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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-02-27

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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>

27 FEB 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] TURKEY-JORDAN - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM'S VISIT TO JORDAN - CEM MET WITH KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN, JORDANIAN PRIME MINISTER MECALI AND FOREIGN MINISTER ANANI - PRIME MINISTER MECALI: ''TURKEY SHOULD WARN ISRAEL ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS''
  • [03] TURKEY-TRNC - SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT CETIN: ''THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE TWO STATES IN CYPRUS WILL BE THE EU'S'' - ''THE TRNC SHOULD WIN HER ECONOMIC STRUGGLE AS SHE WON HER WAR OF INDEPENDENCE''
  • [04] TURKEY-FOREIGN POLICY - PARLIAMENT GENERAL ASSEMBLY - TEN INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS ACCEPTED
  • [05] TURKEY-ATTACK - 16 MILITARY PERSONNEL WOUNDED AFTER BOMB ATTACK ON KUCUKKOY GENDARMERIE MILITARY POST
  • [06] TURKEY-FOREIGN POLICY - THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL ANNAN'S FORMER SPECIAL ENVOY TO CYPRUS GOBBI: ''SOLUTION ON CYPRUS CAN BE THE PARTITION OF THE ISLAND''
  • [07] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (1)
  • [08] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (2)
  • [09] TURKEY-ATC - ATC MEETINGS START - KANDEMIR: ''TURKISH-AMERICAN RELATIONS SHOULD NOT BE A HOSTAGE TO ETHNICAL LOBBIES''
  • [10] TURKEY-EU - BRITAIN PRESENTS A PROPOSAL PACKAGE WHICH ''EXPANDS THE CUSTOMS UNION''
  • [11] TRNC-BRITAIN - EU TERM PRESIDENT BRITAIN PROPOSES ''EQUAL POLITICAL STATUS'' FOR TRNC WITH GREEK-CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION BEFORE THE EU NEGOTIATIONS ON MARCH 31 - BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BLAIR CALLS GREEK-CYPRIOT LEADER CLERIDES TO INVITE THE TRNC TO THE EU NEGOTIATIONS
  • [12] TURKEY-JORDAN - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN JORDAN - ''NEIGHBORHOOD FORUM'' MECHANISM FORMED BETWEEN TURKEY AND JORDAN TO PROVIDE LASTING SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST'' - KING HUSSEIN EXTENDS FULL SUPPORT TO TURKEY'S INITIATIVE
  • [13] TURKEY-TRNC - DEMIREL RECEIVES CYPRUS TURKISH DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM DELEGATION - WATER WILL BE BROUGHT TO TRNC ON APRIL 23
  • [14] TURKEY-INTERNAL - CPJ AND TURKISH PRESS COUNCIL CALL PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ FOR RELEASE OF IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS
  • [15] TURKEY-TRNC - DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''THE UNJUST ATTITUDES OF SOME CIRCLES IN THE WORLD AND THE EU ENCOURAGES THE GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE''
  • [16] CYPRUS - PASSPORT ARGUEMENT - TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS CALLS ON CYPRUS NEWSPAPER TO DISCLOSE THE DOCUMENT - ''THERE IS NO SUCH REPORT ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOURCES''
  • [17] TURKEY-ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - 88 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED IN ICEL PROVINCE - SEVEN TURKISH PEOPLE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY - GREEK MILITARY DEPORTS 27 IRAQIS
  • [18] TURKEY-INTERNAL - HEAD COVERING AND TURBAN ARGUMENT
  • [19] TURKEY-NARCOTICS - NARCOTICS OFFICIALS SEIZE 171 KG OF BASE MORPHINE
  • [20] TURKEY-US - THE U.S. TO SUPPORT POWER-PLANT CONSTRUCTIONS IN TURKEY - AN AGREEMENT SIGNED TO BENEFIT FROM THE U.S. EXIMBANK CREDITS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF HYDRO-POWER PLANTS IN TURKEY - U.S. FIRMS WILL BE ABLE TO BUILD POWER PLANTS IN TURKEY WITH SUITABLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT - ERSUMER: ''THE U.S. WILL CONTINUE HER SUPPORT TO BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE TO A GREATER EXTENT''
  • [21] TURKEY-INTERNAL - PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ AND DYP LEADER CILLER MEET - YILMAZ: ''GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLANS FOR AN EARLY ELECTION''
  • [22] TURKEY IN BRIEF - FEBRUARY 27, 1998
  • [23] TURKEY-PARTY - NUMBER OF FP DEPUTIES INCREASES TO 133
  • [24] TRNC-BRITAIN - BRITISH VISA FOR TRNC CITIZENS - BRITAIN'S EMBASSY TO ANKARA: ''THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL DECISION'' - ''ALMOST 1200 TRNC CITIZENS APPLIED FOR ASYLUM IN BRITAIN IN LAST TWO YEARS''

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 27, 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) HEAD COVERING DEMONSTRATIONS TAKEN UP IN NSC
    The report of the Security Department General Directorate which was issued after the protests that erupted with the head covering circular was taken up in the National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday. The report said that provocators incited the incidents.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL) SOUTHEAST INSURANCE
    There are strange proposals in a report which President Suleyman Demirel wanted to be prepared. First, the southeast should be completely insured against terrorism. Second, there should be the right of rejection for decisions of the Supreme Court and thirdly ''no'' to arresting persons at the Parliament buildings.

    SABAH (LIBERAL) ISLAMIC DISSAPOINTMENT
    The Islamic countries were not interested in the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) whereas the Western countries showed a great interest. We are experiencing a complete Islamic dissapointment, said Abdullah Gul, one of the leading members of ex-Welfare Party, and new Virtue Party.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT) VIRTUE PARTY UNDER INVESTIGATION
    The High Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutorship started its routine investigation of the Fazilet Party (Virtue Party) which was founded in place of the Welfare Party (RP) that was closed by the Constitutional Court.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    NSC PUTS PRESSURE
    Indirect criticism from the Military to the Motherland Party (ANAP). ''Do not try to gain votes by using head coverings.'' The military flank is determined not to step back in this respect as the government is trying to find a moderate solution.

    YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL) DRAFT TAX DEPENDS ON TRIPARTITE SUMMIT
    The fate of tax reform package which has created a problem between the coalition partners, will be specified during a summit meeting among Mesut Yilmaz, the Prime Minister and leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Husamettin Cindoruk, Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP).

    TÜRKİYE (RIGHT) NEW PROPOSAL PACKAGE FROM EU
    The European Union (EU) in an effort to moderate the behaviour of Ankara, has developed 14 alternatives to strengthen relations.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) TENSION ESCALATES
    Students on Thursday protested the restriction on clothing which was brought unnecessarily. Thousands of students decided not to enter the classes unless the decision is changed.

    FİNANSAL FORUM (ECONOMY) INTENSE INTEREST IN KARS-TBILISI
    The Kars-Tbilisi Railway tender, which is an important part of the restructuring project of the railways in Turkey, and which has been postponed two times, will be held on April 28.

    [02] TURKEY-JORDAN - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM'S VISIT TO JORDAN - CEM MET WITH KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN, JORDANIAN PRIME MINISTER MECALI AND FOREIGN MINISTER ANANI - PRIME MINISTER MECALI: ''TURKEY SHOULD WARN ISRAEL ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS''

    AMMAN, Feb 27 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Turkish Foreign Minister is holding talks with the Jordanian officials on the issue of maintaining a permanent peace and stability in the Middle East, it was reported on Friday.

    Cem met with King Hussein Bin Tallal of Jordan, Abdusselam Mecali, the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Cevad Anani, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Mecali and Anani told Cem that Turkey should warn Israil about the Middle East peace process. Prime Minister Mecali said that the former developments on the issue created expectations in the Middle East countries, but these expectations became a disillusion after a short period.

    Complaining about the Israeli Government's attitude Mecali said, ''Turkey should warn Israel to follow a more constructive policy.''

    In the meantime, the negotiations between King Hussein of Jordan and Cem focused on the issue of regaining Iraq into the international community.

    Reminded that King Hussein had an important role to play in the Iraqi crisis along with the Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Cem pointed out that Turkey is very pleased with his contribution.

    King Hussein of Jordan said that he found Turkey's proposal for a ''security and cooperation mechanism'' to be positive, but concrete proposals concerning the issue should be determined.

    It was reported that the relations with Iran were also on the agenda and King Hussein said that the relations should be developed with Iran, reminding that Iran has been following a more constructive policy recently.

    Pointing out that he shares the same ideas with King Hussein, Cem said that the ambassadors of Turkey and Iran will begin to work again.

    It is expected that Cem and his Jordanian counterpart Anani will make a joint press statement today about the Middle East peace process.

    [03] TURKEY-TRNC - SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT CETIN: ''THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE TWO STATES IN CYPRUS WILL BE THE EU'S'' - ''THE TRNC SHOULD WIN HER ECONOMIC STRUGGLE AS SHE WON HER WAR OF INDEPENDENCE''

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament, said on Friday, ''the responsibility for the events leading to the two states in Cyprus will be the EU's.''

    Cetin met with Kamil Raif, the Director of the Cyprus Turkish Development Platform (CTDP), and a group of journalists from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    In a statement, Cetin said that the solution of the Cyprus problem should depend on political equality for the two communities on the island. Pointing out that the TRNC should win her economic war as she won her war of freedom, Cetin said that the TRNC needs a rapid economic development and Turkey will continue to assist the TRNC's economy.

    Mentioning that the European Union ignores the existence of the community and the state, Cetin said, ''I believe that the problems will be solved and the negotiations will probably restart in March.

    But the responsibility for the solution leading to two states on the island will be the EU's and the Greek Cypriot lobby.''

    Noting that their activities which were begun in December, have a positive platform, Kamil Raif said that they will organize a press conference with the participation of the Turkish journalists.

    [04] TURKEY-FOREIGN POLICY - PARLIAMENT GENERAL ASSEMBLY - TEN INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS ACCEPTED

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Ten draft laws concerning the approval of international agreements has been accepted in the Parliament's General Assembly, it was reported on Thursday.

    Laws are foreseen for the protection of the reciprocal encouragement of investments in various countries, the prevention of double taxation and the establishment of friendship.

    The agreements concerning the reciprocal encouragement and protection of investments with Israel, Croatia, Indonesia, Letonia, Estonia and Sweden have been approved with the laws.

    Other agreements concerning the prevention of double taxation with Israel, Belarus and Indonesia and the friendship and cooperation agreements between Turkey and Kyrgyzstan have also been approved.

    The members of the opposition parties wanted a majority of votes during the discussion of the draft concerning a contract with the member states of the Council of the North Atlantic.

    Uluc Gurkan, the deputy parliament speaker, could not obtain the majority of votes and closed the session.

    [05] TURKEY-ATTACK - 16 MILITARY PERSONNEL WOUNDED AFTER BOMB ATTACK ON KUCUKKOY GENDARMERIE MILITARY POST

    ISTANBUL, Feb 27 (A.A) - Three terrorists Friday opened gunfire and tossed hand grenades at the Kucukkoy Gerdermerie military post in Istanbul Province, wounding 16 military personnel.

    The incident happened at 8:00 a.m. (6:00 GMT) when three armed terrorists opened gunfire on a gendarmerie soldier patrolling in front of the military post. When the soldier countered the gunfire, the terrorists tossed two hand grenades at the military post and fled. The devices exploded, wounding 16 military personnel.

    The wounded were immediately hospitalized.

    A Large-scale operation has been initiated to capture the assailants who fled after the attack.

    Ahmet Kartalkanat, head doctor of the SSK Eyup Hospital said the wounded persons did not have serious injuries.

    "All our wounded people are being treated. There is nobody whose life is in danger," stated Baki Onurlubas, the provincial gendarmerie chief.

    [06] TURKEY-FOREIGN POLICY - THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL ANNAN'S FORMER SPECIAL ENVOY TO CYPRUS GOBBI: ''SOLUTION ON CYPRUS CAN BE THE PARTITION OF THE ISLAND''

    LEFKOSA, Feb 27 (A.A) - The United Nation Secretary General Kofi Annan's former Special Envoy to Cyprus Hogo J. Gobbi said on Friday that the solution on Cyprus can be the partition of the island.

    In a written statement published in the Cyprus Mail newspaper,

    Gobbi noted that he offered an inter-communal solution to the Cyprus problem in his new book named ''Modern Cyprus''.

    Mentioning that partition is a modern way to end the ethnic conflicts, Gobbi said, ''there are inter-communal divisions in the whole world. I believe that my partition offer is the best solution for the Greek Cypriot community.''

    In his article in which he spoke to the Greek Cypriot community, Gobbi stressed, ''extreme patriots on your side believe that they can take over the power and realize a pure Hellenic future on the island. This will be a terrible mistake for geostratejic reasons. Turkish Cypriot community is the tip of the iceberg, but under the surface, it has a giant mass like Turkey.''

    Gobbi noted that he is not optimistic about the initiatives of Richard Holbrooke, the US President's Special Envoy to Cyprus.

    [07] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (1)

    These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on Feb 27, 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.)

    NSC MEETING
    THe National Security Council (NSC) convened yesterday to review the implementation of recommendations for fighting reactionism presented to the government one year ago. The Council also decided to extend the state of emergency in six eastern and southeastern provinces for four months. (All papers)

    JOINT OPERATION PLAN WITH JORDAN
    Turkey, which changed her Middle East policy together with the last change in government and assumed a role of leadership, has found more support for this policy in the Arab world. At the end of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's visit to Jordan, Turkey and Jordan have agreed to act together on issues involving the Middle East.

    The two countries will announce a joint action plan for reviving the Middle East Peace process, and readmitting Iraq into the international community with a declaration they will issue today. The declaration is important with regard to the Middle East policy Turkey will follow from now on. Taking Jordan's full support into account, Turkey will strengthen her role as the ''determinator country''. /Hurriyet/

    US SUPPORTS THE BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE
    The US Government yesterday declared that it supported the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project for the transports of oil from the Caspian Sea oil fields.

    Robert Gee, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Energy, Robert Gee, in a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that the Baku- Ceyhan pipeline was the most suitable option. Gee stressed that the US opposed an Iranian project even though it was the least expensive. /Hurriyet/

    NO BARGAIN ON STRAITS
    Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and National Sources told Leon Fuerth, the White House National Defence Counsellor that Turkey would not discuss the Canakkale or Istanbul Straits within the framework of the Baku- Ceyhan project.

    Ersumer and Fuerth met yesterday to exchange opinions on Turkmenistan natural gas and the Caspian Sea oil transports. Giving details about the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project, Ersumer told Fuerth that the Straits are of great importance not only for security reasons but also for their cultural and historic value. /Hurriyet/

    TURKEY-TRNC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
    An economic cooperation agreement to strengthen economic relations between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was signed yesterday. According to the agreement, laws on trade and economic activities are to be coordinated and trade relations between the two countries will be developed. Dervis Erolgu, the TRNC Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation are continuing their contacts in Ankara. They met yesterday with Ismail Hakki Karadayi, the Chief of General Staff; Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. /Cumhuriyet/

    HANNAY ON CYPRUS
    The European Union (EU) Term Chairman Britain's Special Envoy to Cyprus Sir David Hannay is visiting Cyprus. Arriving at Larnaka Airport Hannay said that he had two aims, one of which was to continue with efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. He added that the second one was to discuss the possibility of forming a Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot joint representation in the EU membership talks. Hannay evaluated the second issue as ''very sensitive and complicated.'' /Cumhuriyet/

    BRITAIN WANTS SHARE IN TURKISH PRIVATIZATION
    Britain has started contacts to share in the Turkish energy sector projects in which Turkey plans the largest privatization and investment developments. An energy conference held under the leadership of David Logan, the British Ambassador to Turkey started yesterday in Ankara. 33 British firms are attending the conference to look for ways to develop cooperation with Turkish firms in privatization and investment projects in the energy sector. In his opening speech Logan said, ''there are many British companies which are active in Turkey. Because they are very satisfied with their positions in Turkey, they are looking for new Turkish partners to develop new projects.'' /Cumhuriyet/

    GREEK VETO ON FINANCIAL AID TO BE LIFTED
    It is reported that there has been a development on the way to get the Greek veto on the European Union (EU) financial aid to Turkey lifted. Peter Heinrich Loffelhardt, a German Foreign Ministry official responsible for Foreign Affairs of the EU Mediterranean policy, pointed out that Germany was not against Turkey's full EU membership. Loffelhardt further asserted that the Greek veto on the 375 million ECUs, which the EU is to extend to meet Turkey's losses following the start of the Customs Union (CU), and on a further 750 million ECUs credit facility will be lifted. Loffelhardt said, ''Because of the Greek veto, Turkey has not yet received the financial aid which was envisaged to be extended following the CU. We are about to persuade Greece to lift her veto. Financial aid will be forthcoming soon''. /Milliyet/

    (To be continued)

    [08] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (2)

    These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on Feb 27, 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.)

    WASHINGTON: AEGEAN REGION IS DANGEROUS
    While the response of the Greek government to the dialogue proposal made by Ismail Cem, the Turkish Foreign Minister is viewed as negative in Turkey, the US regards it as ''encouraging''. Mark Grossman, the US Deputy Secretary of State, noted yesterday that Cem's initiative, begun on 12 February, and the Greek reply on 24 February have ''encouraged'' the US. Grossman declared that confidence-building measures in the Aegean region made by the NATO Secretary-General should be made functional as soon as possible. He added that regarding the Cyprus issue, the US administration should accelerate its efforts in cooperation with the EU and the UN.

    Grossman, who was presented with an ''elite career'' award during an annual conference organized by the American-Turkish Council (ATC), American Friends of Turkey (AFOT) and Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK) yesterday, listed the foremost issues in Turco-US relations as Cyprus, the Aegean, EU integration, human rights, democratization and an alliance against Iraq. Grossman indicated that the US would continue to support Turkey's full EU membership. /Milliyet/

    SIMITIS VIEWS GOODWILL AS ''CUNNING''
    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has described Turkey as an aggressor and declared that Greece was not afraid of threats. Delivering a speech at a session on Turco-Greek relations at the Greek Parliament yesterday, Simitis noted that Athens would continue with its veto policy against Ankara in the EU. Simitis described the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's five-point good-intention dialogue proposal as ''cunning'' and that Greece would not accept an all-out negotiation proposal. He said, ''Our reply is to apply to the international legal authorities''.

    Simitis reaffirmed that Athens was extending full support to the Greek Cypriot's full membership in the EU and said that the EU-Greek Cypriot full membership negotiations would begin on 30 March, and that Greek Cyprus would attend the European Conference in London on 12 March. Simitis declared that the problem on the island would not prevent the full EU membership process of Greek Cyprus./Milliyet/

    ATHENS BLACKMAILING THE EU
    Greece has declared that it will veto the acceptance of all candidate countries to the EU as full-members if the membership of the Greek Cypriot Administration is blocked. The Greek Undersecretary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yannos Kranityotis, has linked the membership processes of the Greek Cypriot Administration and other candidate countries in the EU. ''If problems arise in the membership process of the Greek Cypriot administration in the EU, then the membership initatives of the countries which are expected to enter the EU will also have no future,'' he said./Hürriyet/

    TUPRAS LAUNCHES ENVIRONMENTALIST INVESTMENT
    The Tupras oil refinery has launched a program for replacing fuel oil used in Turkey with lead-free oil by the year 2003. Tupras President Ergun Kuran signed an agreement for the construction of the necessary equipment with the Poster Vheeler Italiana Gama consortium. The 160 million USD project will be initiated in the year 2000. (Sabah)

    MENZIR SEEKS CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES IN US
    Necdet Menzir, the Minister of Transport and Communications, in the United States where he is participating in a conference organized by American- Turco Business Council, is looking for financial support for the Bosphorus underground railway tunnel project. Menzir yesterday informed foreign investors about the tunnel project planned for solving transportation problems. Menzir also visited the General Motors Company which wants to produce locomotives in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [09] TURKEY-ATC - ATC MEETINGS START - KANDEMIR: ''TURKISH-AMERICAN RELATIONS SHOULD NOT BE A HOSTAGE TO ETHNICAL LOBBIES''

    WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (A.A) - The Turkish-American Council (ATC) meetings started in Washington on Friday.

    Nuzhet Kandemir, Turkey's Ambassador to Washington addressing the meeting said that Turkish-American relations should not be a hostage to ethnical ''malice'' lobbies. Meanwhile, Marc Grossman, the US Assistant Secretary of State said that Washington supported Turkey's willingness to be a full member of the European Union (EU). Gen. Erol Ozkasnak, General Secretary of the General Staff said that excluding Turkey from Europe will have a great cost. Jesse Helms, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and influential member of Congress said that Turkey and the US are ''natural allies.''

    Necdet Menzir, the Minister of Transportation and Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources participated in the meeting which was attended by many businessmen and bureaucrats.

    Kandemir said that Turkey has several neighbors having mass destruction weapons and who say they would not refrain from using them. Noting that countries like Syria used terrorism as a foreign policy tool, Kandemir said that terrorists financed their activities by getting involved in drugs and weapons smuggling and money laundering. Kandemir stressed that Turkey and the US should cooperate more against these threats.

    Stressing the necessity of increasing the Turkish-US trade volume and the lifting of obstacles such as quotas, Kandemir said that the US should be saved from the negative effects of anti-Turkish ethnical lobbies.

    Grossman, the US Assistant Secretary of State and former US Ambassador to Turkey said that Turkey was a very important country for the US and stressed the importance of improving trade relations between Turkey and the US. Grossman emphasized that they would carry out efforts to find a solution to the Aegean and Cyprus questions and stressed that his country supported the desire of Turkey to be a full member of the EU.

    Meanwhile, addressing a panel discussion General Erol Ozkasnak said that Europe failed to appreciate the key role which Turkey played in the solution of regional conflicts in favor of the West.

    Ozkasnak stressed that Turkey was open to peaceful dialogue in the solution of problems and pointed out that a strengthened partnership period started in Turkish-US relations.

    Mentioning the anti-Turkish lobbies, Ozkasnak said, ''I hope that the speed of our relations will not be halted by some Congress members.'' He said the cost of excluding Turkey from Europe may be very high and added, ''this cost may be vital for all of us in the future.''

    Helms, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman noted that Turkey was one of the ''most credible'' friendly allies of his country and noted that ''threats and dangers in your region make us natural allies.'' Helms said his country would never forget the support extended by Turkey during the Gulf War and noted that the US would be paralyzed in the Middle East without Turkey.

    Helms also emphasized that Turkey, with its secular and democratic structure, was the best model for the Islamic world.

    [10] TURKEY-EU - BRITAIN PRESENTS A PROPOSAL PACKAGE WHICH ''EXPANDS THE CUSTOMS UNION''

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Sir David Hannay, Britain's Special Sir David Hannay presented a proposal package concerning ''the expansion of the Customs Union'' to Mesut Yılmaz, Turkish Prime Minister, during his meetings in Ankara last week, it was reported on Friday.

    The European Commission will announce the new package next week, answering the complaints of Turkey that ''the EU has not fulfilled its promises''.

    A high level official from Britain's Embassy in Ankara told the A.A correspondent that the package of the expanded Customs Union will bring a series of reforms in the fields of agriculture, social services and industry.

    Stating that the proposal package was presented by Sir David Hannay to the Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz on February 20, the official said, ''Turkey has difficulties because economic cooperation was not carried out. Turkey thinks that Greece prevents the EU's financial aid.''

    The same official also said, ''Greece wants the Kardak problem to be discussed at the Hague. It is very difficult to be optimistic that Turkey and Greece will reach an agreement especially after the latest developments. Turkey sees the EU's financial aid as a technical issue in the Customs Union Agreement and thinks that Greece wants political concession.''

    Diplomatic sources noted that Turkey has lost faith for a short term solution on the relations between Turkey and the EU, and stressed that the EU should change its views to improve Turkey-EU relations. The same sources also emphasized that Turkey ''can not form a state policy on an invisible future.''

    [11] TRNC-BRITAIN - EU TERM PRESIDENT BRITAIN PROPOSES ''EQUAL POLITICAL STATUS'' FOR TRNC WITH GREEK-CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION BEFORE THE EU NEGOTIATIONS ON MARCH 31 - BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BLAIR CALLS GREEK-CYPRIOT LEADER CLERIDES TO INVITE THE TRNC TO THE EU NEGOTIATIONS

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - The European Union (EU) Term President Britain proposed ''equal political status with the Greek-Cypriot administration'' for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) before the EU negotiations on March 31, it was reported on Friday.

    It was reported that Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Britain, sent a message last week to Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek-Cypriot administration, conveying his proposal of ''equal political status for the TRNC'' and wanting Clerides to invite the TRNC to the EU negotiations.

    Britain evaluates the ''equal political status'' concept as an important step. It was reported that Sir David Hannay, the British Special Envoy and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz discussed the Cyprus issue and accepted this new parameter in their meeting on February 20 in Ankara.

    A high-level official from the British Embassy in Ankara said that it is expected that the response to Prime Minister Blair's message will be given during Clerides' presidency statement to be made after the elections on February 28.

    ''Of course, we cannot know whether Clerides will recognize Denktas as the President of the TRNC or not,'' the official said.

    The official said, ''the issue of how Cyprus will attend the EU negotiations'' became a dilemma with Denktas' insisting on his view of ''the TRNC should be recognized as a state''. Demirel and Denktas stated that they accepted the former parameters as removed if the EU enters into the negotiation process with the Greek-Cypriot side. This may constitute an obstacle for Cyprus's membership negotiations.''

    The official stated that Britain wants the Denktas-Clerides negotiations to continue, adding that Turkey had announced decisively that she will not participate in the opening of the European Conference.

    [12] TURKEY-JORDAN - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN JORDAN - ''NEIGHBORHOOD FORUM'' MECHANISM FORMED BETWEEN TURKEY AND JORDAN TO PROVIDE LASTING SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST'' - KING HUSSEIN EXTENDS FULL SUPPORT TO TURKEY'S INITIATIVE

    AMMAN, Feb 27 (A.A) - Turkey and Jordan set up a ''Neighborhood Forum'' mechanism, in a bid to create an atmosphere of lasting security and cooperation in the Middle East. The mechanism is open to other neighboring countries.

    Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, currently in Jordan on a two-day work visit, is continuing the peace initiative project with Jordan for which he took the first steps during the Iraq crisis.

    Cem and Cevad Anani, the Jordanian Foreign Minister staged a joint news conference on Friday and issued a joint communique aimed at bringing peace to the Middle East.

    Within the framework of the Joint Communique, the high ranking officials from Turkey and Jordan will convene once every two months.

    The views of Turkey and Jordan regarding the establishment of security and cooperation in the Middle East were conveyed in the Joint Communique as:

    ''Jordan appreciates the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's neighborhood initiative for peace which he launched within the framework of his visit paid to Baghdad between Feb 4-5.''

    Turkey and Jordan draw the main points of the mechanism including Iraq and her neighbors as follows:

    -Providing regional security and cooperation between Iraq and all her neighbors under an institutional roof,

    -Establishing a region in the Middle East which is purified of mass destruction weapons within the framework of the agreement signed between Jordan and Israel in 1994 and the UN Security Council Resolution No. 687.

    -Supporting all efforts that will speed up the lifting of economic sanctions which are imposed on the Iraqi people.

    -Supporting of the mechanisms that will provide for the sovereignity of Iraq on its own territory and the security of Iraq.

    The Joint Communique also discussed the Middle East peace process.

    Foreign Ministers of the two countries, stressed in the Communique that the Middle East peace process was an important factor to bring peace in the region and conveyed a message to Israel ''to be more constructive during the talks''.

    The Joint Communique, related with the Middle East peace process, noted these points:

    ''Both of these countries reached a consensus of opinion that the Israeli government should take the necessary steps to speed up the peace process and provide for the implementation of the agreements which it signed with the Palestinian government.

    The communique said that the international community should take the required steps to raise the life standards of the Palestinian people.

    The Joint Communique also said that both Turkey and Jordan expressed pleasure at transforming the Iraqi crisis into a compromise, adding that ensuring Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity was of vital importance.

    It said, ''Iraq should fully abide by all the UN Security Council Resolutions without any preconditions'' to prevent the repetition of tensions like recent Gulf crisis. It said Turkey and Jordan welcomed the Security Council Resolution No. 1153 related to the increase in the quantity of oil which Iraq can sell.

    Meanwhile, Cem and Anani, addressing the joint news conference, responded to the questions of reporters.

    Responding to a Jordanian reporters' question about the Turkish Armed Forces' operation launched in Northern Iraq, Cem recalled that Turkey struggled against a separatist terrorist organization like the PKK, adding that the operations of Turkey in the region are aimed at defending herself.

    Noting that the PKK has bases in Northern Iraq, Cem said, ''If there was a central authority in Iraq, then such operations would not be necessary. The PKK has killed thousands of people in our country.''

    Responding to a question of whether or not a cooperation between Turkey and Israel formed a threat against Syria and the other Arab countries, Cem said Turkey's cooperation with any country in the region, would not have any objectives aimed at a third country.

    [13] TURKEY-TRNC - DEMIREL RECEIVES CYPRUS TURKISH DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM DELEGATION - WATER WILL BE BROUGHT TO TRNC ON APRIL 23

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel sent good news to the Turkish Cypriots on Cyprus via the journalists from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Demirel said that water would be brought to the TRNC on April 23, if everything goes as expected.

    Demirel received the ''Cyprus Turkish Development Platform'' delegation which also included the TRNC journalists.

    Addressing the meeting Demirel said lots of things were changing in the world adding, ''we believe that this change will prepare an appropriate atmosphere for the Cyprus question which has been waiting for a solution for a long time.''

    President Demirel said Turkey, regarding solution of the Cyprus question, made its stance well known and added that ''we hope that the conditions which we thought of will be improved in the coming days. The TRNC has been an independent state for 13 years. The period in which the world regarded these people as minority is in the past. It would be very good for them if they could perceive in the new period that there are two states on Cyprus.

    Recalling that he and the TRNC President Rauf Denktas signed a joint declaration in 1997 and told the whole world that any attack which will be aimed at the TRNC would be regarded as an attack on Turkey and also recalled that there would not be a just solution unless the TRNC's rights of sovereignity are accepted.

    Demirel noted that the declaration said that Cyprus's full membership in the EU could only be in question after a solution on the Island and recalled that a protocol signed between the governments on Jan 3, 1997, took up the deepening of economic relations between the two countries.

    Demirel also gave the good news that water would be brought to the TRNC on April 23 and noted that this will be realized with balloons at first and later with pipelines. President Demirel added that later, electricity would be brought to this country and that pipelines and cables would be laid to this end.

    Demirel called on internal solidarity from the TRNC people and told them to stand like a fist against political turmoil. There could not be a difference of opinion on issues that may threaten existence of TRNC.

    Responding to a question Demirel said that if any attack takes place on the TRNC and her territory, this would mean an attack on Turkey and assured TRNC to continue in a secure manner.

    [14] TURKEY-INTERNAL - CPJ AND TURKISH PRESS COUNCIL CALL PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ FOR RELEASE OF IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - The representatives of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Turkish Press Council have asked Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz to release 12 journalists and managing editors imprisoned for the articles they wrote, it was reported on Friday.

    Oktay Eksi, the Chairman of the Turkish Press Council and Editor-in-Chief of the Hurriyet newspaper, and William Orme, the General Director of New York-based JPC held a press briefing and asked the Yilmaz government to review the cases against 12 journalists and requested the government to speed up the press reform as an indication of its faithfulness to freedom of the press.

    Eksi and Orme stated that Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz agreed to consider the 12 cases, adding that Yilmaz also gave assurances that a penal reform is currently being undertaken and is expected to be approved by the Parliament next month which would also end most criminal prosecutions against journalists.

    Eksi said, ''Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's goal is that Turkey is no longer listed as a country that imprisons the greatest number of journalists.''

    The names of the imprisoned journalists are as follows:

    Ismail Besikci (from Yeni Ulke and Ozgur Gundem), Hasan Ozgun (from Ozgur Gundem), Serdar Gelir (from Mucadele), Mehmet Cakar (from Partizan Sesi), Bulent Oner (from Atilim), Kemal Sahin (from Ozgur Gundem), Ibrahim Cicek (from Atilim), Bulent Sumbul (from Ozgur Halk), Asaf Sah (from Kurtulus), Ayten Ozturk (from Kurtulus), Sadik Celik (from Kurtulus) and Haluk Gerger (from Ozgur Gundem).

    [15] TURKEY-TRNC - DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''THE UNJUST ATTITUDES OF SOME CIRCLES IN THE WORLD AND THE EU ENCOURAGES THE GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE''

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Bulent Ecevit, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State said on Friday that the unjust and biased attitudes of the European Union (EU) and some circles in the world encouraged the Greek Cypriot side and caused them to carry out their uncompromising behavior.

    Addressing the meeting with Devis Eroglu, the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the accompanying delegation, Ecevit stressed the importance of Cyprus and the presence of the Turkish people on Cyprus. He stressed that the TRNC was not alone in the struggle in the political and economic fields.

    Criticizing the world and the EU for the attitudes that they assumed on the Cyprus question, Ecevit said, ''their unjust and biased attitudes on the Cyprus issue that ignore the Turkish presence on Cyprus has encouraged the Greek Cypriots.''

    Stressing that the Greek Cypriot side is involved in an intense armament activity on Cyprus, Ecevit said, ''although there is not an intention of attack or any atmosphere of aggression, they are involved in an arms build- up and this has caused the continuation of a tense atmosphere on the island and hampers efforts for peace.''

    Ecevit called on the Turkish businessmen and entrepreneurs to invest in the TRNC. ''The atmosphere of uncertainty on Cyprus has been an element of deterrence for investments on Cyprus for years. However, Turkey's guarantorship, support and cooperation and the sensitivity of the government on the Cyprus issue has lifted the atmosphere of uncertainity on Cyprus. There is no reason to feel concern.''

    Dervis Eroglu thanked for the support extended by Turkey to his country in every field.

    Eroglu said that as they feel the support of Turkey, they did not express concern over the armament of the Greek Cypriot side, adding that a Cooperation Framework Agreement which they will sign with Turkey will contribute to the surmounting of diffuculties.

    [16] CYPRUS - PASSPORT ARGUEMENT - TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS CALLS ON CYPRUS NEWSPAPER TO DISCLOSE THE DOCUMENT - ''THERE IS NO SUCH REPORT ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOURCES''

    LEFKOSA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) called on Friday for the Cyprus newspaper to disclose the ''secret intelligence report'' which it showed as a source for its news report of the ''Turkish Cypriot deputies having Greek Cypriot passports.''

    Denktas said ,''there is no such report according to official intelligence sources. We have not received it as well. If they really have such a report it must be false. The newspaper should immediately hand over the report to the concerned authorities in order not be blamed.''

    Denktas said that the newspaper told the Chief Prosecutor that the Presidency and police have a copy of the report, adding that ''when this was conveyed to us, we looked in our archives but there was not such a report according to the official intelligence sources. This is something beyond a journalists' right, not to disclose his source, because they have disclosed the information and said that this was an official intelligence report.''

    Denktas said that the report must be a false one which was prepared intentionally to create confusion. It is their duty to give the report to the police to reveal this forgery.

    [17] TURKEY-ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - 88 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED IN ICEL PROVINCE - SEVEN TURKISH PEOPLE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY - GREEK MILITARY DEPORTS 27 IRAQIS

    GULNAR/MUT/EDIRNE, Feb 27 (A.A) - Security officials captured on Friday 88 illegal immigrants planning to escape to Italy after the operations in Gulnar and Mut Counties of southern Icel Province.

    Security officials stopped a passenger bus in Gulnar at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday and captured a total of 52 illegal immigrants including 28 Bangladeshis, 7 Burundians, 16 Rwandans and 1 Iraqi trying to escape to Italy.

    Security officials in another operation at the same time stopped a passenger bus in Mut and captured a total of 36 illegal immigrants including 27 Bangladeshis, 6 Moroccans, 1 Nigerian, 1 Zairean and 1 Iraqi trying to escape to Italy.

    Murat Zorluoglu, the Head Official of Gulnar, told the A.A correspondent that these illegal immigrants were trying to escape to Greece at first and then to Italy by sea from the harbours at Tasucu and Aydincik in Icel Province.

    Zorluoglu said that Mehmet Cakmak and Yasar Kur had received 2,500 US dollars per person for their escape and that Cakmak and Kur were taken into custody.

    Zorluoglu stated that they also captured and took into custody Abdullah Yilmaz, Cevdet Carkatan (bus driver), Fikret Carkatan (bus driver) and Erdal Ertemiz, the guides of the illegal immigrants.

    Meanwhile, security officials captured a total of 27 Iraqis including 2 children and 5 women in the military zone in Meric County of Edirne Province.

    The Iraqis said in their hearings that they escaped to Greece earlier but they were captured by the Greek military officials and were deported from that country to Turkey.

    The legal procedures for the captured Iraqis have begun.

    [18] TURKEY-INTERNAL - HEAD COVERING AND TURBAN ARGUMENT

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Bulent Ecevit, the Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister said on Friday that there was no crisis in the government or in the society about the head coverings and turbans, but there were people who want to create a crisis.

    Speaking during a meeting with Dervis Eroglu, the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the accompanying delegation Ecevit responded to the questions of reporters. When a reporter asked, ''there are several problems about the turban circular, I wonder if there is a problem in coalition government?''

    Ecevit said, ''there is no tension or atmosphere of crisis. However, there are people aiming at this. Some circles are trying to form an atmosphere of political crisis.''

    Ecevit noted that there are politicians who have been exploiting the turbans and head coverings for their own political interests for years and condemned the behavior of those people.

    Ecevit said no consessions will be made from the contemporary democratic and natural structure which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Republic of Turkey ensured for the Turkish women.

    ''We will try to dissolve the dilemma not cut it. We will solve this question through persuasion and advise. Please, remove the word crisis.''

    Meanwhile, although the Istanbul University stopped the practice that students having beards and head coverings and those who do not have identity cards would not be allowed to enter the University campus and buildings, the protests of the students continued.

    Security forces adopted intense security measures in the region.

    [19] TURKEY-NARCOTICS - NARCOTICS OFFICIALS SEIZE 171 KG OF BASE MORPHINE

    ISTANBUL, Feb 27 (A.A) - The Istanbul Narcotics officials seized on Friday a total of 171 kg of Afghan-Pakistani origin base morphine in an operation in Istanbul.

    Officials said the base morphine came to Turkey via Iran in the hidden compartments of two passenger buses and its market value is one trillion Turkish Liras.

    Security officials captured and took into custody five people including one Iraqi person in connection with the incident.

    The large-scale investigation related to the incident is underway.

    [20] TURKEY-US - THE U.S. TO SUPPORT POWER-PLANT CONSTRUCTIONS IN TURKEY - AN AGREEMENT SIGNED TO BENEFIT FROM THE U.S. EXIMBANK CREDITS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF HYDRO-POWER PLANTS IN TURKEY - U.S. FIRMS WILL BE ABLE TO BUILD POWER PLANTS IN TURKEY WITH SUITABLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT - ERSUMER: ''THE U.S. WILL CONTINUE HER SUPPORT TO BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE TO A GREATER EXTENT''

    WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (A.A) - An agreement to benefit from the U.S. Eximbank credits for the construction of hydro-electric power plants was signed in Washington on Friday between Turkey and the U.S.

    The agreement was signed by Cumhur Ersumer, the Turkish Minister of Energy, and Bill Daley, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

    After the agreement was signed, Ersumer told reporters, ''the U.S. companies can construct power plants in Turkey with this agreement.''

    ''As you know, we have a system. The two countries agree on the construction of hydro-electric power plants, and determine their guarantees, and an agreement is reached with the companies through bargaining. Recently, the construction of two power plants, one for one billion US dollars and the other for 720 million US dollars has been given to French and Swiss firms with this system, and the construction is about to begin. This, of course, is an important source for investments based on energy, and such an agreement has been signed between Turkey and the U.S. for the first time,'' Ersumer said.

    Stating that Turkey has similar agreements with many countries, Ersumer said that sources for the projects has been created by these agreements.

    Responding to a question, Ersumer said, ''the U.S. seems to continue her support for the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.''

    Pointing out that they submitted a feasibility report to the U.S. concerning the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, Ersumer said that, ''after we have presented this report, we have been told that the U.S. support will continue to a greater extent.''

    Ersumer said that they attribute importance to the U.S. sensitivity about the passage of any pipeline through Iran.

    Stating that he also conveyed information about his visit to Russia and discussed the issue of transferring Turkmen natural gas to Turkey through a pipeline via the Caspian Sea, Ersumer said, ''we wanted Russia to be included in this process, and they were positive.''

    Ersumer said, ''Chernomyrdin and the Turkmenbası will come to the U.S. Taking into consideration all these, I can say that both projects will be realized in this year.''

    Ersumer also met with his U.S. counterpart Federico Pena, and Leon Fuerth, Foreign Policy Adviser to Vice-President Al Gore.

    [21] TURKEY-INTERNAL - PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ AND DYP LEADER CILLER MEET - YILMAZ: ''GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLANS FOR AN EARLY ELECTION''

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz who also acts as the Motherland Party (ANAP) leader said on Friday that the government will continue on course despite all the difficulties adding that ''neither the ANAP nor the government has a plan for early elections.''

    Addressing a news conference at the Parliament after meeting with Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), Yilmaz said that Ciller told him that Turkey was going through an atmosphere of instability and that an election was indispensable in such a case.

    Yilmaz said that Ciller, acting with the view that the country has entered to an election atmosphere, brought proposals related to the Election Law and the Political Parties law.

    Yilmaz said that he told Ciller that he did not have the same opinion, adding, ''I told Ciller that Turkey's primary need was not an election, but performance and that our government is resolved to continue despite all difficulties.''

    Ciller, has earlier met Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader, and Deniz Baykal, leader of Republican People's Party (CHP) which does not take in the government but supports it in the parliament.

    [22] TURKEY IN BRIEF - FEBRUARY 27, 1998

    ANKARA - Abdulkadir Karaoglan, the Chairman of the Frankfurt Turkish-German Club, met with Ulugbay on Friday and gave him an aid cheque of one billion Turkish Liras collected from the members of the club for the eight year compulsory education.

    Hikmet Ulugbay, the Minister of National Education said that the amount of donations for the eight years of compulsory education is not important, the important thing is ''the message and support given by those donations''.

    ANKARA - The Council of Ministers approved on Friday the 20 million US dollars loan agreement signed between Turkey and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on October 28, 1997, to finance the Irrigation Administration and the Privatization of Irrigation Investments' Project.

    The loan will be used by the State Water Works (DSI), the General Directorate of Rural Services and the Water Users' Organizations to implement the targets of the project in accordance with the agreement published in the Official Gazette the same day.

    The project is anticiated to be concluded by June 30, 2002.

    ANKARA (A.A) - A total of 502,439 motor vehicles were registered last year, it was reported on Friday.

    The total in 1996 was 342,256.

    ANKARA - The Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade (DTM) said on Friday that the imports meat and livestock from Romania of European Union (EU) origin, within the context of the free trade agreement signed between Turkey and Romania, is impossible.

    The DTM said that the quota of one tonnes of meat given to Romania within the context of the agreement is not even 0,1 percent of Turkey's consumption.

    ANKARA - Burhan Kara, the Minister of State, said on Friday that they will expend efforts to legalize the draft law related to the labour union rights of those working in the public sector by the middle of March.

    Kara said that they will raise the issue at the Parliamentary Consultation Committee meeting that will convene on Monday.

    [23] TURKEY-PARTY - NUMBER OF FP DEPUTIES INCREASES TO 133

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Nine deputies who became independent after the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) by the Constitutional Court, transferred to the Virtue Party (Fazilet Party) on Friday and thus the number of deputies of the FP increased to 133.

    Here is the list of the deputies who joined the FP:

    Azmi Ates (Istanbul), Mustafa Unaldi (Konya), Nurettin Kaldirimci (Kayseri), Bulent Arinc (Manisa), Ilyas Arslan (Yozgat), Kazim Arslan (Yozgat), Kahraman Emmioglu (Gaziantep), Ismail Ilhan Sungur (Trabzon) and Hanifi Demirkol (Eskisehir).

    [24] TRNC-BRITAIN - BRITISH VISA FOR TRNC CITIZENS - BRITAIN'S EMBASSY TO ANKARA: ''THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL DECISION'' - ''ALMOST 1200 TRNC CITIZENS APPLIED FOR ASYLUM IN BRITAIN IN LAST TWO YEARS''

    ANKARA, Feb 27 (A.A) - Britain has said that her decision to apply visas to the citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is not ''a political decision'', following the reaction of Denktas, the TRNC President to this decision by not receiving any British official.

    An official from Britain's Ankara Embassy told the A.A that the decision is not a political one, but rather is directed at preventing TRNC citizens from seeking asylum in Britain.

    Stating that almost 1200 TRNC citizens applied for asylum in Britain in the last two years, the official said, ''this figure increases every year. Only in 1997, 459 people applied for asylum.''

    Concerning Denktas' reaction by ''not meeting with any British official,'' the official said, ''this is the decision of Mr. Denktas. But Britain's decision is not political. It must not be evaluated this way.''

    Denktas has said that he will not meet with Sir David Hannay, Britain's Special Envoy, who held contacts on the Greek Cypriot side on Thursday. Hannay, who expressed his disappointment at Denktas' decision, will meet with the TRNC officials on Friday.


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