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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-04-29

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

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

AA Daily

29 April 1999 Thursday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] JICA TO REALIZE A SEMINAR ABOUT MINERAL RESEARCH
  • [03] ULUGBAY, DEPUTY PM, COMPLETES HIS CONTACTS IN WASHINGTON D.C.
  • [04] ULUGBAY, DEPUTY PM, SPEAKS TO A.A: - ''WE CONTINUED THE TECHNICAL STUDIES OF THE PROGRAM ON DECREASING THE INFLATION IN TURKEY TO A ONE-DIGIT FIGURE WITH THE IMF''
  • [05] TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS' ILLEGAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING
  • [06] NUMBER OF KOSOVAR REFUGEES IN TURKEY INCREASES TO 12,968
  • [07] KARACA, PRIME MINISTRY CONSULTANT FOR CYPRUS ISSUES: - ''TURKEY FULFILS HER RESPONSIBILITIES IN INITIATIVES FOR SAVING TRNC ECONOMY FROM STAGNATION AND RE-STRUCTING IT''
  • [08] TURKISH LORRY DRIVERS COMPLAIN ABOUT BADLY TREATMENT AND BRIBE IN ROMANIA
  • [09] TRADITIONAL TURKISH DAY IN NEW YORK
  • [10] REACTION FROM CETIN TO GREEK PARLIAMENT SPEAKER - CETIN: ''GREECE, WHICH WAS CAPTURED IN THE VERY ACT ON THE ISSUE OF TERRORISM, AIMS AT DISTORTING THE INCIDENTS AND ATTRACTING THE ATTENTIONS TO SOMEWHERE ELSE''
  • [11] MORE THAN FORTY PERCENT OF GAP PROJECTS COMPLETED
  • [12] BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE - YARDIM, GENERAL DIRECTOR OF BOTAS: ''BOTAS, TO GIVE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES IN BAKU-CEYHAN PROJECT''
  • [13] CELEBRATIONS START IN TURKEY TO COMMEMORATE 2000TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHRIST'S BIRTH
  • [14] NUMBER OF TOURISTS VISITED TURKEY IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 1999 DROP BY 4.9 PERCENT
  • [15] TRIAL OF TERRORIST CHIEF - ATACANLI, FOREIGN MINISTRY DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: ''TURKEY'S ACCEPTING OF DEMANDS OF PEOPLE TO WATCH THE HEARING UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES IS OUT OF QUESTION''
  • [16] TURKEY'S OPENING POLICY TO LATIN AMERICA - TURKISH KOBIs PROMOTED TO LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES
  • [17] TURKEY EXPORTED 110 THOUSAND TONS OF SUGAR IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 1999
  • [18] FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''OIL EMBARGO, THAT WILL BE IMPOSED ON YUGOSLAVIA, DOES NOT CREATE A NEW SITUATION FOR TURKEY''
  • [19] DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENT PALESTINIAN STATE - FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IS NOT SOMETHING NEW FOR TURKEY AS WE RECOGNIZED PALESTINE AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE EARLIER''
  • [20] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RETURNS TO TURKEY
  • [21] IRANIAN NATURAL GAS LINE - YARDIM, BOTAS DIRECTOR GENERAL: ''WE HAVE CONVINCED AMERICANS IN DOGUBEYAZIT-ERZURUM-ANKARA PIPELINE PROJECT''
  • [22] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS - 2.8 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS PAID IN FOREIGN DEBT SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999
  • [23] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK INCREASE BY 873 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN ONE WEEK

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on April 29, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    YILMAZ, ANAP LEADER: ''WE COULD NOT EXCEED TEN
    PERCENT BARRIER IF A NEW ELECTION WERE HOLD''
    Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said that his party could not exceed ten percent barrier if a new election was hold. Yilmaz also said in the Executive Board meeting of his party that they should be included in the coalition government which will be formed by the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

    GIANT STROKE AGAINST PKK IN ROMANIA
    The Police Organization said that they held a joint operation with the Romanian security forces in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, and that they attacked on six houses of the terrorist organization PKK. The organization noted that they captured 14 terrorists and seized many bombs during their operations.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    ECEVIT: ''I AM WATCHING ANAP AND DYP''
    Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said that he still has some unknowns and that he is watching the developments when trying to find a solution in forming the government. Ecevit said that the domestic developments of the parties which were defeated in the April 18 elections can affect the searches of a new government.

    BAHCELI, MHP LEADER: ''LET'S OPEN A NEW PAGE IN THE NEW CENTURY''
    Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said that they should not think of the past days and that they should open a new page in the new century. Bahceli noted that his party is not against opening abroad but that the privatization should be recessed for three or four months and then re-started.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    CILLER: ''I WILL NOT GO''
    Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), met with Hayri Kozakcioglu, Istanbul deputy from DYP. Kozakcioglu asked whether or not Ciller thinks of resignation from the leadership of their party. Ciller said that she will continue to struggle although she will be left alone.

    ULUGBAY SAYS WORKING ON ONE DIGIT INFLATION BY END OF 2001
    Hikmet Ulugbay, the Deputy Prime Minister and the State Minister Responsible From the Economy, said that the Turkish delegation and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are working on a program which will decrease the inflation in Turkey to a one-digit figure by the end of 2001.

    AMBUSH ON SECURITY FORCES IN CENTRAL SIVAS, KILLING ONE
    The terrorists laid an ambush on the security forces which were going to a region in Koyulhisar county of central Sivas province on a tip-off, killing one policeman. An operation was launched in the surrounding to capture the assailants.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    TURKISH SOLDIERS ARE READY FOR KOSOVO
    A troop was formed under the Turkish Armed Forces to participate in the Operation to Support Peace which will be carried out by NATO. 'Kosovo Turkish Peace Force' (KTBGGK) was introduced to press at Ankara Garrison Commander's Office. General Erol Tutal, the Commander of 4th Army Corps and Ankara Garrison, told at the press meeting that Kosovo Turkish Peace Force is supported with a sufficient number of headquarters personnel and is consisted of 987 personnel, including 55 officers, and 115 noncommissioned officers. The troops are equipped with necessary machines needed for fortification and sanitary items to help the Kosovars and have a group of experts to use them.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    THE DAY OF ACCOUNT
    The indictment prepared by the Chief Prosecutor of the State Security Court (DGM) about Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of terrorist organization PKK, has been prepared. The indictment which is composed of six parts and 139 pages, accuses Ocalan of ''treason and commiting crimes against the country and sovereignty of the state,'' and requests death sentence for him. The indictment declared Greece as a ''terrorist state'', underlining that the Peoples' Democracy Party (HADEP) assumed the functions of Kurdistan National Salvation Front (ERNK) with the order of Ocalan and that it provided logistic support to the organization and also provided members for the rural regions.

    PRESIDENT DEMIREL: THE SUMMIT WAS SUCCESSFUL
    President Suleyman Demirel who paid an official visit to the U.S. to attend the Washington Summit within the framework of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of foundation of NATO, returned to Turkey. Addressing journalists at the Esenboga Airport, President Demirel described the Washington Summit as very successful. He reminded, ''it was stressed during the summit that the Alliance will absolutely finalize the mission it started, and the ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo should be stopped.''

    YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)

    ECEVIT SEEKS A THIRD COALITION PARTNER
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said regarding the government formations that there are still some unknown things, adding ''the internal developments of the parties which were defeated in this election can effect the search for government in a certain degree.''

    TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)

    THREE HOT DAYS
    Turkey will live three hot days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The hearing in which Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the terrorist organization PKK, will be tried on charges of treason, will start on Friday. Some trade unions will hold demonstrations on May 1 1999. The new deputies of the parliament will take their oath on Sunday.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    DEMIREL RETURNS
    President Suleyman Demirel who paid an official visit to the U.S. to attend the Washington Summit within the framework of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of foundation of NATO, returned to Turkey. President Demirel stressed, ''it was strongly indicated that the NATO is determined to conclude its mission in Kosovo.''

    INDICTMENT ABOUT CHIEF TERRORIST CONCLUDED
    The indictment prepared by the Chief Prosecutor of the State Security Court (DGM) about Abdullah Ocalan accusing him of ''treason and commiting crimes against the country and sovereignty of the state'' has been prepared. The indictment which is composed of six parts and 139 pages, requests death sentence for Ocalan.

    [02] JICA TO REALIZE A SEMINAR ABOUT MINERAL RESEARCH

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JIBA) will hold the fourth of the seminars on ''Mineral Research and Processing'' between May 3 and 30; it was reported on Wednesday.

    A statement issued by Turkish office of JICA said that the seminar will be held within the framework of the agreement which is still in effect between Turkey and Japan concerning the Third Country Education Program.

    The officials of the Mineral Research and Administration Institute (MTA), some Turkish lecturers, some Japanese experts and some geologists coming from Central Asia countries, Azerbaijan and Bosnia-Herzegovina will give information about the mineral reseach and processing within the framework of the program.

    The first two weeks of the mentioned program will cover the theorical studies while a technical visit will be held and some practical studies will be realized in the second part of the program.

    [03] ULUGBAY, DEPUTY PM, COMPLETES HIS CONTACTS IN WASHINGTON D.C.

    WASHINGTON, April 29 (A.A) - Hikmet Ulugbay, the Deputy Prime Minister and the State Minister Responsible From Economy, completed his contacts with the officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on Wednesday.

    Ulugbay attended 1999 spring term meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington D.C., where he came last weekend.

    Ulugbay met with many U.S. officials including Michel Camdessus, the Director of the IMF, Stanley fisher, the Deputy Director of the IMF, James Wolfensohn, the Director of the World Bank, and Lawrence Summers, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury.

    Ulugbay will return to Turkey after participating in the Economic and Social Council meetings which are held within the framework of the United Nations (U.N.) in New York.

    Meanwhile, another Turkish delegation which was headed by Ustun Guven, the Deputy Foreign Trade Undersecretary, arrived in Washington D.C. to hold contacts with the officials of the U.S. State Department.

    [04] ULUGBAY, DEPUTY PM, SPEAKS TO A.A: - ''WE CONTINUED THE TECHNICAL STUDIES OF THE PROGRAM ON DECREASING THE INFLATION IN TURKEY TO A ONE-DIGIT FIGURE WITH THE IMF''

    WASHINGTON D.C., April 28 (A.A) - Hikmet Ulugbay, the Deputy Prime Minister and the State Minister Responsible From Economy, said on Thursday that they continued the technical studies of the program on decreasing the inflation in Turkey to a one-digit figure with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    Addressing a statement to A.A, Ulugbay noted that the Turkish delegation which was holding contacts with the officials of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington D.C. gave a message to the officials that they will continue to implement more reforms in Turkey.

    Stressing that their studies will take final shape following the formation of the new government, Ulugbay stated that the aim of their contacts in the U.S. was to carry out efforts which will help the new government of Turkey to give a final decision.

    Noting that they aim at providing economic stability, balancing the economic growth and decreasing the inflation to a one-digit figure since the 55th governmental period, Ulugbay recalled that they signed an agreement with the IMF last summer within this framework.

    Ulugbay said, ''we have reached the targets which we pointed out at the beginning by our determined policies. The inflation decreased to 48 percent. The balance of payments became more healthy. We have realized a 2.6 percent increase in our exports despite the crisis in Russia and the Far East. We have overcome all these things.''

    Stating that they refrained from election economy and pursued a realistic policy, Ulugbay pointed out that the things which have been so far realized are the sign of the things that will be realized from now on.

    Ulugbay added that Turkey immediately needs the reforms on social security, agriculture, and financial sector.

    Emphasizing that they have not disclosed a figure with the IMF about the ''fund supported agreement'', Ulugbay pointed out that the new meetings will be carried out by the new government of Turkey.

    Recalling that they met with the IMF delegation in Ankara in February and in Washington D.C. in March, Ulugbay stressed that an IMF delegation will visit Turkey after a new government is formed.

    Ulugbay later went to New York to participate in the Economic and Social Council meetings which are held within the framework of the United Nations (U.N.).
    Ulugbay will return to Turkey following his contacts in New York.

    [05] TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS' ILLEGAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Most of the recent illegal human trafficking incidents, were organized by the terrorist organizations to train their members abroad or to provide finance sources for terrorist activities, it was reported on Thursday.

    According to a report issued by the Struggle Against Smuggling and Organized Crimes Department of Directorate General of Security, those who want to live in Europe due to economic, political, and social reasons, pay 8-10 thousand German Mark per person to human traffickers.

    Terrorist organizations use routes of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Greece, Italy, Russia, Albania and other member countries to the Commonwealth of Independent States.

    The report also underlined that especially those coming from Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia region, apply to the human traffickers whose bases are generally in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Kocaeli, Aksaray, and Gaziantep.

    Human traffickers take immigrants out of Turkey mostly from Istanbul, Edirne, Izmir, Antalya, Icel, Mugla, and Kirklareli provinces.

    [06] NUMBER OF KOSOVAR REFUGEES IN TURKEY INCREASES TO 12,968

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - The number of Kosovar refugees who were forced to leave their homes as a result of ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo, increased to 12,968, it was reported on Thursday.

    The Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that a total of 5,448 Kosovar refugees including 2,212 women, 2,050 men and 1,184 children have entered Turkey from the Tekirdag-Corlu Border Gate since the beginning of NATO air operation.

    The statement noted that a total of 6,658 refugees including 2,355 women, 1, 765 men and 2,538 children have entered Turkey from the Edirne-Kapikule border gate and a total of 862 refugees including 323 women, 296 men, and 243 children have entered Turkey from Istanbul.

    Meanwhile, a number of 5,172 Kosovars including 1,651 women, 1,467 men and 2,054 children have been sheltered at the Gaziosmanpasa Refugee Camp in Kirklareli.

    [07] KARACA, PRIME MINISTRY CONSULTANT FOR CYPRUS ISSUES: - ''TURKEY FULFILS HER RESPONSIBILITIES IN INITIATIVES FOR SAVING TRNC ECONOMY FROM STAGNATION AND RE-STRUCTING IT''

    LEFKOSA, April 29 (A.A) - Salih Zeki Karaca, the Prime Ministry Consultant for Cyprus issues, said on Thursday that Turkey fulfils her responsibilities and commitments in the initiatives for saving the economy of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) from stagnation and in re-structuring it but that the TRNC is acting so slowly in these issues.

    Adressing a statement, Karaca noted that the TRNC cannot be developed by the view saying that ''if I lose, the state will compensate it'' and that the trade should be realized in accordance with some rules and regulations.

    Stating that both countries made commitments to put an end to the crisis in the TRNC economy by the Economic Cooperation Protocol which was signed on January 3, 1997 and that they took significant steps by this protocol, Karaca stressed that Turkey gave 250 million U.S. dollar credit to the TRNC under this agreement.

    Stressing that the credit was used in paying the debts of the state to the banks and in supporting the Turkish Cypriot Airlines, the Eastern Mediterranean University and some sectors; Karaca stated that Turkey makes contributions to the retirement fund which has deficits every year and that a 20-million U.S. dollar credit agreement which will be given to the Development Bank will be signed between the two countries.

    Harshly rejecting the allegations that Turkey imposes embargo on the TRNC, Karaca said, ''there is nothing like this. There was the luggage trade four or five years ago and the situation was better. When Turkey started the free trade and stopped the luggage trade, the stagnation started.''

    Karaca said that the sectors should adopt themselves to the reform studies which are launched for the structural changes.

    [08] TURKISH LORRY DRIVERS COMPLAIN ABOUT BADLY TREATMENT AND BRIBE IN ROMANIA

    EDIRNE, April 29 (A.A) - Turkish lorry drivers who have to use the Romanian route to go to Europe due to the war in Yugoslavia complained that they are badly treated and forced to bribe in Romania on Thursday.

    Responding the questions of A.A correspondent at the Kapikule Border Gate, a lorry driver said that the new route increased their travel time to one and a half days when compared with the past and that the increase of the time results from the long customs transactions.

    Stating that he is a lorry driver for 19 years, the driver noted that they face many problems in Romanian border, including the bribe, and badly treatment and that they have to wait for hours if they opposed to something.

    Meanwhile, the officials in the Kapikule Border Gate said that they usually come face to face with such complaints.

    Noting that such complaints increased due to the change of route, the officials stressed that these are the problems which are mainly faced in the border gates.

    The officials said that the lorries used the Bulgarian-Yugoslavia-Austria- Germany route before the NATO air operation, adding that they started to use Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria-Germany route since the NATO launched air operation against Yugoslavia.

    A total of 4,500 Turkish lorries departs abroad from Kapikule Border Gate in a month.

    [09] TRADITIONAL TURKISH DAY IN NEW YORK

    NEW YORK, April 29 (A.A) - The Janissary Band which attracts attention of foreigners, will also take part this year's traditional Turkish Day march in New York, the U.S., it was reported on Thursday.

    Officials at the Turkish-American Associations Federation (TADF) told the A.A correspondent that the Turkish Day march will begin at Madison Avenue, one of the most magnificent avenues of New York, on May 15 and will end in front of the Turkish House later same day. The Turkish Week will begin on May 14 with a opening ball at the New York Hilton Hotel. Ercan Saatci and Kibariye, two famous names of the Turkish popular music, will also in attendance at the ball.

    The Janissary Band will also present a performance in front of the United Nations Headquarters between 12:00-14:00 and in Bryant Part between 14:00- 16:00 on May 14.

    The Janissary Band was established in the 14th century as a part of the elite military unit of the Ottoman Empire. The Band uses instruments such as cymbals, triangles, bass drum, and Turkish crescents.

    The Brooklyn Youth Choir will give a concert on May 19 Youth and Sports Festival.

    [10] REACTION FROM CETIN TO GREEK PARLIAMENT SPEAKER - CETIN: ''GREECE, WHICH WAS CAPTURED IN THE VERY ACT ON THE ISSUE OF TERRORISM, AIMS AT DISTORTING THE INCIDENTS AND ATTRACTING THE ATTENTIONS TO SOMEWHERE ELSE''

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Hikmet Cetin, Parliament Speaker, on Thursday reacted to Apostolos Kaklamanis, Greek Parliament Speaker, due to is statements on the issue of so-called genocide on Armenians, and said ''Greece, which was captured in the very act on the issue of terrorism, aims at distorting the incidents and attracting the attentions to somewhere else.''

    Speaking to reporters following his meetings with the rectors and professors of several universities of Kazakhstan, Cetin evaluated the statements of Greek Parliament Speaker and said he expressed regret over the words of Kaklaminis.

    Pointing out that archives of the Ottoman were opened to everybody, Cetin said everybody knew that the things which Kaklamanis claimed did not occur.

    Speaking to rectors, Cetin said Kazakhstan, which is located in the most critical region of the world, was a very important country in providing peace and stability in the region.

    Prof. Dr. Valikhan Bishimbayev, Taraz University Rector, in his statement pointed out that there were lessons that could be taken from the services which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkish Republic, prensented to Turkish world. Bishimbayev said he has full belief that interest of Turkey to Kazakhstan will continue.

    [11] MORE THAN FORTY PERCENT OF GAP PROJECTS COMPLETED

    GAZIANTEP, April 29 (A.A) - The 42.8 percent of GAP (South Eastern Anatolia Project), one of the world's leading regional development projects, was completed, it was reported on Thursday.

    In another words, 13,7 billion US dollars of public financement has already been spent for the GAP which is expected to cost a total of 32 billion US dollars.

    Three quadrillion 84 trillion 95 billion TL was spent for GAP by the end of 1998.

    Until the end of 1998, two quadrillion 754 trillion and 786 billion TL from a total of six quadrillion 611 trillion 609 billion TL in the economic sector was spent. In the social sector, 339 trillion 309 billion TL from the total of 612 trillion 843 billion TL was spent on the project.

    The completion of the projects was 97.5 percent in mining, 74.1 percent in energy, 40.4 percent in production, 29.8 percent in communication and transportation, 24.3 percent in tourism and 11.9 percent in agriculture.

    In the social sector, it was 96.4 percent in health, 61.9 percent in education, 34.2 percent in housing and 51.3 percent in other public services.

    When the 1990-1998 period is considered, a decline is observed in the allowances between 1990 and 1995. After 1996, the allowances increased sharply and reached 168.6 trillion TL in 1998.

    No evaluations has been made for 1999 because of the unclearity of the 1999 government budget.

    [12] BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE - YARDIM, GENERAL DIRECTOR OF BOTAS: ''BOTAS, TO GIVE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES IN BAKU-CEYHAN PROJECT''

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Gokhan Yardim, General Director of the state run oil company BOTAS, briefing about the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Project, said BOTAS will give construction services in the project and that oil will flow from the pipeline in the year 2003 if everything goes well.

    Responding to the questions of reporters, Yardim mentioned about Baku- Ceyhan Project, and said it was too early to give a figure about the economic benefits of the project to Turkey.

    Yardim said Baku-Ceyhan Project should not be considered as a project which has much economic benefits, adding that ''Turkey constructed Kirkuk- Yumurtalik Pipeline which has 70 million tonnes of capacity. We have provided its finance. Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline will be in a more different position. Yet, it does not have a very big benefit. We should not consider the issue only economically. It is useful to look at the project politically.''

    Yardim said BOTAS will join the tender for the construction of Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline according to the negotiations carried out between Turkey- Azerbaijan and AIOC, the operation company of the consortium.

    Yardim pointed out that the oil will flow from Ceyhan in the year 2003 if everything goes well, adding that the issue of price of the crude oil that will pass from the pipeline will be determined after the talks.

    Responding to a question, Yardim said the sides have several revision requests to the 2.4 billion U.S. dollar cost which Turkey envisaged for the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline, yet he added that he did not think that the figures will change much.

    Noting that during the negotiations carried out between the sides on Baku- Ceyhan issue, two draft agreements were given to Turkey including turn-key delivery and government assurances, Yardim said studies continued on the drafts.

    Responding to another question Yardim said he hoped to get something concrete by mid June. Yardim said, ''there is the issue of increasing capacity of Baku-Supsa (west) line in early oil'', adding that yet the issue fails to develop as thought beforehand.

    Yardim said, ''we should conclude the negotiations within three months as it was mentioned in Istanbul protocol. What will happen if it can not be concluded? I think Azerbaijan and the consortium will seek for other ways. ''

    Responding to another question about the Blue Stream project, which foresaw bringing of natural gas to Turkey from Russia with a pipeline that will pass under the bottom of the Black Sea, Yardim said, ''we wait for the concluding of finance package forwarded to the construction of the pipeline.''

    [13] CELEBRATIONS START IN TURKEY TO COMMEMORATE 2000TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHRIST'S BIRTH

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Two hundred clergymen came to Turkey on Thursday to visit the places considered sacred by Christians and to start the celebrations for the 2000th anniversary of Christ's birth.

    The guests will take a trip on the route in Anatolia travelled by St.Paul who had big contributions to spreading of Christianity and will organize meetings on their way, said Mehmet Taslialan, the Director of Isparta Yalvac Museum.

    The clergymen, during their symbolic journey, will pass from Adada-Sutculer antique city and Egirdir before they arrive in Yalvac-Psidya Antioch. There, they will worship where St. Paul delivered his first preach. Representatives of Catholic, Ortodox, and Protestant churches will supervise this ceremony.

    ''We set up a tent in the area right next to St. Paul's Church for the ceremonies. When St. Paul first came to Antioch, his job was tent making. We got inspired from this idea and set up a tent for this ceremony. Our guests will worship here and start the 2000 festivities,'' Taslialan said.

    [14] NUMBER OF TOURISTS VISITED TURKEY IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 1999 DROP BY 4.9 PERCENT

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - There was a 4.9 percent drop in the number of foreign tourists who came to Turkey in January-March period of 1999 which has been declared as the 'lost year' by the tourism sector.

    A total of 1,139,911 tourists visited Turkey in the first three months of the year and 22,899 of these tourists came by ships and stopped by Turkey only for one day.

    Last year, 1,199,190 tourists visited our country in the same period.

    Sixty-one percent of those who visited Turkey this year came by plane, 33.7 percent by car or bus, four percent by ship and 1.3 percent by train.

    The March figures in the tourism sector are even more worrying. There was a 14.4 percent drop in the number of tourists who entered Turkey last month compared to March 1998. Last month only 409 thousand 138 people visited Turkey while this number was 478 thousand 63 last year in March.

    [15] TRIAL OF TERRORIST CHIEF - ATACANLI, FOREIGN MINISTRY DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: ''TURKEY'S ACCEPTING OF DEMANDS OF PEOPLE TO WATCH THE HEARING UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES IS OUT OF QUESTION''

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, said on Thursday that it was regardless of question for them to make special arrangements for anybody, regarding the trial of terrorist chief, adding that everybody who wants can make use of the conditions within the framework of the existing procedures.

    When recalled that Council of Europe (COE) appointed two Parliamentarians to cover the hearing of terrorist chief which will take place in State Security Court (DGM) on Friday, Atacanli said public had been informed beforehand by whom and under which conditions the hearings could be covered.

    Pointing out that judgement in Turkey is transparent, Atacanli said, ''depending on the capacity of the court room and the decision of the court judge, anyone who is willing can watch the trial.''

    ''Yet'', Atacanli added, ''it is out of the question to accept the demands of those who want to attend the trial under the title of observer or under any other name or mission.''

    Atacanli said, ''several people, who will come from abroad for the hearing, can make use of the facilities within the framework of our procedures.''

    COE in an earlier statement said it appointed Andreas Barsony, the Hungarian Parliamentarian and Gunnar Jansson, the Finnish Parliamentarian to watch the hearing. The Council of Europe Parliamentarian Assembly (COEPA) which recalled that Turkey was a side to COE and European Human Rights agreements, wanted the trial to be just and called on Turkey to lift capital punishment.

    Responding to a question that there were conflicts between the statements of state officials and the indictment regarding the capture of terrorist chief, Atacanli recalled that they did not make a statement following the capture of terrorist chief.

    Noting that the things which appeared in press organs did not bind them, Atacanli stressed that the elements included in the indictment should be accepted as valid.

    The indictment prepared regarding the trial of terrorist chief, speaking about the capture of terrorist chief, included expressions as ''capture of defendant Abdullah Ocalan by Kenyan security teams and handing over of him to Turkish security forces on February 15, 1998.''

    [16] TURKEY'S OPENING POLICY TO LATIN AMERICA - TURKISH KOBIs PROMOTED TO LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Turkey's opening policy towards Latin America, which was started in 1998, continues with the same acceleration, it was reported on Thursday.

    Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, addressing a weekly news briefing, gave information about the developments regarding opening policy of Turkey to Latin America.

    Atacanli said that the visit of a pre-delegation, composed of officials from Foreign Ministry, Small and Medium Scale Industry Development and Supporting Administration Chairmanship (KOSGEB) and Premiership Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, still continues.

    Noting that the delegation will visit Dominician Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, and Venezuella between April 21 and May 3, Atacanli said another pre- delegation, composed of the officials of the same institutions are foreseen to visit Mexico and Costa Rica between May 9 and 19.

    Atacanli said, ''we expect the visits in question to provide getting beneficial outcomes in joint investments in level of Small and Medium Term Enterprises (KOBI), technology transfer and on issues of exportation and importation and thus contribute to the economic dimension of Turkey's policy to open to Latin America.''

    This policy of Turkey was started by Foreign Ministry between September 1 and 3, 1998 with meetings attended by Turkey's Ambassadors in Latin American countries and representatives of public and private sector.

    [17] TURKEY EXPORTED 110 THOUSAND TONS OF SUGAR IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 1999

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Turkish Sugar Factories General Directorate exported 110 thousand tons of sugar in the first three months of this year and the total sugar export for the whole year is expected to be around 225 thousand tons, it was reported on Thursday.

    The sugar export will continue until the present sugar stocks are consumed said Selahattin Hun, the General Manager of Turkseker.

    A total of 110 tons of granulated sugar was exported in the first two months of 1999. The 1999's total sugar export will reach to 225 thousand tons with the tender that will take place on May 5 for a 25 thousand tons of sugar.

    Hun pointed out that Turkey's sugar production increased dramatically after they started using the right policies, and added that the sugar export will continue in 2000 if the targeted rates are reached in this year's planting season.

    [18] FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''OIL EMBARGO, THAT WILL BE IMPOSED ON YUGOSLAVIA, DOES NOT CREATE A NEW SITUATION FOR TURKEY''

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, said on Thursday that Turkey meticulously abided by the embargo decisions of the U.N. Security Council forwarded to Yugoslavia, yet added that the oil embargo that was planned to be implemented did not create a new situation for Turkey.

    Responding to the questions of reporters in a weekly news briefing, Atacanli said, ''oil is not among the goods which Turkey held bilateral trade with Yugoslavia. To this end, oil embargo does not constitude a new position for Turkey. Turkey will carry out its existing situation.''

    When asked if a limitation will be brought to ships that will pass through the Turkish Straits, Atacanli said, ''Turkey meticulously implements Montreux Agreement, which arranges passages from the Straits, and will continue to do this.''

    Pointing out that Turkey fulfilled its responsibilities so far within the framework of air operation, Atacanli said ''there is not an additional demand from NATO at the moment.''

    Atacanli said number of Kosovar refugees staying in Kirklareli camp increased to 4,936 as of Wednesday morning, adding that the total number of refugees who entered to Turkey so far was 12,666.

    Noting that a total of 4,386 more refugees were planned to come to Turkey in the coming days, Atacanli said Turkey sent humanitarian aid full of 16 trucks to Macedonia and 20 trucks to Albania.

    Atacanli said that Turkey was one of the countries who exerted concrete efforts to ease the pains of Kosovar refugees, adding that this attitude should be an example to many countries.

    Responding to a question that Greece did not accept any refugees, Atacanli said, ''some of our neighbours say much on several issues, yet when time comes to do something, this is the result. Also the number of refugees which several rich EU countries accepted is clear. I hope these figures will be a lesson to the countries who try to give several lessons to Turkey.''

    [19] DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENT PALESTINIAN STATE - FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IS NOT SOMETHING NEW FOR TURKEY AS WE RECOGNIZED PALESTINE AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE EARLIER''

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, said on Thursday that declaration of ''Independent Palestinian State'' was not something new for Turkey as Turkey recognized this country beforehand.''

    Responding to a question about the postponement of announcement of Independent Palestinian State, Atacanli recalled that Turkey recognized Palestine as an independent state long ago. Atacanli said, ''thus this is not something new for us. We wish the decisions will form a positive promotion element for the Middle East Peace Process which is going through a stagnancy period at the moment.''

    Responding to another question about relations between Syria and Turkey, Atacanli said Adana Agreement between the two countries was a positive step in arranging relations. ''Turkish-Syrian relations improve satisfactorily following the agreement. We do not expect everything to be perfect at once.''

    [20] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RETURNS TO TURKEY

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit returned to Turkey on Thursday after concluding his holiday in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    Speaking to reporters in Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Ecevit briefed about the studies held in TRNC and later responded to the questions.

    Responding to a question about Merve Kavakci, the Deputy of Virtue Party (FP) from Istanbul who wears head scarf, Ecevit said ''I wish her to come to the General Assembly hall abiding by the dress code of the Parliament.''

    Ecevit said he had the facilities to discuss Cyprus question and general issues with Rauf Denktas, TRNC President, Dervis Eroglu, the Prime Minister and several other officials.

    When asked if it was true that he sent Husamettin Ozkan, Deputy Prime Minister, to Abdullah Gul to prevent a head scarf tension in the Parliament, Ecevit said, ''Yes, I wish a new tension will not be revealed immediately when the Parliament is opened. I wish and hope Virtue Party to pay attention to this. In fact, my view to this end is that: Everybody can cover their heads in their private lives. Most of our women cover their heads. Yet every institution has a dress code and customs. My advise is that this woman deputy can come to the Parliament building with the head scarf if she wants and work like this in her office. But I wish her to come to the general assembly hall and commission meetings abiding by the dress code. I hope she will accept this.''

    When recalled that Ridvan Budak, Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputy said a coalition with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was difficult, Ecevit said ''Don't force me to talk on those issues, I am not in a position to talk. I am also covering the developments. I do not want to be involved in the details till President Suleyman Demirel's designation is realized.''

    Ecevit, who talked to TRNC President Rauf Denktas before leaving the Island, told reporters after the meeting that ''a very serious job waits for us in Turkey. Yet, our nation overcome every difficulty with success. This will also be solved in this or that way. I believe this.''

    Ecevit said every time he comes to TRNC he found the economy of the country developed, adding that as long as the economic embargos imposed on TRNC continues, further steps will be taken in integration process of Turkey and TRNC in economic and political fields.

    [21] IRANIAN NATURAL GAS LINE - YARDIM, BOTAS DIRECTOR GENERAL: ''WE HAVE CONVINCED AMERICANS IN DOGUBEYAZIT-ERZURUM-ANKARA PIPELINE PROJECT''

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Gokhan Yardim, director general of the state-run pipeline company (BOTAS), said on Thursday that they convinced Americans in Dogubeyazit-Erzurum-Ankara pipeline project which will transport Iranian natural gas to Turkey.

    Responding to the questions of reporters, Yardim said the Americans opposed to Dogubeyazit-Erzurum-Ankara pipeline because of a misunderstanding.

    Yardim said Erzurum-Ankara natural gas pipeline has a capacity to carry 21 billion cubic meters natural gas per year, adding that the quantity of natural gas that will come from Iran was 8.5 billion cubic meters and that the remaining part will serve to Turkmenistan natural gas.

    Yardim said, ''when we made this technical explanation to Americans, they said we were right. They said they did not oppose to the pipeline, but that it was not expressed in this way while going to tender.'' He said the Americans accepted that the pipeline from Erzurum to Ankara is part of Turkmen natural gas pipeline project.

    Responding to a question, Yardim said Dogubeyazit-Erzurum natural gas pipeline was completed 50 percent, adding that constructon of Erzurum- Ankara line, which was planned to be completed by the end of 2000, could be extended to the first half of the year 2001.

    Yardim stressed that Iran concluded 80 percent of the construction of natural gas pipeline passing on its territory.

    Mentioning about the point reached in the project that will transport Turkmen natural gas to Turkey, Yardim said they expended efforts to sign natural gas purchase agreement with Turkmenistan.

    Yardim said they planned to conclude main network till the year 2003, noting that 1.8 billion U.S. dollars investments were foreseen to this end.

    [22] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS - 2.8 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS PAID IN FOREIGN DEBT SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - Turkey has repaid a total of 2 billion 796.2 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 2 billion 99.8 million U.S. dollars; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) repaid 239.3 million U.S. dollars; the Central Bank repaid 160.7 million U.S. dollars; the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Industry paid 290 million U.S. dollars and the Defense Fund paid 6.4 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt between January 1 and April 28, 1999.

    Meanwhile, a total of 827.9 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt was repaid between April 1 and 28.

    The foreign debt payment was 432 million U.S. dollars in January; 765.8 million U.S. dollars in February and 770.5 million U.S. dollars in March 1999.

    [23] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK INCREASE BY 873 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN ONE WEEK

    ANKARA, April 29 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank increased to 21 billion 321 million U.S. dollars, it was reported on Thursday.

    The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which rose by 873 million U.S. dollars between 16-22 April, climbed to 21 billion 321 million U.S. dollars as of 22 April 1999.

    The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 20 billion 448 million U.S. dollars on 16 April.

    Meanwhile, according to the 9 April 1999-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves decreased 433 million U.S. dollars to 32 billion 939 million U.S. dollars between April 2 and 9.

    The international gross reserves of Turkey were 33 billion 372 million U.S. dollars on April 2.

    As of April 9, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 12 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 21 billion 172 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 10 billion 754 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.

    A.A


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