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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-02-12

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

AA Daily

12 February 1999 Friday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] TURKEY VISIT OF AZIZ - U.S. EMBASSY IN ANKARA SAYS THEY CONSIDER AZIZ'S VISIT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REMIND IRAQ TO FULFIL ITS RESPONSIBILITIES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
  • [03] U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND ECEVIT'S DECISION TO HOST AZIZ
  • [04] TEMIZEL, THE FINANCE MINISTER: - ''ALL THE DEPOSIT IN OUR BANKS IS UNDER GUARANTEE'' - ''IF THE LAW ON THE BANKING SYSTEM WAS PASSED, THE INFLOW OF FOREIGN CAPITAL WOULD BE ACCELERATED''
  • [05] TOURISM AGENCIES HOPEFUL ABOUT THE TOURISM IN 1999 - GURELI, TUROB HEAD: ''WE EXPECT 8 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS THIS YEAR''
  • [06] TUDJMAN, CROATIAN PRESIDENT DEPARTS TURKEY
  • [07] TURKEY-WEATHER - PRECIPITATION AT WEEKEND
  • [08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES FOREIGN MINISTER CEM
  • [09] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM DUE TO PRAGUE
  • [10] NEWLY APPOINTED IRAQI AMBASSADOR PRESIDENTS HIS LETTER OF CREDENTIALS TO PRESIDENT DEMIREL
  • [11] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES CEM, THE FOREIGN MINISTER - MEETING FOCUSES ON TURKEY'S POLICY TOWARDS IRAQ AND MIDDLE EAST
  • [12] JAPANESE SUPPORT IN TUBE TUNNEL
  • [13] CAMBODIAN SHIP DRAGGED IN THE AEGEAN
  • [14] EMITT'99 FAIR - TURKEY GETTING PREPARED TO PLAY LEADING ROLE IN EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION WITH ''EMITT'99'' FAIR
  • [15] TORNADO AT THE DALAMAN AIRPORT, INJURES THREE AND CAUSES FINANCIAL DAMAGE
  • [16] THE CUSTOMS SECURITY FORCES SEIZED 1,362 KG OF NARCOTIC SUBSTANCES AND 310,000 PILLS IN 1998
  • [17] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM GIVES A LUNCHEON IN HONOUR OF THE CENTRAL ASIAN AND CAUCASIAN AMBASSADORS TO TURKEY - CEM: ''TURKEY ATTRIBUTES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE CENTRAL ASIAN AND CAUCASIAN COUNTRIES''
  • [18] THE OFFICIALS OF THE ARMENIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY RECEIVES TURKISH BUSINESSMEN
  • [19] TURKISH-IMF RELATIONS - BAYAR, THE HEAD OF THE PRIVATIZATION ADMINISTRATION: - ''IMF IS PLEASED ABOUT OUR PERFORMANCES IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 1998''

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 12, 1999. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    THE TARGET IS: SILENT MAJORITY
    Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), disclosed election strategy of his party as ''being the voice of silent majority.'' Yilmaz said a community which lived in peace for 1000 years, now tried to be split up by believers and non-believers. He said on the one hand there is combative minority that has a loud voice and on the other hand there is silent majority living with the facts.

    ECEVIT: THERE IS NO SECRET MEETING WITH AZIZ
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit pointed out that it will not be true to describe his invitation to Tariq Aziz, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister to come to Turkey as an attitude against the U.S. Ecevit also said results of the meeting will be disclosed to the public adding that it will not be a secret meeting.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    INVESTIGATION TO PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED DEPUTY
    Finance Ministry will ask the question ''from where did you find?'' to the candidates, who spent large amounts of money to be elected. Inspection teams, acting on a tip off that the money spent reached to 2-3 billion dollars, will investigate how much tax they have given. The ministry will ask this question firstly to Kivanc Ozel, previously convicted deputy who spread roses to Tansu Ciller's villa from a plane. Accounts of Ozel, who is reported to sell textile products to Russia, will be under investigation.

    HOLIDAY OF PARLIAMENT WILL AFFECT BAKU-CEYHAN
    Political instability affected Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline which the state adopted as the most important strategic policy in the recent 10 years. The possibility of conclusion of two technical agreements, regarding the construction of Baku-Ceyhan, before February 16 created diffuculty in government as the Parliament will go on a holiday on February 16.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    YILMAZ, THE LEADER OF ANAP: ''THE COMING ELECTIONS IS NOT AN ELECTION, IT
    IS A REFERENDUM''
    Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), is speedy in his election campaign and increases the limit for the vote boxes to the top. The April 18 elections will be a referendum of a single question: ''Who will we entrust for the future of our children?'' Yilmaz said that they have only one struggle against a terrorism with three heads. These are seperative terrorism, fundamentalism, and gang and mafia terrorism.

    CLOSE CONCERN TO THE CROATIAN GUEST
    Franco Tudjman, the Croatian President, and President Suleyman Demirel joined the meeting of Turkish and Croatian Working Council. Demirel said in his speech that Turkey's economy is the sixteenth biggest economy in the world. Tudjman invited in his speech the Croation businessmen to join Izmir Fair.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    UNJUST ACCUSATION
    Southeast problem and Kosovo were considered as equivalent in the U.S. House of Representatives. Brad Sherman, Deputy of California state, addressing Kosovo session of the U.S. House of Representatives, said civilian killings in Kurdistan were more than the ones in Kosovo. Statements of Sherman who claimed Kurds in Turkey should be protected and who defended that the U.S. should use force to this end if required, created uneasiness in Ankara. Washington Embassy of Turkey called the U.S. State Department following the session and verbally protested the incident.

    TUDJMAN GIVEN THE HONORARY DOCTORATE
    President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia who pays an official visit to Turkey, was given honorary doctorate by 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.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    A HIDROELECTRICAL POWER PLANT NOT BE SET UP IN GOMSE
    A hidroelectrical power plant will not be set up in the Gomse Plateau in Kas county of southern Antalya province. The Turkish government decided this way on the continuing protests of the villagers.

    OZTEK, THE JUSTICE MINISTER, ISSUES A CIRCULAR ABOUT THE STRUGGLE AGAINST
    FUNDAMENTALISM
    The Justice Ministry called the republican prosecutors to struggle against fundamentalism by a circular which said that the fundamentalism is still an obvious threat for the Turkish Republic and that Turkey should not give opportunities to the ones who want to abuse the religion.

    YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)

    TURKEY'S RATING NOTE ON TL BASIS DECREASES
    Duff and Phelps, an international rating organization, decreased the rating note of Turkey for her borrowings on Turkish lira (TL) basis from BB plus (BB+) to only BB, while it did not change her rating note on U.S. dollar basis. The organization said that an agreement between Turkey and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can change the macro economic balances.

    U.S. CONGRESS REPORT: ''THE FUNDAMENTALISTS WILL WIN THE ELECTIONS''
    The report which was submitted to the U.S. Congress by Carol Migdalowitz, Turkey expert of U.S. Congress Research Center, said that the elections cannot change the present distribution of the parties in the Turkish parliament and cannot bring stability in the country, adding that the leaders of the political parties are consistent on the early elections although they know that the fundamentalists will win the elections.

    TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)

    THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT GOES ON HOLIDAY
    The Turkish parliament started the holiday for the elections on Thursday which will officially start on February 16. The parliament will convene again the fifth day after the definite results of the elections are declared by the Supreme Court of Elections (YSK).

    THE COMMANDERS MEET IN GOLCUK
    General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of the General Staff, and the commanders of the forces met in the Fleet Commandership in Golcuk. The commanders watched the performances of the soldiers.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    HEAD SCARF OBSTRUCTION TO TUS
    Ban on head scarf which continues in universities, spreads to Examination for Speciality in Medicine (TUS) that will take place in April. Students who wear head scarfs will not be allowed to enter the examination. Even if they are allowed, their exams will be invalid. Jurists said using subjects under discussion which concern public workers as a pretext in an exam participated by civilians, is a scandal.

    ELECTION STRATEGY FROM YILMAZ
    Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) said upcoming elections in April will have the characteristics of referendum. Defending that his struggle will be against fundamentalism, Yilmaz said nobody should feel doubt that evil forces will not be able to win the elections.

    [02] TURKEY VISIT OF AZIZ - U.S. EMBASSY IN ANKARA SAYS THEY CONSIDER AZIZ'S VISIT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REMIND IRAQ TO FULFIL ITS RESPONSIBILITIES AGAINST INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - The U.S. said on Thursday that scheduled visit of Tariq Aziz, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, that will take place on Monday, will be an opportunity to remind Iraq to fulfil its responsibilities against international community.

    A U.S. official, speaking to A.A correspondent about the visit of Aziz, said Turkey is a friend of the U.S. and a valuable NATO ally supporting efforts to make Iraq to fully abide by the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. The official said both Turkey and the U.S. called on Iraq many times to fulfil its responsibilities stemming from the U.N. Security Council Resolutions, adding that they considered this visit as an opportunity to remind Iraq to fulfil its responsibilities against the international community.

    [03] U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND ECEVIT'S DECISION TO HOST AZIZ

    WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (A.A) - James Foley, deputy spokesman of the U.S. State Department said on Thursday that ''We don't understand the decision to host Tariq Aziz at this time,'' adding that ''Obviously, we will be in diplomatic contact with the Turkish government on this matter.''

    Responding to a question about the scheduled visit of Aziz, Foley said they knew that Aziz would visit Ankara on February 15 and called Turkey a close NATO ally and ''valued partner'' in an international effort to get Iraq to disarm and comply with other U.N. demands.

    ''We expect that the Turkish government will make it clear to Tariq Aziz that the roots of the current confrontation with Iraq are Baghdad's eight- year-long refusal to meet its U.N obligations and more recently its challenges to the no-fly zones,'' Foley said.

    [04] TEMIZEL, THE FINANCE MINISTER: - ''ALL THE DEPOSIT IN OUR BANKS IS UNDER GUARANTEE'' - ''IF THE LAW ON THE BANKING SYSTEM WAS PASSED, THE INFLOW OF FOREIGN CAPITAL WOULD BE ACCELERATED''

    ANKARA, Feb 11 (A.A) - Zekeriye Temizel, the Finance Minister, said on Friday that all the deposits in the banks are under the guarantee of the state and that there is a banking system which takes all the banks under the guarantee of the state without regarding whether they are small or big, and public or private.

    Varislav Skeero, Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister visited Zekeriya Temizel in his office and they held a meeting for some time.

    Responding a question of a journalist on the draft law on the banking system after the meeting, Temizel said that there is not a legal gap in the banking system.

    Temizel said, ''but, the draft law aims at keeping up the international norms in our banking system, purifying the banking system from the influence of the political authority and complying it to the directives of the European Union (EU).''

    Emphasizing that it is important for the draft law on the banking system to be credible for the international capital, Temizel added, ''we aim at having the inflow of foreign capital to our country by removing this deficiency. You see the figures. There is an advance in the inflow of foreign capital to Turkey, including the stock exchange. If this law was passed, the foreign capital inflow would be accelerated.''

    Temizel stated that the Turkish parliament, which is now on holiday, can meet again to discuss this law on the banking system if necessary.

    Giving information about his meeting with Skeero, his Croatian counterpart, Temizel stressed that they discussed the financial cooperation between Turkey and Croatia, and what can be done to eradicate money laundering and tax evasion.

    [05] TOURISM AGENCIES HOPEFUL ABOUT THE TOURISM IN 1999 - GURELI, TUROB HEAD: ''WE EXPECT 8 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS THIS YEAR''

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Turkey, which faced a difficult tourism season in 1998 due to the economic problems, is hopeful about the tourism season in 1999, it is reported on Friday.

    Ali Gureli, the Head of the Turkish Union of Hotels (TUROB), told A.A correspondent that the first reservations of 1999 are giving hope and that they expect eight percent increase in the number of tourists in 1999.

    Stating that 1999 will be a better year than 1998 for tourism sector, Gureli said that the number of tourists will increase by 15 percent in case the value added tax and the tax paid on arrival in Turkey is decreased.

    Gureli said, ''our reservations are above that of 1998. Thus, we think that this year will be a better year than 1998. From the present situation, I can say that we catch up the figures of 1997.''

    Drawing the attention that the reservations done by the Germans are hopeful, Gureli said, ''there is an increase in the number of German tourists. We cannot expect a boom, but the reservations reached the level of 1997.''

    [06] TUDJMAN, CROATIAN PRESIDENT DEPARTS TURKEY

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Franjo Tudjman, Croatian President, departed Turkey on Friday morning after wrapping up his contacts in Ankara.

    Tudjman was seen off in Ankara's Esenboga Airport by President Suleyman Demirel, several high ranking military officials and Foreign Ministry officials.

    Tudjman left for Croatia with a private plane belonging to Croatian Airlines.

    [07] TURKEY-WEATHER - PRECIPITATION AT WEEKEND

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Turkey will have a rainy and snowy weather this weekend, it was reported on Friday.

    Directorate General of State Meteorology Works told A.A correspondent that precipitation will come starting from the West, northern and western parts of Central Anatolia and western parts of the Mediterranean, the West and western part of Central Black Sea.

    The precipitation that will last for two days will be rain in coastal parts and will be snow in Central Aegean, northern and western parts of Central Anatolia and higher parts of the Western Black Sea.

    [08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES FOREIGN MINISTER CEM

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Friday that they will not assume an attitude against Farouq Hicazi, newly appointed Ambassador of Iraq to Ankara, basing on the news reports, responding to a question about the allegations in the press claiming that Hicazi was a spy.

    Cem responded to the questions about the visit of Tariq Aziz and when Iraqi Ambassador's will present his letter of credence to President Suleyman Demirel and scheduled visit of Tariq Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq.

    When recalled several allegations appeared in media claiming that Iraqi Ambassador Hicazi was a spy, Cem said ''our source on such issues is our national intelligence. We can not treat people in such a way with the media reports who are not found inconvinient by national intelligence organization.''

    Briefing about the visit of Aziz, Cem said Turkey's policy towards Iraq and the Middle East was very open, adding that ''we have always wanted Iraq to comply with the U.N. resolutions. And thus, we foresee the sanction to be lifted. Apart from this, Turkey calls for peace and stability in the Middle East.''

    Speaking about the U.S. bases in Turkey Cem said Turkey's commitments and friendships were continious, adding that ''besides, Incirlik and Operation Northern Watch were formed with the resolution of the Parliament. I hope a facility could be created from these talks to contribute to peace and stability.''

    During the meeting of Ecevit and Cem, recent developments with Iraq ahead of Aziz's visit, are expected to be discussed.

    [09] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM DUE TO PRAGUE

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will go to Prague between February 17 and 19 within the framework of an official visit, it was reported on Friday.

    A Foreign Ministry statement said Cem will go to Prague upon the invitation of Jan Kavan, Foreign Minister of Czech Republic.

    The statement said bilateral relations between Turkey and Turkish Republic in all dimensions as well as regional and international issues would be discussed during the visit.

    The last visit from Czech Republic to Turkey in Foreign Minister level had taken place in April 1996.

    [10] NEWLY APPOINTED IRAQI AMBASSADOR PRESIDENTS HIS LETTER OF CREDENTIALS TO PRESIDENT DEMIREL

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel on Friday received Farouq Abdullah Yahya Al-Hicazi, the newly appointed Ambassador of Iraq to Turkey.

    Al-Hicazi started his duty after presenting his letter of credentials to Demirel.

    Faruk Logoglu, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersectary, was in attendance at the meeting.

    [11] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES CEM, THE FOREIGN MINISTER - MEETING FOCUSES ON TURKEY'S POLICY TOWARDS IRAQ AND MIDDLE EAST

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Friday Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister.

    Addressing the journalists following the meeting, Cem stressed that the meeting focused on the Turkey's policy towards Iraq and the Middle East.

    Responding to questions about Turkey visit of Tareq Aziz, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Cem reminded that Bulent Ecevit invited Aziz to Turkey last September when he was the Deputy Prime Minister within the framework of the Turkey's policy towards the Middle East'' and added, ''Aziz replied Turkey's invitation in the affirmative ten days ago.''

    Cem stressed, ''Iraq's full compliance with the United Nations (U.N.) will help to normalize the situation in the region and to provide peace and stability in the Middle East.''

    When asked about the Incirlik Base in Southern Adana Province, Cem told reporters, ''it is a decision made by parliament and only the parliament can change it. The government cannot do anything about it and does not have the intention in any case.''

    Korkmaz Haktanir, the Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry,

    Ugur Ziyal, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Umit Pamir, the Advisor of the Prime Ministry for the Foreign Affairs, Selim Karaosmanoglu, the Turkish Charge d'Affaires in Baghdat, and General Yasar Buyukanit, the Advisor of the Prime Ministry for Military Issues, were also in attendance at the meeting.

    [12] JAPANESE SUPPORT IN TUBE TUNNEL

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - A delegation of experts composed of Japanese Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) will come to Ankara on Saturday.

    The OECF delegation will update the previous studies related with the Tube Tunnel Project planned to be realized in Istanbul.

    The delegation members, who will stay in Turkey nearly a week, will meet with the officials of Treasury and discuss feasibility studies of Tube Tunnel construction and financial support.

    The OECF delegation is expected to make definite the quantity of the financial aid required for the Tube Tunnel till June.

    [13] CAMBODIAN SHIP DRAGGED IN THE AEGEAN

    CANAKKALE, Feb 12 (A.A) - ''Alexa Vom Mercurius'' Cambodia flagged cargo ship which was dragged to the Aegean Sea, ran aground in western part of Bozcaada early on Friday morning.

    Harbour Chairmanship officials told A.A correspondent that the personnel of the 850-gross tonnes of Cambodia flagged ship were rescued by Greek coastal security boat.

    The cargo ship, after leaning to one side, began to be dragged in the Aegean Sea and ran aground in Batiburun region in western part of Bozcaada.

    Officials said Coastal Security and Ship Rescue Management will intervene to the ship which grounded.

    [14] EMITT'99 FAIR - TURKEY GETTING PREPARED TO PLAY LEADING ROLE IN EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION WITH ''EMITT'99'' FAIR

    ISTANBUL, Feb 12 (A.A) - Turkey, with the Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Fair (EMITT'99), which will take place between February 18 and 21, is getting prepared to play a leading role in Eastern Mediterranean region, it was reported on Friday.

    The statement issued by the center which organized the fair said tour operators and administrators of travel agencies thought that EMITT'99 would create a very important opportunity for Turkey, adding that with the projects that will be improved, Turkey may be the leading country in Eastern Mediterranean region.

    Halim Bulutoglu, General Director of the center said Turkish companies which will participate in the fair prepared joint projects on many issues like entertainment centers, silk road, the year 2000 tours, solar eclipse, and to Anatolian civiliations.

    Bulutoglu said Turkey became the first country among the Mediterranean countries with a 750 percent increase in number of tourists coming in the recent 25 years. Greece, Portugual, France and Spain followed Turkey.

    [15] TORNADO AT THE DALAMAN AIRPORT, INJURES THREE AND CAUSES FINANCIAL DAMAGE

    KOYCEGIZ, Feb 12 (A.A)- Three people including two policemen were slightly injured in a tornado at the Dalaman Airport Mugla Province in the Aegean Region, it was reported on Friday.

    Tornado also caused financial damage at the airport.

    Works are underway to clean up the airport which was ruined by the tornado.

    [16] THE CUSTOMS SECURITY FORCES SEIZED 1,362 KG OF NARCOTIC SUBSTANCES AND 310,000 PILLS IN 1998

    ISTANBUL, Feb 12 (A.A) - The Customs security forces seized 1,362 kilograms of narcotic substances and 310,000 pills having a market value of 27.6 trillion Turkish liras in the various border gates of Turkey in 1998, it is reported on Friday.

    The officials of Turkish Customs security units told A.A correspondent that they seized 586 kilograms of heroin, 171 kilograms of hashish, 602 kilograms of cocain, one and half kilograms of Indian hemp, one and a half kilograms of acetic anhidrite and 310,000 captagon pills in 1998.

    The Customs security forces also seized eight sea vehicles, 214 cars, many spare parts of cars, three million packets of foreign cigarettes, fuel oil, foreign currency, historical articrafts, carpets and rugs, telephones, clothes and electronical devices last year.

    [17] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM GIVES A LUNCHEON IN HONOUR OF THE CENTRAL ASIAN AND CAUCASIAN AMBASSADORS TO TURKEY - CEM: ''TURKEY ATTRIBUTES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE CENTRAL ASIAN AND CAUCASIAN COUNTRIES''

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, gave a luncheon on Friday in honour of the Central Asian and Caucasian ambassadors and charge d'affaires to Turkey.

    Addressing the luncheon, Cem stressed that Turkey attributes great importance to the Central Asian and Caucasian countries.

    Reminding that the 55th Government had launched initiatives to further improve cooperation with these countries, Cem pointed out that the 56th government will maintain such initiatives. Noting, ''we endeavour to establish a joint security link among us,'' Cem reminded that armed forces of Turkey, the Central Asian and the Caucasian countries have been cooperating in field of military training.

    Cem also told the reporters that Turkey is determined to further improve cooperation relations with these countries.

    [18] THE OFFICIALS OF THE ARMENIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY RECEIVES TURKISH BUSINESSMEN

    YEREVAN, Feb 12 (A.A) - Davit Hovhannisian, the Undersecretary of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, and the Turkish desk officials of the ministry received on Friday the delegation of Turkish-Armenian Committee of Improving the Business.

    The Armenian Foreign Ministry officials said in the meeting that they will give any kind of support to the activities of the committee.

    Defending the view that Yerevan's removing their objection to the meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Istanbul province of Turkey smoothened the Turkish-Armenian relations, the Armenian officials said that they requested that Turkey should purchase the Russian natural gas by a pipeline which will pass via Armenia.

    Stating that this project will be more advantageous for Turkey in cost basis, the Armenian officials noted that the political obstacles which are faced in this project should be lifted.

    The Turkish delegation which arrived in Armenia on Tuesday was later received by Hayk Gevorkian, the Armenian Industry and Trade Minister, and Aram Sarkisian, the foreign policy consultant of Robert Kocarian, the Armenian President.

    The Turkish delegation met by the Turkish and Armenian businessmen and held a joint meeting of the Union in which they discussed the joint ventures, the joint productions, the joint marketings in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

    The Turkish and Armenian businessmen signed a protocol which foresees the improvement of the cooperation between the businessmen of the two countries.

    [19] TURKISH-IMF RELATIONS - BAYAR, THE HEAD OF THE PRIVATIZATION ADMINISTRATION: - ''IMF IS PLEASED ABOUT OUR PERFORMANCES IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 1998''

    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Ugur Bayar, the Head of the Privatization Administration, said on Friday that the delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which held contacts in Turkey last week was pleased about the performances of the Privatization Administration in the first six months of 1998.

    Bayar evaluated the contacts of the IMF delegation in the Privatization Administration and the news saying that the IMF has some insistencies to A.A correspondent.

    Bayar said that the delegation saw that Turkey is capable of acting rapidly in case a stable government is formed after the elections which will be held in April 1999.

    Bayar noted that they pursued the studies carried out by the IMF delegation and that the stagnation in the privatization programmes occured due to the political instability and the global crisis.

    Stressing after their meeting with the IMF delegation that they saw that the same studies continue in privatization, Bayar, ''our meeting with the IMF delegation was formal. We will continue realizing our projects. And, the IMF delegation saw that we are capable of acting rapidly in case a stable government is formed after the elections.''

    A.A


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