HURRIYET (LIBERAL) PHOTOGRAPH OF THE DAY
The Welfare Party (RP) became history and Necmettin Erbakan has been banned from politics for five years. Now everybody asks ''who will be the new leader?'' The photograph of the Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan while praying in front of the party members gives a clue for the answer.
The Foreign Ministry said that the contacts to restart a dialogue continue between Turkey and Syria after the Syrian Foreign Minister Faruk Shara's statement to one Turkish TV channel regarding Turkish-Syrian relations.
Pointing out that Aykut Cetirge will pay an official visit to Damascus within that framework, the Foreign Ministry said, ''the opportunities for restarting a dialogue process between the two countries will be included during Aykut Cetirge's contacts in Damascus. Turkey wants to re-establish a basis for dialogue with Syria including combatting terrorism effectively to which Turkey attaches great importance.''
Cem will address a press statement on Monday at the weekly press briefing held for foreign journalists.
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish General Directorate of Press and Information.)
WELFARE PARTY CLOSURE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE
The justification of the Constitutional Court verdict to close down the Welfare Party (RP) was published in the Official Gazette yesterday. In addition to the closure of the Welfare Party, there is a political ban on six of its former members, including chairman Necmettin Erbakan. They are expected to face prosecution for supporting Islamic fundamentalism and opposing the secular system in Turkey. Erbakan and four other deputies will lose their parliamentary seats and will not be allowed to become executives of parties for a period of five years.
The parliamentary balances changed when the decision to close the Welfare Party was legalized in the Official Gazette yesterday. The number of empty chairs in Parliament now stands at eight, including those of two deputies who passed away during this parliamentary term. The number of independent deputies in Parliament now stands at 160. /All papers/
VIETNAM AND TURKEY SIGN SECOND ECONOMIC COOPERATION PACT
Vietnam and Turkey have signed a second cooperation agreement aimed at boosting bilateral trade and investment, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Saturday. The first economic cooperation pact was signed last year and a third one also may be signed, Cem said. Bilateral trade is about 60 million USD a year, mostly Turkish exports to Vietnam. ''We want to raise the volume and have a better balance,'' Cem told a news conference at the end of a brief visit.
He said Turkish contractors are interested in the Vietnamese construction sector and will look into the possibilities for projects on which they can bid. He said Vietnam has expressed interest in setting up a trade representative office in Turkey, and added that the two parties will exchange further visits soon. /All papers/
SEZGIN: ''HOPE-INSPIRING AGREEMENT''
Ismet Sezgin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense noted yesterday that the move towards agreement between the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan and the Iraqi Head of State Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was indeed very pleasing and said that the diplomatic solution of the problem was hope-inspiring. He added, ''Turkey has carried out its responsibilities regarding this issue and will continue to carry them out in line with developments.''
An agreement between Kofi Annan and Saddam Hussein will be signed today. The first reaction of the US is cool, ''First, we have to see the text. Even if it is positive, the US military units will stay in the Gulf anyway.'' It has been officially reported that agreement has been reached on the UN control of the eight presidential palaces allegedly used to hide weapons of mass destruction. /Milliyet/
CRIMEA CALLS FOR AID
Mustafa Abdulmecil Kirimoglu, the Speaker of the Crimean Tatar National Parliament noted over the weekend that the Turkish and Crimean peoples were brothers and said, ''We do not want only aid for our development, but we also want Turkish businessmen to make investments in the Crimea.'' Kirimoglu added that in addition to the official meetings he held in Ankara, his contacts with business leaders were also very positive. /Milliyet/
CHIEF RABBI TO VISIT TURKEY
Israeli Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi Doron will arrive in Turkey today for a two-day visit. Doron, who will first arrive in Istanbul, will proceed on to Ankara tomorrow and meet with Istemihan Talay, the Turkish Minister of Culture and Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, the Head of the Chairmanship of Religious Affairs. After visiting Ataturk's Mausoleum, he will return to Istanbul the same day and visit with the Mufti Selahattin Kaya. Doron will leave on Wednesday. /Milliyet/
(To be continued)
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister said in a written statement that they are pleased with the agreement signed between the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and Kofi Annan, and that he felt honoured as Turkey had made a modest contribution to the outcome.
Pointing out that the government had followed a ''balanced, conciliative and resolved'' policy since the beginning of the Gulf crisis, Cem said that they are holding lasting contacts with Kofi Annan and the US, Russia, China, France and England, the member countries of the UN Security Council.
''Turkey successfully realized her function for the resolution of the crisis and made her modest but distinguished contribution to the peaceful solution,'' Cem said.
Emphasizing that the only thing that should be done is to remove the social and economic reasons causing the crises in time, Cem said that their proposal package for Baghdad is a realistic and prudent package aiming at that target.
Stating that he will voice these proposals during his visit to Jordan that will start on February 26, Cem said he will seek ways of securing a permanent agreement in the region in his meetings with Hussein, the King of Jordan, Crown Prince Hasan and the Jordanese Foreign Minister Anani.
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish General Directorate of Press and Information.)
US PEACE PLAN FOR THE AEGEAN
It is reported that the US President Bill Clinton's special Cyprus envoy Richard Holbrooke has proposed a ''Turkish-Greek Agreement" in order to ease the tension between Ankara and Athens. Ankara views the agreement, in which the principles of ''friendly relations'' are prominent, as ''positive in principle'', while the stance of Athens is not clear. It is reported that there is no consensus of opinion between Kostas Simitis, the Greek Prime Minister and Theodoros Pangalos, the Foreign Minister.
According to an article published in the Greek ''To Vima'' newspaper, the Greek Prime Minister prefers a ''non-aggressive agreement'', while the Turkish side prefers a ''friendship, cooperation and friendly relations'' agreement, which has a more comprehensive content. /Milliyet/
THE TURKISH-AMERICAN BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING IN WASHINGTON
Top Turkish energy sector officials are off to the US to discuss energy investments. The annual Turkish-US Business Council meeting will be held between 25-26 February in Washington. Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said yesterday that they would discuss the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Station, the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project, LNG thermal stations, hydroelectric power stations and privatization in the sector with the US officials. It has also been announced that representatives of the US Amoco, Unocal, National Powers, Westinghouse, and Mobil companies are in line to meet with the Turkish officials. /Sabah/
NGOs TO MEET
The chairmen of the Turk-Is (Turkish Confederation of Labour Unions), DISK (Confederation of Progressive Labour Unions), TISK (Turkish Confederation of Employers Union), TOBB (Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges) and TESK (Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Artisans) non- governmental organizations will meet today in Istanbul to discuss problems on the domestic agenda. Bayram Meral, the Chairman of the Turk-Is, said that they would especially discuss some new adjustments in the election system. Refik Baydur, the Chairman of the TISK, noted that the aim of the meeting was to seek solutions for Turkey's problems. /Sabah/
BLAIR: ''OUR DOORS ARE OPEN TO TURKEY''
Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister said over the weekend that the European Union was not excluding Turkey. In a special statement to the Turkish daily newspaper Sabah, Blair added that now for the first time Turkey's full EU membership candidacy was being accepted at both the statesmen and governmental levels. Blair said, ''the doors are open for Turkey to attend the European Conference. Turkey and Britain are known for their pragmatic policies, and for policies that will be of benefit to both countries.'' /Sabah/
GOVERNMENT MOVES TO OVERCOME RED-TAPE
A conference on public computer networks begins today in Ankara. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will deliver the opening speech at the conference which is being held to work out the final details on a project for the establishment of a single computer network connecting all public establishments. The project will be instrumental in fighting bureaucratic red-tape. /Hurriyet/
TEXTILE SECTOR LEADERS EVALUATE IMPACT OF ASIAN CRISIS
Ismet Ozcan, Chairman of the Turkish Association of Textile Producers, said that by June the impact of the Asian financial crisis shaking the Far East will also hit Turkey. The Association has prepared a report on the anticipated results of the crisis in Turkey and presented it to the cabinet and to Gazi Ercel, the Chairman of the Central Bank. Textile producers are planning to hold a summit meeting to discuss measures for minimizing the negative effects of the Asian crisis. /Hurriyet/
GREEK CYPRIOTS PREVENT TOURISTS FROM ENTERING TRNC
Efforts by Greek fanatics to prevent tourists from entering the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) continued yesterday at the Ledra Palace crossing between the two communities on the island. This time, they were also supported by the other youth groups. /Cumhuriyet/
TURKEY WANTS DIALOGUE WITH SYRIA
Turkey has again started seeking to renew political dialogue with Syria that Turkey cut-off because of the Syrian support for the PKK terrorist organization. Ambassador Aykut Cetirge is going to Syria today. /Cumhuriyet/
The Parliamentary Council sent an official letter to 132 parliamentarians including the six deputies who lost their membership in the Parliament.
With the closure of the Welfare Party, the offices of seven parliamentarians who were recently working on the Human Rights Commission, four on the Research Commission regarding newspapers, four on the European Union Research Commission, three on the Investigation Commission regarding the Parliament Hall, four on the Privatization Implementation Committee and 99 working in specific commissions, have ended.
The Presidency sent letters to the other political parties represented in the Parliament and requested their candidates for these offices.
However the political party groups are expected to wait for a while taking into consideration the possibility of the former Welfare Party deputies establishing a new party.
Commander Akgoz stated that the third and ninth troops of the Turkish Army staged ten large-scale, 45 medium-scale and 2529 small-scale operations against the separatist terrorist organization PKK in 1997 and struck a heavy blow on the terrorists.
Akgoz stressed that 1997 became a grave for the PKK and terrorism has come to the point of finishing today and an atmosphere of security has been established in the region.
Pointing out that there are very few terrorists left in the Erzurum, Agrı, Igdır, Kars and Ardahan regions, Akgoz added that a portion of the terrorists have escaped abroad, while others withdrew to the Tunceli and Seytan mountains.
Brigadier General Akgoz added that operations are underway against the separatist terrorist organization in the region between Yedisu of Bingol Province, Pulumur of Tunceli Province and Tercan of Erzincan Province.
Addressing a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry, Ismail Cem said that ''Turkey tried to contribute to the peace efforts. These efforts gave a correct result. The Turkish government welcomes the outcome, to which Turkey also provided a modest contribution.''
Noting that Turkey has pursued a policy by acknowledging its strategic importance from the beginning of the Iraq-UN crisis, Cem added that ''however the conclusion of the crisis by reconciliation does not mean that the issue has been solved. What needs to be done now is to gradually remove the political, economic and social causes that lead to the crisis.''
Cem stressed that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has played a key role in reaching this outcome, recalling that Annan officially extended support to the initiative of Turkey.
''If a deal had not been reached, Turkey in particular would have been harmed economically,'' said Cem, adding that the development programme of the government regarding Southeastern Turkey, would be harmed by such a military intervention in Iraq.
Cem pointed out that he attributes great importance to his visit to Jordan on Thursday, which will be realized just after the accord reached in Iraq.
Responding to questions of journalists, Cem said, ''I will not comment on the attitude of the US. Kofi Annan said he is hopeful that the UN Security Council will approve the accord.''
Cem stressed that measures should be taken concerning ''the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, the territorial integrity of Iraq and the abandonment of the weapons of mass destruction throughout the Middle East, '' as they are foreseen by the UN Resolution.''
Ismail Cem stated that Turkey conveyed her views to the Iraqi officials regarding improvement of a cooperation with the latter, which has economic and security dimensions.
Stressing that the issue of lifting economic sanctions on Iraq will be discussed later, Cem added that these sanctions will be gradually lifted provided Iraq abides by the UN Resolutions and Turkey will do her best to speed up this process.
Responding to a question, Cem stressed that Syria is well aware of all the developments, adding that ''we have been holding contacts with all of Iraq's neighbours and we have not received a negative reaction from Syria concerning our initiative.''
Kirimoglu said that he will continue to hold contacts with the Turkish businessmen in Istanbul for two more days.
Meanwhile, Anatoly Franchuk, the Prime Minister of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, left Turkey for the Crimea the same day.
GAZIANTEP - Yenal Ansen, the General Director of Halkbank, said on Monday that they will give a loan of 30.7 trillion Turkish Liras to 2,290 small and medium-scale enterprises (KOBI).
Ansen told the A.A correspondent that nearly two thousand people will be employed with the 30.7 trillion Turkish Liras of credit.
Ansen said that the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions will use 26 percent of the KOBI credits.
ANKARA - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs continued its search for funds to implement its ''Turkish Animal Husbandry Improvement Project'', it was reported on Monday.
Officials from the Ministry said that priority will be given to the organization of livestock breeding and that a model of livestock fattening on contract will be implemented and that the production of breeding animals and registering of the lineage will be encouraged by the new project which aims at the preparation of a concrete infrastructure for animal husbandry.
ANKARA - The Turkish Coal Administration (TKI) obtained 42 trillion Turkish Liras in profit last year, it was reported on Monday.
The annual loss of the TKI before 1990 was nearly 35 trillion Turkish Liras.
The TKI obtained 10.2 trillion Turkish Liras in profit in 1995 and 32.6 trillion Turkish Liras in profit in 1996.
ISTANBUL - Nami Cagan, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, said on Monday that the draft law regarding unemployment insurance will be approved by the Parliament this year and that Turkey's image as ''the only OECD member country that does not provide unemployment insurance'' will be removed.
Cagan will leave for Italy the same day to participate in the Meeting of Labour Ministers of the Mediterranean Countries.
Prior to his departure from the Ataturk Airport, Cagan said that the topic of the meeting is to provide for the continuity of the international negotiations regarding the basic rights of the workers.
Cagan said that the technical assistance to the International Labour Organization (ILO) member countries will also be determined in the meeting that will take place between February 24 and 25.
Nami Cagan will return to Turkey on February 26.
ANKARA - The Bosnia-Herzegovina cultural activities, which were organized with the joint coordination of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense and Bosnia-Herzegovina's Defense Ministry, will start on February 25, it was reported on Monday.
The Ministry of National Defense said in a written statement that the activities will start with a photograph and weapon exhibition at the Ataturk Cultue Center covering the war years in Bosnia-Herzegovina and will continue at the Buyuk Theatre with the exhibitions covering Bosnia- Herzegovina's folklore.
Bosnia-Herzegovina's 39 member cultural delegation will leave Turkey on March 3.
Speaking at the press briefing, Cem stated that Turkey has presented concrete proposals in its peace note to Greece on February 12.
''We have received positive reactions from the world, particularly the foreign ministries of NATO and the EU countries have encouraged our initiative. However we have not received anything from Greece,'' said Cem.
Noting that Turkey has difficulty in presenting her policies abroad through propaganda, Cem added that the last peace initiative of Turkey showed that she is seeking reconciliation.
Cem stressed that Turkey has emphasized several important points in her call for peace submitted to Greece, listing them as follows:
-Improvement of the Madrid Declaration, which was approved by the two countries and making it a permanent agreement.
-Implementation of confidence-building measures which were proposed to Turkey and Greece by the NATO Secretary General.
-Putting into force the Wise Men Committee mechanism. -Re-definition of the problems between the two countries and the meeting of high ranking officials from the two foreign ministries before the end of March.
Cem, who returned from the Far East on Sunday, also gave information about his visit to China and Vietnam.
Noting that Turkey has launched efforts to improve the economic relations with the Far East, Cem said that with this objective the Foreign Ministry has developed a project called ''Silk Road 2000''.
Cem said that Turkey, which has a dynamic economy, effective democracy, a strong army and experienced foreign ministry personnel, is resolved to improve her relations with China and Vietnam.
Cem summed up the results of his visit to China and Vietnam as follows:
-The political infrastructure of the contacts of Isin Celebi, the Minister of State, who will visit China in April, has been set up.
-The two countries reached a consensus of opinion regarding the opening of branches of Turkish banks in China.
-''The Turkish Information and Trade Center'' has been set up in Sanghai.
-The Turkish and Vietnamese officials decided to establish a political basis for improving political and economic relations.
Cem stressed that Turkey will also hold contacts with Singapore, Thailand, Malesia and Taiwan within the framework of the Silk Road 2000 Project.
Addressing a press briefing, Cem stated that ''none of our representatives has been welcomed in France like President Demirel and this visit was also covered widely by the French press.''
Cem stated that the Turkish and French foreign ministries worked together before the Demirel's visit to France and issued an action plan which foresees political, economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries in 2000.
Responding to the questions of journalists, Cem said that ''participating in the contacts of President Demirel means a political training for me, however the government and the ministry work on other serious issues.''
Al Dakheel submitted a letter from the Kuwaiti Emir Al Sabah to President Demirel at the meeting.
The Presidential Press Center said in a written statement that ''Al Sabah noted in his letter to President Demirel that the contacts of President Demirel with the leaders of the Gulf regarding the tension between Iraq and the UN have been very effective and Turkey's approach reflects the unique status of Turkey in the Arab and Islamic world.''
The statement also noted that ''President Demirel explained his views about the recent situation in the Gulf during the meeting. Al-Dakheel explained the approach of Kuwait concerning this issue and expressed the pleasure of his country about the interest of Turkey, which aims at peace and stability in the region.''
The Virtue Party thus gained 20 deputies in the Parliament and set up a parliamentary group.
The deputies who joined the ranks of the Virtue Party from the closed RP, and the provinces they represent are as follows: Yakup Budak, (Adana), Sıtkı Cengil (Adana), Ahmet Çelik (Adıyaman), Zeki Ergezen (Bitlis), Bedri İncetahtacı (Gaziantep), Þinasi Yavuz, (Erzurum), Ömer Özyılmaz (Erzurum), Avni Doðan (Kahramanmaraþ), Mikail Korkmaz (Kırıkkale), Ali Oðuz (İstanbul), Yaþar Canbay (Malatya), Fikret Karabekmez (Malatya), Fethullah Erbaþ (Van), Naci Terzi (Erzincan), Ömer Naimi Barım (Elazıð), Zülfikar Gazi (Çorum), Nedim İlci (Muþ), Hüsamettin Korkutata (Bingöl), Mustafa Kamalak, (Kahramanmaraþ) and M. Ali Þahin (İstanbul).
The Virtue Party chairman Ismail Alptekin also called all the independent deputies to join their ranks.
Pointing out that almost 160 deputies became independent with the closure of the Welfare Party, Alptekin said that up until now this ''problematic'' picture has not been experienced in Turkish politics. Alptekin also stressed that his party is not the continuation of any political party.
Ismail Alptekin refrained from giving information about his party's address, emblem, regulations and program.
Meanwhile Nuh Mete Yüksel, the Ankara State Security Court Prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Sevki Yılmaz, a deputy of the closed Welfare Party who lost his parliamentary status along with the ex-RP leader Necmettin Erbakan, on 25 charges, mostly for alleged slandering of officials in speeches.
Yüksel told the A.A reporter that he issued the arrest warrant for Yılmaz especially for ''his activities against the constitutional, secular, democratic state structure within Turkey and abroad.''
Stating that ''these activities are included in Article 146.1 of the Turkish Criminal Law which foresees capital punishment,'' Yüksel said that he will file a law suit against Necmettin Erbakan, the closed RP leader and Hasan Hüseyin Ceylan, the former deputy who both lost their parliamentary status after the reports prepared about them are handed to him.
Ersumer has left for the US to participate at the annual meeting of the American-Turkish Business Council. Before leaving Turkey, Ersumer addressed the journalists at the Ataturk Airport and stated that all issues connected with the Turkish-American Energy Cooperation Agreement will be discussed in the meetings.
Cumhur Ersumer will meet with his US counterparts and discuss recent developments in Turkey especially on oil, gas and electricity. Ersumer told reporters that the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and
Turkmen natural gas pipeline will be discussed during the meetings and added that ''the final decision regarding these lines will be announced this year.''
Responding to a question, Ersumer said that in choosing the nuclear power station to be put up for tender, the specifications such as the latest technology, adaptation to the environment and experience will be taken into consideration.
Mahmut Halal, the Governor of Kargamis District, told the A.A correspondent that the entrance procedures of the diesel fuel-charged tankers waiting at the Syrian side were concluded in accordance with the permission of the Prime Ministry.
SOFIA - A delegation of Turkish parliamentarians including four members of the Organization on Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE) Parliament Assembly Turkish Group, arrived in Sofia on Monday to hold official contacts.
The delegation including the Ankara Deputy Ahmet Bilge and the Bursa Deputies Hayati Korkmaz and Ahmet Simsek, is led by Tekin Enerem, the Chairman of the OSCE Parliament Assembly Turkish Group Istanbul Deputy.
The delegation will hold contacts and make observations at the Bulgarian Parliament and will also meet with Nadejda Mihaylova, the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria.
The delegation's visit to Bulgaria will last until February 25.
ALGERIA/ANKARA - Burhan Kara, the Minister of State, met on Monday with Youcef Yousfi, the Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines and with Ahmed Boulil, the Algerian Minister of Transportation.
Burhan Kara said that the issue of transportation between the two countries is of great importance and emphasized that he wants the relations to be further improved.
The Ministry of State said that Kara offered to the Algerian authorities the usage of Turkey's capacity in ship construction and in maritime activities for the development of harbours and for the joint production of ships.
ISTANBUL - The Eighth International Istanbul Fashion Fair will take place at the World Trade Center in Istanbul between February 26 and March 1, it was reported on Monday.
Ismet Ozcan, the Chairman Turkish Ready-to-Wear Industrialsts' Association and Vittorio Giulimi, the Chairman of the Italian Ready-to-Wear Industrialists' Association will hold a press briefing on February 25.
ANKARA - Admiral Hristo Kontrov, the Chief Commander of the Bulgarian Naval Forces, who is holding official contacts in Turkey, met on Monday with Admiral Salim Dervisoglu, the Chief Commander of the Naval Forces.
Pointing out that he is ready to launch every initiative to secure peace and stability in the Black Sea and in the Balkans, Admiral Dervisoglu said in the meeting that the relations with the Bulgarian Naval Forces will be further improved within that framework.
The guest Commander Admiral Kontrov said that Turkey and Bulgaria will continue to secure peace in the region.
ANKARA - The Industry Working Group within the framework of the D-8 (Developing 8) will hold its second meeting in Ankara on Tuesday to discuss the issue of the ''design, development, production and marketing of crop duster planes''.
The Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that the crop duster plane project, which was prepared by the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry and TUSAS, will be introduced in the two-day meeting.
The delegations from the D-8 member countries of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malesia, Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan will attend the meeting.
ISTANBUL - Yusuf Bolayirli, the General Director of Turkish Airlines (THY) said on Monday that after Swissair, they signed a ''Letter of Strategical Intention'' with Belgian Airlines (Sabena) and Austrian Airlines.
Bolayirli said that the flight networks and sales policies are coordinated and a coordination in private passenger programmes is provided with the letter of intention.
''Our aim is to offer more alternatives to our passangers,'' he said.
ANKARA - The block sale of the Konya Chrome Magnesite Brick Industry and Trade Inc.'s one hundred percent public shares was put up for tender on Monday for the third time.
The period for submitting the bids will end on March 23, 1998.
The necessary documents are available at the Chairmanship of the Administration for Privatization for an amount of 15 million Turkish Liras.
The capital of the company is one trillion Turkish Liras and the paid capital is 799.3 billion Turkish Liras.
Responding to the questions of journalists, Cetin said that the peaceful solution of the Iraq-UN crisis depends on the full implementation of the UN Resolutions by Iraq.
''The news that has been received from Iraq is positive. I hope that the issue will be solved peacefully. Moreover the lifting of the embargo imposed on Iraq depends on the full implementation of the UN Resolutions by Iraq. Turkey attributes a great importance to the solution of the crisis and the lifting of the embargo. If this is the case, then Turkey will overcome her difficulties in the economy and terrorism,'' said Cetin.
Responding to another question, Hikmet Cetin pointed out that ''if a final agreement is reached between Iraq and the UN, then I believe that the US will not take the risk to use force.''
Korkmaz Haktanir was expected to engage in political consultations with Strobe Talbott, the US Assistant Secretary of State and Thomas Pickering, the Undersecretary during his contacts in Washington.
The leaders of the workers' trade unions noted in the joint statement that the government has to find the ways for realizing the economic, social and political measures that it had promised earlier to achieve, adding that if this is not the case, early elections will be inevitable.
Refik Baydur, the Chairman of DISK, said that the five NGOs have come together to protect and improve the free, secular and democratic regime in Turkey, pointing out that first of all the government should cope with inflation by creating an atmosphere of solution which will be based on social reconciliation.
''Governments which can not be successful in their struggle with inflation, also endanger democracy,'' said Baydur, adding that the five NGOs in Turkey reject a kind of privatization which is not based on an understanding of social justice. We expect the government to solve the difficulties in the fields of energy, unemployment, unregistered economy and distribution of income,'' said Baydur.
The joint statement also stressed that the political parties should not remain indifferent to the needs of the people and assist the effective working of the Parliament with a new understanding or by establishing a new formation. The statement also noted that Turkish democracy will be strengthened if the political parties act within a common understanding.
Several sessions covering the issues of defense, energy, textiles, telecommunications, banking, tourism and health will be held during the conference which was organized by the American Friends Association of Turkey and the Foreign Economic Affairs Committee to further improve economic and cultural relations between Turkey and the US.
The Vehbi Koc Foundation American Hospital will represent Turkey in the health sector at the conference.
Only 5 parties could manage to win seats in the Parliament in the general elections held on December 24, 1995. The Parliament which was represented by the Welfare Party (RP), True Path Party (DYP), Motherland Party (ANAP), Democratic Left Party (DSP), and Republican People's Party (CHP) later became a four party parliament after the resignations from the parties and finally the closure of the RP. First, the Great Union Party (BBP) deputies who entered the Parliament on ANAP's lists, returned back to the BBP. Subsequently, the resignations from the True Path Party, paved the way for the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to get seats in the Parliament. When Korkut Ozal left the ANAP, the Democratic Party (DP) entered into the Parliament.
Closure of the Welfare Party decreased the number of political parties, but the Virtue Partie (FP) which was established instead of the RP entered the Parliament without losing time. The deputies who found themselves independent after the closure of the RP began to join the FP. Thus, for the first time since 1946 when the multi-party system was adopted, the Parliament has experienced such a development.
Along with this, other ''firsts'' also took their place on Turkey's political agenda:
-Governments based on a rotating premiership were established during the coalitions of the DYP-ANAP and the RP-DYP, but the governments collapsed before premierships were handed over.
-Necmettin Erbakan, who was banned from politics for 7 years after military coup on September 12, 1980, and whose first parties, the National Order Party (MNB), and the National Salvation Party (MSB) of which he was the chairman were also closed, lost his parliamentary status for the first time as a politician who once held the position of prime minister. Erbakan gained the title of the first politician whose three parties he established were all closed.
-The Constitutional Court closed for the first time a political party which was the big partner of a coalition, and which has the largest number of seats in the Parliament.
-With the closure of the Welfare Party, the number of independent deputies reached 160 and became the largest group in the Parliament even for a short period of time.
-The Virtue Party became the party which established a parliamentary group in the shortest period of time when the ex-Welfare Party deputies joined its ranks. If the ex-RP deputies all join the Virtue Party, then this party will be the largest party in the Parliament with 147 deputies without taking part in a general election.
The OSCE Parliament Assembly Turkish Group Chairman Istanbul Deputy Tekin Enerem said that they completely support Bulgaria's membersip process to join NATO and the European Union (EU), emphasizing that the relations between Turkey and Bulgaria have rapidly improved.
Pointing out that they are closely monitoring and appreciating the reform activities in Bulgaria, Enerem said, ''we believe Bulgaria will conclude its integration process with the EU in a short time.''
Noting that the improvement of the cooperation between Turkey and Bulgaria will contribute to the solution of several problems in the region, Enerem said, ''the primary wish of our two countries is to secure the permanent peace and stability in the region.''
The Turkish parliamentarian delegation will meet with Yordan Sokolov, the Speaker of Bulgarian Parliament and the members of the Bulgarian Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission on Tuesday.