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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-04

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

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


[01] AA News

04 December 1999 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 4, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

ISLAMIC BANKING TO COME TO AN END
The Bank Law which was presented to the Parliament on Friday will cancel all regulations of Islamic financial institutions. The law suggests closure of all Islamic financial institutions which fail to meet the necessary banking requirements within two years. The law gives a chance to these institutions to ''turn to a bank''.

EUROPEAN BUSINESSMEN:''TURKEY IS IMPORTANT FOR EU''
Chairmen of European Confederation of Industry and Employers who convened in Helsinki on December 2 and 3 expressed full support for Turkey's EU candidacy. In the joint declaration they issued following the meeting, Turkey was decribed as ''an important economic actor of Europe'' and they asked the approval of Turkey's EU candidacy. This will help to develop Turkey-EU relations and also support the economic reforms in Turkey, it was stated in the declaration.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL) NUCLEAR EARTHQUAKE
Earthquake experts expressed different views about construction of power plants in Turkey. Prof. Jean Bardet from California University said a nuclear power plant that would be founded on the fault line would be too risky. Bardet said she was strongly against it. Tayfun Amur from International World Advisors said Turkey lacked the industry which could solve the nuclear problem. Prof. Mehmet Celevit from the US Geology Insitute, on the other hand, said Akkuyu was not on the fault line therefore he was not worried.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

NOBODY SAYS ''HANG HIM'' ANYMORE
From the very beginning, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and President Suleyman Demirel have been stating that Turkey must wait for the decision of European Court of Human Rights before taking an action about Ocalan. This attitude also affected other politicians. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) shocked everyone by saying ''Turkey's interests must be the priority'', implying that Ocalan should not be executed too soon. Lastly, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan said ''Turkey must obey the rules of the agreeements she signed''. Noboby from the leading political parties say Ocalan should be executed anymore.

THREE COUNTRIES EXTEND SUPPORT
Prior to the Helsinki Summit, many countries continue to express support for Turkey's EU candidacy. The US said ''Europe would be incomplete without Turkey'' while Belgium Foreign Minister Louis Michel said ''we believe that you are European''. German Prime Minister Schroeder stressed Turkey's strategic importance in its area.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

ENVIRONMENTALISTS:''NUCLEAR IS SUICIDE''
The energy shortage Turkey is experiencing led the government to bring ''nuclear energy'' to Turkey. The warnings of environmentalist organizations and scientists were disregarded by the nuclear lobby in the Parliament and they managed to make the government accept their proposal. Nuclear energy which started to be abandoned in the West because of its environmental hazards would be a suicide for Turkey, the Mediterranean Office of Greenpeace said. Greenpeace noted that the energy crisis can be overcome within a few years in Turkey by using wind and solar energy. Prof. Inci Gokmen from the Middle East Technical University said no country could bring a solution to the waste problem of nuclear power plants.

THE U.S. AGAINST PRECONDITIONS
Tony Blinken, Clinton's advisor in charge of Europe said ''Turkey must be granted EU candidacy without any preconditions''. Turkey should be required to meet the candidacy conditions only after she is granted candidacy and not before that, Blinken said but also reminded that the U.S. was not a EU member, therefore the EU would give the final decision.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

INFLATION IN NOVEMBER BETTER THAN ESTIMATIONS
The comsumer prices increased by 4.2 percent and the wholesale prices rose by 4.1 percent in November. The expectation of the market for the rate of increase in consumer prices was 5.5 percent, and for the rate of increase in wholesale prices was 5 percent. The annual inflation rate in wolesale prices was 56.3 percent and 64.6 percent in consumer prices.

SILENT ACCEPTANCE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY
The environmentalists started to increase their voices when the construction of a nuclear power plant was approved but the reactions are less than the expected. Environment Minister Fevzi Aytekin said, ''I don't know the projects so it will be a lie if I make a statement.''

''ROAD MAP'' DISPUTE IN EU
The EU countries are almost fighting for the ''road map'' to be put forward in front of Turkey prior to the Helsinki Summit. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's proposal requesting the announcement of the formula was rejected.

FOR 100 MILLION TURKISH LIRAS
The quake survivors do not move to prefabricated huts for the sake of 100 million Turkish Liras of rent aid. Most of the prefabricated huts, which offer healthy conditions than the tents has been completed but the quake survivors do not want to move these huts with the fear of a cut in ''food aid''. A total of 2,017 of the 44 thousand quake survivors living in tent- cities wanted to move to the prefabricated huts. The number of huts in Kocaeli is 12,708.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

''I WILL APPROVE DEATH SENTENCE''
The decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) did not make the leaders break their promise. Mesut Yilmaz of the Motherland Party (ANAP) said, ''as I said before, I will approve the death sentence when it comes to the Parliament. However, we will not put a pressure on our parliamentary group.'' Devlet Bahceli of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said, ''being sensitive to this issue is very important in order to put forward that a game can't be played to the state.'' Tansu Ciller of the True Path Party (DYP) said, ''what the laws necessitate will be carried out. If there will be a mistake, they can't say anything to the relatives of martyrs.''

CAKMAKOGLU MAKES A HARSH RECALL
National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu harshly reacted against the efforts to exclude Turkey from the new European Security and Defense Identity. ''The seven billion U.S. dollars tank tender is dependent upon the developments,'' he said.

CYPRUS MARATHON STARTS
Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration met separately with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for the solution of Cyprus issue yesterday. Denktas said, ''I am laughing at the statements of Clerides.''

U.S. PRAISES TURKEY
The White House praised Turkey stating, ''Turkey perfectly hosted the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Summit. We were deeply impressed.''

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

EU HOPE FOR TURKEY
U.S. President Bill Clinton's National Security Council European Affairs Director Tony Blinken made a call for unconditional acceptance of Turkey's EU candidacy at Helsinki Summit. Addressing The Washington Institute, a think-tank organization, Blinken reiterated U.S. support for Turkey's candidacy. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Europe has commitments to Turkey. Schroeder said the German government would support Turkey's candidacy with determination. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said EU membership was a goal of Turkey but not a idee fixe.

EARTHQUAKE IN EASTERN ANATOLIA
The quake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale which shook Eastern Anatolia at 19:07 yesterday was also felt in Black Sea Region. People scrambled into the streets in Artvin and Rize shortly after the quake. There were no any casualties or damage. Meanwhile, many tremors measuring less than 3.0 rocked Bursa and Tekirdag yesterday.

[03] DEMIREL-ECEVIT MEETING

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who recently visited the public facilities in Icel and Izmir where quake survivors are hosted briefed President Suleyman Demirel on his observations.

After the meeting, Ecevit told reporters that a total of 40,000 beds were offered to quake survivors at the public facilities in these areas.

The survivors have been placed in region with warm climates and all their needs are met by the government including the education of their children.

Another issue discussed between Demirel and Ecevit was the government's decision to switch to nuclear energy.

When asked how Demirel would take a government decision to open a nuclear power plant, Ecevit said Demirel has been supporting this from the very beginning and was happy about the government's decision.

-<B>AFTERSHOCKS CONTINUE</B>

ISTANBUL - Aftershocks continue after the two major earthquakes that hit Kocaeli and Duzce.

Bogazici University's Kandilli Observatory recorded six aftershocks between 10:20 and 16:16 local time on Friday.

Hour Magnitude Epicenter

----- --------- -----------------
10:20 3.7 Tekirdag environs

11:04 2.8 Cinarcik county of Yalova

11:44 2.9 Tekirdag environs

14:40 3.6 Goynuk county of Bolu

14:46 3.4 Duzce county of Bolu

16:16 3.2 Hendek county of Adapazari

[05] ONE PERSON DIES IN EARTHQUAKE IN ERZURUM

SENKAYA - One person died and three others were injured in Senkaya county of eastern Erzurum province during the earthquake on Friday night which measured 5.5 on Richer scale.

Houses and barns suffered damage in Gaziler, Kirecli, Bereketli, Catalelme, Esenyurt, Icmesu, Gozebasi, Goresken and Senpinar villages. Authorities have not yet heard from Yayman, Kurkcu, Aktas and Kaynak villages.

Gendarme teams are having difficulty to reach these villages because of the damage occured on Gaziler-Goresken road.

Officials said that there were people who were left homeless in some villages and they needed tents. Many cattle also died in the quake.

People of Senkaya spent the night outside. A few aftershocks occured after the quake in the province.

-<B>PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER REVISES</B> DEATH TOLL AS 800 AFTER DUZCE QUAKE
ANKARA - Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center revised the death toll as 800 after the quake measuring 7.2 which hit Duzce on November 12.

A total of 4,948 people were also injured in the quake.

The construction of 622 prefabricated huts and a schools has been completed in Bolu and 352 of them were given to quake survivors.

More than 47,000 tents were also sent to the area.

Rescue teams of 632 personnel coming from 30 countries and U.N. organization returned to their countries. Several countries continue to send donations and aid supplies for the survivors.

[07] CAPTURE OF FEHRIYE ERDAL - LAWYERS SAY ERDAL SHOULD NOT BE EXTRADITED TO TURKEY

ISTANBUL- Lawyers of Fehriye Erdal, one of the suspects of murder of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, prepared a dossier for their client saying that ''their client has not to be extradited to Turkey''.

Fehriye Erdal was apprehended on September 26, 1999 in Belgium with false passport.

The seven-folder dossier explains in detail the lawsuits against members of terrorist organizations and judicial system in Turkey.

The dossier also includes operations against the illegal Revolutionary People's Party-Front (DHKP-C), the lawsuits filed relating to this, incidents, documents about Sabanci case, documents about missing people and articles claiming that there was torture in Turkey.

The dossier also includes news items published in the newspapers about Fehriye Erdal.

Lawyers of Fehriye Erdal will submit the dossier to the officials at the Turkish Consulate in Belgium requesting to transfer to dossier to the Belgian authorities.

Sabanci Holding Atomotive Group President Ozdemir Sabanci, ToyotaSa General Director Haluk Gorgun and Sabanci's Secretary Nilgun Hasefe were shot dead at the Sabanci Center in Istanbul on January 9, 1996.

Fehriye Erdal, Ismail Akkol and Mustafa Duyar started to be wanted as the suspects of the assasinations.

Mustafa Duyar was brought to Turkey after he surrendered to the Turkish Embassy in Damascus on January 5, 1997 but he was killed in Afyon prison while his trial was continuing.

Fehriye Erdal was captured in Knokke-Heist, Belgium in an operation on September 16, 1999 with a false passpart bearing the name ''Nese Yildirim''.

Fehriye Erdal is now staying in Brugge Prison in Belgium.

The other suspect Ismail Akkol is still wanted with an arrest in absentia warrant.

[08] 34 AFTERSHOCKS FOLLOW FRIDAY'S NIGHT QUAKE IN EASTERN TURKEY

ERZURUM - A total of 34 aftershocks followed the earthquake measuring 4.8 by Richter scale on Turkey's northeastern border at 19.07 local time on Friday.

Dr. Salih Bayrakturan from Ataturk University's Seismology Research Center said the aftershocks ranged between 3.7 and 4.2. magnitudes.

Bayraktutan said the quake was a continuation of 1983 quake that hit Horasan, and was felt in an area covering 500 kilometers stretchiing from Posof to Erzincan.

The quake was also felt in Black Sea region.

Bayraktutan said people should not get panicked.

''No earthquakes are pleasing but Friday's quake was a good earthquake because the trapped energy was released. This seismologic storm will continue for a while. But these minor quakes are not dangerous and people should not worry,'' Bayraktutan said.

Meanwhile, Bogazici University's Kandilli Observatory recorded the same quake as 5.5 on Richter scale.

[09] PRESIDENT DEMIREL SENDS CONDOLENCE MESSAGE TO AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT AFTER FRIDAY'S GAS EXPLOSION

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel sent a message of condolence to Austrian President Thomas Klestil after the gas explosion in Wilhelmsburg town, 60 kilometers south-west of Vienna, which resulted in the death of tens of people.

''I implore God's grace upon those who were killed in the disaster and strength to those who are grieving,'' Demirel said in his message.

[10] AEGEAN CHILDREN'S PEACE FESTIVAL HELD IN IZMIR

IZMIR - Turkish and Greek children came together for peace in Izmir on Saturday.

On the first day of the ''Aegean Children's Peace Festival'' organized by Turkish Yonelis High School, Greek children coming from Samos and Chios gave messages of peace.

Rahmi Uygun, the founder of Yonelis High School reminded that the U.N. declared the 2000 ''the year of peace''.

''We organized Aegean Children's Peace Festival to build good relations between Turkish and Greek children who are our common future,'' Uygun said.

Following Saturday's festival, a peace declaration will be read out on Sunday.

Students of Yonelis High School are hosting their Greek friends at their houses. Greek and Turkish children read poetry and display their folkloric dances at the festival.

[11] DAMAGE ASSESSMENT WORKS START AT FOUR VILLAGES OF ERZURUM

ERZURUM - Damage assessment works started in four villages of Senkaya county of eastern Erzurum province following the quake which occured at 19:07 local time on Friday.

One person died and six other were injured in the quake.

Ataturk University's Seismology Center measured the quake as 4.8 on Richter scale while Kandilli Seismology Institute confirmed the magnitude as 5.5.

Erzurum Governor Derya Kadioglu told the A.A correspondent that the quake caused damage in Gaziler, Goresken, Bereket and Kirecli villages.

The gendarme teams reached Catalela, Esenyurt, Icmesu and Senpinar villages on Saturday morning. The teams are currently on the way to Kurkcu village and they are having difficulties because of the damage occured on some village roads. Efforts continue to clear Gaziler-Goresken road which was closed to traffic because of land slide.

Governor Kadioglu noted that it was a powerful quake and Erzurum survived it with minimum damage which was pleasing.

Villagers in Gaziler, Goresken, Bereket and Kirecli said their barns were completely damaged and cattles were left out in cold weather.

They asked the meat facility in Erzurum to purchase their cattle in order not to suffer financial losses.

Some villages were left homeless when their houses made of mud collapsed and they need tents and blankets, it was reported.

[12] CHILDREN OF PEOPLE WHO IMMIGRATED FROM CANAKKALE TO SALONICA IN 1920 VISIT THE LAND OF THEIR FATHERS

CANAKKALE - A group formed by the children of people who left Canakkale's Intepe hamlet in 1920 and immigrated to the Greek city Salonica, visited Canakkale as Rotary Club's guests on Saturday.

Frontzis Aggelos, the Mayor of Asprovalta town who is leading the group of 22 people said they always wanted to see Canakkale where their fathers lived but never had the chance to visit it.

''Our families always told about their memories of Canakkale. We contacted with Canakkale Rotary Club and had the chance to see this land where our parents lived,'' Aggelos said.

Muzaffer Arikan, the Chairman of Canakkale Rotary Club said they would continue their contacts with the people of Asprovalta town in the future.

[13] ECEVIT: ''IT IS A CONTRADICTION TO MAKE DEATH SENTENCE VALID WHILE DEFENDING OUR RIGHT OF EU MEMBERSHIP''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that any death sentence had not been implemented in Turkey for long years putting forward the attitude of the Turkish people and Parliament towards the execution.

''It is a contradiction to make the death sentence valid while defending our right of European Union (EU) membership. I hope we will overcome this contradiction in near future,'' he said.

Addressing the private television channel, TGRT, Ecevit said he preferred to make cautious statements about the issue of whether Turkey will be granted EU candidate status or not prior to the Helsinki Summit.

''The unwillingness in the EU about Turkey's candidacy is gradually decreasing. The process of becoming Eurasian started in the world and Turkey is the key country in this process. Firstly, the U.S. recognized this reality and the EU started to become aware of this reality,'' he said.

''Thus, the tendency to accept Turkey's candidacy has now increased more. However, the uncertainty in Greece's attitude still continues. The decisions in the EU are taken unanimously. Greece still puts forward some conditions. We won't submit to any political pressure concerning candidacy. Thus, the uncertainty in Greece's position forces me to speak cautiously,'' he said.

When reminded of the issue that Greece brought onto agenda the Aegean problem and Greek Cypriot side's EU membership for the opening of the way for Turkey's EU candidacy, Ecevit said the Aegean problem between Turkey and Greece should be solved through dialogue and this was the necessity of the United Nations Charter.

''Despite this, Greece wants to directly bring the issue to The Hague. It can be easily understood from the map that the Aegean problem is so complex. The Aegean problem should not be considered not only with its legal dimension but also with its security and political dimensions. To this end, the concerned sides, first of all, have to prefer the negotiation method,'' he said.

Stressing that Turkey managed to solve her problems with Russia and Bulgaria through dialogue in the past, Ecevit said, ''such problems between allied countries have to be solved through dialogue. We can't accept going to court directly.''

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, ''opening the way for EU membership to the Greek Cypriot administration before an agreement between the two sides on the Island was a very serious mistake. Some EU countries now started to clearly express this mistake.''

''We will encounter serious problems in case of acceptance of Greek Cypriot administration's EU membership. If the existence of two separate states on Cyprus is not accepted and if whole 'Cyprus' is accepted as an EU member, than the Turkish Cypriots will be separated from Turkey and they will be under sovereignty of Greece. It is obvious that this will lead to serious disasters,'' he said.

Ecevit said the Greek Cypriots caried out genocide on the Turkish Cypriots in every opportunity before the Cyprus Peace Operation, and the Bosnia- Herzegovina incidents revived those grievous memories.

''Thus, this problem can be overcome with the acceptance of existence of two separate states on Cyprus,'' Ecevit stressed.

Responding to a question, Ecevit said they would evaluate the European Court of Human Rights's decision about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, urging Turkey to ''postpone the execution'' after the internal law process was finalized.

When reminded of Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz's statement published the same day in some newspapers saying, ''we won't execute him if we would be in the power alone'' Ecevit said, ''I have not made a statement about Abdullah Ocalan. It will be wrong if I make a direct statement about Ocalan before the process is completed in Turkey. Of course, we, as the Democratic Left Party (DSP), have always been opposed to death sentence. It started to be perceived that annulment of capital punishment will bring positive outcomes. It is a contradiction to make the death sentence valid while defending our right of European Union (EU) membership. It is clear that membership to EU can't suit with capital punishment.''

When asked whether pressure was put on Turkey concerning this issue, Ecevit said, ''some EU officials made surprising statements and tried to set up a connection between Turkey's EU candidacy and Ocalan case. This pressure created a reaction amoung the Turkish public opinion, and a self-respecting nation can't accept such a pressure.''

''Recently, many countries have accepted that this was a very wrong attitude. The European Parliament, while announcing its decision about Turkey's candidacy, rejected the proposal asking to make a connection between candidacy and Ocalan. This was a positive development. The sensitivities of the public opinion started to be understood,'' he said.

When reminded of the news saying that cabinet members excluding him were banned from making statements about the issue, Ecevit said, ''the important thing is a common decision of the government. I don't think we will face a serious problem about this. The government is very careful about this issue.''

When asked whether the coalition partners reached an agreement on draft law on amnesty, Ecevit said, ''a progress couldn't be recorded among the coalition partners yet. However, there is dialogue within the government. I hope we will reach a compromise.''

When asked whether the government would work to lift capital punishment, Ecevit said, ''Turkey has never implemented a death sentence for long years. The Parliament has not included a capital punishment into its agenda for years. This means that the attitude of the Turkish people and the Parliament towards the execution became clear.

-<B>ECEVIT: ''I WON'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT EVEN IF</B> THERE WILL BE A CHANGE IN EDUCATION CONDITION''
ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that he was, in principle, opposed to education condition for being a candidate for President, adding, ''I will absolutely not run for President even if the there will be a change in education condition.''

A person, who wants to run for President, has to be a university graduate in accordance with the Constitution. Prime Minister Ecevit was graduated from a two-year vocational high school.

Addressing the private television channel, TGRT, Ecevit said the supplementary taxes were earlier decided to be brought onto the agenda with the aim of increasing public revenues even if Turkey had not suffered quake disasters.

''I can't remember the exact date but this issue came onto the agenda shortly after the coalition was formed. It was actually known. However, we were obliged to postpone due to the quake. We couldn't postpone it for more since Turkey's public sources face serious a shrinkage. The state's opportunity to make investment become very limited. The state can't repay some of its borrowings,'' he said.

Responding to a question about the likely Stand-By agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ecevit said he was very hopeful but he had some concerns about a sufficient source.

[15] ECEVIT: ''WE DEEM ASSURANCE OF TURKEY'S FUTURE CONCERNING ENERGY SOURCES A PRIOR DUTY''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the coalition partners reached a compromise on transition to nuclear energy, adding, ''we deem asurance of Turkey's future concerning energy sources a prior duty.''

Addressing the private television channel, TGRT, Ecevit said, ''Turkey may face a very serious energy crisis if she won't rapidly take necessary measures. This may negatively affect development, industrialization and exports.''

''While purchasing natural gas from Russia, Turkey encounters several problems. That pipeline passes via the Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria. The industry in Turkey stops when one of these countries uses natural gas more than the alloted amount; serious problems occur in heating and power is cut. The gas will flow into Turkey directly from Russia when the Blue Stream project is implemented, and I hope such problems won't occur,'' he said.

''We are trying to increase our energy sources with the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and the Trans-Caspian Turkmen natural gas project. Many positive steps were taken. As you know, several agreements were signed in Istanbul during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit. We are trying to increase and vary our energy sources,'' he said.

''Meanwhile, we had to take a serious decision about a nuclear power plant. We thought that we would lose prestige if we can't realize it till the end of this year. Of course, this is a very sensitive issue. However, this needs 50 years. It will become valid economically in 2050,'' he said.

''The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant tender has to be finalized by the end of this year. It is uncertain whether the plant will be constructed in Akkuyu so we are waiting for the results of the technical etudes. Akkuyu is 160 kilometers away from the nearest fault,'' he said.

-<B>ECEVIT SAYS GOVERNMENT SENDING 340 TENTS TO ERZURUM</B>

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that 340 tents would be sent to eastern Erzurum and Kars provinces following Friday's earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale which left some people homeless.

One person was killed and six others were injured in the quake which also caused damage in some houses and cattle barns.

Ecevit said cracks occured on the walls of 340 houses in Yenikoy of Sarikamis county of Kars.

No damage was reported in Igdir and Ardahan.

The Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center is sending 100 tents to Erzurum and 50 tents to Kars.

Red Crescent is also sending 190 tents to the region. Prime Minister Ecevit also said they were sending cash constribution to the related governor's offices from the Social Solidarity Fund.

Ecevit also noted that the government would purchase the cattles of villagers who were left outside when the barns collapsed in order to minimize their financial loss.

[17] ECEVIT SAYS GOVERNMENT PARTNERS DID NOT DISCUSS EXECUTION OF OCALAN

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the government partners did not discuss any issue concerning the execution of the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan.

Responding to the question of reporters, Ecevit recalled that the Democratic Left Party (DSP) had always been opposed to capital punishment as a humanitarian measure.

''Turkey's wish to become a EU member and her keeping capital punishment contradicts with each other and Turkey must get rid of this contradiction as soon as possible,'' Ecevit noted.

Pointing out that some countries did not extradite criminals to Turkey with the pretext of death penalty in Turkey, Ecevit said, ''If these criminals can be extradited to Turkey, their confessions will help to clarify many unsolved crimes. Turkey is deprived of this opportunity.''

When asked whether the government would launch an initiative to remove this contradiction, Ecevit said, ''I think this problem can be resolved in time automatically.''

When reminded of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) senior leader Sevkat Cetin's statement saying ''Ocalan must be executed'', Ecevit stated that the coalition partners had not discussed Ocalan's execution and added that they were waiting for the finalization of internal legal process.

Responding to a question about Greece's precondition for Turkey's EU candidacy, Ecevit reiterated that Turkey would not accept any precondition.

''Turkey will be a candidate like all other countries which were granted candidacy without any political condition. It is out of question for us to accept any binding conditions in advance.''

[18] Anadolu Ajansı


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