110 hours.''
Utkan stressed that it is beneficial not to create artificial tension between the two countries.
Greek press claimed that three of the 8 regions where Turkish manouvers will be held are Greek sovereignity areas, and these manouvers which are ''bigger in time and scope than normal'' aim to block the Aegean Sea.
 TURKEY-POLITICS-JUSTICE - CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS APPEALS BY DYP DEPUTIES AGAR AND BUCAKANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - The Constitutional Court rejected on Wednesday an appeal filed by True Path Party (DYP) deputies Mehmet Agar and Sedat Bucak, whose names were involved in Susurluk scandal, for cancellation of the parliamentary decision which lifts their legislative immunity.
The Court unanimously rejected Bucak's appeal while Agar's appeal was rejected by a majority decision.
Following this ruling of the Constitutional Court, Agar and Bucak will be tried in Istanbul State Security Court on charges of setting up an organization for the purpose of committing crimes, harboring criminals, and the misuse of office. The prosecutor is demanding a prison term of up to 11 years for each of the accused.
The immunities of Agar and Bucak were lifted by the parliament on Dec 11, and both deputies had appealed to Constitutional Court for cancellation of the parliament's decision lifting their immunities on December 17.
 TURKEY-POLITICS-JUSTICE - WELFARE PARTY'S CLOSURE CASE POSTPONEDANKARA, Jan 1, (A.A) - The Constitutional Court on Wednesday postponed the examination of the Welfare Party's (RP) closure case until Jan 8.
The members of the Constitutional Court recently finished reading the report in which the rapporteur expressed his opinion regarding the closure of RP under the Constitution and the Political Parties Law.
High Appeals Court Chief Prosecutor Vural Savas filed a closure case against the RP on May 21, on the grounds that it had become the core of anti-secular activities.
 US-TURKEY-ENERGY - US ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION: ''TURKEY, A NATURAL 'ENERGY BRIDGE', IS IMPORTANT TO WORLD ENERGY MARKETS''ANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - Turkey is important to world energy markets, a recent US Energy Information Administration report said.
Stating that ''Turkey's geographical location makes it a natural 'energy bridge' between major oil producing areas in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus, and consumer markets in Europe,'' the report also recalled that Turkey has been designated as one of the world's ten ''Big Emerging Markets'' with a rapidly-growing energy sector.
The report said energy is one of Turkey's most important development priorities. ''Rapid increases in domestic energy demand have forced Turkey to increase its dependency on foreign energy supplies and to face the prospect of a severe energy shortage in 21st Century,'' the report said.
The report added that the government in Turkey plans new investments in energy infrastructure and searches for foreign financial sources.
Emphasizing that Turkey's energy and foreing policies are closely linked, the report said:
''Turkey's geographical location makes it a natural bridge between the energy-rich Middle East and Central Asian regions on the one hand, and the energy consuming nations of Europe on the other. In addition, Turkey maintains strong economical and political ties to the West, including membership in the OECD, a Customs Union with Europe (effective as of January 1, 1996), and NATO, while simultaneously occupying a position as a leading Muslim nation. Finally, Turkey has strong historical, ethnic, and linguistic ties to Central Asia's Turkic peoples. The combination of all these factors places Turkey in a unique position as a potential intermediary between East and West.''
The report also said Turkey currenty relies on Russia as a significant source of energy, but it is also competing with it for routes for pipelines carrying oil and gas from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to Western markets in Europe and beyond.
 TURKEY-GREECE - GREEK WARSHIPS HARRASSES ALL SHIPS GOING OUT FROM DARDANELLES STRAIT TO THE AEGEAN - GREEK SHIPS HARRASSED ALL SHIPS BY THEIR LIGHT AND ASKED FOR IDENTITYCANAKKALE, Jan 1 (A.A) - Greek warships harrassed all civilian ships sailing out to international waters of the Aegean from the Canakkale (Dardanelles) Strait on Wednesday night.
Sources told A.A correspondent that two Greek warships anchored at international waters 9 miles off Bozcaada. They then turned their lights on all ships coming out of Canakkale Strait, and asked them to identify themselves.
The captains disturbed by Greek ships reacted and did not answer the Greek calls to identify themselves. The harassment went on until 05.00 in the morning. After captains of the civilian ships informed Turkish officials, Turkish warships arrived at the region which is used as shooting zone by Turkish naval ships. When Turkish ships arrived, Greek ships left the area immediately.
The Greek naval ships first time involved in such a harrassment against civilian ships in international waters.
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