Speaking on his arrival at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Meidani stressed that Turkish-Albanian relations have started in 1923, adding that relations have been maintained without depending on the political regimes of the two countries.
Paskal Milo, the Albanian Foreign Minister, Ylli Bufi, the Privatization Minister and Alex Andoni, the Chief of General Staff accompanied Meidani during his visit.
President Meidani's visit will help to improve relations between the two countries and facilitate the exchange of opinions on national and regional issues at the highest level.
According to a report prepared by the US Defense Department (Pentagon) Scud missiles al-Hussein and al-Abbas may hit targets that are at a distance of 595 and 895 km. These missiles may also reach the targets easily by being equipped with chemical and biological warheads.
The report also expressed belief that these missiles were in the Republican guards' installations and in secure regions like Ebu Gurayb, Tikrit and Bayci.
The US Administration said that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons that may kill millions of people. Saddam earlier used chemical weapons against Iran and his own people.
UNSCOM, which carried out investigations within the framework of the UN resolutions, destroyed thousands of technical equipment, 38,000 chemical weapons and 30 chemical and biological warheads.
Meanwhile, Iraq says that it does not have such weapons.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL) RUSSIA: DO NOT LET THE US USE INCIRLIK
Russia asked Turkey not to let the US use the Incirlik Base. Kuznetsov, the Russian Ambassador to Ankara said, "we hope that Ankara would not allow usage of the base." Meanwhile Clinton said that they would hit Iraq until the last chemical and biological weapons are destroyed. The US and Japan warned their citizens on the issue in 13 countries, including Turkey.
SABAH (LIBERAL) TANER: IMF TALKS ANNULLED
Gunes Taner, The Minister of State said that there was no meaning in having discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the social security and tax reform bills have not been passed yet by the Parliament. He said "we have postponed the talks until March."
CUMHURIYET (LEFT) CALL FOR PEACE FROM ECEVIT
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit called on the sides in the Iraqi crisis and suggested proposals. Ecevit also said that they were interested in the situation of the Turkmens in the region.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit after his statement "the US has a plan to establish a Kurdish state" which received reaction from the U.S., said on Wednesday, "Britain always tried to implement its own plans in the Middle East."
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL) THE GOVERNMENT IS FINISHED, THE ONLY WAY IS ELECTION
Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) said that the government did not have a claim to administer. What they do is propaganda directed at elections.
1- The problem is oil, interests are clashing.
2- Preparations have finished, war will start within a week.
3- Turkey does not have a serious intelligence force in Iraq.
4- The US has equipped Incirlik with Patriot missiles.
James Rubin, the Spokesman of the US State Department responding to a question said they did not have information to confirm that the Turkish Army has entered Northern Iraq, adding that Turkish officials have disclosed that such an operation has not occurred.
Rubin said that the Turkish soldiers have entered Northern Iraq from time to time for limited periods and to destroy weapon depots and bases of the separatist terrorist PKK organization.
''We have consistently supported the right of the Turkish government to defend herself against terrorism as long as any operations are limited in scope and duration and fully respect the rights of the civilian inhabitants of the region,'' he said.
Responding to another question, Rubin said that Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State spoke with the Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz about the Iraqi crisis and recalled that Marc Grossman, the Assistant Secretary of State and Gen. Ralston, the Deputy Chief of General Staff visited Ankara.
Rubin said that Albright was pleased with the telephone conversations which she had with Prime Minister Yilmaz, adding that Marc Parris, the US Ambassador to Ankara was continously in contact with the Turkish government.
The Spokesman said that Turkish government has also urged Iraqi Head of State Saddam Hussein to abide by the UN resolutions.
A commuter train, which departed from the Pendik station at 09.06 a.m., and another commuter train, which departed from the Kaynarca station at 08.49 a.m., crashed in the western part of the Pendik station.
The commuter trains are not allowed to depart from the stations due to the train accident.
There were no immediate casualties but there are reports of ten injuries in the accident.
State Ministers Cavit Kavak, Gunes Taner and Hasan Gemici and Murat Basesgioglu, the Minister of the Interior, several deputies and businessmen and reporters are accompanying Yilmaz during the visit.
Speaking before his departure Yilmaz said he believed that the visit would contribute to the improvement of relations and to regional peace and stability.
Yilmaz said that this would be the first visit at the Prime Ministerial level between Turkey and the Ukraine after the Ukraine gained her independence.
Yilmaz said that Turkey regarded the Ukraine as a neighbour having priority as well as a country which may play a very important role in the peace, stability and welfare of Europe and Euroasia adding that ''we attribute importance to the preservation of the Ukraine's independence, sovereignity and territorial integrity and to the starting of the economic reform process.''
Noting that during the visit, he would meet with President Kuchma, Prime Minister Pustovoytenko and Parliament Speaker Moroz, Yilmaz said, ''we will focus on additional steps which will be taken jointly to improve the economic dimensions of our relations with the Ukraine.''
Yilmaz said that agreements which will strengthen the basis of two countries' relations will be signed during the visit.
Prime Minister Yilmaz said that he would also pay a visit to Crimea Autonomous Republic, adding that Turkey appreciated the efforts made by the Ukraine to solve the problems of the Crimean Tatars. Yilmaz said that Turkey would continue to contribute to these efforts with her own facilities.
Yilmaz said that a 1000 housing project which would contribute to the solution of the Crimean Tatars' settlement problem started last September, stressing that ''The Turkish Red Crescent is sending humanitarian aid to the Crimea because of my visit.''
The agreement regarding the establishment of a new transceiver communication company in Turkey was signed between Setkom and Motorola Inc. on December 25, 1997, and the agreement was announced the same day at a reception which was also attended by Marc Parris, the US Ambassador.
Addressing the reception, Serif Egeli, the Setkom Executive Board Member said that the sales of Motorola in 1997 reached 30 billion US dollars and that Setkom controls more then 50 percent of Turkish transceiver market.
Egeli said, ''the aim for the establishment of this corporation between Motorola and Setkom Trunking Administration in Turkey is to provide faster transceiver communications firstly in Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa and then spread it throughout the country.''
Motorola Vice President Dan Walters said that through Setkomnet the Motorola Smartzone technology will be presented for use to the Turkish public.
When a government decree closing down the casinos went into effect, seventy- nine casinos throughout Turkey closed their doors on Wednesday at 24:00. Inspectors who went to the casinos together with the security forces gave the documents related to the closure to the casino authorities.
Meanwhile, an extreme demand came from the public as the closure decision approached. There were 9,200 game machines and 870 tables at the 79 casinos.
There were two casinos active in Adana, seven in Ankara, 18 in Antalya, six in Aydin, four in Izmir, eight in Mugla, one in Denizli, one in Balikesir, three in Bursa, two in Mersin, one in Nevsehir and 26 in Istanbul.
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
YILMAZ: TURKEY WON'T TAKE RISKS
Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz asserted yesterday that "No one should expect Turkey to take risks", noting that the currently escalating Iraqi crisis would affect Turkey the most. "From now on, we want Iraq to comply with the UN resolutions and for the UN to take steps towards fully lifting the sanctions imposed on Iraq" Yilmaz stated, adding that the Parliament would decide in the event the allied forces were to ask for military support from Turkey. He also noted that the coalition government is unified on its Iraqi crisis policy. /Milliyet-Hurriyet/
GULF CRISIS: RUSSIA ASKS TURKEY NOT TO INVOLVE INCIRLIK
The Russian Federation has asked the Turkish government not to let Incirlik or any other base in Turkey be deployed against Iraq. Vadim Kuznetsov, the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, in a statement he gave to the French News Agency AFP, said that they were pleased to note Turkey's efforts towards finding a solution to the Iraqi crisis through political and diplomatic channels. Kuznetsov added, ''We hope Turkey continues with this policy and does not unilaterally permit anyone to use the bases in its territory against Iraq.''/Hurriyet/
YILMAZ VISITS THE UKRAINE
Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz embarks on Thursday on a two-day official visit to the Ukraine with the aim of boosting political and economic relations between Turkey and the Ukraine. Yilmaz is expected to meet with the Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko, Parliament Speaker Alexander Moroz and other high-level officials, as well as representatives of the leading economic organizations. He is also expected to visit the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, with which Turkey has deep historical ties. /All papers/
CEM: NO SECURITY ZONE
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem noted that a security zone has not yet been established in northern Iraq and said that if an intensive immigration influx occurs along the border, then military measures will be taken. Briefing members of the Turkish Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission, Cem said, ''A committee has been set up within the Turkish government regarding humanitarian aid to be given to Northern Iraq in response to a possible immigration influx. Preparations regarding measures to be taken are being carried out. There is no security zone at present.'' /Milliyet/
CALL FROM MOSCOW FOR MEDICINE MARKET
Juri Norontsov, the Deputy Minister of Industry for the Moscow Region, said that they wanted to cooperate with Turkish investors in the Moscow Region, which has a market for medicine and medical equipment worth 1 billion USD. Arriving in Turkey yesterday, Juri Norontsov declared that the Moscow Region is an area in which there were plants built to meet the requirements of a highly technological defense industry during the former Soviet Union period. Norontsov said, ''We want these plants, which previously produced tanks, to produce refrigerators, household and medical equipment. We are ready to cooperate with Turkish firms.'' /Hurriyet/
(To be continued)
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
DEMIREL IN PARIS MATCH INTERVIEW
Paris Match, a noted weekly news magazine published in France, has devoted a lot of space to coverage of an interview held with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel. The magazine gives wide coverage to Demirel's views regarding the Kurdish problem, religion and integration with Europe. The magazine notes that Demirel will pay a visit to France on 19-20 February and says: ''Turkey is among the foremost countries trying to persuade Iraq to abide by the UN resolutions.'' /Hurriyet/
TURKISH GUARANTEE FOR TURKMENS
State Minister Ahad Andican stated yesterday that if the US bombs biological and nuclear weapons bases in Iraq, then the Turkish government will take the necessary steps to protect the Turkmen people in the region. Andican made these assurances when he received yesterday the chairmen of the Eurasian Federation and Iraqi Turks Association. /Milliyet-Hurriyet/
TURKEY CANCELS TALKS WITH THE IMF
State Minister Gunes Taner said yesterday that Turkey has cancelled her scheduled talks with the IMF and therefore officials would not be going to Washington next week. Taner, speaking after a Banking Union meeting, said, ''The reason we cancelled the talks is obvious. I want to schedule the Washington visit after the Parliament finishes debating the tax and social security draft laws.'' /Hurriyet-Milliyet/
ECEVIT CRITICIZES BRITAIN
Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the US could be sincere in its assurances that Washington is not in favour of the disintegration of Iraq and the setting up of a Kurdish state in the country's north after a possible US attack to overthrow the Saddam regime. However, Ecevit said that the US could be manipulated by Britain which he believed could be in favour of an independent Kurdish state in the region.
Addressing his fellow deputies at the DSP's parliamentary group meeting, Ecevit said that he has softened his attitude towards the US, but added that he was not sure how truthful Washington's latest annoucements were. Ecevit, referred to the latest remarks made by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, that supposedly appeared in the Daily Telegraph and Guardian daily newspapers, saying that Britain would welcome a power vacuum in northern Iraq. He said that there was no possibility that the two respectable British newspapers would fabricate such stories. /Sabah- Milliyet/
(To be continued)
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
GERMAN COURT RELEASES LEADING PKK MEMBER
Faysal Dunlayici, the so-called chief of the PKK terrorist organization's European bureau, sentenced to seven-and-one-half years imprisonment by a court in the northern German town of Celle yesterday, was later released, as he had already served three years in prison while waiting for the trial to be completed. The court sentenced Dunlayici, also known as Kani Yilmaz, for committing acts of arson against Turkish institutes in 1993 and for being involved in organized crime in Germany. However, they found no real proof that Dunlayici was indeed the ''European bureau chief'' of the PKK terrorist organization. /Sabah/
TWO PKK TERRORISTS KILLED
Two members of the PKK terrorist organization were killed yesterday by police security teams in Fatih, Istanbul. Police teams hit a house in the Fatih district early yesterday afternoon, after learning that the premise was being used by PKK terrorists.
The terrorists, one of them a woman, ignored police calls to surrender and instead tried to shoot it out with the police. It was later reported that the two terrorists were in fact the militants who murdered police officer Ismail Akkoyunlu on November 28, 1997. False identity cards, two guns, bullets, and many organizational documents were found in the building. /Hurriyet/
UNION LEADER GABAGLIO IN ISTANBUL
Emilio Gabaglio, the General Secretary of the European Unions Confederation (ETUC), is continuing with his contacts in Istanbul after completing his visit to Ankara. After visiting the DISK and KESK workers' unions, Gabaglio suggested the formation of a committee to prepare Turkey for European Union (EU) membership. He added that after the Luxembourg summit decisions, the ETUC would help to improve Turkish-EU relations. Gabaglio said, ''the Turkish public opinion should know that Europe is not against Turkey. However, Turkey has some deficiencies to improve.'' Completing his two-day visit Gabaglio will leave Turkey today. /Cumhuriyet/
VERGAU, ''PKK IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION''
Dr. Hans-Joachim Vergau, the Germany Ambassador to Ankara, was interviewed yesterday by the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper. In his comments, Vergau said that Germany still thought that the PKK was a terrorist organization. Stressing that they had not made any bargains with the PKK, Vergau said, ''Although German security officials have seriously warned the PKK not to continue with violent activities in Germany, there is no political recognition of the PKK in Germany. We never bargain with terrorists.''
Referring to the Luxembourg summit Vergau said, ''Turkey should not underestimate the positive aspects of the summit. First of all, Turkey's EU membership was accepted at a EU summit by inviting Turkey to the European Conference. Also a supporting strategy was suggested to Turkey to help her on her way to EU membership.'' Vergau noted that Turkey had ''a great inner potential''. He stressed that Germany was determined that Turkey should become an EU member and reach Partnership status in the Customs Union agreement. Vergau also pointed out that the EU would propose some further suggestions on strategies and help Turkey to evaluate the results of the Luxembourg summit. /Cumhuriyet/
SEZGIN RECEIVES PARRIS
Ismet Sezgin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense received Mark Parris, the U.S. Ambassador to Ankara yesterday. After the meeting Sezgin said that they had exchanged views on current developments in the Gulf region. Noting that both Turkey and America always supported peace Sezgin noted that Turkey was looking for peaceful and diplomatic ways to solve the Gulf Crisis. He added that the only way was to apply the U.N. decisions.
Ambassador Parris said, ''I have to stress that America has not made any decision yet to use military power against Iraq. However, we discussed some issues directly related to Turkey such as the Turkmen region. We want to solve the crisis through peaceful means.'' /Sabah/
''TURKEY WILL NOT ESTABLISH A BUFFER-ZONE''
The Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Chief of General Staff yesterday held a joint press meeting and made a statement on recent developments in Northern Iraq. Necati Utkan, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman and Commander Husnu Dag, the Head of the Press and Public Relations Department of the Office of the Chief of General Staff, answered questions from the press. Answering a question Dag said, ''Turkey does not have any plan to establish a buffer-zone to prevent a massive immigration movement. The Turkish Armed Forces however, are continuing with measures in the struggle against terrorist activities. Depending on developments in the Gulf crisis, humanitarian support centers will be established after contacting Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) officials in order to reduce the negative effects of an immigration movement.'' Dag also denied that Turkey had received offers from the US government for the supply of Patriot missiles.
Utkan added that cooperation to solve problems was very important in the Middle East region and stressed that the period after a crisis was more important than the actual crisis period.'' /Sabah/
DEMIREL APPROVES NEW MIT UNDERSECRETARY
President Suleyman Demirel yesterday signed into effect the appointment of Senkal Atasagun as the new National Intelligence Institution (MIT) Undersecretary. This new appointment for Senkal follows a successful period as the Head of the MIT Operations Department. /Sabah/
Addressing an institution called the ''Metropolitan Club'', Kandemir talked about Turkey's internal and external policy.
Noting that the Constitutional Court within its function in the balance of forces and after a fully legal process decided to close the Welfare Party (RP), Kandemir said, ''just like all organisms, democracies preserve themselves against dangers which threaten their existence.'' Kandemir said that the US press misinterpreted the closure of RP and reflected like this.
Kandemir stressed that there was a consensus of opinion in Turkey that religion could not be used as a means for policy and recalled that several political parties in Europe were banned.
Kandemir emphasized that in the period after the cold war, Turkey's importance and the ''peaceful'' roles that it assumed in the most turbulent region of the world increased, and listed the dangers after the cold war as ''ethnical hatred and conflicts, mass destruction weapons, terrorism, organized crime and excessive nationalism.''
Kandemir said that Syria used terrorism as a foreign policy tool and caused thousands of people in Turkey to lose their lives, adding that Iraq was still a danger for regional and international peace and stability. Ambassador Kandemir stressed that Iraq should abide by the UN Security Council resolutions. ''A new war would negatively affect Turkey,'' he added.
Kandemir said that Turkey and Iran should find ways to live without intervening in each others' internal affairs pointing out that ''Turkey's main role in this turbulent region is to facilitate peace and stability.''
He said the olive branch that Turkey extended to Greece in March 1996 was still on the table, adding that ''we believe that we may turn the Aegean into a sea of friendship and that it is required.''
Mentioning about the dangers of a continious arms build-up by the Greek Cypriot side, Kandemir said that the EU, by deciding to initiate full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side, may hit a mortal blow to the intercommunal talks on the Island.
Kandemir said that Turkey should take her place as a ''full partner'' in all the institutions of Europe.''
Turkish Ambassador harshly criticized the decisions of the Luxembourg Summit which excluded Turkey and said, ''this mistake should be corrected during Britain's term Presidency.''
President Suleyman Demirel received the Albanian President Recep Meidani at the Presidential Palace in Cankaya.
Emphasizing that they will seek methods to further improve the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries in every field during the meetings today, Demirel said that they will also exchange opinion on regional and international problems concerning the two countries.
Defining Albania as an important partner in several European forums, the Southeastern European Cooperation and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation processes all which provide service for peace and stability in the region, Demirel said, ''we want to contribute to peace and welfare in Southeastern Europe by strengthening our partnership.''
Albanian President Recep Meidani said that the ''positive'' relations between Turkey and Albania will continue.
Stressing that Turkey's attributes of peace and stability are important especially for Albania, Meidani said that they appreciate Turkey's support and financial assistance to Albania in recent years.
Demirel and Meidani then held a ''tete-a-tete'' meeting.
The delegations led by Demirel and Meidani then started their meetings.
Foreign Ministry statement said ''there was a tension between the relations as problems in the Aegean were delayed,'' adding that ''this situation may lead to a grave contradiction that will escalate the incidents even if they are not wanted.''
Turkey's initiative for a peaceful solution was conveyed to the UN Secretary General, the NATO Secretary General and the NATO member countries.
The note which was sent by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to Dimitrios Nezeritis, the Greek Ambassador to Ankara said, ''we call on Greece for talks, agreement and making peace. The response which Greece would give to this initiative would help the exhibition of good will between the two countries. I hope that Greece, like Turkey, would reveal that it is peaceful and compromising.''
The note which was given to Greek Ambassador to Ankara proposed that:
-Turkey and Greece defining the Aegean problems together.
-Turning the Madrid Compromise which was realized between Turkey and Greece on July 8 with the mediation of the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright into an official agreement.
-Developing and implementing ''Confidence Building Measures'' proposed by the NATO Secretary General by cooperating with the NATO Secretary General.
-The two governments' call for the ''Wise Men Group'' to work. The group is composed of representatives specified by the two countries to produce solutions for existing problems.
-Realization of a meeting of the high ranking officials of the foreign ministries of the two countries to discuss these proposals and realization of this meeting before March 1998 in Ankara or in Athens.
While reading the full verdict, the Constitutional Court delegation will also revise its verdict. If the delegation can not complete reading the full verdict, it may also work on the weekend.
If all this work is completed before the weekend, then the full verdict of the Constitutional Court regarding the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) is expected to be published in the Official Gazette on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
The ban on the RP is not regarded as having come into force until the full verdict is read on Friday and then published in the Official Gazette within a few days.
Party leader Necmettin Erbakan, a former prime minister, was removed from parliament and banned from political leadership for five years under the same ruling.
The Northern Iraqi Turkmen people, including many women and children, said that the crisis in the Gulf will negatively affect them, adding that ''we are returning to our country, but we are afraid.''
Kara, within this framework offered Pakistan new products to vary the composition of bilateral trade.
Kara, who is in Pakistan for the Turkish-Pakistani Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meetings, met with Makbul Siddiki, the Pakistani Minister of Industry and with Sartaj Aziz, the Minister of Finance.
State Ministry said that the trade volume between the two countries was 93.3 million US dollars in 1994, 244.5 millior US dollars in 1995, 160.1 million US dollars in 1996 and 67.6 million US dollars in the first seven months of last year.
Kara said that he believes a ''platform'' should be established to determine necessary methods and equipment to further improve commercial relations and to establish new commercial products between the two countries when considering the existing level of Turkish-Pakistani commercial relations.
Kara offered Pakistan the imports of ''hazelnuts, green pistachio nuts, brine, black olives, apricots, dried figs and grapes, wheat, barley, detergent and soap, paper, cement, sugar and railway equipment'' to vary the composition of bilateral trade.
A total of 40 fighters including F-15s and F-16s, Tornadoes, EA-6B Prowlers and one KC-15 tanker aircraft took off between 07.00-13.00.
Officials at the base said that the flights were realized for training purposes and there was no increase or decrease in the number of personnel and equipment for the Northern Watch operation, which monitors the situation in Northern Iraq, due to the Gulf crisis.
Addressing a statement before the luncheon, Foreign Minister Cem said that ''Latin America is a region which is far away, yet we regard it as close to us.''
Noting that the Foreign Ministry works on concrete projects to improve relations with the Latin American countries, Cem pointed out that ''our commercial relations with the Northern American countries develops. This development should also be realized with the Latin American countries.''
Cem emphasized the fact that Turkey focuses on economic diplomacy, adding that Turkey aims to revive her economic relations with these countries.
Prime Minister Yılmaz met with the Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in a working luncheon the same day.
Responding to the questions of journalists on his way to the Ukraine, Prime Minister Yılmaz said, ''I am going to the Ukraine to improve bilateral relations.''
Asked whether ''he is worried about the establishment of a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq,'' Yılmaz said that ''this is not only mine, but Turkey's concern. We have to be on the alert against such a possibility.''
Responding to another question about a possible migration from Northern Iraq to Turkey, Prime Minister Yılmaz said this is not the case, as the situation is under control.
''Armenia was not stable for a long time. There were claims that there was fraud during the latest elections held to choose the Head of State. I think new elections will be held on March 16 and this unstability will continue until then,'' said Yılmaz while responding to a question about Armenia. Yılmaz added that these developments may negatively affect the Nagorno- Karabakh problem.
Asked whether meetings with the IMF has been completely cancelled, Prime Minister Yılmaz said that this was not the case, ''we have to take several steps before meeting with the IMF again, we can start discussions with the IMF in March.''
A total of 23 people including one train engineer were injured in the accident.
The injured people were taken for medical treatment at the Pendik State Hospital and at private hospitals.
Officials said that many of the injured were only slightly hurt but one was seriously wounded.
Officials said that the commuter trains had time to slow down before hitting each other, lessening the impact, adding that one of the train engineers jumped out of his cabin just before the collision.
Addressing a statement after the signature ceremony, President Suleyman Demirel said that they discussed during the official meetings the ''Eighth Corridor'' which will start from the shores of the Adriatic and reach the port of Varna in Bulgaria.
''The Adriatic will be linked to Central Asia by the construction of this corridor and the completion of the Batum corridor in the Caucasus,'' said Demirel.
President Demirel stated that bilateral relations and regional problems were mainly discussed during the meetings, adding that ''we aim at improvement of cooperation and peace in the Balkans.''
President Demirel called upon Turkish businessmen to be more interested in business opportunities and privatization issues in Albania.
The Albanian President Recep Meydani said that he is ready to improve the political dialogue between Turkey and Albania.
Noting that he welcomes defense cooperation between the two countries, Meydani stated that this cooperation also continues within the framework of the ''Partnership for Peace (PFP).''
President Meydani stressed that Turkey and Albania are in consensus of opinion regarding the fact that peace can not be established in the Balkans unless stability is ensured in Kosovo.
General Ismail Hakkı Karadayı, the Chief of General Staff visited with President Recep Meydani the same day.
Speaking before the meeting, Meydani thanked Turkey for cooperating with Albania in the field of military defense.
Andican told the A.A correspondent that ''Schevardnadze is a statesman who has ensured stability in Georgia since 1993. Fortunately the attempt was not successful. Turkey attributes importance to every development which can upset the political stability in the region.''
Andican stressed that Turkey is worried about the fact that the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline can be affected by the negative developments in the Trans-Caucasus region.
The Southeastern Anatolia Textile Products Exporters' Union officials told the A.A correspondent that the region exported textile products to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Belgium, Jordan, France, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Greece, Algeria, the US, Israel, Portugal and Russia.
VAN - An Iranian delegation led by Ismail Kerimzade, the Governor of the Iranian city of Hoy came to eastern Van province on Thursday.
Abdulkadir Sari, the Mayor of Van said that the aim of the meetings with the Iranian delegation is to create a good atmosphere at the border.
ANKARA - Pakistani Land Forces Chief Commander Gen. Jehangir Karamata will pay an official visit to Turkey between February 16-23 as the guest of the Land Forces Chief Commander Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, it was reported on Thursday.
Guest Commander Gen. Karamata will visit the Land Forces Commandership in Ankara on February 17.
ANKARA - The number of people visiting Turkey last year was 9,712,000, it was reported on Thursday.
The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) data shows that a total of 419 thousand people visited Turkey in December 1997.
ISTANBUL - The ''12th Istanbul International Construction and Decoration Equipment Industrial Fair'' named Construction'98, was opened on Thursday.
A total of 98 domestic and foreign companies have stands at the Construction'98 which was organized by the Interteks Fair.
Construction'98 will remain open until February 15.
People can visit the stands between 12.00-20.00.
Addressing the TRNC Parliament, the TRNC President Rauf Denktas asked the parliament to accept that a two-state principle should be taken as the basis for negotiations regarding the Cyprus question.
Denktas stated that intercommunal negotiations have impeded the TRNC being recognized as a state for years and have given new opportunites to the Greek Cypriots, adding that the only way to stop this development is by holding meetings between the ''states.''
Denktas pointed out that ''absolute division and maintaining responsibility for the TRNC'' are the only ways to stop the Greek Cypriots who aim at ''Enosis''(Union with Greece).
Denktas stressed that he will continue to defend continuation of the guarantee system and rejecting the status of minority on Cyprus.
The TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said that the TRNC will improve its special relations with Turkey in return for holding full membership negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the Greek Cypriot side.
Eroglu pointed out that peace on the island can only be established by accepting the existence of two separate states.
The lieutenent and the soldiers fell into a stream and got caught up in the current while crossing the Murat River in Elazig.
The rescue activities started in the region and the rescue teams found the dead body of a soldier. The rescue activities are continuing.
Meanwhile, eight soldiers, who were returning from an operation in the same region, overcame the danger of freezing because of the extremely cold weather. The soldiers were rescued by helicopters and taken for medical treatment at the Elazig Military Hospital.
The operations against the separatist terrorist PKK organization are underway in the region.
The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury paid 1.3 billion US dollars; the Central Bank paid 42.9 million US dollars; the Ministry of Defense and the Defense Industry paid 380.4 million US dollars of foreign debt between January 1 and February 11, 1998.
Meanwhile, the total foreign debt payment last month was 1.3 billion US dollars and 400 million US dollars between February 1 to 11.
The Turkish-Georgian Interparliamentary Friendship Group Co-Chairmen Suleyman Hatinoglu and Rostom Dolidze held a joint press briefing at the Parliament regarding the contacts.
Suleyman Hatinoglu said that economic, social and cultural issues were covered during the Georgian delegation's contacts.
Rostom Dolidze said that the relations between the two countries will be further improved.
ANKARA - The Tajik Speaker of the Parliament Seferali Recebov and the accompanying parliamentary delagation will pay an offical visit to Turkey between February 15-19 as the guest of Hikmet Cetin, the Turkish Speaker of the Parliament, it was reported on Thursday.
Seferali Recebov and the accompanying delegation will meet with Hikmet Cetin on February 16 at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.
The Tajik delegation will then proceed to Ankara on February 17 and meet with Murat Karayalcin, the Chairman of the Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission and Sadi Somuncuoglu, the Chairman of the Turkish-Tajik Friendship Group.
The delegation will be received by President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel on February 18.
The Tajik parliamentary delegation will leave Turkey on February 19.
EDIRNE - Three Romanians, who were trying to enter Turkey illegally, were captured at Edirne, it was reported on Thursday.
Security officials took under custody the three Romanians who illegally entered Turkey from Greece.
ANKARA - Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi received his Albanian counterpart Gen. Alex Andoni on Thursday.
Gen. Karadayi and Gen. Andoni held a ''tete-a-tete'' meeting at the Headquarters of the General Staff in Ankara.
Yılmaz told reporters that Ozerdem will come to Turkey within few days.
Prime Minister Yılmaz stated that when the Hungarian police freezes Ozerdem, he will come to Turkey by himself.