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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-02-21
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
21 February 1999 Sunday
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 21, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL) FIRST OCALAN SERVICE
TERRORIST CHIEF CAN'T BENEFIT FROM REPENTANCE LAW
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)PKK ALARM IN MUDANYA
The intense and tight measures taken in the settlements near the Imrali Island, where the chief terrorist will be tried, are underway.
It was claimed that a total of 18 terorists had been captured in Bursa and Mudanya while preparing themselves for the assasination.
THE WEAK SPOTS OF INTERROGATION
Ocalan will give answers to questions about illegal identification cards, assurance of passports, arms transfers, drug smuggling and secret plans in Europe.
SABAH (LIBERAL)TRANSPARENCY PACKET
An assurance has been given to the terrorists in mountains calling them to surrender and benefit from the law on repentance. Meanwhile, the state which has declared economic mobilization for the southeastern Turkey will transfer 210 trillion liras to the region.
PKK SUPPORTERS TO BE DEPORTED
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)STATE PROMISE TO TERRORISTS IN MOUNTAINS
Ankara started to take gradual steps to prevent terrorism. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit gave state promise to the terrorists in mountains to enable them to make use of the Repentance Law.
The Prime Ministry circular including the guarantee that the starting date would be 16 February, the day when the chief terrorist Abdullah Ocalan was apprehended, was issued yesterday. Pointing out that it would not be possible to legalize the draft law, which is known as ''Repentance Law'' in public, before the general elections that will take place on April 18, 1999, the circular said the ones who will hand themselves in will benefit from the technical education facilities to get prepared to life and get lesser sentences. The circular said the ones who are members of the terrorist organization but who did not commit crime and who give valuable information to faciliate the capture of terrorists and collapse of organization, will not be given punishment.
GREAT DISSOLUTION IN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
The PKK terrorists, who got panicked after the arrest of their chief, started to escape and the number of terrorists managed to escape reached 68 in last four days.
Four of them, who understood that they would be cought, committed suicide while other 18 were killed by the terorist organization while escaping.
RADIKAL (LEFT)STATE PROMISE TO TERRORISTS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced ''repentance circular'' for the members of the terrorist organization PKK who surrender to authorities in the wake of the arrest of their chief Abdullah Ocalan. The relevant laws will be passed after elections in April, he says.
DOUBLE PANIC IN PKK
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)LET'S RETURN TO OUR VILLAGE
The state is planning to launch projects and packages to accelerate the backward immigration to the villages in the East.
The ''Rescue Package'', which will be announced in near future by the state, and the ''Rural-Urban'' project, the 25-year dream of prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, encouraged millions of people to return back to their villages.
PRESIDENT DEMIREL TO LEAVE FOR INSPECTION
''We will develop the region with cooperation. We should draw all of the businessmen in Turkey to the region. I will go to the region in near future to evaluate the situation,'' President Demirel said at the meeting.
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)PKK CAMPS ARE BEING BOMBED
The operation directed against the terrorist organization PKK, which is in panic after the capture of their chief Abdullah Ocalan, continues with success in Northern Iraq. War planes bombed many camps and shelters of the terrorist organization.
FIVE POLICEMEN INJURED
 DEMONSTRATION IN GAZI DISTRICT - SUPPORTERS OF PKK OPEN FIRE ON POLICE INJURING FIVE POLICEMENISTANBUL, Feb 21 (A.A) - Security forces with armoured vehicles dispersed the supporters of the terrorist organization who gathered late on Saturday in Gazi district of Istanbul and erected barricades on the main street. Five policemen were shot and wounded when demonstrators opened fire.
The supporters of the terrorist PKK organization, who gathered on Ismetpasa Street, erected barricades to prevent the security forces entering the district. Security forces surrounded the demonstrators and intervened with armoured vehicles. Police ran after the demostrators who were torn apart and escaped. Demonstrators opened fire on the police from a hill injuring five policemen.
''The policemen who were shot and wounded are not in critical condition,'' said Hasan Ozdemir, the Chief of Security.
The entries and exits are being checked by the Rapid Deployment Force units in the district.
 PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''THE CONCERNED INSTITUTIONS WILL MAKE THE NECESSARY EVALUATION ABOUT THE INCOMPLETE INSTALLATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY''ANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the concerned institutions will consider the necassary evaluation about the incomplete installations in Southeastern Turkey in line with the circular issued.
Responding to questions of journalists, Premier Ecevit recalled that President Suleyman Demirel would leave for Philippines, adding that the relations between Turkey and Philippines are not at the desired level and Turkey aims at improving relations with this country.
Meanwhile, Hikmet Ulugbay, the Deputy Prime Minister, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, Zekeriya Temizel, the Minister of Finance and Selcuk Oztek, the Minister of Justice met with Premier Ecevit the same day.
 SALK, ANKARA DGM PUBLIC PROSECUTOR: ''INTERROGATION OF CHIEF TERRORIST WILL CONCLUDE ON 23 FEBRUARY'' - YUKSEL, ANKARA DGM PUBLIC PROSECUTOR: ''OCALAN CAN'T BENEFIT FROM THE REPENTANCE LAW''BURSA, Feb 21 (A.A) - Talat Salk, one of the Ankara State Security Court public prosecutors who will interrogate the chief terrorist Abdullah Ocalan on Imrali Island, said on Saturday that everything would be finalized on 23 February.
Nuh Mete Yuksel, Talat Salk and Hamza Keles, the Ankara State Security Court public prosecutors arrived in Bursa on 18 February but couldn't leave for the Imrali Island due to bad weather conditions.
Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Talat Salk said, ''the interrogation will conclude on 23 February.''
''Ocalan can't benefit from the Repentance Law,'' said Nuh Mete Yuksel.
When asked what kind of crimes would be included in the roll of inquiries, Yuksel said, ''attempting to set up another state by separating the territories under state sovereignty.''
When asked when would they leave for the Imrali Island, Yuksel said, ''as soon as possible.''
Meanwhile Talat Salk said that they would go to the island early on Sunday.
 PRESIDENT DEMIREL PAYS AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO PHILIPPINESMANILA/ANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel arrived in Philippines early on Sunday morning as an official guest of Joseph E. Estrada, the President of Philippines.
President Demirel who will participate in the dinner that will be hosted by Veka Inal, the Turkish Ambassador to Philippines on Sunday evening, will start his official contacts on Monday.
Hikmet Sami Turk, the Defense Minister, Metin Sahin, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Ahmet Tan, the Minister of Tourism, businessmen, representatives of professional organizations and journalists accompany President Demirel in his visit.
The visit of President Demirel constitutes the first visit of a Turkish President to this country and it's in return to the visit of Fidel Ramos, the previous President of Philippines, to Turkey in 1995.
President Demirel's visit to Philippines aims at improvement of relations between the two countries. Three new cooperation agreements will be initialed during the visit.
Addressing a statement at Esenboga Airport before leaving for Philippines, President Suleyman Demirel said that his visit will constitute the first step of Turkey's opening to Asian market, which has started to be important in world trade and production.
''We foresee to strengthen our relations with Southeastern Asia and Pacific countries in order to find new markets for the developing Turkish industry and to benefit better from the possibilities of the global economy,'' said President Demirel.
Noting that he will meet with Arrayo, the Philippine Vice President, Marcello Fernan, the Philippine Senate Speaker and Manuel Villar, the Philippine Speaker of Representative Assembly besides President Estrada, President Suleyman Demirel said that he will address to Atenoq University about Turkish Foreign Policy and Developments in the World and also address to Turkish and Philippine businessmen at Makati Business Club.
''We will also exchange views with Philippine officials particularly with President Estrada about regional and international issues,'' said President Demirel.
Pointing out that the two countries will sign ''Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement,'' ''Agreement on the Reciprocal Encouragement and Protection of Investments'' and the ''Agreement Foreseeing Visa Exemption in Official Passports.''
 PREMIER ECEVIT'S PRESS BRIEFING - ECEVIT: ''WE ARE AGAINST DEATH PENALTY AS DSP FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME'' - ''I CAN'T TALK ABOUT THE STRUCTURE THAT WILL BE FORMED AFTER THE ELECTIONS''ANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that he can't talk on behalf of other parties and the structure that will be formed after the elections about the issue of death penalty, which came to the agenda after the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the chief terrorist.
Addressing a press briefing together with Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister to foreign journalists, Premier Ecevit stated that ''our Democratic Left Party (DSP) is against death penalty for a long period of time, however we'll see what kind of a psychological atmosphere will appear after the elections.''
Premier Ecevit stressed that death penalty is not applied in Turkey for the last 15 years.
Responding to a question asking how the chief terrorist was captured, Premier Ecevit said that ''I can't answer that and I am not personnaly informed whether or not another country helped in the capture of the chief terrorist. However several countries can continue to help Turkey in her struggle with terrorism. The US has extended full support to Turkey's struggle with the terrorist PKK.''
When asked a question about a Greek Cypriot journalist's passport, who was an enemy of Turks, found on the chief terrorist, Premier Ecevit stressed that this passport incident is a fact proving the support extended by the Greek Cypriot side to the terrorist PKK.
Describing this situation as ''upsetting,'' Premier Ecevit said that ''we know that there are few camps in Greece and service is given to other terrorists who took shelter in Greek Cypriot side. We don't consider this appropriate as both of us are members of same alliance.''
 PREMIER ECEVIT'S PRESS BRIEFING - ''I DON'T SEE ANY CONNECTION BETWEEN OCALAN CASE AND TURKISH-EU RELATIONS'' - ''OPERATION IN NORTHERN IRAQ HAS ENDED''ANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that the capture of the chief terrorist does not have any connection with the Turkish-European Union (EU) relations.
Responding to questions of foreign journalists at the press briefing, Premier Ecevit pointed out that ''I don't see any connection with Ocalan case and Turkish-EU relations.''
Noting that the trial of the chief terrorist is an internal issue of Turkey, Premier Ecevit recalled that EU did not accept the candidacy of Turkey and the latter decided not to discuss political issues with the EU.
''I won't abuse the issue of the chief terrorist for the election campaign, '' said Premier Ecevit, noting that the capture of the chief terrorist is a process that started when the coalition government was in power, adding that the thing that must be done now is to solve the social and economic problems of Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.
''Terrorism won't find a place that is suitable for it to flourish,'' added Premier Ecevit.
When asked whether or not the chief terrorist has a lawyer or not, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that the legal process will be applied and the chief terrorist will have a lawyer according to this process.
Responding to a question about Turkey's operations in Northern Iraq, Premier Ecevit pointed out that a lack of authority appeared in Northern Iraq after the Gulf War and this structure caused an increase in terrorist activities. Noting that the army sometimes considered neceassary to prevent infiltrations of terrorists, Ecevit said ''the operation in Northern Iraq finished for the moment.''
When asked whether or not ''the terrorist organization PKK would continue its civilian war in Turkey,'' Premier Ecevit said ''we don't use the term 'war,' because this is not a widespread movement. There have been internal problems, but I am sure the young people who fell into the trap of PKK will re-evaluate their future now.''
 SANBERK, TURKEY'S AMBASSADOR TO BRITAIN: ''KURDS HAVE A COUNTRY AND ITS NAME IS TURKEY''LONDON, Feb 21 (A.A) - Ozdem Sanberk, the Turkish Ambassador to Britain, said on Sunday that Kurds have a country and its name is Turkey, adding, ''it is wrong to separate the people living on these territories as the Turks and the Kurds. The right thing is to separate them as being respectful to the laws and those who are disrespectful.''
Addressing a programme broadcast by the BBC-1 television channel, Ozdem Sanberk said, ''the trial of Abdullah Ocalan will be fair and clear.''
Responding to a question, Sanberk reiterated that the chief terrorist would be tried by the Turkish justice, stressing, ''his lawyers will be from the Turkish Bar and he will choose his lawyers.''
When asked whether or not he would be sentenced to capital punishment, Sanberk said, ''this is the duty of public prosecutors. They will request the punishment, and the judgement will make a verdict. Also, if he is sentenced to capital punishment, there is a need for the approval of the President and Parliament for implementation. I want to recall that Turkey has never implemented a capital punishment verdict for the last 14 years.''
Giving response to the claims saying that ''Kurds are the greatest stateless society in the world'', the Ambassador said, ''this is not true. Kurds have a country and its name is Turkey.''
Responding to the question ''Is Abdullah Ocalan considered as a terrorist or freedom warrior in Turkey?'', Sanberk said, ''undoubtedly, a terorist. There is a need in paying heed to the separation between the people staging armed attacks against the democratic system in Turkey and those respectful to the laws. It will be a great mistake if you remember only the terrorists against this democratic system, when you say Kurd. Many Kurdish origin Turkish citizens can take high-level posts in Turkey like President, Parliament Speaker and Generals.''
 INTERROGATION OF CHIEF TERRORIST - STATE SECURITY COURT ALTERNATE JUDGE AND THREE PUBLIC PROSECUTORS LEAVE FOR IMRALI ISLANDBURSA, Feb 21 (A.A) - The eight-member interrogation team including the Ankara State Security Court alternate judge and three public prosecutors, who will question Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the terrorist PKK organization, left on Sunday for the Imrali Island with helicopter.
The Ankara State Security Court public prosecutors, Nuh Mete Yuksel, Talat Salk and Hamza Keles, who arrived in Bursa on 18 February but couldn't proceed to the island due to bad weather conditions, left early the same day the Police Club in Bursa.
Speaking to reporters, Talat Salk said, ''he is in very good health. He eats and drinks what he wants. Now, there are three doctors on the island.''
''I don't know how long the interrogation will last. But our mission will conclude on 23 February,'' Salk said.
Meanwhile, Mehmet Maras, Ankara State Security Court alternate judge, arrived in Bursa early the same day. Maras will give the start for the trial process following the interrogation of Ocalan.
 PREMIER ECEVIT'S PRESS BRIEFING: - ''DECREASE OF TERRORISM WILL INCREASE THE REFORMS IN THE REGION'' - ''GREEK POLITICIANS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE FACT THAT THEY SHOULD NOT INTERVENE WITH THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF TURKEY'' - FM CEM: ''THERE IS AN ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE THE LEGAL PROCESS''ANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that ''the decrease of terrorism in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey will increase the reforms in the region.''
Addressing a press briefing together with Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, Premier Ecevit said that ''after the elections if the conditions are appropriate to solve some problems concerning the Eastern and Southeastern Turkey, new approaches can appear. However the situation is very sensitive at the moment. Our people still die due to terrorism.''
Noting that there are problems in all countries, Premier Ecevit said that the Turkish society is very dynamic and the new government and the parliament can take new steps.
Responding to a question about the human right image of Turkey, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said ''this is out of question, taking up the issue is in accordance with international agreements and the Turkish laws. I am worried about such kind of concerns. This is a process going on and no body should criticize. I have difficulty in understanding that, as there is an attempt to influence the legal process.''
Pointing out that Turkey knows the desire of Greece which wishes to transform the issue of chief terrorist into a problem of Europe, Cem stressed that the EU countries have to be very cautious. ''We are not an official candidate of the EU and our relations will be restricted with that, '' said Cem.
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem stated that Turkey expects Europe to evaluate seriously the situation which occured by the violation of international agreements and obligations by one EU country and her acting against the territorial integrity of another country.
Responding to a question about the preperation of a video tape by the chief terrorist in order to call on his supporters to give up terrorism, Premier Ecevit said ''I've heard that in the newspaper, I am not informed about it.''
Stressing that they have proposed to decrease the punishment of the terrorists who surrender, Ecevit said stated that those who surrender will be in security, will be educated and those who didn't commit serious crimes will be free in a short period of time.
When asked whether or not a regional autonomy would be given to Kurds when terrorism finishes, Premier said ''it is out of the subject.''
''If Greece did not set up a relation with the terrorist PKK, she would not be in this situation today,'' said Ecevit, adding ''Greek politicians should understand the fact that they should not intervene with the internal issues of Turkey.
Foreign Minister Cem called on Greece to be a ''good, reliable and dignified neighbour.''
Premier Ecevit added that there have always been many parliamentarians of Kurdish origin in Turkey, adding no body is asked of his/her etnic origin in Turkey.
 SMUGGLING AT CUSTOMSANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - In parallel to Turkey's efforts for the struggle against drug smuggling, customs officials seized 27.6 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) of drugs at the customs last year, it was reported on Sunday.
Customs officials confiscated 1 trillion 327 billion 935 million TL of drugs in 15 operations in 1997 while the drugs seized in 15 operations last year had a market price of 27 trillion 669 billion 814 million TL.
In the operations launched in 1998 in Hopa, Edirne, Iskenderun, Istanbul and Izmit, Customs Protection units seized 586,953 grams of heroin, 1,385, 600 grams of acetic anhydride, 1,500 grams of hashish, 171 kg of base morphine and 310 thousand pieces of captagon. In another operation staged jointly by the security forces, a total of 602,603 grams of cocaine was seized in Mersin.
The distribution of drugs confiscated at the customs in 1998 are as follows:
Offices of Number of Type Amount Market Price Customs operation (Million TL) -------------- ------ ---------- ----------- ------------ Edirne 5 Heroin 91,520 gr 560,165 2 Acetic an. 1,385,600 gr 8,392 1 Captagon 80,000 each 55,200 Hopa 1 Heroin 480,796 gr 15,000,000 Iskenderun 1 Heroin 14,625 gr 50,000 1 Captagon 230,000 each 100,000 Istanbul 1 Base morphine 171 kg 895,657 1 Heroin 12 gr 100 Izmit 1 Hashish 1,500 gr 300 Mersin 1 Cocaine 602,603 gr 11,000,000
 TRIAL OF CHIEF TERRORIST - KOKSAL, TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE: ''THE COURT IS OPEN TO OBSERVERS ASSIGNED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE''PARIS, Feb 21 (A.A) - Sonmez Koksal, the Turkish Ambassador to France, said on Sunday that the trial of Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization, would be open to the ''observers who are assigned in accordance with the procedure''.
Addressing a programme broadcast by the French private television channel LCI, Koksal said, ''we have international commitments. There are conventions obliging us to open the court to the observers assigned in accordance with the procedure. However, if a person, who says he or she is an observer with an unkown proxy comes, I suppose there will be a problem.''
''It will be an open trial, but we don't want supervisor. The lawyers of Ocalan should have been registered at the Turkish bars like in the European Union countries,'' stressed Koksal.
Sonmez Koksal recalled that France did not give permission to the Dutch and German lawyers to take part in the international terrorist Carlos case.
 PREMIER ECEVIT'S PRESS BRIEFING - ECEVIT: ''MOST VICTIMS OF PKK TERRORISM HAVE BEEN OUR CITIZENS OF KURDISH ORIGIN'' - ''JUSTICE IS COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT IN TURKEY''ANKARA, Feb 21 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that for about 15 years Turkey has suffered a very cruel form of secessionist terrorism and this has cost Turkey over 30 thousand lives and huge material losses. Ecevit stated that most victims of PKK terrorism have been citizens of Kurdish origin, including helpless babies, children and women who were killed in their villages and hamlets.
Addressing a press briefing for foreign journalists, Premier Ecevit stated that ''the PKK which has also tried to obstruct development in the Eastern and Southeastern parts of Turkey, claimed that it fought for Kurdish rights, but in effect it has acted as the real enemy of Kurds.''
''In contrast to the racist heritage and tendencies of certain European nations, we have had no concept of racial differentiation and there has been no instance of racial conflict or discrimination in Turkish history. We can't afford racial differentiation or discrimination in any case, because there are a great number of mixed families all over the country. Aspiring to divide Turkey would lead to identiy crisis for millions of families and individuals,'' said Premier Ecevit.
Stressing that Turks and Kurds are of one nation, Premier Ecevit said that ''they fought arm-in-arm in our War of Liberation and they established the Turkish Republic. Since the inception of parliamentary life in 1920, large numbers of representatives have been of Kurdish origin. They have reached highest positions in politics, in administration, in the Army and in business.
Noting that the issue Turkey faces with in Southeastern and partly Eastern Turkey is ''not an ethnic or Kurdish issue'' as many Europeans like to call it, Premier Ecevit said that ''the problems and ailments of these regions are largely due to their semi-feudal heritage. The vestiges of feudalism, which hindered terrorism, would have eroded by now if it were not for PKK terrorism. But in spite of the constraints of terrorism, things have started change in recent years, as industrialization and development gained pace. In those districts of Southeastern Turkey where economic and social development has reached a certain level, terrorism has visibly abated.''
Pointing out that the previous government had launched a development drive in these regions, Premier Ecevit stated that the present government also has declared its determination to accelerate this drive in a comprehensive way. ''The ambitous educational reform that we had initiated in mid-1997 has already begun to bear fruits in these regions,'' Ecevit said.
''As soon as the chief terrorist was caught and brought to justice in Turkey, I issued a call to those young people who had been misled and entrapped by the PKK, to surrender and benefit from the repentance bill that is before the parliament and they will be offered vocational training for a productive and peaceful life,'' said Premier Ecevit, calling on those circles in Western Europe who have been supporting and provoking the separatist terrorist organization PKK to stop this unseemly behaviour.
''Those circles and governments who, for years had provoked or condoned the PKK atrocities or had been encouraging separatist tendencies against Turkey, must have realized during the recent few days that they had been playing with fire. The attitude of some governments in Europe could be well described with the Turkish expression of 'Long live the snake that does not bite me.' Now that they have been slightly bitten by the snake, they may better realize what we have been suffering for many years. I hope no European government will attempt to bargain at Turkey's expense with those PKK terrorists who have savagely occupied and rampaged public buildings and consulates in recent days. Such bargainings won't be binding on us,'' said Premier Ecevit, adding any compromise with terrorists would inevitably encourage them for further attrocities and bring humiliation to the governments concerned.
''The political turmoil that has recently erupted in Greece has shown that involvement with terrorism against Turkey is bound to have a boomerang effect,'' said Ecevit, expressing his hope that Greek politicians may come to realize that dialogue with Turkey would be a much safer way of addressing common problems than giving support to terrorism.
Noting that the judiciary process for the terrorist chief has started, Premier Ecevit said ''justice is completely independent in Turkey. Neither the government nor the parliament can intervene in its functioning. We will also expect the politicians and governments of foreign countries, or the representatives of any international body, to refrain from attempts to put pressure on our courts. We will consider such attempts as an unacceptable affront to Turkish justice. Particularly those governments who have prevented their own judiciary from performing their functions as a concession to PKK terrorism are not entitled to give lessons in justice to any country. Before I end I would like to stress that substantial decrease in terrorism would be conducive to improvements and reforms in the socio- economic and political life of the country.''
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