HURRIYET (LIBERAL) IT'S THE LIMIT!
Another scandal erupted in the construction of the Turkish Parliament General Assembly Hall which amounts to 38 million dollars. The electronic system is out of order.
Basesgioglu left for Croatia on Tuesday as the official guest of Ivan Penic, the Croatian Interior Minister.
Addressing a news conference before his departure from the Istanbul Ataturk Airport Basesgioglu stressed that there was a frienship and cooperation between Turkey and Croatia based on history and that this was reflected in the field of security cooperation.
Basesgioglu said that during the visit they would take up drug trafficking, weapons and human smuggling which is thought to be one of the sources of finance for international terrorism.
''Our ministry attributes a special importance to the Balkans within the framework of the efforts of the terrorist organizations to create new fields of activity,'' Basesgioglu said, adding that ''in parallel with this, we will exchange views on the strategies of the terrorist organizations, organized crimes, the importance of structuring in Croatia and the situation of the Turkish people living in Croatia.''
The two ministers said in a joint statement, where ''Turkish-European'' relations were also discussed, that the gates of Europe will be kept open to Turkey.
Claiming that the Council of Europe in Luxembourg made an acceptable proposal to Turkey with the name of ''European strategy'', Kinkel and Derycke stressed the importance of normalizing relations between Turkey and Greece. Kinkel and Derycke called on both countries to adopt a ''more constructive attitude.''
The two ministers also stressed that Iraq should fully abide by the resolutions of the UN, adding that all efforts should be expended to bring a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis.
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
PRESIDENT DEMIREL CONFERS WITH ARAB LEADERS
In a series of telephone conversations, President Suleyman Demirel has been sharing Turkey's neighbourly concern over the Iraqi crisis with Arab leaders. He conferred with the leader of Oman, Qaboos Bin Said, and United Arab Emirates leader, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahayan, on Monday. All the Arab leaders share Turkey's concern about the serious consequences of a possible US military strike against Iraq and the need for stability in the region. /All papers/
FRANCE: DEMIREL'S VISIT IS IMPORTANT
Turkish President Suleyman Demirel's visit to France will begin tomorrow. French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gazeau Secret said that France attached great importance to the visit of President Demirel, and added that the visit would further strengthen the close relations between the two countries. It is reported that during the visit, an economic, political and cultural agreement called the ''2000 Agreement'' will be signed between Turkey and France. The spokesman noted that Demirel would meet with many leading French officials including French President Jacques Chirac. During the meetings, the Iraq problem and Turkey's regional role will be taken up, the spokesman concluded.
Meanwhile, the weekly Paris-Match magazine, in its latest issue, gives coverage to an interview with President Demirel. Regarding the Iraq crisis, Demirel is quoted as saying: ''We always support diplomatic means.'' /Milliyet/
CHINESE-TURKISH ECONOMIC TIES
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has stressed the importance of improving Chinese-Turkish economic ties. Cem, who is on an official visit to China, met yesterday with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Cem invited Zemin to Turkey. Speaking after the meeting, he said that the economic ties between the two countries should boom in the next three years. Cem further declared that the political base for the fulfillment of this ambitious objective had already been set up. To further cultivate the current fertile ground, Isin Celebi, State Minister responsible for the economy, would visit China in April for a meeting of the Chinese-Turkish Joint Economic Council, he said.
The two leaders also discussed the current tense situation in the Middle East. They agreed that the continuing crisis between the US and Iraq should be resolved by peaceful means. Later in the day, the Foreign Minister and his delegation visited the Great Wall of China. Cem is scheduled to leave Beijing today for Shanghai, where he is expected to hold talks on plans to open a Turkish trade centre there. /Milliyet/
MILITARY URGES ALL COUNTRIES TO BAN THE PKK
Turkish military officials have repeated their calls to the international community to outlaw the PKK terrorist organization. ''Germany and France have banned the PKK, and we expect the same gesture from other countries too,'' Col.Erkal Bektas told more than 20 journalists representing foreign media organizations in Ankara, before leaving with them for a three-day visit to the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Siirt and Sirnak yesterday.
The visit was organized by the General Staff especially for foreign correspondents in Turkey, in order to inform them about the military's struggle against PKK terrorist activities in the Southeast, to visit military facilities in the region, and have interviews with civilians there. Maj.Gen.Erol Ozkasnak of the General Staff, who briefed the correspondents in Ankara before departure, said the visit was aimed at clearing up ''misunderstandings'' about the Turkish military in the foreign press. He said that the PKK has been ''marginalized'', and that the numbers of PKK members as well as their logistical support were almost exhausted. Ozkasnak, secretary-general of the General Staff, also told reporters that operations in the Southeast were carried out with care to avoid violating human rights in the region. /Sabah-Milliyet/
(To be continued)
The General Staff which staged a news tour to Southeastern Turkey for the representatives of foreign press organizations in Turkey briefed the journalists about the supports provided to the PKK from various countries and the sources of income of the PKK.
During the briefing it was said that ''the PKK's activities are pursued intensively through 313 offices, 178 of them in Germany.''
It was reported that the separatist terrorist organization targeted distributing its supporters to Europe by promoting and organizating immigration to Europe, adding that ''furthermore, the organization, as a part of the expansion policy, is involved in organized terrorism incidents and in an effort to collect the necessary sources of money to broaden its terrorist activities.''
It said this income is used to finance purchases of weapons and ammunition and stressed that the banning of the PKK and its front organization in Germany and in France at the end of 1993 reduced the financial and moral support to the organization. As a result of this, the PKK moved its several activities to other European countries, mainly the Central and Eastern European countries.
It was said that Greece was one of the countries extending the greatest support to the separatist PKK. ''Greece, by re-activating the Lavrion Refugee Camp near Athens, provided a shelter for the PKK terrorists who fled from Turkey. There is a training camp in the northwest of Athens where weapons and explosive devices were tested,'' it was said.
It was said that the PKK terrorists in the camps often infiltrate into Turkey to engage in terrorist activities in Turkey. Many PKK terrorists who were captured confessed that they were trained in Greece.
The briefing mentioned that the PKK terrorists were also supported by the Greek Cypriot side, stressing that the Greek Cypriot side can easily make contacts with Europe by using its own facilities.
During the briefing it was said that the PKK activities in Russia intensified recently, adding that Russia, with ethnical groups, were especially closely interested in the Kurdish groups.
It was said that Iran also provided facilities to the separatist organization to make use of her territory, and added that ''there are around 450-500 terrorists of the PKK deployed in Iran. They are sheltering in camps in Iran.''
It was said that the separatist terrorist organization had the camps of Dambat, Katur, Keleres, Serov, Jermi and Ziveh in Iran and that Iran provided health, weapons, ammunition and logistic support to the PKK.
The briefing said that Iran was in an effort to include the activities in Northern Iraq with the effective communications network she installed and with organizations like the Kurdish Hezbollah.
Mentioning the final goals of the separatist terrorist PKK organization in Northern Iraq, the briefing said ''the separatist terrorist PKK organization aimed at putting an end to the effectiveness of the Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party led by Massoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Jalal Talabani.'' It said the final goal of the PKK is to be the leading force in Northern Iraq.
It said Syria used the PKK terrorist organization as a trump card for her problems with Turkey, adding that ''Syria claims rights in our Southern Hatay Province and shows this region as her territory on the maps. The other problem between Turkey and Syria is the waters of Euphrates River. Syria wants to use a trump card for bargaining to use against Turkey when she wants. Syria thinks that the PKK is the most appropriate tool for reaching her goals.''
''Within this framework, Syria shelters the chief of the separatist terrorist PKK organization and extends every kind of support to the PKK. Syria tolerates infiltration of the terrorists into Turkey and Northern Iraq and provides facilities to the Syrian citizens of Kurdish origin. There are a lot of PKK camps at the Syrian borders which are very close to Turkey and terrorists use these camps to enter Turkey,'' the briefing stated.
Listing the financial sources of the separatist PKK, the links of the organization with drug trafficking were mentioned. It said, ''the PKK markets to Europe the drugs coming from Southeastern Asia and the Middle East.''
During the briefing it was stressed that the separatist terrorist PKK was a fierce terrorist organization massacring innocent civilian people as well as participating in various organized crimes.
The briefing said several Western countries still tolerated activities of the separatist PKK organization, adding that ''it is getting harder to persuade the Turkish people that measures taken by several western countries are enough to put an end to the activities of the separatist PKK.''
It said the most important part of the issue was the attitude of the countries which shelter the PKK terrorists and their supporters and stressed that this attitude is an open violation of international commitments. International decisions should be implemented immediately when terrorist groups exploit the democratic conditions in the countries in which they shelter in order to launch terrorist activities against third countries.
Clinton said if there was not the support of the friendly ally countries including Turkey, it would not be possible to deploy US military powers in the region, adding that any military operation that will be aimed at Iraq would be an open message to dictators and terrorists.
Clinton said if he tolerated Saddam, then other outlawed countries and terrorists would think that the world remained without a solution. Clinton said he guaranteed that somebody would certainly use those deadly weapons that time.
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
EREZ's VISIT TO US CANCELLED
A visit by Turkish Industry and Trade Minister Yalim Erez to the US on 26 February to attend a Turkish-American Business Council meeting has been cancelled following a death in his family. /Sabah/
ELECTRICITY FROM RUSSIA
Within the framework of mutual economic cooperation agreements signed between Russia and Turkey after a visit by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to Turkey late in 1997, Turkish Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer arrived in Moscow yesterday to discuss new projects. Ersumer, who held talks with Russian natural gas producer Gazprom, will meet with Chernomyrdin and oil giant Lukoil's Chairman Vahit Alekperov tomorrow. One of the most important issues on Ersumer's agenda is the purchase of electricity from Russia. Ankara plans to purchase 1 billion kw/hrs of electricity from Moscow. Meanwhile, within the framework of a natural gas agreement signed between the two countries, a Turkish firm is expected to take on the construction of a pipeline running from Russia's Stavropol Region to the Black Sea. /Milliyet/
ANKARA MAKES CHANGES FOR TURKISH CITIZENS ABROAD
Ankara has made organizational changes for solutions to the problems of Turkish citizens living abroad. A high board chaired by the prime minister and a coordinating board chaired by a state minister has been established. The coordinating board will present suggestions to the high board.
In a circular released by the office of the Prime Ministry on this issue, studies are being made according to the 62nd article of the constitution. The circular also notes that the number of Turks living abroad has increased to 3.5 million. /Hurriyet/
KARAMATA IN ANKARA
Pakistani Land Forces, Commander Gen.Jehangir Karamata, was awarded yesterday with a medal of merit by the Chief of General Staff, Gen.Ismail Hakki Karadayi. ''We bestow the highest value, after our independence, to the friendship between our peoples and our armies and will always try to keep this friendship alive,'' the visiting general said. Karadayi in return told him that he would pray for the success of the armed forces of both countries. Top Turkish generals took part in the award ceremony. /Sabah/
SHATTUCK VISITS TURKEY
Upon his arrival in Ankara, John Shattuck, US assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labour, met with State Minister responsible for human rights, Hikmet Sami Turk. Shattuck said on Monday that he was impressed with Turkey's recent human rights reforms. Briefing reporters after his meeting with Hikmet Sami Turk, Shattuck noted that he had been invited by the Turkish prime minister to monitor human rights improvements. Shattuck, who will spend four days here, pointed out that the US welcomes the chance for better cooperation with Turkey on human rights issues.
In addition, State Minister Turk said that in response to Shattuck's visit, he is planning to visit the US. Turk and Shattuck will meet again after the US envoy's other meetings. Shattuck will go to Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Mardin for further consultations and research. /All papers/
(To be continued)
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
UN PREPARES TO RELAUNCH CYPRUS TALKS
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has signaled that he will launch a new initiative to resume the stalled talks between Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot Leader Glafcos Clerides. Annan sent a meesage to Clerides, in which he informed him that the UN special envoy to Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, will visit the island soon. After completing his talks on Cyprus, Cordovez is expected to prepare a report, evaluating the situation on the island. /Cumhuriyet/
OIL PRICES TO INCREASE AUTOMATICALLY
The Cabinet agreed in principle on Monday to index oil prices automatically to world oil price. The finance and energy ministries have been made responsible for preparing the legal framework. State Minister Ahad Andican, speaking after the Cabinet meeting, said that the current situation in the world market means that oil prices have dropped to USD 15-16 per barrel. /All papers/
MINISTRY'S NEW DRAFT AIMS TO ESTABLISH GENDER EQUALITY
On the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Civil Code, a revised draft prepared by a commission of lawyers, members of the Bar and academics working on behalf of the Justice Ministry, has been presented to Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu. According to the new system, the eligible age for marriage has been raised to 18 for both men and women. /All papers/
ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR
Istanbul is readying to host a new book fair. The first Istanbul International Book Fair, organized with the cooperation of the Publishers Association, CNR and the Istanbul Fair Corporation, will be held on March 20-28.
During an introductory press meeting yesterday, the representatives of the organizers claimed that this book fair will be the most animated of all the book fairs held in Turkey. Susanna Tamaro, Erica Ficher, Paul Strathern and Nihat Behran are some of the authors who will visit the fair./Hurriyet/
Demirel's visit is the first official contact at the highest level from Turkey to France in 30 years. President Cevdet Sunay officially visited France in 1968 and former French President Francois Mitterrand visited Turkey in 1992 as the official guest of Turgut Ozal, the Turkish President at that time.
The State Ministers Rifat Serdaroglu, Isin Celebi and Culture Minister Istemihan Talay will accompany Demirel during the visit.
Bilateral relations as well as the Iraqi crisis, developments in the Balkans and the Turkish-European Union (EU) relations will be on the top the agenda of Demirel-Chirac meeting.
Chirac, once again, is expected to bring up the issue of the participation of Turkey in the upcoming European Conference which will take place in Britain.
Turkey earlier disclosed that she would not enter into a political dialogue with the EU and would not participate in the European Conference unless the Luxembourg decisions are being reviewed. France said that the European Conference will lose importance if Turkey does not participate in it.
A ''Statement of Intention'' is expected to be signed between the two countries foreseeing ''strategic cooperation''. Diplomatic sources said the cooperation in question includes economic, political and cultural issues.
Demirel who is scheduled to meet with the French President Chirac in the Elysee Palace on Feb 19 will also receive the French Ministers responsible for the economy, culture and European Affairs.
Demirel will later address a conference titled ''Turkey in the 2000s'' at the French International Foreign Policy Institute.
On Feb 20, Demirel will participate in a breakfast that will be hosted by the French Employers Union and will confer a medal of merit to three French scientists due to their studies in Turkology.''
President Demirel will later receive French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin after participating in a ceremony that will be staged in his honor by Jean Tiberi, the Mayor of Paris and will leave Paris on Friday.
France is one of the major European countries investing in Turkey in the recent years.
Basesgioglu, currently in Croatia as the official guest of Ivan Panic, the Croatian Interior Minister, responding to the questions of journalists said that a draft prepared by the Justice and Interior Ministries was presented to the agenda of the Council of Ministers for overcoming several lacking aspects in the struggle against organized crimes.
When asked whether or not political support was extended to organized crime groups, Basesgioglu said ''of course illegal crime organizations are getting several supports. Still, no politician or bureaucrat can prevent our determination in this respect.''
ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel received on Tuesday Gen. Jehangir Karamata, Chief of the Pakistani Land Forces, who is currently holding contacts in Turkey as the official guest Gen. Huseyin Kıvrıkoglu, the Chief Commander of the Land Forces.
Gen. Kivrikoglu also attended the meeting at the Cankaya Presidential Palace.
ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel approved on Tuesday the Council of Ministers' decision regarding the agreement signed between Turkey and Hungary.
The Presidential Press Center said in a written statement that President Suleyman Demirel approved the Council of Ministers' decision regarding the approval of the agreement concerning the setting up of a free trade zone. The agreement was signed in Budapest on January 8, 1997.
KOCAELI - Thila Bode, the General Director of the Greenpeace, held a press briefing in Kocaeli on Tuesday.
Bode criticized at the briefing the positive report of the Kocaeli Municipality regarding the Clinical and Dangerous Waste Incineration Plant.
Bode said, ''which values are taken as a basis for calculating the effects of this plant on the environment? Those standards are always open for negotiation.''
''Turkey should not make the same mistakes as the developed countries when transferring technology. Otherwise, the mistakes are also transferred,'' Bode said.
TBILISI - Refaiddin Sahin, the Minister of State and the accompaying parliamentary delegation were received on Tuesday by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.
Refaiddin Sahin conveyed to Shevardnadze ''a wish for a speedy recovery from the assasination attempt'' from President Suleyman Demirel, Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Turkish people in the meeting which lasted for nearly one hour.
Refaiddin Sahin and the accompanying delegation left Tbilisi and returned to Turkey the same day.
BONN - The Turkish-German Association (DTG) based in Bonn, Germany concluded its general council studies and elected its new members of executive board, it was reported on Tuesday.
Hayati Onel was elected as the Chairman of the DTG and Dr. Eckehart Eickhoff as the Deputy Chairman of the DTG. Eickoff was the former German Ambassador to Turkey.
MUGLA - Manfred Unger, the German Consul General in Izmir, met with Cemil Serhadli, the Governor of Mugla Province on Tuesday.
Unger then visited the Mugla Administration of Justice, Directorate of Security and later proceeded to Marmaris.
ANKARA - The Parliament and the Tajik Parliament on Tuesday signed an ''Interparliamentary Cooperation Protocol''.
The parliaments of the two countries will realize interparliamentary cooperation to strengthen the relations between Turkey and Tajikistan in accordance with the protocol signed by the Speakers of the Parliaments of the two countries.
ANKARA - Istemihan Talay, the Minister of Culture gave a dinner on Tuesday in honour of Anatoliy Franjuk, the Prime Minister of the Crimean Autonomous Republic Franjuk and Mustafa Abdulcemil Kırımoglu, the Speaker of the Crimean Tatars Parliament.
The Crimean delegation will continue its contacts on Wednesday.
IZMIR - The Turkish Vakiflar Bank provided a syndicated loan of 50 million US dollars from abroad to ''spread exports throughout the country and to meet the financing requirements of the exports'', it was reported on Tuesday.
The credit, which was provided with the participation of 16 banks providing service in the international markets and the leadership of Vakifbank, Citibank and Commerzbank, will have a one-year-term and interest payments will be given two times a year. The interest will be libor-plus 0.70.
Samuel Berger, the White House National Security Advisor, responding to questions in a TV program said they hoped that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's visit to Baghdad would be successful. Berger said it was a ''must'' that the UNSCOM should make investigations in Iraq without meeting any obstacles. He said any bargaining on the issue was out of the question and that they had told this to Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Responding to a question that even Turkey and Saudi Arabia do not support the US and would not let their bases to be used, Berger said he did not share the same views. Berger said these countries could understand the threats of Saddam to the region and to themselves. He said he had no doubt that the US would have the full support of these countries.
Stating that Saddam was an aggressive dictator, Berger said they would not let this dictator drag the region into instability. Berger also expressed the hope that Kofi Annan would persuade Saddam.
Meanwhile, the Former US President George Bush told the CNN that he supported Bill Clinton and that a strict policy should be applied against Saddam and added that Saddam violated the international rules and agreements he had signed.
When asked why they did not destroy Saddam during the Gulf War when they had the chance, Bush said their mission was to put an end to the occupation of Kuwait. He said that the multi-national coalition would have been split up if they had entered Baghdad. Maybe Britain and Kuwait would have been with us, but Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries would not confirm the occupation of an Arab country, he said, stating that Turkey would also have left the coalition. Syria and Hosni Mubarak would also have left the coalition, he added. He said the US might have remained as an occupying force in Arab territory and the Madrid Peace Conference would never have been realized.
Responding to the questions of reporters before the meeting of the Higher Planning Council (YPK), Gunes Taner said that they will not increase the price of fuel, adding that it is also important for the privatization of the Turkish Petroleum Refinery, Inc. (Tupras).
Remembering that the refineries of the Tupras had been divided for privatization, Taner said they will be able to privatize all of them on a refinery basis.
Stating that they vowed not to increase the price of fuel between December 1997 and May 1998, Taner said, ''we are still keeping our word. But we also said that we will keep our word if oil prices do not increase much. Now, there is not any increase in the oil prices.''
Responding to a question, Taner said the domestic debt is 304 trillion liras.
The Presidential Press Center said that President Demirel told Al Sabah that Turkey did not receive a sign regarding the solution of the crisis diplomatically, nevertheless it is important to extend support to the initiatives which still continue to disperse the tension.
President Demirel stressed in his phone conversation that Iraq should abide by the UN Security Council Resolutions and should cooperate with the UN Special Commission, so that the crisis can be overcome.
President Demirel pointed out that Turkey does not favour military measures, which will cause negative consequences. It attributes importance to the protection of Iraqi territorial integrity and it will continue to fulfill its obligations regarding this crisis as a neighbour state.
Kuwaiti Emir Al Jaber Al Sabah told Demirel that Kuwait appreciates and supports the sensitivity of Turkey regarding the situation in Iraq, adding that he agrees with the views of Demirel and will continue to exchange views with Demirel.
Necati Utkan, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman told a press briefing that Turkey expects the diplomatic contacts of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to be ''positive'' regarding the solution of the crisis between Iraq and UN.
Utkan pointed out that a military operation will harm Iraq and the people in the region.
Mentioning the statements of Taha Yasin Ramazan, the Iraqi Deputy Head of State, Utkan stressed that ''the discourse and the style of Ramazan are not in conformity with the statements issued during Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's visit to Baghdad.''
Responding to a question, Necati Utkan stated that Turkey can benefit from the UN High Commission for Refugees, as an expert institution on migration, ''just in case.''
Necati Utkan, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman told a weekly press briefing that ''there is no example of a country other than Greece which does not give a positive response to a call for dialogue and insists on not meeting with us.''
Noting that Turkey receives contradictory news from Greece through the media regarding Turkey's call, Utkan stressed that ''the main aim of this initiative was to set up a dialogue. It is not correct that it does not carry a new element.''
Utkan pointed out that the problems which have not been solved in the Aegean creates tension between the two neighbouring states and Turkey desires a comprehensive reconciliation plan, which will be prepared together.''
Utkan added that Turkey's call for peace has also received positive reactions from the world.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, Necati Utkan, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that the Cyprus question and improvement of the Turkish- European Union (EU) relations could be discussed during the Yılmaz-Hannay meeting.
Narcotics officials during their operation seized 1.25 tonnes of pressed hashish of foreign origin in 708 packages and 140 thousand US dollars in the hidden compartments of a TIR truck belonging to Ramazan Demir.
Ramazan Demir, Arif Yildirim, Osman Ugurlukan, Hasan Sungec, Murat Dabaniuzun, Erdal Yildirim, Nihat Uslu and Murat Ugurlukan were taken into custody in connection with the smuggling.
Officials said the market price of the seized hashish is nearly one trillion liras.
Responding to the questions of the A.A correspondent regarding the European Union's (EU) attitude towards Turkey's full-membership, Cattaui said that Turkey is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and of NATO, adding that ''Turkey's importance in Europe is very clear. I hope this will continue and Turkey will be a part of the expanding unions.''
Defining Turkey as an important ICC member country that was completely integrated into the global economy, Cattaui said that the ICC places great importance on the Turkish economy and its strengthening.
Responding to the question ''what are the most important problems facing Turkey?'', Cattaui said that those problems are privatization, social security reform, retirement and inflation.
''We expect that a powerful economic policy will be determined to overcome these problems,'' she said.
Emphasizing that there is no doubt about the dynamism of the Turkish economy, Cattaui said that Turkey is one of the five powerful economies within the OECD.
Cem and the accompanying Foreign Ministry delegation will participate the same day in a dinner hosted by Zhou Mingwei, the Shanghai Foreign Office Director.
Ismail Cem will attend a briefing that will be held by the Pudong Economic administration on Thursday morning.
Cem, who will also visit Shanghai Bell firm, will meet with Chen Liangyu, the Deputy Mayor of the Shanghai Municipality on Thursday evening.
Turkey's Consulate in Shanghai will be opened on Thursday and Cem will also participate in the ceremony.
Necdet Menzir, the Minister of Transportation will also attend the ceremony.
OBERHAUSEN - The Dusseldorf Western Thracian Turks' Solidarity Association of the European Western Thracian Turkish Federation (ABTF) opened a photograph exhibition at the Technology Center in Oberhausen, Germany, it was reported on Wednesday.
A total of 53 photographs reflecting the ''the struggle for minority rights since 1923'' will be exhibited until February 27.
ANKARA - Eyup Asik, the Minister of State said on Wednesday that they will start to purchase tobacco by March 15.
ISTANBUL - Ayhan Karahan, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Laleli Industrialists and Businessmen Association (LASIAD), said on Wednesday that the Iraqi crisis stopped trade in Laleli, the center of the ''shuttle trade''.
ANKARA - Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament received on Wednesday Anatoly Franchuk, the Prime Minister of the Crimean Autonomous Republic and Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu, the Speaker of the Crimean Tatars Parliament.
Later, Franchuk and Kirimoglu were received by President Suleyman Demirel.
Addressing a press briefing, Efendioglu said that the relations between Turkey and Bulgaria are developing in every field, adding that the decisions of several local administrators deteriorate these good relations.
''The Bulgarian municipality in Eskizara made a decision to close the Eskizara Mosque, which was constructed in 1408. This decision mocks the religious beliefs of the Turkish Moslem people living in Bulgaria. We hope that the Bulgarian intellectuals who believe in democracy to take action against the closure of this mosque,'' said Efendioglu.
Efendioglu also condemned the Christian propaganda and activities of the Sarıyev priest, who tries to make Moslim Pomaks Christian.
The five-member Foreign Ministry delegation including Ambassador Ugurtan Akinci and Ali Riza Guney and the six-member American delegation including Norman Gelman, Leonard Grosman, Ann Cramer and Jakops Barry were welcomed by the officials from the GAP Regional Development Administration at the Sanliurfa Airport.
The Turkish-American parliamentary delegation firstly visited the Ataturk Dam near Bozova County of Sanliurfa Province.
Necmettin Sasaoglu, an official from the 16th Regional Directorate of the State Water Works (DSI) gave a briefing for the delegation at the Ataturk Dam.
The delegation, which will make observations on the Irrigation Tunnel and the lands opened for irrigation, will also visit the historical and touristic sites in Sanliurfa on Thursday.
''It has been concluded that the statements of Omer Lutfi Topal, who mentioned the name of Aliyev to our intelligence services, were not correct, as he tried to hide his real links with other people,'' said Yılmaz.
The Prime Ministry Press Center said in a written statement that Prime Minister Yılmaz thought that it was necessary to announce this issue to the public.
The written statement quoted Yılmaz as saying that ''our intelligence institutions have taken up and investigated once again the Susurluk Report prepared by the Prime Ministry Investigation Council regarding the links of Omer Lutfi Topal in Azerbaijan within the framework of the just concern of the Azeri President Haydar Aliyev. It has been found out that Topal did not have any connection with the Aliyev family.''
The statement also noted that Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz conveyed his pleasure to the Azeri President Aliyev, because this issue, which made President Aliyev unhappy, has been cleared up.
John Shattuck, the US Assistant Secretary of State, responsible from human rights, who is currently in the southeastern province of Mardin, visited the Mardin Governor Guven the same day.
Shattuck said that he came to Mardin to see the human right practices in Mardin, because Turkey and US are both allies.
Noting that Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz had given important messages concerning human rights and the US President Bill Clinton had approved these statements, Shattuck pointed out that ''Mr. Yılmaz had said that the issue of human rights had priority for the government, therefore I have come to see human rights practices here in Turkey.''
Governor Guven said that Turkey will fulfil her responsibilities in the field of human rights, adding that Turkey has not caused the problems in Southeastern Turkey.
''The US is one of the countries which understands the works and activities of our government in human rights. Those terrorists who kill our citizens in the region are not right. The mistakes which are made while struggling with terrorism are not systematic. Sometimes several people make personal mistakes and they are held responsible for these mistakes,'' said Guven.
Shattuck left Mardin the same day.
Officials apprehended and took into custody 68 Iraqis in the Subasi region in Meric County, 66 Iraqis in Cakmak village in Uzunkopru County and 25 Iraqis in Karpuzlu region in Ipsala County all of whom were trying to enter Greece illegally.
Meanwhile, Mehmet Dalgic (32), Nurettin Kirez (47) and Mehmet Kivrak (32), the guides of the Iraqis, were also taken into custody.
The security officials also captured six Afghans trying to enter Bulgaria illegally from Edirne's Kemalkoy village near the Bulgarian border.
Noting that Tajikistan plays an important role in the region, Andican pointed out that ''Turkey has helped Tajikistan in the latter's transition to independence. A civil war, which lasted for four years, erupted in Tajikistan due to various disagreements, but the concerned sides came together in Moscow last year and set up the National Reconciliation Committee. The committee still continues to work at the moment.''
Recalling that Turkey extended credit to Tajikistan through the Eximbank, Andican said that cultural relations also continue between the two countries.
Andican pointed out that stability in Tajikistan will affect Afghanistan and stability in Afghanistan will have a good effect on Tajikistan and on the other Central Asian countries.
Recebov said that he held productive contacts in Turkey, adding that Turkey helped Tajikistan a lot regarding the establishment of peace.
Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz also received Recebov the same day.
Yılmaz told Recebov that Turkey attributes great importance to Tajikistan, recalling that the two countries signed important agreements during President Suleyman Demirel's and Tajik President Rahmanov's reciprocal visits.