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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-02-26
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
26 FEB 1998
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 26, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. You will find more detailed summaries of the main stories in the Turkish press in a few hours.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL) PRESIDENT DEMIREL MAKES THE VIRTUE PARTY FEEL AT EASE
MILLIYET (LIBERAL) 15 YEARS TO HIJACKER
SABAH (LIBERAL)PASSPORT SCANDAL ON CYPRUS
It was revealed that three ministers and 10 deputies of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have Greek Cypriot passports.
CUMHURIYET (LEFT) S-300 TENSION IN THE AEGEAN
RADIKAL (LEFT) ELECTION SIGNAL FROM PRIME MINISTER
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL) HEAD COVERING PUTS GOVERNMENT INTO DIFFICULTY
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT) PRESIDENT DEMIREL: THE VIRTUE PARTY IS NOT A CONTINUATION
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) ''THE STATE SHOULD OWN THE RELIGION''
FİNANSAL FORUM (ECONOMY) TURKEY IS AFTER THE IRAQI OIL
 TURKEY-WESTERN THRACE - DIRECTOR GENERAL OF WTTCA MUSTAFAOGLU: ''THE CONVICTION OF MEHMET EMIN AGA, MUFTI OF ISKECE, IS A RESULT OF THE PRESSURE ON WESTERN THRACIAN TURKS''ISTANBUL, Feb 26 (A.A) - Taner Mustafaoglu, the Director General of the Western Thracian Turks' Cooperation Association (WTTCA), condemned the conviction of Mehmet Emin Aga, Mufti of Iskece, on Thursday.
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.''
 TURKEY-POLITICS - DYP LEADER CILLER TO MEET WITH ECEVIT AND BAYKAL ON FRIDAYANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP) leader will make a ''Leaders Tour'' with the leaders of the political parties having groups in the Parliament. First of all, Ciller will meet with Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister and Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) it was reported on Wednesday.
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).
 TRNC - DISCUSSION OF HAVING GREEK CYPRIOT PASSPORTS - TRNC ACTING PRIME MINISTER BAYRAM: ''INVESTIGATION STARTS RELATED TO THE FALSE NEWS REPORTS''LEFKOSA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Mehmet Bayram, the Acting Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) who also acts as the Minister of Transportation and Public Works said on Wednesday that the Chief Prosecutor's office launched an investigation related to the news reports which said that several ministers and deputies of the TRNC have Greek Cypriot passports.
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.
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - 19 IRAQI ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED IN VAN PROVINCEVAN, Feb 26 (A.A) - The Police captured 19 Iraqi illegal immigrants in Van Province on Wednesday.
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.
 TURKEY-JORDAN - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM LEAVES FOR JORDAN - A DELEGATION OF 40 PEOPLE ACCOMPANIES CEMANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Turkish Foreign Minister and the Turkish delegation of 40 people, left for Jordan on Wednesday for a formal visit.
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 - FEDERAL GERMAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER OZDEMIR: ''THE RELIGIOUS FACTOR, WHICH WAS PUT FORWARD IN TURKEY'S ENTRANCE TO THE EU, SHOULD BE LIFTED AS THE EU IS NOT A CHRISTIAN CLUB''ISTANBUL, Feb 26 (A.A) - Cem Ozdemir, the Greens Group member of the Federal German Parliament urged on Wednesday that the ''religious factor'' which was put forward in Turkey's entrance to the European Union (EU) should be lifted as the EU was not a Christian Club.
''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.''
 TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (1)These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on Feb 26, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
(Derived from the Newsspot of the Turkish General Directorate of Press and Information.)
ANKARA CRITICIZES GREECE FOR REJECTING PEACE PROPOSALS
NSC MEETS TODAY
US AWARDS TURKISH PROFESSOR
TURKISH DELEGATION VISITS BULGARIA
BULGARIAN COMMANDER VISITS TURKEY
TURKEY AND THE TRNC TO EXPAND COOPERATION
TOP TURKISH OFFICIALS TO VISIT CAUCASUS
DEMIREL AWARDED DEMOCRACY AND UNITY PRIZE
MINISTRY OF TOURISM TO ESTABLISH A WEB SITE
(To be continued)
 TURKEY-SPAIN - PRESIDENT DEMIREL DUE IN SPAINANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel will pay a visit to Spain between March 3-5 upon the invitation of the Spanish King Juan Carlos I, it was reported on Thursday.
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.
 TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (2)These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on Feb 26, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
(Derived from the Newsspot of the Turkish General Directorate of Press and Information.)
ISRAELI JEWISH LEADER IN ISTANBUL
ISRAEL PROTESTS TO GREECE
M.EMIN AGA RELEASED
40 T-80 TANKS FOR SOUTHERN CYPRUS
8TH INTERNATIONAL ISTANBUL FASHION FAIR
TURKISH BUSINESSMEN ABROAD TO MEET IN IZMIR
''EU MEMBERSHIP WITH TWO FEDERATIONS''
ENERGY MINISTER ERSUMER IN THE US
CULTURAL COOPERATION WITH GREECE
NUMBER OF FP DEPUTIES INCREASES TO 123
TURKEY'S INCREASING MIDEAST EFFORTS
GULF CRISIS AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER CONFERENCE
 TURKEY-BLACK SEA - CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES IN THE BLACK SEA - TURKEY, UKRAINE, RUSSIA, ROMANIA, BULGARIA AND GEORGIA TO FORM A CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES REGIME IN THE BLACK SEAANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Turkey, the Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia adopted a guiding document specifying the framework of negotiations on Thursday.
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.
 TURKEY IN BRIEF - FEBRUARY 26, 1998IZMIR - The First International Cyprus and the Balkans Turkish Literatures' Symposium is scheduled to take place on Cyprus between March 3 and 6, it was reported on Wednesday.
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.
 TURKEY-US - MENZIR AND ERSUMER IN WASHINGTON - US SUPPORT EXTENDED TO THE BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE AND BRINGING OF TURKMEN NATURAL GAS TO TURKEYWASHINGTON, Feb 26 (A.A) - Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resouces, currently in Washington to participate in the American- Turkish Council (ATC) annual meetings, is continuing his contacts, it was reported on Thursday.
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.
 TURKEY-JORDAN - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN JORDANAMMAN, Feb 26 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived in Jordan on Thursday.
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.
 TRNC-UN - TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS SENDS A LETTER TO UN SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN: - ''I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE YOU FOR PREVENTING A WAR WHICH WOULD HAVE PRODUCED TRAGICAL CONSEQUENCES''LEFKOSA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) sent a letter to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan saying, ''I would like to congratulate you on behalf of my people and myself for preventing a war which would have produced tragical consequences for every one,'' it was reported on Thursday.
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.''
 TURKEY-MINE - LANDSLIDE IN AN ABANDONED COAL MINE IN KUTAHYA - ONE PERSON DIES, TWO OTHERS INJUREDKUTAHYA, Feb 26 (A.A) - A landslide occurred at an abandoned coal mine in the Karakiran region in Darica County of central Kutahya Province at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday.
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''.
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - NUMBER OF VIRTUE PARTY DEPUTIES INCREASES TO 123ANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - The number of deputies of the Virtue Party (FP) increased to 123.
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).
 TURKEY-TOURISM - WORLD PRESS INTERESTED IN TURKEY IN 1997 - ADVERTISEMENT COST OF PUBLICATIONS REGARDING TOURISM IN TURKEY EXCEEDS 3.5 TRILLION TURKISH LIRAS ABROADANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - The foreign press published comprehensive articles which praised Turkish tourism in 1997, it was reported on Thursday.
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.
 TURKEY IN BRIEF (2)- FEBRUARY 26, 1998ISTANBUL - The Turkish Airlines (THY) will start its round trip flights between Istanbul and Tataristan's capital of Kazan by March 5, it was reported on Thursday.
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.
 TURKEY-POLITICS - AYDIN MENDERES JOINS THE VIRTUE PARTYANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Aydın Menderes, who became an independent deputy after the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) by the Constitutional Court, joined the Virtue Party (FP) on Thursday.
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.
 TURKEY-MINE - A COAL MINE IN VAN PROVINCE COLLAPSES - ONE MINE WORKER DIESGURPINAR, Feb 26 (A.A) - A private coal mine in Topcudegirmen Village in Gurpinar County of eastern Van Province collapsed at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday due to torrential rains.
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.
 TRNC-BRITAIN - TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS ''I WILL NOT MEET WITH HANNAY, COOK AND VAN DEN BROEK''LEFKOSA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) met with David Madden, the British High Commissioner to Lefkosa on Thursday.
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.''
 TURKEY-GREECE - ANKARA CONDEMNS GREEK COURT'S DECISION TO IMPRISON XANTHI MUFTI MEHMET EMIN AGAANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - Turkey condemned on Thursday a Greek court's decision to sentence Mehmet Emin Aga, the Xanthi Mufti, who was elected to this position by Western Thrace Turks in Greece in conformity with the international agreements, to 14 months imprisonment on charges of occupying this position and title illegally.
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.''
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL (NSC) MEETING ENDS - NSC DECIDES TO EXTEND THE TERM OF EMERGENCY RULE FOR FOUR MONTHS IN PROVINCES OF DIYARBAKIR, HAKKARI, SIIRT, SIRNAK, TUNCELI AND VAN STARTING FROM MARCH 31, 1998ANKARA, Feb 26 (A.A) - National Security Council (NSC) decided on Thursday to extend the term of emergency rule for four months in provinces of Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Siirt, Sırnak, Tunceli and Van starting from March 31, 1998.
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.
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