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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-02-11
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
11 February 1999 Thursday
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 11, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL) IRAQ CRISIS IN ANKARA
PRESIDENT DEMIREL STARTS A DISCUSSION
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)PRE-ELECTION OF THE PEOPLE
The task of candidates in the coming general and local elections is very difficult, because not only the eyes of citizens, but also of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) are on them. In many provinces, ''Civilian Public Inspectors'' and ''Parliamentary Watch Committees'' have been set up. These committees will investigate the past of candidates who will compete in the elections and they will try to identify whether or not the candidates involved in corruption in the past.
TAREQ AZIZ TO VISIT TURKEY
SABAH (LIBERAL)SPAIN IS IN CHAOS
There is a discussion going on between Spanish government and the Basque people concerning the gathering of the so-called ''kurdish parliament in exile'' in Basque region of Spain. Oreja, the Spanish Minister of Interior criticized the gathering of the so-called parliament in Basque by saying that ''this means supporting violence and it is a blow on democracy.'' Atutxa, the Basque Parliament Speaker said in his part that ''we are autonomous and nobody can interfere with our decision.''
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)PRIVATIZATION ''STRIKES''
Aktas Elektrik, which distributes electricity to 1.4 million subscribers in the Anatolian part of Istanbul, once again became the target of accusations. Council of State annuled the transfer process which was made in 1990 within the scope of privatization. However, Aktas is in the same situation for years although its illegality was approved.
Ali Yigit, the Chairman of EMO Executive Board, said Aktas still did not pay its state debt worth of 123 trillion Turkish Liras as of 1997 and wasted 264 bilion Turkish Liras in 1994 in the Marmarabank.
SPAIN DISCONTENTED WITH DECISION OF BASQUE
The Spanish Foreign Minister Matutes said, ''the kurdish parliament in exile was established by the members of the terrorist organization which staged lots of terorist attacks. The decision of the Basque parliament was a decision which is not friendly against an allied government.''
RADIKAL (LEFT)WE ARE BLACKS OF TURKEY
Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) described his party as ''the blacks of Turkey.'' Noting that President Suleyman Demirel causes people to be frightened, Kutan stated that ''there are white and black people in this country and the former can do anything.''
PARLIAMENT TO GO ON A HOLIDAY
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)ECEVIT: ''WE'LL BE THE FIRST PARTY''
Addressing the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Group meeting, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, ''we became the biggest party of left in 1995 elections. I believe we will be the greatest party of Turkey after the upcoming elections.''
''DSP proved that it is ready for power. We are the most reliable party,'' Ecevit said.
BAKU-CEYHAN IS READY
Aktas said the issue would be finalized following the last meeting on 18 February and the oil would start to flow through Ceyhan from Baku in October or November 2003.
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)STRONG SLAP TO ATHENS
The European Parliament rejected Greece's proposal for granting Ocalan with political asylum right.
The European Parliament in its Bureau of Assembly meeting rejected to discuss the draft prepared by the initiative of Greek parliamentarians. It was stressed that most of the European Parlaiment members opposed to giving political asylum right to Ocalan in a European country and they had a tendency to refuse such efforts.
ECEVIT INVITES TAREQ AZIZ
The Iraqi state-run new agency (INA) noted that the bilateral relations would be taken up during the contacts of Aziz who will visit Turkey as the official guest of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
The INA gave no detailed information about certain date of Aziz's visit to Turkey.
Aziz will pay this visit within next two or three days.
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)IGNORANCE RUINS A FAMILY
Meryem Arık, who died in Kahramanmaras State Hospital before giving birth to her child due to ignorance, revealed once again the scandal seen in the hospitals. Meanwhile an investigation is underway concerning Arık's death.
 THE MEETING OF THE SOCALLED ''KURDISH PARLIAMENT IN EXILE'' - RATO, SPANISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND ECONOMY MINISTER: ''WHAT WE WOULD THINK IF TURKEY HAD EMBRACED A SPANISH TERRORIST ORGANIZATION''MADRID, Feb 11 (A.A) - Rodrigo Rato, the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy said on Wednesday that ''what we would think if Turkey had embraced a Spanish terrorist organization like the ridiculous decision taken by the Basque Parliament'' about the gathering of the so-called ''kurdish parliament in exile'', adding whether the Basque parliament could take such a decision about an issue that concerns foreign relations of Spain is another matter of discussion.
Responding to a question asking how this decision will effect the commercial relations between the two countries, Rado said that Spain has more commercial interests than Turkey and the decision can result in unemployment of many people in the Basque region of Spain.
 CROATIAN PRESIDENT TUDJMAN MEETS WITH CETIN, THE PARLIAMENT SPEAKER - CETIN ''WE REGARD CROATIA AS AN ELEMENT OF BALANCE IN THE REGION''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Franjo Tudjman, the Croatian President who came to Turkey as an official guest of President Suleyman Demirel on Wednesday, met with Hikmet Cetin, the Parliament Speaker the same day.
Speaking before the interdelegationary meetings held between the two countries, Hikmet Cetin recalled that Turkey was one of the first countries which recognized Croatia, adding there are not any problems between the two countries.
''In parallel with the rapidly developing relations between our countries, the strengthening of relations between our parliaments also carries great importance, because we regard Croatia as an element of balance and stability in the region, in that respect the dialogue between us should be improved in all fields,'' said Cetin.
Cetin pointed out that the two countries will take up issues that concern the two countries particularly the Kosovo question which threatens the peace and stability of the region and whole Europe during the meetings.
Franjo Tudjman, the Croation President said in his part that they don't have any problems with Turkey and the relations improve every day.
Noting that they expect the continuation of Turkey's contributions in the installation of peace in the region, Tudjman stated that ''this cooperation between Turkey and Croatia will also be useful in the international arena.''
 TURKISH-CROATIAN INTERDELEGATIONARY MEETINGS CONCLUDED - COOPERATION AGREEMENTS SIGNEDANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - The interdelegationary meetings between Turkey and Crotia were concluded on Wednesday.
Following the meetings, the two countries signed five cooperation agreements. President Suleyman Demirel said after the signing ceremony that the tete-a-tete and interdelegationary meetings were very beneficial, adding, ''we discussed the problems in our region. We took up bilateral relations.''
Pointing out that especially the Kosovo issue made the two countries anxious, President Demirel said that they also discussed the developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the implementation process of the Dayton Agreement.
''I want to hope that the problem in Kosovo will be solved before more bloodshed. I want to reemphasize that I appreciate the Crotian President Franjo Tudjman's statesman attitude in this issue,'' President Demirel said.
Noting that there were many things to be done in the fields of education, economy, culture, defense and investing, Demirel said the sides during the meetings put forward their determination in improving bilateral relations.
Crotian President Franjo Tudjman said that the bilateral relations were developed when Croatia declared her independence.
Stressing that President Demirel exerted himself in the solution of the problem in Bosnia, Tudjman said that the relations between the two countries contributed to the developments regarding the Bosnia-Herzegovina issue.
Emphasizing that Kosovo had a special importance, Tudjman said that the Kosova issue should be solved as soon as possible as the issue was damaging the region also in the fields of economy and other fields.
Pointing out that the agreements signed between Turkey and Croatia proved that the two countries can cooperate also in the fields of economy, culture and investing, Tudjman said, ''we decided mutually that our two countries will be in solidarity also in the international platform. My visit to friendly country Turkey will improve the cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and sports and it will contribute to peace.''
The agreements, which were signed between Turkey and Croatia, foresee the prevention of smuggling of plant, veterinary and customs services, legal, judicial, scientific and technological cooperation.
 SAHIN, MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE: - ''I HOPE A LOAN AGREEMENT WITH IMF WILL BE SIGNED BEFORE ELECTIONS''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Metin Sahin, the Minister of Industry and Trade, said on Wednesday that he hoped a loan agreement would be signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before the upcoming general elections.
Sahin responded the questions of reporters during a cocktail party at the 68th International Izmir Fair.
When asked whether or not an agreement based on financial source could be signed with IMF before elections, Sahin said that the IMF delegation, which held contacts for 15 days in Turkey, explained that Turkey had a very healthy economy.
Pointing out that the successful results were announced to the world through the IMF, Sahin said, ''I hope that a loan agreement will be signed with the IMF before the elections. Thus, we know that after the elections, the international foreign capital will make important investments in Turkey and realize a specific source transfer into Turkey.''
When asked whether or not the factories had the power to re-employ the workers they dismissed, Metin Sahin said they had discussed the issue with the employers at the Economic Social Council meeting and agreed to assume joint act to prevent dismissal of workers.
 SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES' CHAIRMEN OF PARLIAMENTARY FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION FOUNDING MEETING - FINAL STATEMENT REFERS TO THE KOSOVO QUESTIONANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - The final statement issued at the end of the Southeast European Countries' Chairmen of Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission Founding Meeting referred to the Kosovo question, underlining the fact that the problem is the most important problem that threatens the region, it is reported on Wednesday.
Addressing a press briefing after the meetings which lasted for two days, Murat Karayalcın, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission who was also the Chairman of the Conference, said that the meeting was held in order to set up a regional parliamentary plaftorm and to increase reciprocal understanding and friendship and provide peace, security, prosperity and stability in the region.
Noting that they have decided to transform the conference into a regular mechanism, Karayalcın pointed out that the final statement was conveyed to the negotiations held in France concerning the Kosovo question upon the proposal of the chairman of the Romanian delegation.
Stressing that a consensus of opinion was reached among regional countries concerning the struggle with terrorism, Karayalcın stated that information was given to the participant countries about the terrorist organization PKK which tries to infiltrate to the Balkans.
The final communique published at the end of the conference included issues like:
-the participant countries stressed their resolution to further improve the process of Southeast European cooperation and reached a consensus of opinion about institutionalizing the parliamentary dimension of this structure.
-The participants exchanged opinions about the Kosovo question, while the Yugoslavian representative expressed deep concern about the situation in Kosovo and wished for refrainment from violence in the region.
-The conference confirmed that it extends full support to the negotiations that are going on in France about the Kosovo question.
-The participant countries explained their expectations in a way that will give an opportunity for establishment of a multi-participant structure in Kosovo which will respect the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.
-The conference stressed the importance of the vital support that will be extended by the Balkan countries to the full implementation of Dayton Peace Agreement regarding Bosnian issue in order to make the common institutions work and provide the safe return of those people who were forced to migrate from their homes.
-The conference expressed pleasure over the support extended by Turkey and Greece to the membership of Bulgaria and Romania to the NATO by taking into account the fact that the security of the Balkans is an indispensable part of peace and stability in Europe.
 CROATIAN PRESIDENT GIVEN MEDAL OF HONOURANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Wednesday that the Croatian nation was one of the ''oldest nations in Europe'' and they appreciated and supported Croatia's efforts for its development after it gained independence.
Franjo Tudjman, the President of Croatia was decorated with the medal of honour of state with a ceremony. Addressing the ceremony, President Demirel said that the Medal of Honour of the Republic of Turkey was given to the statesmen who contributed to the improvement of friendly relations between the states.
Noting that Turkey would continue to support the Croatian people and government in their efforts to strengthen the federation process and to secure peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Demirel said, ''meanwhile, your efforts to develop the existing cooperation between our two countries are very estimable. I believe the close relations between our two countries will gain more strength as a result of your contributions. The perfect relations between Turkey and Croatia will play a crucial role in securing peace, stability and prosperity in our region.''
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman said in his part that the relations between the two countries had reached a perfect level in both bilateral and international platforms, stressing that those relations also contributed to the solution of the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
''We got positive results from the tete-a-tete and interdelegationary meetings we held today. Our friendship has been reinforced,'' Tudjman said.
 PRESIDENT DEMIREL HOSTS A DINNER IN HONOUR OF HIS CROATIAN COUNTERPART - DEMIREL: ''OUR COOPERATION WILL ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO REGIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Wednesday that the relations between Turkey and Croatia have improved rapidly after Croatia gained her independence, adding the foundations of strong and permanent cooperation between the two countries have been laid down, adding ''our cooperation will also contribute to regional peace and stability.''
Addressing the dinner hosted in honour of Franjo Trudjman, the Croatian President who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, President Demirel said Turkey regards Croatia as an important partner of regional peace and broad economic cooperation.
Recalling that Turkey attributes great importance to installation of permanent peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, President Demirel said that ''I believe that the full and comprehensive implementation of Dayton Peace Agreement carries great importance for the protection of peace and territorial integrity of Bosnia. The Kosovo question, which has reached such dimensions that could endanger peace and stability in the Balkans and even in Europe, reveals once again the value of peace that was installed in Bosnia by Dayton Peace Agreement.''
''Turkey wishes a political solution in Kosovo which will protect the rights and freedoms of all national communities living in Kosovo including the Turkish minority,'' said Demirel, adding Turkey appreciates the reforms undertaken in Croatia directed at reconstructuring the country and setting up a free trade economy.
''Turkey is resolved to extend all kind of support to the efforts of Croatia which wishes to integrate with the world economy,'' added President Demirel.
Franjo Trudjman, the Croatian President said in his part that the agreements signed the same day between the two countries in the field of agriculture, justice and customs have opened a new page in bilateral cooperation.
Noting that Croatia considers Turkey as an important inter-regional power and an effective NATO country, Tudjman said that ''Croatia will extend support to the political solution in Kosovo in line with the proposals of the Contact Group.''
The Croatian President added that they regard Turkey as an important partner in foreign policy, adding they expect the support of Turkey to Croatia, which thinks that ''a New Yugoslavian Integration in the Balkans'' can't be accepted.
 U.S. ADMINISTRATION: ''KOSOVO ISSUE MAY GIVE RISE TO DIVISION OF NATO ALLIANCE BY BRINGING TURKEY AND GREECE AGAINST EACHOTHER''WASHINGTON D.C., Feb 11 (A.A) - The U.S. administration said on Wednesday that the spreading of the clashes in Kosovo through the region might bring Turkey and Greece against eachother giving rise to the division of the NATO alliance.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a high-level official at the U.S. State department, responded the Assembly of Representatives International Affairs Commission members' questions during a session on Kosovo.
Noting that the clashes in Kosovo didn't have natural borders, Thomas Pickering said that if the clashes in Kosovo could not be ceased, then they might spread to Albania and Macedonia, and they might set the U.S.'s NATO allies Turkey and Greece against eachother by threatening them potentially and thus giving rise to the division of NATO alliance, and that all of the acquisitions in Bosnia might face a great danger.
Ambassador Pickering said that the spread of clashes in Kosovo might lead to a great wave of refugees and might create new opportunities in the region for international terrorists, drug smugglers and criminal organizations. Thomas Pickering stressed that some persons or groups, who want to use ethnic and regional differences for their own interests, might also emerge.
Emphasizing that the interests of the U.S. in the region were ''important'', Pickering said that they wanted a democratic order respectful for human rights in Serbia. Pickering added that the continuation of clashes in Kosovo would harm the esteem of NATO, the protector of peace and stability in the Balkans.
 TURKEY IN BRIEF - 11 FEBRUARY 1999PRISTINA - The Turkish delegation including the Undersecretaries of the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade and the Military Attache started its visit to Kosovo, it was reported on Wednesday.
The embassy delegation will pay a three-day visit to Kosovo.
ANKARA - Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, received on Thursday Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
Within the framework of his contacts the same day, the guest president will visit Ataturk's Mausoleum and later he will attend a ceremony in the Ankara Univeristy.
ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel sent on Thursday a congratulatory message to Iranian President Mohammad Khatemi upon the national day of Iran.
''I want to express on behalf the Turkish nation my congratulations to his excellency and the Iranian nation. I want to state that good neighborhood and cooperation between our two countries will continue to develop in the direction of mutual benefits of our peoples,'' President Demirel said in his message.
BAKU - Tevfik Zulfigarov, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan will come to Turkey on February 15, it is reported on Thursday.
Zulfigarov said that he will exchange views about improvement of the cooperation between the two countries during his visit which will last for two days.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister did not make any comment when asked whether or not the issue of improvement of military cooperation with Turkey will come to the agenda during the visit.
 SEPARATISTS' ILLEGAL DEMONSTRATION IN BRUSSELS - 60 PEOPLE TAKEN INTO CUSTODYBRUSSELS, Feb 11 (A.A) - The Prosecution in Brussels said on Thursday that 60 of the separatists who attempted to hold an illegal demonstration in Brussels in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday were taken into custody, their identities were checked and they were interrogated.
The separatists who wish to hold a demonstration to support the efforts of the chief of the separatist terrorist organization to get asylum right and to condemn the attitude of the U.S., can't get permission from the mayors in Brussels.
Describing the attitude of the supporters of the terrorist organization as ''provocation against the Turkish society in Brussels,'' Belgian security officials pointed out that they were ordered to prevent illegal demonstrations by using all kinds of opportunities and methods.
Belgian officials announced that no demonstration would be permitted to be held after a group of Turkish young people damaged three buildings belonging to separatists in Brussels last November. The mayors had taken a common decision and they prohibited formation of groups having more than three people.
Xavier de Donnea, the mayor of Brussels said that tolerance won't be shown towards separatists who attempted to hold an illegal demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.
De Donnea ordered the police and gendarmerie to arrest all the participants in case of an illegal demonstration.
Belgian security officials pointed out that measures have been taken against the separatist terrorist organization PKK in all EU countries after the terrorist chief tried to take shelter in European countries and supporters of the separatist organization are closely monitored.
The Belgian officials called on the Turkish society to be cautious towards possible provocations.
 SYMPOSIUM ON ''JURIDICAL RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND TRNC''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Selcuk Oztek, the Minister of Justice, said on Thursday that they prepared a circular on struggle against fundamentalism and it would be distributed to the offices of public prosecutors.
The symposium on ''Juridical Relations Between Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)'' aiming at setting up the legal infrastructure between the two countries started the same day.
Addressing the symposium at the Judges' Club in Ankara, the Justice Minister Oztek said that the Turkish public had continued their existence on Cyprus since the 16th century but peace could not be protected for a long time as a result of crisis created by Greek-Cypriots.
Pointing out that the Turks on the island were continuing their struggle against oppression to protect their rights, Oztek said that TRNC took part in the world in 1983 as an independent state.
Noting that the most important proof for a state's independency was the implementation of agreements it signed with another state, Oztek said that TRNC had signed many agreements with Turkey in several fields.
When asked whether or not the Ministry of Justice would carry out a study regarding the issue of struggle against fundamentalism, Oztek said, ''of course, we did such a study. We prepared a circular. It will be published tomorrow or the day after. But, now I can't give detailed information about its content.''
 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SPECIALIZED CUSTOMS ACCELERATEDANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - The meeting of the Econonomic and Social Committee, which was held at the beginning of this week started to give productive results, it is reported on Thursday.
New customs specialized on iron-steel were formed after the decision taken at the Economic and Social Council meeting which foresees ''formation of specialized customs and their efficient operation'' in order to prevent unfair competition.
Officials of Undersecretariat of Customs told A.A correspondent that the customs specialized on iron-steel were formed in Izmir Aliaga, Iskenderun Isdemir, Karadeniz Eregli, Gebze and Gemlik, adding that dumping imports will be prevented in a considerable extent by this sytem.
 SYMPOSIUM ON ''JURIDICAL RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND TRNC'' - HAKTANIR, UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''GREEK-CYPRIOT SIDE AND GREEKS ARE PURSUING POLICIES ESCALATING THE TENSION IN MILITARY AND POLITICAL FIELDS''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Sukru Sina Gurel, the Minister of State, said on Thursday that the symposium on ''Juridical Relations Between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)'' enabled them to observe the juridical relations between the two countries.
State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and Korkmaz Haktanir, the Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, sent writen messages to the symposium started at the Judges' Club in Ankara the same day.
Pointing out that Turkey and TRNC had signed many agreements and protocols, and realized similar arrangements, State Minister Gurel said in his message, ''however, the kind of situation for the implementation of those was not focused on. This symposium will create the opportunity to specify the situation of the relations between the two countries and to remove the deficiencies.''
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Korkmaz Haktanir said in his message that he believed the symposium would contribute to the establishment of legal infrastructure for the agreements signed between Turkey and the TRNC.
Noting that the Greek-Cypriot side and Greeks were pursuing policies escalating the tension in military and political fields, Haktanir said, ''within the framework of joint armament doctrine, the armament on southern part of Cyprus reached serious dimensions.''
Stressing that those policies of Greek-Cypriots and Greeks not only threaten the security of Turkey and TRNC but also negatively affect the assurance of security and stability in eastern Mediterranean, Haktanir said that this attitude started to receive an increasing reaction from the international community.
 GATHERING OF THE SO-CALLED ''KURDISH PARLIAMENT IN EXILE'' IN BASQUE - PREMIER ECEVIT: ''SPANISH PREMIER AZNAR ASSURED ME THAT THEY LAUNCH EFFORTS AND CONTINUE TO DO SO TO DETER THE BASQUE PARLIAMENT FROM ITS DECISION''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that he talked with Jose Maria Aznar, the Spanish Prime Minister concerning the permission given by the Basque parliament to the gathering of the so-called ''Kurdish parliament in exile,'' adding Aznar assured him saying that they launch efforts and continue to do so in the future in order deter the Basque parliament from its decision.
Addressing to journalists about his phone talk with his Spanish counterpart Aznar, Ecevit said that Spanish Prime Minister Aznar called him last night from Madrid and told him that the Spanish government does not approve the decision of the Basque Parliament which permitted the gathering of the group which introduces itself as the so-called ''Kurdish parliament in exile.''
Noting that Aznar told him that the Spanish government reacts harshly to that, Bulent Ecevit stated that ''Premier Aznar said that they can't intervene with the internal affairs of the Basque region as it is one of the autonomous regions of Spain. He stressed that they will attribute special importance to prevent the deterioration of the bilateral relations between Turkey and Spain, which developed rapidly during the recent years.''
Ecevit said he told Aznar that Turkey attributes great importance to the developing relations between Turkey and Spain and Turkey is not suspicious of the good will of the Spanish government, but the attitude of the Basque parliament can damage the bilateral relations between Turkey and Spain.
''I told Aznar that it is apparent that the so-called 'Kurdish parliament in exile' is guided by the separatist terrorist organization PKK which is a violent terrorist organization. While many European countries close their doors to a cruel terrorist like Ocalan, if the Basque parliament opens its doors to the so-called parliament, this will be a very negative behaviour. I recalled that PKK is a terrorist organization which is supported by those who wish to divide Turkey and many victims of this organization is of Kurdish origin citizens. I said that the PKK tries to sabotage the investments undertaken in Southeastern and Eastern Turkey aiming at bringing prosperity to the people. I expressed my hope that the Spanish government won't give opportunity to deterioration of our relations due to the terrorist organization,'' said Premier Ecevit.
Responding to a question asking whether or not there is the possibility of Abdullah Ocalan, the terrorist chief's taking shelter in Basque region, Bulent Ecevit said ''I don't know, even if such a thing happens, I think that the Spanish government won't allow that and I believe the Spanish government will resort to necessary ways to prevent that. If the terrorist chief acts like that, Basque will be in a difficult position in front of the whole Europe. So I don't think this is possible.''
''Basque is an autonomuos region, can Turkey impose sanctions in this region?,'' asked a journalist to Ecevit, who replied by saying that ''we have improving economic relations with the whole Spain, these relations can get paralysed, but I don't say this to threaten. However embracing the separatist terrorist organization by the Basque parliament puts the Spanish government and the whole Spain into a difficult position.''
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK INCREASE TO 20.4 BILLION U.S. DOLLARSANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank increased to 20 billion 442 million U.S. dollars, it was reported on Thursday.
The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which climbed by 175 million U.S. dollars between 29 January and 5 February, increased to 20 billion 442 million U.S. dollars as of
The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 20 billion 267 million U.S. dollars on 29 January.
Meanwhile, according to the 22 January-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves increased 95 million U.S. dollars to 32 billion 610 million U.S. dollars between 15-22 January.
The international gross reserves of Turkey were 32 billion 515 million U.S. dollars on 15 January.
As of 22 Jaunary, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 125 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 20 billion 163 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 11 billion 321 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.
 FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS - A TOTAL OF 699.9 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS PAID IN FOREIGN DEBT SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Turkey has repaid a total of 699.9 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt since the beginning of this year, it was reported on Thursday.
The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury paid 532.8 million U.S. dollars; the Central Bank repaid 51.8 million U.S. dollars; the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Industry paid 67.9 million U.S. dollars and the Defense Fund paid 1.2 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt between January 1 and February 10, 1999.
Meanwhile, a total of 267.9 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt was repaid between February 1 and 10.
 CIRCULAR TO STRUGGLE AGAINST FUNDAMENTALIST, DESTRUCTIVE AND SEPARATIST ACTIVITIESANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Selcuk Oztek, Justice Minister, on Thursday sent a premiership circular regarding ''fundamentalist, destructive and separatist activities'' to all Republican Prosecutorships and State Security Courts.
The circular sent with the signature of Justice Minister said ''in order to prevent fundamentalist, destructive and separatist activites, which are against the regime, ministers and governors should take required measures and implement legal procedure without hesitation. Republican Prosecutors also should fulfil their assignments working in cooperation and coordination with the governors to this end.''
The circular, sent to ministries and governorships with the signature of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit called on prevention of activities to exploit religion and to politicize religion and legal procedures to be put into effect about the ones who held fundamentalist, destructive and separatist activities.
The circular said elements regarding struggle against fundamentalism and other anti-regime activites will be continued adding that governors should take all required measures to provide controlling system to be more effective. It also pointed out that governors and their deputies should follow up the studies and direct them.
The circular said this is a duty of ''protecting Republic'' and stressed that the Republican Prosecutors should show the same sensitivity.
 TURKISH-CROATIAN BUSINESS COUNCILANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Prof. Dr. Celik Kurtoglu, Chairman of Turkish side of Turkish-Croatian Business Council, said on Thursday that a Joint Work Committee in tourism field will be established between the two countries.
Addressing a luncheon given within the framework of Turkish-Croatian Business Council meeting held in Ankara, Kurtoglu said the work group in question will take effect within the body of Business Council and Travel Agencies Association in Turkey will act as the locomotive.
Kurtoglu noted that facilities of Turkish Eximbank could not be used in financing of the projects which Turkish business world could realize in Croatia. Briefing about the reasons of this Kurtoglu said ''greatness of applications made to Eximbank are among these reasons.''
Kurtoglu said Turkey and Croatia have industries which compete in various fields, yet added that this competition will lead to more important cooperation.
Kurtoglu said cooperation between the two countries will continue increasingly following the agreement that will be signed between the two countries and that they have exchanged views on what could be done to act more speedily in the fields of tourism, industry and financing.
 PRESIDENT TUDJMAN OF CROATIA GIVEN THE HONORARY DOCTORATE BY ANKARA UNIVERSITYANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia who pays an official visit to Turkey, was given honorary doctorate by the Ankara University on Thursday for his works in the fields of history, philosophy and international relations, and for his contrubutions to the international peace and friendship.
Addressing the ceremony, President Tudjman said, ''I am receiving this award as an approval of joint targets between Croatia and Turkey such as further impoving the relations between the two countries.''
Prof.Dr. Gunal Akbay, the Rector of the Ankara University, reminded that the Ankara University has cooperation relations with more than 60 universities including the Zagrep University.
President Suleyman Demirel, Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament, Hikmet Sami Turk, the National Defense Minister, Metin Sahin, the Industry and Trade Minister, and Nami Cagan, the Labour and Social Security Minister, and representatives of the embassies in Ankara were also in attendance at the ceremony.
 DUFF AND PHELPS, INTERNATIONAL RATING ORGANIZATION, DECREASES THE CREDIT NOTE OF TURKEY FROM BB+ TO BB ON TL BASISLONDON/ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - The Duff and Phelps (DCR), an international rating organization, decreased on Thursday the rating note of Turkey for her borrowings on Turkish lira basis from BB plus to BB, while it did not change Turkey's rating note for her borrowings on U.S. dollar basis.
DCR said in its written statement that an agreement between Turkey and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will help Turkey overcome the instability in her macro economy in medium scale.
The written statement also said that the fall in the rating note of Turkey for her borrowings on TL basis reflects the deterioration in domestic financial structure of Turkey.
Stressing that the domestic and foreign investors demand shorter terms in the interests to arrange the rating risk, DCR noted that the term of the borrowings which was approximately 340 days in 1997 decreased to 230 days in 1998.
Underlying that the debt of the Treasury on TL basis increased 20 percent on U.S. dollar basis in 1998, DCR emphasized that this debt burden which refers to 19 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) can be estimated as a moderate burden.
DCR added that the domestic and foreign debt burden of the public sector in Turkey formed 55 percent of the GNP in 1998.
Noting that the banks which allocate funds to the public finance deficit will continue to press the Treasury to increase the interest, DCR said that it sees the possibility of decreasing the amount of the treasury bonds which will be put out to the tenders as a weak one in such situation.
DCR emphasized that Turkey should continue her policies of struggling against inflation and fortifying the financial structure to maintain the same rating note after the elections.
Recalling that the rating note of Turkey can be increased if Turkey continues her target economic programmes, DCR stated that in case Turkish government continues her 35 percent target of 1999 in the wholesale prices and keeps her financial deficit around 7 percent, she can increase its rating note.
The experts stated that DCR's not changing the rating note of Turkey on U.S. dollar basis is positive, adding that this situation indicates that Turkey will similarly continue her foreign borrowing.
 ERCEL, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK: - ''WE WILL NOT LET THE INSTITUTIONS WHICH CAN NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF THE YEAR 2000 ENTER THE MARKETS AND THE SYSTEMS RUN BY THE CENTRAL BANK''ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Gazi Ercel, the Director of the Central Bank, said on Thursday that they will not let the institutions which can not solve the problem of the year 2000 in their computer systems enter in the markets and the systems run by the Central Bank.
Issuing a written statement to A.A, Ercel said that the problem of the year 2000 is faced in Turkey and in the world in the threshold of 2000.
Pointing out that a committee to solve the problem of the year 2000 was set up under the auspices of the Central Bank and that this committee continues its efforts in this issue, Ercel emphasized that the Central Bank aim at being ready for the year 2000 as of April 15, 1999.
Stating that the problem of the year 2000 which is defined as ''a digital chaos'' by some circles occurs because of using two digits rather than four in the computer programmes, Ercel noted that all the records should be reviewed and all the errors should be corrected to solve this problem.
Ercel said, ''the Central Bank set up the 2000 Year Committee to solve this problem and the efforts of this committee continue not only in the Cental Bank but also outside the Bank. We aim at being ready for the year 2000 as of April 15, 1999.''
Drawing the attention that the problem of the year 2000 is a big and comprehensive one, Ercel said, ''it is not enough to solve the problem in only one institution because the problem is so big and so comprehensive. The related institutions have to complete their own studies and solve the problem.''
Ercel recalled that some meetings are held to make the Turkish people conscious about the problem, to follow the studies, to ensure the exchange of views, to improve measures against the problems which can occur in the national and international systems of payment.
Stressing that the World Bank carry out studies about this problem, Ercel drew the attention that Turkey was listed among the most conscious countries about this problem in the last report of the World Bank.
The errors which will occur because of using two digits rather than four digits in the systems of the information and communication technologies are called the problem of the year 2000.
For example, when making a calculation about the budget plan which starts in 1997 and ends in 2002, the last two digits of the year 1997 (97) and the last two digits of the year 2002 (02) are taken and when 97 is subtracted from 02, it will give a miscalculation such as -95 (minus 95).
This problem in the computer programmes will negatively affect many areas of the daily life including the communication systems, credit cards, the health devices, the air traffic control systems and traffic lights.
 FOREIGN MINISTER CEM MEETS WITH GRANIC, CROATIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRSANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, met on Thursday with Mate Granic, the Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs who accompanies President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia in his official visit to Turkey.
Addressing the journalists before the meeting, Cem stressed that Turkey attributes great importance to the relations with Croatia.
Underlining the existing good neighbourly relations between Turkey and Croatia, Cem reminded that the two countries supported each other in regional and international issues.
Mate Granic said in his part that Turkey is one of the best friends of Croatia, and expressed satisfaction over being in Turkey.
Reiterating that both countries worked together during the preparation of Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Granic stressed that Turkey and Croatia have perfect political, economic and cultural relations.
 CONTACTS OF TUDJMAN IN ANKARAANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Thursday that Turkey and Croatia, both of which are located in junction point of Southeastern Europe and important transition points, should very well evaluate the facilities presented by history and geograpy to them.
Addressing a luncheon staged in Hilton Hotel following Turkish-Croatian Business Council meeting, Demirel expressed belief that official visit of Franjo Tudjman, Croatian President, will strenghten cooperation and solidarity between the two countries.
Noting that developments in European and world economy in global level required more intense cooperation between Turkish and Croatian economies which have complementary specialities, Demirel said improvement of regional economic and trade cooperation was a condition of playing an important role in world economy in the global rivalry atmosphere of 21st century.
Demirel said Turkish economy, which he stressed as the 16th biggest economy of the world, took place among the leading countries in Europe and in the world almost in all production figures. Demirel noted that Turkey's exportation increased a lot in the past 10 years.
Demirel pointed out that Turkey is a reliable and stable country which had settled economic system based on the principles of free market. Great developments have been recorded in Turkey in the recent years in telecommunication and in high technology field.
Demirel said important developments were also recorded in Turkish-Croatian economic relations in a short time, adding that legal basis of these relations were completed with the agreements signed. Demirel pointed out that Turkish-Croatian Business Council should play a more active role to this end.
Noting that an important step has been taken in economic and trade relations after Croatia gained its independence, Demirel said ''Yet, our trade volume is unlikely to reflect potentials of our countries. A decrease has been recorded in our trade volume as of this year, which had increased till 1997. The decrease trend has continued in the year 1998.''
Demirel said banking relations and payment facilities should be improved and Eximbank's exportation credit facilities should be evaluated to increase trade volume.
Demirel recalled that Turkey will participate in international Zagreb fair as the associate country in the year 1999, adding that this should be perceived as an important opportunity by the business circles of the two countries.
Demirel noted that another field in which the two countries will cooperate was the infrastructure projects, adding that Turkish companies should participate in ongoing projects in Croatia.
Demirel, at the end of his speech, expressed his belief that Turkish and Croatian businessmen would improve a new and constructive cooperation understanding to consolidate peace and stability in the region and to increase welfare.
Croatian President Tudjman in his part said trade relations between the two countries should be improved and that the sides should be resolved to to cooperate in fields of oil industry, ship construction, energy and banking fields.
Tudjman said ''we should create long term and lasting cooperation in the fields of technics and technological industry, joint production and joint investment fields.''
Tudjman said Croatia, which enters to free trade system, would be interesting and attractive for Turkish capital adding that Croatia's situation improving towards Central and Eastern Europe and EU market will bring advantages to Turkish businessmen.
Tudjman said talks should take place between the two countries to open sea ways, and establishing connection between the two countries through railways and highways.
 EUROPEAN UNION-TURKEY - TURKISH-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION TO CONVENE IN ISTANBUL ON FEB 18BURSA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Turkish-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Commission will hold its 44th meeting in Istanbul between February 18 and 19, it was reported on Thursday.
A Written statement issued by EU Bursa Information Office said Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, composed of Turkish Parliament and European Parliament deputies, will convene in Istanbul on February 18.
Functioning of Turkish-EU Partnership Agreement, Customs Union, implementation of European Strategy for Turkey, political and economic situation in the EU, and elections in April will be taken up during the meeting.
A draft report including strengthening of Customs Union and supporting of economic and social development in Turkey will also be discussed.
Pieter Danker, Chairman of European Parliament and 11 other members will participate in the meeting in which Turkey would be represented by 10 deputies under the leadership of Bulent Akarcali, Istanbul Deputy.
 THE GUESTS OF THE GERMAN-TURKISH FOUNDATION DISCUSS THE LAW ON DUAL CITIZENSHIPISTANBUL, Feb 11 (A.A) - The conference titled ''the Perspectives of Turkey in Europe and the Future of the German and Turkish Relations'' began within the framework of a new start in the German-Turkish relations target of the German-Turkish Foundation in Istanbul on Thursday.
Vural Oger, the Chairman of the German-Turkish Foundation delegation, said in the press conference held within the framework of the conference that their foundation which was set up in 1998 aims at improving the relations between the two countries, by recalling that more than two million Turkish people are living in Germany.
Stressing that they aim at contributing the Turkish people who are living in Germany and who want to be a German citizen in having not only legal equality but also social equality, Oger stated that this is important for providing the social peace of Germany.
Emphasizing that there are 5,500 Turkish associations in Germany and that none of them are organized and none of them can express their problems, Oger said, ''a total of 60 to 70 percent of our members have German origin. You can never express your problems if you are not close with the Germans. Our foundation aim at setting up a platform as working as a bridge in this issue.''
Beginning to speak on a question on the law about the dual citizenship, one of the deputies of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany said that his party put forward a definite stance to grant German passport to the Turkish people living in Germany in the general elections.
One of the members of the Greens Party said that the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) started a signature campaign against the dual citizenship law and that it carries out this campaign in an extremely racist and ugly way.
Edzard Reuter, the ex-director of the Executive Committee of Daimler Benz, made a self-criticise and said that most of the problems arise from the two- sided stance of German foreign policy.
Warning all the responsible persons from the social policies of Turkey and Germany, Reuter noted that new ways which will carry the two countries to a cooperation that promise security and success should be found out.
 TURKEY IN BRIEF - 11 FEBRUARY 1999GAZIANTEP - Narcotics officials seized on Thursday a total of 23 kg of hashish eroin in operations they launched in Gaziantep Province in the Southeastern Anatolia Region.
A total of 3 person were taken into custody.
A full investigation regarded with drugs, is underway.
ANKARA - Students from the St. George's English School in Rome, the capital of Italy, will visit Turkey between February 24-28, it was reported on Thursday.
More than 60 students from Italy, the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Mexico, Malta, Kenya, Japan, Korea, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Germany will join the tour.
Meanwhile students will give two concerts in Istanbul.
The first concert will take place in the Italian Culture Center in 25 February and the second will be given in Galatasaray High School in 26 February.
Robert W. Hix, the Music Director of the St. George's English School, will conduct the concerts
ISTANBUL - The 13th International Packing and Food Process Machines and Package Equipments Fair was opened in Istanbul on Thursday.
A number of Turkish and foreign firms take place at the fair which will remain open until 14 February.
 OECD DELEGATION TO DEPART TURKEY ON FRIDAY - THE DELEGATION TO ISSUE ITS TURKEY REPORT IN JUNEANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - The delegation of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which visited Ankara and Istanbul within the framework of their preparations for the investigation of Turkey, will depart Turkey on Friday night.
The OECD delegation which is formed by the Turkish desk officials of the organization met with Turkish Association of Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD), Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) and the officials of the Union of Banks and the banking sector in Istanbul.
The delegation met with the officials of the Undersecretariat of the Treasury, the State Planning Organization (DTP), the Ministry of Finance, the Directorate of Privatization, the Central Bank in Ankara and held studies about the realization of the 1998 programme and the aspects of the 1999 programme.
The OECD delegation will prepare a Turkish report of 1999 and will submit it to the General Assembly of the OECD after it returns Paris, the capital city of France.
It is reported that the report will be issued in June.
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