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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-01

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA Daily

01 December 1999 Wednesday


[03] These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 1, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

[04] HURRIYET (LIBERAL) - ---------------- GOOD NEWS The Moody's, a leading U.S. rating organizations, announced that it has changed the outlook on Turkey's B1/B2 country ceilings for foreign currency bonds and bank deposits from ''stable'' to ''positive''. Moody's, in its written statement, said the outlook on the Turkish government's B1-rated foreign currency bonds and notes has also been changed from ''stable'' to ''positive''. Moody's said that the change in outlook was prompted by recent developments in Turkey's political and policy environments that could eventually bring about a long-overdue correction of the severe pressures bearing on the fiscal accounts and on the real economy.

[05] ECEVIT: ''BLUE STREAM PROJECT WILL END NATURAL GAS DIFFICULTY'' Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that Blue Stream Project would put an end to problems arising from lack of natural gas in Turkey. Ecevit held a meeting with Cumhur Ersumer, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and with directors of several public institutions. Addressing journalists after the meeting, Ecevit said that current natural gas problem was discussed at the meeting. Recalling that Russian natural gas was being transported to Turkey with a pipeline passing via Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria, Ecevit said that these countries sometimes consumed more natural gas than envisaged.

[06] MILLIYET (LIBERAL) - ----------------- FRANCE AND GERMANY SUPPORT TURKEY'S CANDIDACY President Jacques Chirac of France and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder met at the Elysee Palace prior to the European Union's (EU) Helsinki Summit. Turkey's candidacy to the EU was brought onto agenda of the meeting. Chirac and Schroeder said that they expected Turkey's candidacy to be announced at Helsinki summit.

[07] DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER AARTSEN'S MESSAGES Jozias van Aartsen, the Dutch Foreign Minister, said that they supported Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU). Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and his Dutch counterpart staged a joint press conference after inter-delegationary meeting. Addressing the press conference, Aartsen noted that the main goal of his visit was to further improve relations with Turkey. Recalling that Turkey had recorded significant progress in the field of human rights, Aartsen said they believed that Turkey should also continue to progress on the issues of minority problem, the army's role in policy, and human rights after Helsinki Summit.

[08] SABAH (LIBERAL) - --------------- DIE ANNOUNCES GROWTH RATE IN Q3 AS - 6.6 PERCENT The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced that the growth rate in third quarter of 1999 was -6.6 percent. DIE said the growth rate in first three quarters was -6.1 percent. DIE announced that the Gross National Product (GNP) with current prices was 26 quadrillion 21 trillion 382 billion Turkish Liras (TL) and the GNP with fixed prices was 36 trillion 26 billion TL in the third quarter. The growth rate with current prices was 48.1 percent and the growth rate with fixed prices was -6.6 percent in third quarter of 1999 when compared with the same period in 1998.

[09] CUMHURIYET (LEFT) - ---------------- GOVERNMENT WAITING The officials expressed their ideas about the precautionary measure taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) foreseeing the delay of the execution of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization. President Suleyman Demirel said that the government is the interlocutor of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Premier Bulent Ecevit said that the government will evaluate the developments when the judicial decision arrives at the parliament.

[10] CUMHUR ERSUMER: ''BLUE STREAM WILL END THE PROBLEMS'' The government will discuss the problems in energy sector in the leaders summit which will be held tomorrow. Cumhur Ersumer, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Energy and Natural Resources Minister, said that the arbitration law will increase the foreign contribution to the investments. Ersumer noted that the Blue Stream Project will end the problems resulting from natural gas. Ersumer added that Turkey will have difficulties in natural gas and electricity whole winter.

[11] RADIKAL (LEFT) - ------------- PREFABRICATED HUTS HANDED OVER BUT... The prefabricated huts which were promised to be handed over on November 30, 1999; were handed over to the quake survivors yesterday but most of the huts lacked of infrastructure, water, electricity. Only 8,624 out of 26,672 huts were constructed. Premier Bulent Ecevit said that 24,000 out of 25,314 prefabricated huts were completed. Ecevit added that they have reached the target in a very short time. Ecevit reiterated that the public facilities were allocated for the quake survivors.

[12] ISRAELI 'CARAVANS' POLITELY TURNED DOWN The government turned the Israeli proposal saying that they want to give Turkey caravans. The officials said that the Israeli caravans were old and the repair of each caravan will cost 4,000 U.S. dollars. Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv requested assistance from Israel following August 17, 1999 quake. Israel told the embassy that they can sell 145 caravans to Turkey. After the Crisis Desk saw that the transfer and the repair of the caravans would cost too much, Turkey turned down the Israeli proposal.

[13] TURKIYE (RIGHT) - --------------- FRIENDSHIP VISIT TO UKRAINE President Suleyman Demirel attended oath ceremony of his Ukranian counterpart Leonid Kuchma who was re-elected for the second time. The Ukranian people showed great interest in President Demirel during his one- day official visit to Ukraine.

[14] ECEVIT: ''WE REACHED OUR TARGET'' Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the government had reached its target to assemble prefabricated huts for quake survivors under extremely difficult conditions and in a short period of time. Ecevit noted, ''our target was to assemble 25,314 prefabricated huts. 24 thousand of them were finalized. In fact, the Public Works and Housing Ministry has carried out the infrastructure of prefabricated huts that were erected by private sector and foreign countries. Having regard to this fact, we went beyond our target.'' Recalling that Turkey was hit by a second earthquake just three months after the 7.4-magnitude earthquake had devastated Marmara Region on August 17, Ecevit told reporters that 5 thousand prefabricated huts were assembled in Bolu province.

[15] FOUR MORE AFTERSHOCKS Aftershocks continue to shake disaster area in the wake of 7.2-magnitude earthquake which devastated Bolu province on November 12. Officials at the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory said that four aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 3.5 to 3.0, were recorded in Bolu province on Tuesday.

[16] ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) - ------------------ PERMANENT DARKNESS Turkey, which made herself dependent on Russia for the purchase of natural gas since 1987, faces electricity cuts because she did not impose sanctions regarding this situation in the agreements she had signed and because she did not construct enough number of warehouses. The Pipeline Transportation Incorp. (BOTAS) said that sanctions are not imposed on Gazprom if Turkey cannot receive enough natural gas. The countries through which the gas passes, cut 30 percent of the gas and Gazprom only apologizes for this situation.

[17] ECHR: ''DON'T HANG AND WAIT'' The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) took precautionary measure foreseeing the execution of the capital punishment given for Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization. The decision envisages the delay of the execution since the final verdict is announced. The officials said that the legal process for the final verdict can last for two years.


[19] ISTANBUL, Dec 1 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Tuesday that the Turkish side cannot be made to accept anything by blackmail, or pressure. Denktas gave a conference in Istanbul regarding the Cyprus question. The Cyprus question was created by the Greek Cypriot and Greek sides, Denktas noted. Denktas stated that an agreement was signed to establish a federation which was based on the principle of having two sides and two nations in Cyprus, in 1977. But, the leaders of the Greek Cypriot side did not implement the agreement, Denktas stressed. Denktas emphasized that Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot side, wants a multi-national power in Cyprus rather than the guarantorship of Turkey. Clerides also wants to indirectly unite Cyprus to Greece by the European Union (EU), Denktas said. Denktas recalled that he met with Clerides for many times. He added that they reached a position to starting the talks from state to state rather than international talks today. The TRNC will have talks from state to state and have cooperation agreement from state to state but she will not give up Turkey's guarantorship; Denktas said. Denktas noted that the world started to realize that there are two states in Cyprus. Turkey had brough peace to Cyprus 26 years ago, Denktas reminded. The Turkish government gives the message to the whole world that she recognizes the TRNC, Denktas stated. Denktas stressed that Turkey told the whole world that she will not turn a blind eye to the efforts of Greeks or Greek Cypriots to usurp whole Cyprus. Cyprus question is a national matter of Turkey, Denktas added. When asked about the attitude of U.S. towards Cyprus question, Denktas explained the U.S attitude as ''the island should be given to Greece and Turkey should be compensated'' and added that this mentality has not changed. Pointing out to the power of the Greek lobby in the U.S., Denktas said that to this end, the U.S. cannot reach the point that the TRNC wants. They want to take the sovereignty out of the hands of TRNC but the Turkish Cypriots will continue their struggle and will make their sovereignty be accepted; Denktas noted. Denktas continued, ''they cannot make us accept anything by blackmail, terror, or pressure because we protect and maintain our sovereignty. We cannot make any concessions regarding our sovereignty.'' Denktas added that he will not meet with Clerides during the proximity talks in New York.


[21] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday that the judicial process regarding Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, continues. Prior to his departure to southeastern Adana province, Ecevit responded to the questions of the journalists about the precautionary measure taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). When asked about how long the waiting period will last in Ocalan case, Ecevit noted that the lawyers of Ocalan has the right to apply for the correction of the verdict within a month and they will wait for this process. Responding to a question whether or not Turkey will wait for the decision of the ECHR, Ecevit stated that Turkey will also wait for ECHR decision. Ecevit stressed that they will discuss the precautionary measure taken by ECHR, but the legal procedures have not been concluded yet. When they receive the final jurisdiction, they will evaluate the developments; Ecevit emphasized. When asked what will happen if it will take for one or two years for the announcement of the final verdict, Ecevit pointed out that they will discuss this issue later. Ecevit said that he had made a statement last night after meeting the coalition partners and there is nothing more to tell about this issue. The judicial process continues and whatever they say will affect the judicial process, Ecevit noted. Ecevit added that to this end, they do not want to say anything that can affect the process.


[23] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - The ''SEEBRIG-99 Maneouvres'' will be exercised in Bulgaria between December 8 and 10, 1999. The General Staff said on Wednesday that the SEEBRIG-99 Maneouvres, a concerted maneouvres of the Southeastern Europe Multi-national Peace Force Brigade, will be exercised in Plovdiv city of Bulgaria between December 8 and 10, 1999. The maneouvres are being staged to improve the good neighbourhood relations among the Southeastern Europe countries and to contribute to the regional peace and security, the General Staff noted. The General Staff stated that the aim of the maneouvres is to test the methods of encouragement of peace, to increase the opportunities for possible operations and to improve the military relations and cooperation among the member countries. Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Greece will participate in the maneouvres, the General Staff stressed. The General Staff emphasized that the U.S. and Slovenia will participate in the maneouvres as observers. Turkey joins the maneouvres with 27 personnel, the General Staff pointed out. General Hilmi Akin Zorlu, the Commander of Southeastern Europe Multi- National Peace Force Brigade, will command the maneouvres; the General Staff added.


[25] GAZIANTEP, Dec 1 (A.A) - The exports of agricultural, animal and industrial products to 108 countries from the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in the first ten months of 1999 decreased to 460 million 816 thousand U.S. dollars. In the same period last year, the region exported 490 million 809 thousand U.S. dollars of agricultural, animal and industrial products to 82 countries. Abdulkadir Cikmaz, the Chairman of the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union, told the A.A correspondent that in the first ten months of the year, they exported 283 million 53 thousand U.S. dollars in textiles; 85 million 523 thousand U.S. dollars in fresh fruits and industrial products; 76 million 298 thousand U.S. dollars in grain-cereals; 48 million 950 thousand U.S. dollars in dried fruits; and 11 million 992 thousand U.S. dollars in livestock. ''The majority of the goods were exported to Iraq, Italy, Syria, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia, and the Turkish goods in greatest demand were carpets, synthetic thread, cotton thread, dried apricot, and textiles,'' he noted. Cikmaz added, ''in the January-October 1999 period, Turkey entered into new markets like Iceland, Norway, Bahrain, Serbia, Slovakia, Benin, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya, Malavi, Mauritus, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sierre Leone, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Venezuela, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zeland while she lost the Croatia, Letonia, Namibia, Senegal, and Bangladesh.'' ''We realized 140.3 million U.S. dollars to Europe in exports; 138.2 million U.S. dollars in exports to the Middle East; 31.6 million U.S. dollars in exports to the Turkish Republics; 9.2 million U.S. dollars in exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States; 9.9 million U.S. dollars to Africa; 31.2 million U.S. dollars to the American continent; 3.6 million U.S. dollars to Asia and 96.4 million U.S. dollars in exports to other countries in the first ten months of 1999,'' Cikmaz added.


[27] ISTANBUL, Dec 1 (A.A) - ''Reconstruction in Istanbul After Quake Symposium'' which was organized by the U.S. Trade Development Agency (TDA) started in Istanbul on Wednesday. The symposium aim at informing people about preparation for the earthquakes, speedy response, and recovery after quakes. The TDA issued a written statement saying that the symposiums would take place in Istanbul on December 1 and in Ankara on December 6. It said the officials and experts of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Geological Researches Center, U.S. Foreign Disasters Aiding Organization would attend the symposium. It said the role of municipalities in preparing for quakes, reviewing critical infrastructural measures, creating confidence among public in management would be discussed in the symposiums. The statement added that the officials from the Turkish government, municipalities, university professors, and representatives of vocational and financial organizations were invited to the symposiums.


[29] LEFKOSA, Dec 1 (A.A) - Sir David Hannay, the British Special Representative to Cyprus, said on Wednesday that Turkey's interest on Cyprus should be protected in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus question. Addressing a radio programme on the Greek Cypriot Radio, Hannay said he was sure that Turkey which seized the opportunity of a future in Europe, would set up dialogue with all concerned sides on the issue of the Cyprus question. Sir David Hannay is scheduled to attend the proximity talks which will start in New York, the U.S., on December 3.


[31] SKOPJE, Dec 1 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, arrived in Macedonian capital Skopje on Wednesday. Aleksandar Dimitrov, the Macedonian Foreign Minister, and Fazli Kesmir, the Turkish Ambassador to Macedonia, welcomed Cem at the airport. Cem is scheduled to attend the inauguration of the Harabati Baba Dervis Lodge Fountain. Later, he will partake in luncheon which will be hosted by his Macedonian counterpart Dimitrov.


[33] ATHENS, Dec 1 (A.A) - The Turkey-Greece Joint Transportation Commission convened in the Greek capital Athens on Wednesday. The meeting presided by Sureyya Yucel Ozden, the Undersecretary of the Transportation Ministry, and Ioannis Maniatis, the Secretary General of the Greek Transportation Ministry, will end on Thursday. The meeting is expected to focus on highway and railway transportations. Meanwhile, projects aiming at improving cooperation between two countries in the field of transportation, will also be evaluated at the meeting.


[35] LAMIA, Dec 1 (A.A) - Mehmet Emin Aga, the elected Mufti of Xanthi, was sentenced to six-month imprisonment on Wednesday. Aga applied to the appeal court after he was sentenced to imprisonment on charges of illegally using official title. The judicial organs had filed a lawsuit against Aga on charges of using the title 'Xanthi Mufti' in the message he issued in 1998 on the anniversary of ''the Night of Power'' when the Koran was revealed. Although Aga is elected by the Turkish minority in Western Thrace in conformity with the international agreements signed by Greece, he is not recognized by Athens. Aga has been sentenced to a total of 102-month imprisonment in the lawsuits which were filed against him on the same crime. Sema Piskinsut, the Chairman of the Turkish Parliament Human Rights Commission; Sebgatullah Seydaoglu, M. Mail Buyukeren, Mehmet Bekaroglu, Mehmet Gozlukaya and Osman Muderrisoglu, the members of the commission, also attended the court session.


[37] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - Turgut Okyay, the Chief Judge of Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No:2 which sentenced the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan to capital punishment, said on Wednesday that nobody can interfere with his own affairs. Okyay; Huseyin Eken and Mehment Maras, the members of the Ankara DGM; expressed their ideas about the precautionary measure that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) took regarding Ocalan case. Okyay noted that nobody can interfere with his own affairs and he cannot interfere with other's affairs. Eken stated that the Ankara DGM had fulfilled its responsibility. The rest is the politicians' responsibility, Eken stressed. Eken emphasized that the politicians should do the requirements of Turkey's interests. Mehmet Orhan Karadeniz, the Chief Judge of Ankara DGM No:1, said that they should investigate the decisions that the ECHR took regarding Turkey. He cannot say anything at this stage because he has not read the decision yet; Karadeniz added. Nuh Mete Yuksel, the Republican Prosecutor, said that the jurisdiction gave the decision and there is nothing he can do at this stage. Talat Salk, the Republican Prosecutor, said that the government will do the best.


[39] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - Sami Selcuk, the Chairman of the Supreme Court, said on Wednesday, ''whatever the law says, will happen'' concerning the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) precautionary measure decision about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization. Selcuk visited Sinan Aygun, the Chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO). Addressing the meeting, Aygun said, ''the ECHR's decision should be scrutinized. The terrorist organization gave both material and spritual damage to Turkey.'' Selcuk said that the necessary arrangements should be done to prevent the recurrence of the earlier mistakes. Selcuk reiterated his statements which said that Turkey needs a new Constitution and there is a Constitution problem in Turkey. Since various circles do not agree in the common points to form a new Constitution, the current Constitution takes its power from disagreement; Selcuk pointed out. Pluralism in Turkey should also be improved, Selcuk noted. Selcuk stated that the pluralism is the requirement of democracy and the powers should be equal. However, the equality of powers was deteriorated in respect of the judiciary, but it is necessary to equalize the legislative, executive, and judicial organs; Selcuk stressed. Selcuk emphasized that when these three organs are not equalized, then the organs will have difficulty in controlling the others. Despite everything, Turkey has marked significant improvement in democratization; Selcuk said. Selcuk noted that Turkey will integrate with the European Union (EU) and the Ocalan case or any other thing will not prevent this integration. Responding a question about the precautionary measure taken by the ECHR, Selcuk said that the whatever the law says will happen.


[41] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU) should not be handled together with other issues. Sermet Atacanli, the Deputy Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, staged a weekly press conference. Turkey'S EU candidacy should be taken up on its own ground, Atacanli said. The necessary evaluation will be made if Turkey's candidacy is based on a condition or taken up in connection with another issue, Atacanli noted. When asked whether or not there will be another contact between Turkey and Finland, the EU Term President; Atacanli stated that they welcome the efforts of Finland which takes positive steps regarding Turkey. Atacanli stressed that it is so natural that the contacts increase prior to the Helsinki Summit, but they have not planned another contact between Turkey and Finland prior to the summit at this stage. Responding a question whether or not there are countries beside Greece, Atacanli said, ''this issue is out of the scope of our evaluations. Many countries said that they support Turkey. We will see the result of this support at the Helsinki Summit.''


[43] MOSCOW, Dec 1 (Nov 30) - The Russian natural gas company Gazprom assured the Turkish Embassy in Moscow that the recent drop in the amount of natural gas Turkey receives will not last long and Turkey would start getting sufficient natural gas in a few days. The Russian authorities confirmed that the problem was caused by Ukrania's getting too much gas. A Gazprom personnel who spoke to A.A on the condition of anonymity said ''one of the causes was that Ukrania failed to pay its debts to Gazprom.'' The same person noted that ''the documents which were signed in Istanbul about the trans-Caspian Turkey-Turkmenistan natural gas pipeline might also be a factor,'' but declined to give details. Ukraine which is experiencing an energy shortage claimed that the gas amount it gets from Russia were granted by the agreements it earlier signed with Russia. Anatoli Kinaf, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukrania told Novi Izvestiya newspaper published in Russia, that ''their actions regarding natural gas were all guaranteed by contracts with Russia.'' ''Therefore, Gazprom cannot impose any financial sanctions against us,'' Kinaf said. All these explanations suggest that Ukrania failed to pay its debts to Russia and Russia who couldn't collect money from Ukraine lowered the natural gas amount it gives to this country. As a result, Ukraine made up for this loss by getting natural gas from lines which carry natural gas to Turkey. Turkish diplomatic circles said this was Russia's problem. ''We are only concerned about the amount Russia promised to give us. Other things must be resolved between Russia and Ukraine,'' they stressed.


[45] MERSIN, Dec 1 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednasday that there were many empty beds in these facilities, and asked people who stay there to inform their relatives in the quake area about the good conditions they were offered to draw more survivors to these places. Ecevit visited the public facilities which were assigned to quake survivors. Ecevit came from Adana to Mersin where he examined the education and recreation facilities owned by the Interior Ministry in Mezitli hamlet. ''Those who are in the quake area don't know about the good conditions in these places. Please let them know so that they would come to the facilities in Antalya, Izmir and other places. There are more beds in these facilities than the quake survivors,'' Ecevit said. Prime Minister Ecevit also noted that there were no good areas to build dwellings in Golcuk therefore the authorities were searching for a suitable area in its surrounding. ''We must know what you need so that we can serve you well,'' Ecevit responded when people conveyed their requests to him through representatives they chose among themselves. People who are hosted at public facilities live in satisfactory conditions but others also must be informed about this opportunity by printing informative brochures and distributing them among the survivors for better communication, Ecevit said.


[47] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Turkey had asked Russia to do what is necessary about the activities of the terrorist organization PKK in Russian territory. Sermet Atacanli, the Deputy Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, staged a weekly press conference. Responding to a question about the initiatives Turkey launched for the activities of the terrorist organization in Russia, Atacanli noted that they had informed the concerned Russian authorities about the activities of the terrorist organization in Russian territory. When recalled the Russian claim that Chechen camps exist in Turkey and asked about Turkey's initiatives regarding this issue, Atacanli stated that the institutions of the two countries work together and the Turkish side fastidiously examines every information. Atacanli stressed that Turkey told the Russian side that she will not permit any activities in her territory which are against Russia. When asked whether or not the Foreign Ministry launched initiatives about the natural gas problem, Atacanli recalled that this issue concerns the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, Pipeline Transportation Incorp. (BOTAS) and Russia. Atacanli added that they hope the problem will be solved as soon as possible.


[49] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the documents which will be prepared in the end of the initiatives carried out by the Turkish and Greek working groups, are expected to be signed in December. Sermet Atacanli, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, staged a weekly press conference. The report on the initiatives of the two working groups will be submitted to the ministers of the two countries, Atacanli noted. When asked whether or not George Papandreu, the Greek Foreign Minister, will come to Ankara and the agreement will be signed then, Atacanli stated that Papandreu can visit Ankara in December. But, Papandreu's visit and its schedule are not made clear yet; Atacanli added.


[51] ISTANBUL, Dec 1 (A.A) - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) left on Wednesday for the U.S. to attend proximity talks which will begin in New York on December 3. Addressing a press conference at the Ataturk Airport prior to his departure, Denktas said that he would meet with Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and then proximity talks would begin on December 6. Describing the proximity talks as a new opportunity, President Denktas said, ''we hope that the opinion which has been rejecting equality and sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots for the past 36 years, will change during the proximity talks.'' When asked why the Cyprus question could not be resolved for 36 years, Denktas said, ''the solution is in the hands of the third sides, including the U.S., Britain, and the United Nations Security Council. We have been detained for 36 years with the aim of reconciling the Greek Cypriot side under the title of a legal Cyprus government. We have proposed confederation which is a realistic formula defending equality and sovereignty of both sides. We want to set up good neihbourhood relations with the Greek Cypriot side. We want to set up bridges in the common issues. Turkey has undeniable geopolitical rights on Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots should abandon their 36-year struggle to eradicate Turkey's guarantorship.'' He pointed out that it was a big mistake to promise the Greek Cypriot side full membership to the European Union (EU) prior to Helsinki Summit. Denktas said, ''we hope that the EU would not give a time-frame to the Greek Cypriot side as the government of whole island at Helsinki summit. If it happens, this will be the end of proximity talks in New York. No one should attempt forgery for solution of the Cyprus question. It is not possible to unite Cyprus by eradicating our sovereignty. We want a solution which will make peace permanent on the island.''


[53] STRASBOURG, Dec 1 (A.A) - The European Court of Human Rights received 21 applications to take cautionary measure decisions against Turkey since 1987. The Court accepted to take a cautionary meausure decision in ten cases while rejecting 11 of the applications. A majority of these applications came from Iranian and Iraqi immigrants who faced extradition. Turkey, so far, obeyed all cautionary meausure decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. The most recent case was when the Court took a cautionary decision against Turkey about an Uzbek citizen who faced extradition. Turkey agreed to extradite him after the Uzbek government assured Turkey that this person would not be executed. The European Court of Human rights which accepted the application of Ocalan's lawyers for a cautionary measure, asked Turkey to postpone Ocalan's death penalty until the procedures were finalized at the Court. The Article 39 of the European Human Rights Agreement covers regulations regarding the cautionary measure decision. The article is mainly used to prevent the extradition of immigrants.


[55] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that they can evaluate whether or not there is a mistake resulting from the procedures in the decision given by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after the written decision is sent to Turkey. Sermet Atacanli, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, staged the weekly press conference. When asked whether or not there is a mistake resulting from procedures because the ECHR took precautionary measure before the judiciary procedures in Turkey end, Atacanli noted that they will evaluate the developments after the written decision is sent to Turkey. Responding a question on how they evaluate the ECHR decision which asks for the delay of the execution of the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan, Atacanli stated that the Foreign Ministry is not the interlocutor of this issue. He added that the interlocutor is the government. Atacanli recalled that the coalition partners convened last night and discussed this issue. Ecevit also told that although the Supreme Court gave the final decision, the legal process continues; Atacanli added.


[57] BRUSSELS, Dec 1 (A.A) - The Defense Planning Committee (DPC) and Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) meetings of NATO will start on Thursday. A total of 19 defense ministers of the countries which are the members of NATO, will participate in DPC and NPG meetings. Seventeen European members of the NATO will meet each in a dinner on Wednesday evening and will discuss the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI). Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister, represents Turkey in the meetings. The participants will firstly meet each other in NPG meeting. Later, the DPC meeting will be staged. Later, the ministers will convene within the framework of North Atlantic Council. The Europe Atlantic Partnership Council will be held by the ministers and representatives of 45 countries which are the members of NATO and Partnership For Peace (PFP) on Friday. Cakmakoglu will have a bilateral contact with George Robertson, the Secretary General of NATO on Friday. Cakmakoglu is expected to accept the calls of Armenian and Georgian ministers who wanted to hold bilateral meetings with Cakmakoglu. The main items of the agenda of the meetings are the ESCI, the position in the Balkans, Northern Caucasus and cooperation in armament. A joint declaration will be issued in the end of the meetings. The meetings will end on Friday.


[59] SKOPJE, Dec 1 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister who is in Macedonian capital Skopje for an official visit, attended on Wednesday inauguration of the Harabati Baba Dervis Lodge Fountain. Dimitar Dimitrov, the Macedonian Culture Minister; Adnan Cail, the Macedonian State Minister, and representatives of two Turkish political parties in Macedonia, were in attendance at the inauguration. Addressing the inauguration, Cem underlined the friendly relations between Turkey and Macedonia. Later, Cem partook in luncheon hosted by his Macedonian counterpart Aleksandar Dimitrov in his honor. Cem will proceed to Romania later on Wednesday.


[61] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - Yildirim Akbulut, the Parliament Speaker said on Wednesday that Turkey signed the European Convention of Human Rights and regards its values as highly important, but added that ''this is valid as long as it does not hurt our sovereignty rights and independent justice''. When a reporter asked if the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan would be tried again as dictated by the European Court of Human Rights, Akbulut said this issue concerns the government and the jurisdiction, therefore he cannot comment. ''Since we signed the European Convention of Human Rights, there are certain values that we regard as a legal norm. But this should be never interpreted as something that could harm our sovereignty. The world is globalizing and integrating. We wish to do anything that respects the human honour, but not only because Europe wishes so. This is something that exists in Turkish traditions,'' Akbulut responded.


[63] ANKARA, Dec 1 (A.A) - The agreements regarding the 90 million U.S. dollar Spanish loan to be given to Turkey to heal the wounds of the quake disasters, were signed. A statement of the Treasury Undersecretary said on Wednesday that the Spanish and Turkish delegations had meetings in Madrid between November 29 and 30, 1999 to provide loan to Turkey to meet the finance needs of the Turkish enterprises and to overcome the losses of the quake disaster. Within this framework, Turkey and Spanish official finance organization signed the loan agreement which foresaw that 30 million U.S. dollar of the loan should be used by the enterprises, on November 30, 1999; the statement noted. The statement stressed that the agreement regarding the allocation of 60 million U.S. dollar resource from the Spanish government to meet the finance of the projects that are carried out in the quake zone, was also signed. The 30 million U.S. dollar loan was of 12-year maturity and the 60 million U.S. dollar loan was of 35-year maturity, the statement added.

[64] A.A

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