HURRIYET (LIBERAL) PRESIDENT DEMIREL MAKES THE VIRTUE PARTY FEEL AT EASE
President Suleyman Demirel's statement which said, ''I do not think that the Virtue Party is a continuation of the Welfare Party (RP)'' made the former RP deputies feel at ease. Demirel's statement is a kind of warning to the High Court of Appeal which is getting prepared to open a case against the Virtue Party.
MILLIYET (LIBERAL) 15 YEARS TO HIJACKER
Mehmet Dag, the hijacker said in his interrogation said he was ashamed of his past. Dag will be tried at the State Security Court on charges of staging an operation through violence and threatening.
CUMHURIYET (LEFT) S-300 TENSION IN THE AEGEAN
Turkey warned the European Union (EU) against the transport of the missiles to Greece.
RADIKAL (LEFT) ELECTION SIGNAL FROM PRIME MINISTER
Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz says that the tax reform could be discussed. Yilmaz said, ''we may postpone implementation of the Article in order not to damage ourselves.''
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL) HEAD COVERING PUTS GOVERNMENT INTO DIFFICULTY
The Motherland Party (ANAP), Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) and Democrat Left Party (DSP) disagreed after the clothing circular that was sent to the Imam Hatip (religious) schools.
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT) PRESIDENT DEMIREL: THE VIRTUE PARTY IS NOT A CONTINUATION
OF THE WELFARE PARTY
President Demirel said that continuation requires incorporating the politics in the same direction, displaying anti-secular activities and engaging in the same kind of activities by the new party which had caused the closure of the other party. When recalled that six deputies were removed from politics, Demirel said ''the others are not deprived of their rights. Those people will of course engage in politics under the roof of another party.
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) ''THE STATE SHOULD OWN THE RELIGION''
Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that solving the problem of the Koran courses is a responsibility of the government to the nation.
FİNANSAL FORUM (ECONOMY) TURKEY IS AFTER THE IRAQI OIL
As the Iraqi crisis turned into a struggle to get a share of the oil, Turkey, in an effort to get a piece of the cake, began activities. Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy who visited the US proposed that Turkey be used as a route in Iraq's exports made by land. The other expectation of Turkey from the Iraqi oil is the activation of the two channels of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline which has a total capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day.
In a written statement, Mustafaoglu reminded that Mehmet Emin Aga was sentenced to 20 months in prison because he use the title of ''mufti'' in his messages issued at the feasts and then he applied to the court of appeal.
Pointing out that the court sentenced Mehmet Emin Aga to 14 months in prison and then converted it to a fine, Mustafaoglu said,
''the conviction of Mehmet Emin Aga is a result of the pressure on the Western Thracians. Greece, which always abuses human rights, ignored the laws one more time with this verdict. Aga was convicted because of his ethnic identity.''
Ciller, according to decisions made in the General Administration Board (GIK) meeting, will meet with Baykal on Feb 27 for the package of proposals which it aims to present for the views of the other political parties.
Ciller is scheduled to meet with Ecevit the same day. Both of her meetings will take place at the Parliament.
Meanwhile, it was also reported that Ciller will meet with Mesut Yılmaz, the Prime Minister and leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP).
Bayram issued a written statement and said that the concerned TRNC official authorities confirmed the statements of the deputies who said that they did not have Greek Cypriot passports.
Noting that such baseless news reports casted a shadow on the respectability and prestige of the government and the Parliament as well as those people, Bayram said, ''we deplore such a news report.''
The Cyprus newspaper published in the TRNC listed the names of several ministers and deputies who were claimed to have Greek Cypriot passports.
Acting on a tip off, security officials raided the house of Murat Collu and arrested 19 Iraqi illegal immigrants and the owner of the house.
The illegal immigrants were sent to the Republic Chief Prosecutor's Office and after the questioning were released to be deported.
The Iraqis told the police that they paid 200 million Turkish Liras each to Rahim Kirmizi who is also an Iraqi citizen, and he took them from Zakho to Baskale. The illegal immigrants added that they came to Van on their own and they were preparing to go to Istanbul and then to Europe.
Addressing a press conference at the Esenboga Airport, Cem told the journalists that Jordan is a very important country for Turkey, and added that his visit to Jordan aims at improving economic and political relations between Jordan and Turkey.
Cem said, ''Turkey and Jordan have good relations with both Israel and the Arab countries. Turkey thinks that Jordan can help the peace process in the Middle East.''
Cem said that he will discuss with the Jordanian officials what can be done to revive the peace process which was in a deadlock.
Cem also said that the issue of forming a region disarmed of the weapons of mass destruction and their missiles will be on the agenda.
Ismail Cem and the Turkish delegation will return to Turkey on Friday.
''Turkey-Germany, Turkey-EU Relations and the Status of Immigrants Living in Germany-Problems and Perspectives'' were discussed during a meeting held at The Marmara Hotel by the Heinrich Boll Fund.
Cem Ozdemir who attended the meeting said that the recent decision about Turkey made by the EU in Luxembourg was unjust, adding that this decision should be changed.
Noting that the EU failed to give the aid worth 650 million ECU which it promised to give after the Customs Union Agreement, Ozdemir said, ''the EU behaved with double standards.''
Ozdemir said, '' the religious factor which was put forward in Turkey's entrance to the EU should be lifted, religion is not an obstacle,'' and added that ''if Europe thinks so, thus this will be for the benefit of several circles in Turkey who did not favor changes in Turkey.'' He also said that the EU was not a money club but a club of values.
Ozdemir pointed out that Germany, as in many European countries, feels concern about the ''immigration'' incident, adding that the right wing parties in Germany brought the issue into the agenda before the election and used it as a tool for elections.
Ozdemir said that the EU, besides its obligations stemming from agreements, should also help non-governmental organizations and stressed that this will solve many questions in the field of education in particular.
Ozdemir defended that Turkey, in order to enter the EU should fulfil its obligations stemming from international agreements and stated, ''the most important problem in Turkey is freedom of thought. Problems can not be solved if people can not express what they think.''
Mentioning the activities he made for Turkish citizens living in Germany, Ozdemir said, ''our activities initiated in Germany on the issue of dual citizenship are continuing. There is nothing worse than being a minority in a country. We have suffered from this for 30 years.''
(Derived from the Newsspot of the Turkish General Directorate of Press and Information.)
ANKARA CRITICIZES GREECE FOR REJECTING PEACE PROPOSALS
''Greece has once more displayed to the world that its official foreign policy is to maintain the current tension in the Aegean and keep all the problems with Turkey unresolved'' the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan told a press briefing yesterday. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem conveyed a five-point proposal to Greece on February 12, calling for, among other suggestions, a direct dialogue on the existing problems in the Aegean and a high-level meeting between the two foreign ministries before the end of March. ''Turkey has proposed a very constructive approach, but the Greek government failed to follow suit. Greece has once again adopted the role of the uncompromising side'' Utkan stressed. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is only one of the means for peaceful settlement, Utkan stressed, adding that for years Greece has been trying to create the idea that the ICJ is the only alternative. /Milliyet-Sabah/
NSC MEETS TODAY
The National Security Council (NSC) will gather today for its usual monthly meeting chaired by President Suleyman Demirel at the Presidential Palace. Internal and external developments affecting Turkey will be evaluated at the meeting. /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/
US AWARDS TURKISH PROFESSOR
The US Biography Institute has awarded Professor Ismail Hakki Aydin, head of the neurosurgery department of Aziziye Hospital, in association with Ataturk University in Erzurum, with its Presidency Honour Prize for his international research and innovations on the subject of brain surgery. /Hurriyet/
TURKISH DELEGATION VISITS BULGARIA
A four-person delegation to Sofia, composed of the Turkish representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), finalized its official visit when it met the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Nadejda Mihaylova, late on Wednesday afternoon. Mihaylova said that an environment of full confidence has been achieved between the two countries.
BULGARIAN COMMANDER VISITS TURKEY
Adm. Hritso Kontrov, the Chief Commander of the Bulgarian Naval Forces, said that they hoped for the support of the Turkish Armed Forces. Kontrov is visiting Turkey following an invitation from Adm. Salim Dervisoglu, the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces. Historical relations between Turkey and Bulgaria should strengthen the already friendly relations between these two countries, Kontrov said, adding that they were aiming at cooperation with the Turkish military, not only in naval affairs but in other military areas as well.
TURKEY AND THE TRNC TO EXPAND COOPERATION
Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will sign an agreement for broader cooperation in the fields of trade and economy today. Dervis Eroglu, the TRNC Prime Minister, on an official visit to Turkey, met with President Suleyman Demirel, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin and Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin yesterday. Today, he is scheduled to meet with the Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
TOP TURKISH OFFICIALS TO VISIT CAUCASUS
Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will pay an official visit to Georgia between March 13-14, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan told reporters on Monday. Meanwhile, President Suleyman Demirel is scheduled to attend the birthday of Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev in Azerbaijan on May 10.
DEMIREL AWARDED DEMOCRACY AND UNITY PRIZE
The Democracy and Unity Foundation yesterday presented President Suleyman Demirel with its ''Democracy and Unity'' award. In his acceptance speech, Demirel said that in a country where there is a culture of democracy, there is also peace, confidence and rights. Later in the ceremony, fifty-four people, including Chairman of the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) Husamettin Cindoruk and Minister of Culture Istemihan Talay, were given plaques in appreciation of their contributions to the foundation and its aims. /All papers/
MINISTRY OF TOURISM TO ESTABLISH A WEB SITE
In order to promote Turkey to the world, the Ministry of Tourism will establish a web site on the Internet which will include three-dimensional pictures, photographs, maps, short films translated into a variety of languages and answers to approximately 1,200 questions frequently asked by tourists.
(To be continued)
The Foreign Ministry statement said that State Minister Isin Celebi, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Tourism Minister Ibrahim Gurdal, several University rectors, governors, mayors, representatives of professions and businessmen will accompany Demirel during the visit.
Demirel is scheduled to address the Turkish-Spanish Business Council and the Madrid Foreign Policy National Institute and will also visit the Barcelona Trade, Industry and Maritime Chambers.
Demirel will visit and address the Spanish Senate, Madrid and Barcelona Municipalities and Catalonia Autonomus Administration Chairmanship.
(Derived from the Newsspot of the Turkish General Directorate of Press and Information.)
ISRAELI JEWISH LEADER IN ISTANBUL
The Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Jews of Israel, Eliyahu Baksi Doron, met with Muslim cleric Fettullah Gulen in Istanbul yesterday for inter-faith talks, the Israeli Consulate officials stated. Doron and Gulen discussed inter-faith dialogue, tolerance and bringing the large monotheistic religions together, they said. /All papers/
ISRAEL PROTESTS TO GREECE
Israel has officially protested to Greece over the Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos' criticism of military cooperation between Israel and Turkey. The Greek Ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry yesterday. Pangalos said in a statement to reporters on Monday in Cairo that Turco-Israeli relations could be described as a barbaric alliance, reflecting the spirit of the Cold War. /Milliyet/
M.EMIN AGA RELEASED
Iskece (Xanthi) Mufti Mehmet Emin Aga, sentenced to 20 months in prison on two separate charges of violence against the official authority, was brought before the Lamia Court of Appeal yesterday. M. Emin Aga was sentenced to eight months on the first charge and six months for the second. Aga, who has paid out nearly 500 million TL in fines (1500 Drahmi per day) for 14 months, was later released. /Milliyet-Sabah/
40 T-80 TANKS FOR SOUTHERN CYPRUS
It is reported that the Greek Cypriot Administration will purchase 40 T-80 tanks from Russia. The cost of the tanks, which will be produced at an arms plant in Omsk, Siberia, will total USD 20 million. It is also reported that USD 3 million in advance has been paid to Rosvooruzheniye, one of the giant producers in the Russian arms industry. /Milliyet/
8TH INTERNATIONAL ISTANBUL FASHION FAIR
The eighth International Istanbul Fashion Fair will begin today in Istanbul. Chairman of the Italian Clothing Industrialists' Association, Vittorio Giulini, will be the guest of honour and 642 foreign and domestic firms are exhibiting at the fair. Giulini said that in the future Istanbul will be the fashion center of the world. /Sabah-Hurriyet/
TURKISH BUSINESSMEN ABROAD TO MEET IN IZMIR
Almost 1500 Turkish businessmen living abroad will meet between 30 April-1 May in Izmir. The second World Turkish Businessmen's Assembly will be chaired by businessman Sakip Sabanci. The meeting will be organized by the Turkish Foreign Trade Foundation with the title of ''Hand-in-Hand towards 2000''. /Sabah-Hurriyet/
''EU MEMBERSHIP WITH TWO FEDERATIONS''
Thomas Miller, aid to the US Special Envoy to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke, said in a statement to the Greek daily newspaper EXUSIA, that he supported the EU membership of a Cyprus with two federations. He added that the EU representatives however would not support two separate and equal representations but only one island representative. /Sabah-Hurriyet/
ENERGY MINISTER ERSUMER IN THE US
Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer, who is in Washington for a American-Turkish Business Council meeting, met yesterday with the US Energy Secretary Federico Pena. During the meeting, projects to transport Turkmen natural gas to the world markets were discussed. Within this framework, Minister Ersumer briefed his US counterpart about a feasibility report on projects to transport Turkmen natural gas via the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The US Secretary Pena praised the report and said that the report could well accelerate completion of the project. /Hurriyet/
CULTURAL COOPERATION WITH GREECE
Turkish and Greek specialists will cooperate in the restoration of ancient Greek and Ottoman monuments. Sources close to the Greek Foreign Ministry say that restoration projects will be financed by the Culture Ministries of the two countries. An 18th-century Greek school and six Byzantine churches will be restored in Turkey, and in Greece specialists will restore two Turkish baths and two mosques. /Hurriyet/
NUMBER OF FP DEPUTIES INCREASES TO 123
Yesterday 12 more independent deputies joined the newly-established Virtue Party (FP). The number of FP seats in Parliament thus became 123. /Hurriyet/
TURKEY'S INCREASING MIDEAST EFFORTS
Turkey is intensifying her efforts to establish ''regional security and cooperation'' by deepening contacts with neighbouring countries after a peaceful end to the gulf crisis has been achieved. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is going to Jordan today, will visit Saudi Arabia in March in order to convey Turkey's opinions on regional issues. /Cumhuriyet/
GULF CRISIS AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER CONFERENCE
The United Nations Turkish Association is organizing a conference, dealing with the recently ended Gulf crisis and changing features of the world order, at the Vakifbank General Directorate conference hall. Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Chairman of the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal are expected to participate in the conference by delivering speeches. /Cumhuriyet/
The Foreign Ministry statement said that consultations which started in Vienna on Jan 16, 1995, for a confidence building measures regime in the Black Sea were concluded three days ago and that the guide document was initialed and adopted.
Turkey expressed the belief that this process will make an important contribution to the strengthening of economic, political and military cooperation between the attending countries, increasing of transparancy and improvement of friendly relations between neighboring countries in the military field.
Kemal Baysak, the Mayor of the Karsiyaka Municipality in Izmir Province, said that the symposium was organized by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Eastern Mediterranean University Cyprus Research Center and the Karsiyaka Municipality.
Pointing out that a number of poets, authors, scientists and reporters from 12 countries will attend the symposium, Baysak said, ''the aim of the symposium is to spread the Turkish language in the countries where Turkish people are living and to support poets, authors and scientists of Turkish origin.''
Baysak said that the second symposium will be held in Karsiyaka.
ANKARA - General Cevik Bir, the Second Chief of General Staff, left for Germany late on Wednesday to pay an official visit as the guest of Gen. Hans Frank, the Second Chief of the German General Staff.
Gen. Cevik Bir will return to Turkey on March 1.
ISTANBUL - Rafidah Aziz, the Malaysian Minister of Trade and the accompanying delegation met with the members of the Association of Muslim Businessmen (MUSIAD) on Wednesday.
Omer Cihad Vardan, the member the MUSIAD Executive Board, said before the bilateral meetings that they had visited Malaysia three times and that they are planning to pay their fourth visit to that country in May.
ISTANBUL - Renault introduced its new car model ''Megane Scenic'' at the Lutfi Kirdar International Congress and Exhibition Hall in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The Renault also introduced the ''Megane Coupe'' and ''Megane Cabriolette'', the sport models of the ''Megane'' series.
MARMARIS - The TUREX'98 (South Aegean Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Machines and Equipment) and the ORGEF'98 (8th South Aegean Food and Beverage Service and Consumption Equipment) Fairs were opened in Marmaris on Wednesday.
A total of 63 companies have stands at the fairs.
ISTANBUL - Fire bombs were thrown at two different ATMs (cashpoints) in Istanbul on Wednesday, causing small-scale damages.
Some unidentified persons threw fire bombs at the ATM of the Salipazari Office of the Ziraat Bank in the Kadikoy district and some other unidentified persons threw fire bombs at the Yapi Kredi Bank's Office at the Abdi Ipekci Street in the Bayrampasa district.
Police said that the investigations are underway.
EDIRNE - The Trakya University signed scientific cooperation agreements with three Bulgarian universities, and is continuing to hold talks with four more universities in Bulgaria, it was reported on Thursday.
Prof.Dr. Osman Inci, the Rector of the Trakya University, told the A.A correspondent that they are assisting with the improvement of friendship between Turkey and Bulgaria.
Pointing out that they signed scientific cooperation agreements with the universities of Stara Zagora Thracian, Sumen Konstantin Preslavsky and Burgaz Free, Prof.Dr.Inci said, ''We are still holding talks with 4 more universities in Bulgaria. With these agreements students will find the opportunity of learning different cultures.''
In the meantime, officials from the 3 Bulgarian universities will participate at the ''Endourology Conference'' which will be held in Edirne between May 14-16.
IZMIR - A Turkish-German joint environmental project won an international award on Wednesday. The joint project for the measuring the air pollution in Izmir Province was prepared by two Turkish and two German universities. The ''Hopes for the Future'' award was presented in a ceremony arranged by the German Consulate in Izmir.
Burhan Ozfatura, the Mayor of Izmir, participated in the cocktail party at the residence of Manfred Unger, the German Chief Consul to Izmir.
The joint project prepared by the Hannover, Stuttgart, Dokuz Eylul and Ege Universities will be completed within 3 years and the Volkswagen Company provided funds of 800 thousand German marks for the project.
The award of the International Union for Air Pollution and Enviromental Protection Associations (IUAPPA), the International Council for Scientific Development (ICSD) and the International Academy of Science (IAS) was presented by Walter Koffler, the representative of the IAS. Koffler gave a plaque to Ozfatura.
Mentioning that they support scientific ideas and practices with this award, Koffler said that persons who prepared the project will be invited to the World Congres to present their project.
The project aims to determine the principles for the improvement of air pollution and environmental conditions.
Ersumer met with his US counterpart Federico Pena and the US Vice President Al Gore's Foreign Policy Adviser Leon Fuerth.
The issues of ''the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline'' and the ''Turkmen natural gas'' were also discussed during the Energy Minister's meeting with the US officials. The US side reiterated the support they extended to the Baku- Ceyhan main pipeline which will carry Azeri oil to the Mediterranean. The US officials once more stressed that they also support the transfer of Turkmen natural gas to Turkey.
The US side reiterated that they were against the passage of any pipeline via Iran.
A feasibility report which Turkey prepared with a German company about the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline was also brought onto the agenda.
It was reported that the US side was positive about the prices related with the costs reported to take final shape, although the report was not prepared yet.
Meanwhile, Pena and Fuerth said that the US was aware of the growing energy needs of Turkey.
Ersumer is expected to meet with the Richard Daley, the US Secretary of Commerce.
Meanwhile, Necdet Menzir, the Minister of Transportation who also came to Washington to participate in the ATC annual meetings said he met with people at General Motors (GM), one of the US's giant companies and the US Eximbank officials.
Menzir said he met with people at the General Motors Company and they discussed the renewal of the diesel locomotives for the State Railroad Company (DDY), adding that ''here, we clarified a 17 million US dollar credit on the issue.'' Menzir also said they had taken steps on the 170 million US dollar project which includes the renewal of locomotives with the latest technology in the Central Anatolian province of Eskisehir.
Menzir said he briefed the Eximbank officials about Turkey's projects related to transportation and communications.
Menzir said he also briefed the US officals about projects related to the Marmaray and Railroad Underpass under the Bosphorus.
Cem, who has started to hold contacts for the abolishment of the weapons of mass destruction in the region after the solution of the crisis between the UN and Iraq, was welcomed in Amman by Cevad Anani, the Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
Responding to the questions of journalists on the flight from Ankara to Amman, Cem stated that Turkey and Jordan have many things to do to consolidate security and stability in the Middle East, adding that he aims to speed up the process of removing ''weapons of mass destruction,'' from the region during his two-day working visit in Jordan.
Noting that the developments regarding the Middle East peace process and other regional problems will be discussed during his contacts in Jordan, Cem said that Jordan is a very important country in this respect.
Cem pointed out that the developing relations between Turkey and Syria is a good start for regional peace.
Cem will meet with King Hussein of Jordan, Abdulselam Majali, the Jordanian Prime Minister and Defense Minister and Cevad Anani, the Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister the same day. Cem will later meet with Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan at a dinner.
The TRNC Presidency said that the TRNC President Denktas noted in his letter dated Feb 24 that no one can remain indifferent to the death of children and sick people in hospitals in Iraq because of lack of medicine.
Attributing importance to the embargo imposed on Iraq, Denktas stated in his letter to Annan, ''I believe that you will initiate efforts to lift the embargo imposed upon the Iraqi children and sick people just to punish the leader of that state.''
A total of five people were trapped beneath the debris. The rescue teams took out the dead body of Erhan Aslan (aged 16) and saved Mehmet Ugurlu, Yasar Altinalp, Ismail Aslan and Muharrem Aydinalp.
Ismail Aslan and Muharrem Aydinalp were taken for medical treatment at the Social Security Administration's (SSK) Kutahya Hospital.
The Gendarme officials said that Mehmet Ugurlu and Yasar Aydinalp were taken into custody on charges of ''coal-theft''.
The latest names of the deputies who joined the Virtue Party after the closure of the Welfare Party by the Constitutional Court, are as follows:
Ertan Yulek (Adana), Sait Acba (Afyon), Ersonmez Yarbay (Ankara), Ramazan Yenidede (Denizli), Abdulkadir Aksu (Diyarbakır), Sabri Tekir (Izmir) and Ahmet Karavar (Sanlıurfa).
The Tourism Ministry said that the advertisement cost of the publications which were in the foreign press exceeded 3.5 trillion Turkish Liras in 1997, as a result of the great efforts by the Tourism Ministry and the tourism sector in Turkey.
The Tourism Ministry, which evaluated the 1997 publications of the foreign media, stated that there were a total of 1069 publications and 1709 pages of news about tourism in Turkey in 1997, including 402 foreign magazines and 67 newspapers.
The articles which were published in the foreign press, usually included Istanbul, the Aegean and Cappadocia in their publications.
The Tourism Ministry stressed that the interest of the Far East in Turkey increased during the same period.
The THY said in a written statement that the round trips will be on Mondays and Thursdays.
The THY planes will take off from Istanbul at 8:40 a.m. and will arrive in Kazan at 1:30 p.m. while the hour of departure from Kazan will be 2:30 p.m. and the hour of arrival in Istanbul will be 5:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.
ISTANBUL - Eliyahu Bakshi Doron, the Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Jews of Israel, met on Thursday with Selahattin Kaya, the Mufti of Istanbul.
Stressing the importance of the dialogue between religions, Chief Rabbi Doron said that the approach of the religions to one another is a great step for peace.
Chief Rabbi Doron left Turkey the same day.
ANKARA/ALGERIA - Turkey and Algeria signed on Thursday an agreement for maritime affairs.
The State Ministry said in a written statement that Burhan Kara, the Minister of State and Ahmed Boulil, the Algerian Minister of Transportation signed the agreement regarding sea transports and navigation.
Turkey and Algeria have reached a consensus on sending technical delegations and on the issues of ''repair and shipbuilding'' and ''privatization of harbours'' during Kara's contacts in Algeria.
The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of meteorology.
NEVSEHIR - The preparations for the new tourism season in the Cappadocia region , one of the important tourism centers in Turkey, have started, it was reported on Thursday.
Ahmet Bayram, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Association of the Cappadocia Touristic Enterprises, told the A.A correspondent that they concluded the modifications of the facilities in Cappadocia.
''We expect 1.6 million tourists from the European, Far Eastern countries, Australia and the US to visit Cappadocia this year,'' he said.
The tourism season in Cappadocia will start on April 15.
ORLEANS - A total of 19 people including one Turkish pianist went to the semi-finals of the International Piano Competition in Orleans, France, it was reported on Thursday.
The semi-finals will be between February 26 and 27 in Orleans.
Speaking to the party group, Menderes said that ''the Virtue Party is a new party and it is a source of hope for the Turkish nation, which will focus on the targets, longings and unsolved issues of Turkey.''
Menderes stressed that the Virtue Party will take the necessary steps regarding the democratization of Turkey, as it will bring a wind of change and reform to Turkish politics.
Tuncer Sen (aged 21) was trapped beneath the debris.
The Gendarmes and rescue teams took out the dead body of Sen after a two- hour rescue.
The investigation related to the incident is underway.
Addressing a statement after the meeting, Rauf Denktas said that he will not meet with Sir David Hannay, the British Special Envoy to Cyprus, who will visit Cyprus in order to persuade the Turkish Cypriot side to participate in the full membership negotiations with the European Union (EU) together with the Greek Cypriot side.
The TRNC President Denktas stressed once again that he will not discuss the EU issue with any EU official including Robin Cook, the British Foreign Minister and Hans Van Den Broek, the EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs.
Pointing out that the EU ignores the Turkish Cypriots, Rauf Denktas added, ''these people, who can not deny that we are one of the equal people on Cyprus, only take the Greek Cypriot side into consideration and then they want us to help them. This is not possible.''
A written statement from the Foreign Ministry said, ''we condemn this development which form a new example of Greek applications to eradicate the status and rights of Turkish minority in Western Thrace which stem from international law, especially from Lozan Treaty.'' The statement said that punishment of a religion official, assigned to this position by his society, just because he was carrying out his duties is against the freedom of religion, belief and expression.
Reminding that Amnesty International announced that it could consider Mehmet Emin Aga as ''criminal of thought'' in case he was sentenced to imprisonment terms and ask for his unconditional release, the statement stressed that Greece violated international law principles.
The statement pointed out that the imprisonment terms against Mehmet Emin Aga reached 94 months in 8 diferent cases, and said, ''we once again call Greece to respect basic rights and freedoms of Western Thrace Turkish Minority.''
General Secretariat of NSC said in a written statement after the meeting that NSC revised the implementation of emergency rule which still continues in six provinces and decided to extend it for another four months by taking into consideration the situation in Iraq and the necessity to complete the works which have been started in these provinces in the fields of education, health and economy. NSC decided to inform Council of Ministers about this issue.
Noting that the situation between UN and Iraq was also evaluated during the meeting, the statement added that NSC welcomed the solution of the crisis by the initiatives of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
A report prepared by the National Education Ministry about the situation and problems of Turkish students studying abroad, was also submitted to NSC and the latter decided to take measures to solve these problems.
The statement also noted that NSC was informed about the situation of military and civilian hospitals and health services in Eastern and Southeastern Region.
Finally, NSC statement noted that important foreign policy developments, the Cyprus question and relations with Greece were also revised during the meeting.