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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-02-22
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
22 FEB 1998
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 22, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL)THEY DECLARED ''RELIGIOUS WAR''
The Constitutional Court sent its full verdict regarding the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) to Prime Ministry Printing House to be published yesterday. The full verdict of the Court has been written in 36 days and the verdict accuses RP party administrators of declaring ''religious war.''
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)PEACE TOUR EXTENDS
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who holds contacts with Iraqi officials in Baghad, asks Iraqi officials for a written document which permits opening of presidential sites to control without any condition.
SABAH (LIBERAL)WELFARE NOT EXIST ANYMORE
With the publication of the verdict of the Constitutional Court in the official gazette, the Welfare Party (RP) has been outlawed.
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)HOPEFUL START OF ANNAN
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is currently Baghdad to find a peaceful solution to the crisis between Iraq and UN, had a productive meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tarık Aziz. Annan is expected to meet Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein today.
RADIKAL (LEFT)CLASH WITHIN RP
The Mayor of Istanbul Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had earlier said that ''I can be the leader of the party of if the party members wish so,'' stated that ''I am the Mayor of Istanbul,'' when the leader of the closed Welfare Party (RP) Necmettin Erbakan harshly reacted to the earlier statements of Erdogan.
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)TOILET SCANDAL IN PARLIAMENT
Mesa-Nurol firm, which was responsible to construct the Parliament Hall, asked for 46,000 dollars for repairing the parliament toilets and 83,000 dollars for the room of former Parliament Speaker Mustafa Kalemli. The thing which is interesting is the fact that the toilets are nowhere to be found.
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)IRAQI PEOPLE HAPPY, ANNAN HOPEFUL
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who was welcomed by Iraqi people in Baghdad, said ''I am optimistic, we will find a formula.'' Annan met Tarık Aziz for three times yesterday and described the opening of presidential sites to UN experts as ''encouraging.''
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)HANEFI AVCI IN PRISON
Police Intelligence service member Hanefi Avcı, who was earlier taken under custody, put into prison. Avcı, who has important knowledge about Susurluk and Mole cases, is accused of disclosing state secrets.
FINANSAL FORUM (ECONOMY)EYES ON US
The stock exchange market lost 1,38 percent by the sales of investors who did not want to have risks last week. This week the market depends on the expectations of a possible US operation against Iraq.
 TURKEY-ALGERIA - STATE MINISTER KARA LEAVES FOR ALGERIAANKARA, Feb 22 (A.A) - State Minister Burhan Kara will leave for Algeria on Sunday to sign Naval Transportation and Navigation Agreement between Turkey and Algeria and to hold various contacts there.
After the signature ceremony, State Minister Kara will meet Ahmet Ojuyahia, Algerian Prime Minister, Lahcne Moussaoui, Minister Responsible from International Cooperation, Bakhti Belaid, Trade Minister, Sid Ahmed Boulil, Transportation Minister and Habib Chawki Hamraou, Minister of Culture and Communication.
State Minister Burhan Kara will return to Turkey on February 26.
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - FULL VERDICT OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CONCERNING CLOSURE OF WELFARE PARTY (RP) PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL GAZETTE - WELFARE PARTY'S 14 YEARS OF POLITICAL LIFE COMES TO AN END WITH THE PUBLICATION OF THE VERDICT - NECMETTIN ERBAKAN, SEVKET KAZAN, AHMET TEKDAL, HALIL IBRAHIM CELIK, HASAN HUSEYIN CEYLAN AND SEVKI YILMAZ LOSE THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN PARLIAMENTANKARA, Feb 22 (A.A) - The full verdict of the Constitutional Court concerning the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) was published in Official Gazette on Sunday morning. The political life of the Welfare Party came to an end with the publication of the verdict.
The Constitutional Court closed RP under the Articles 68 and 69 of the Constitution and under the Articles 101-B and 103-1 of the Law on the Political Parties No. 2820. Mainly, the Constitutional Court accuses RP of its ''activities contrary to the principle of secular Turkish Republic.''
Court of Appeal Chief Public Prosecutor Vural Savas brought a file against RP claming that the latter became a focus of anti-secularist activities and it should have to be closed on May 21, 1997. The closure case ended by the publication of the full verdict of the Constitutional Court in Official Gazette after nine months.
The Constitutional Court declared its decision concerning the closure of RP on January 16, 1998 and the full verdict was published after 37 days. The closure decsion was taken by nine to two votes.
The leader Necmettin Erbakan and other party members namely Ahmet Tekdal, Sevket Kazan, Sevki Yılmaz and Hasan Huseyin Ceylan lost their membership in the parliament, because their statements and acts caused the closure of the party.
Together with these parliamentarians, Kayseri Mayor Sukru Karatepe are barred from being member, founder and leader of any other party for five years.
Meanwhile, 147 parliamentarians from the Welfare Party will be independent parliamentarians from now on. The Constitutional Court did not impose any political punishment for RP members and mayors. These members and mayors can join a new party or join the existing political parties. However a new political party which purports to be a replacement for RP can face the same penalty.
The verdict of the Constitutional Court says that:
''Article 68-4 of the Constitution foresees that the statutes and programmes of political parties shall not be in conflict with the indivisible integrity of the state with its territory and nation, human rights, national sovereignty and the principles of the democratic and secular Republic. Article 69-6 says that the closure of a political party shall be decided by the Constitutional Court, if the latter concludes that the party in question acts contrary to Article 68-4. In this respect, the Welfare Party has become the focus of anti-secular activities and acted contrary to the principle of secularism.''
With the closure of the Welfare Party, the number of empty seats in the parliament increased to eight, while the independent members increased from 16 to 160.
The leader of RP, Necmettin Erbakan, stripped of his parliamentary immunity, may now face possible charges of sedition and contempt of court.
 TURKEY-TRNC - DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT AND TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS GIVE THE MESSAGE THAT TURKEY HAS RESPONSIBILITY OVER CYPRUS QUESTIONGAZIANTEP, Feb 22 (A.A) - Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas gave a message to the world on Saturday that Turkey has responsibility over the Cyprus question.
Speaking at the 100th anniversary of Gaziantep Trade Chamber, Deputy Prime Minister Ecevit said that Turkey will never leave TRNC alone, adding that ''Turkish Armed Forces will not withdraw from TRNC territory till the Turkish Cypriot people say that they are secure. Turkish Armed Forces are not invasion troops. The only target of the missiles purchased by the Greek Cypriot side is Turkey, therefore Turkey has the right to be in the island. As long as Turkish Republic exists, TRNC will also exist.''
Bulent Ecevit stressed that no other principle can be adopted in Cyprus other than bi-communal and bi-sectional one.
Bulent Ecevit stated that investors of Gaziantep province started to invest abroad, adding that ''now they are preparing to invest in TRNC. I congratulate them and believe that this will be an example for other businessmen in other regions.''
Noting that Turkish Cypriot side has been negatively affected from the economic embargo imposed after the 1974 Peace Operation, Ecevit pointed out that Turkey should contribute to economic development of TRNC.
TRNC President Rauf Denktas in his part said that TRNC will do everthing for reconciliation, but it will not give up the flag of TRNC.
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - WELFARE PARTY'S POLITICAL HISTORY OF 14 YEARSANKARA, Feb 22 (A.A) - The Welfare Party (RP), which was closed by the Constitutional Court on January 16, 1998, acted for 14 years in Turkish political life.
Welfare Party was established on July 19, 1983. Its first leader was Ali Tumen, but later Ahmet Tekdal was elected as the party leader. Welfare started to be organized all over the country after it was established, however it could not compete in November 6, 1983 general elections.
Welfare Party competed in local elections held on March 25, 1984 and it won the municipalities of Sanlıurfa and Van provinces and five other towns.
Welfare, which was fully organized in 64 provinces and 59 towns in 1984, held its first congress meeting on June 30, 1985. Necmettin Erbakan, who was banned from politics after September 12, 1980, returned to politics by a referendum held in 1987 and elected as the leader of Welfare Party by majority of votes on October 11, 1987.
Welfare, which competed in general elections of 1987, gained 7,2 votes, but could not enter the parliament.
Welfare party participated in general elections of 1991 by entering into an alliance with Nationalist Working Party (MCK) and Reformist Democracy Party (IDP). This alliance gained 62 seats in the parliament, however the number of Welfare seats decreased to 38 by the withdrawal of 23 MCP and IDP members.
Welfare Party won 28 provinces, including big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Kayseri, Erzurum, Diyarbakır and almost 400 towns and villages in March 27, 1994 Local elections.
The number of Welfare seats in the parliament increased to 158 from 38 after the general elections held on December 24, 1995 and the votes for Welfare reached 21,4 percent (almost six million) in the same elections.
The Welfare Party, which had the highest number of seats in the parliament by increasing its votes by 400 percent, reached an agreement with the True Path Party (DYP) and set up the 54th government of the Turkish Republic on June 28, 1996.
Erbakan who was prime minister for one year, wished True Path Party leader Tansu Ciller to be the new prime minister due to the protocol the two parties signed between them.
However, President Suleyman Demirel appointed Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yılmaz to set up a new government. The 55th government was established on June 30, 1998.
Court of Appeal Chief Prosecutor Vural Savas brought a file against the Welfare on May 21, 1997 claiming that it became the focus of anti-secular activities and it should be closed. The Constitutional Court closed the party on January 16, 1998. The full verdict of the Court was published on February 22, 1998.
 TURKEY-ALGERIA (2) - STATE MINISTER KARA LEAVES FOR ALGERIA - KARA: ''WE WILL SIGN NAVAL TRANSPORTATION AND NAVIGATION AGREEMENT WITH ALGERIA''ISTANBUL, Feb 22 (A.A) - State Minister Burhan Kara said on Sunday that the navigation agreement which will be signed between Turkey and Algeria will strenghthen the existing good relations between the two countries also in the economic field.
Addressing a statement at Ataturk Airport before leaving for Algeria, Burhan Kara said that the political and economic relations between the two countries started to further develop after 1984, ''recently our economic and commercial relations have a tendency to decrease, but I believe that the Naval Transportation and Navigation Agreement will contribute to our economic relations,'' he said.
Kara stated that he will be received by Algerian Prime Minister Ahmet Ojuyahia and hold contacts with Lahcne Moussaoui, Algerian Minister Responsible from International Cooperation, Bakhti Belaid, Trade Minister, Sid Ahmed Boulil, Transportation Minister and Habib Chawki Hamraou, Minister of Culture and Communication.
State Minister Kara will return to Turkey on February 25.
 TURKEY-US-HUMAN RIGHTS - US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE SHATTUCK LEAVES TURKEYISTANBUL, Feb 22 (A.A) - US Assistant Secretary of State John Shattuck wrapped up his contacts in Turkey and left for US on Sunday.
Shattuck met Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz, State Minister Hikmet Sami Turk, Sema Piskinsut, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, Akın Birdal, the Chairman of Human Rights Association (IHD) and Leyla Zana, the former deputy of the banned Democracy Party (DEP), held contacts in emergency state region and visited several prisons.
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - INDEPENDENT SEATS REACH 160 IN THE PARLIAMENT - TRUE PATH PARTY (DYP) BECOMES MAIN OPPOSITION PARTYANKARA, Feb 22 (A.A) - The closure of the Welfare Party (RP) by the Constitutional Court has changed the balances in the parliament. The True Path Party (DYP) became the main opposition party, while the number of independent parliamentarians increased to 160. For the first time in Turkish political system, nearly one third of parliamentarians (29 percent) became independent.
While the number of empty seats increased from two to eight by the closure of the Welfare Party, the number of political parties represented in the parliament decreased from nine to eight. The biggest party became the Motherland Party (ANAP) with 139 deputies and DYP became the main opposition party with 92 deputies.
With the closure of Welfare Party by the Constitutional Court, the number of seats in the parliament has changed as follows:
Motherland Party (ANAP)...................139
True Path Party (DYP) ........................92
Democratic Leftist Party (DSP).............63
Republican Peoples Party (CHP)............55
Democratic Turkey Party (DTP)............22
Great Union Party (BBP)........................8
National Movement Party (MHP).............2
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - 49 FILES CONCERNING RP LEADER ERBAKAN AND THREE OTHER RP DEPUTIES TO BE SENT TO PRIME MINISTRYANKARA, Feb 22 (A.A) - A trial process has started for the former leader of the Welfare Party (RP) Necmettin Erbakan and three other RP deputies namely Ibrahim Halil Celik, Hasan Huseyin Ceylan and Sevki Yılmaz regarding 49 separate cases, by the publication of the Constitutional Court's full verdict regarding the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) in Official Gazette on Sunday.
Parliamentary Presidency will return files concerning parliamentary immunities of four RP deputies to Prime Ministry.
Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the closed Welfare Party (RP) will be tried in seven separate cases, while Hasan Huseyin Ceylan will be tried in five, Sevki Yılmaz in 25 and Ibrahim Halil Celik will be tried in 12 separate cases.
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