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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-11

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

11 December 1999 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 11, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

FIRST MOSLEM CANDIDATE TO THE EU
The European Union (EU) officially announced Turkey's candidacy, but tension escalated after the EU put forward two preconditions. During these critical hours, U.S. President Bill Clinton phoned Prime Minister Ecevit. Clinton told Ecevit that he was pleased with the EU's decision on Turkey's candidacy. He also wanted Turkey not to reject the EU's invitation. Later, President Suleyman Demirel phoned Ecevit, and said, ''we should not miss such a historical opportunity. There are discomforting issues, but we can discuss them as a candidate country.''

ECEVIT: ''LETS HOPE FOR THE BEST''
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit met with Javier Solana, the High Representative of the European Union's (EU) Foreign Policy and Joint Defense, and Gunter Verheugen, the member of the European Commission responsible for the enlargement. After the meeting, Ecevit told reporters, ''there may be details which we cannot be satisfied with, but in general the European Union's acceptance of our candidacy under equal conditions with the other candidate states is a great success for Turkey. The allusion that Aegan problems should be brought to the International Court of Justice in the Hague in 2004 the latest, is unacceptable for us. Even a result cannot be obtained from the talks regarding Cyprus, it is inconvenient to give the impression that membership process to EU can be applied for Greek Cypriot side under the name of Cyprus. The fact that there are two separate states on the island cannot be changed in any way.''

PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT DUE TO HELSINKI
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that he would go to Helsinki on Saturday to attend the last day of the European Union's (EU) summit. Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and high-level bureaucrats will accompany Ecevit during his visit to Helsinki.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

STANDARD AND POOR'S CHANGES OUTLOOK ON TURKISH
ECONOMY FROM ''STABLE'' TO ''POSITIVE''
The Standard and Poor's (S&amp;P), a leading U.S. rating organization, announced that it has changed the outlook on Turkey's long-term credit note from ''stable'' to ''positive''. Relasing a statement, the S and P said that the outlook on the Turkey's B-rated short and medium term foreign currency bonds and notes have not been changed. The S and P said that the change in outlook was prompted by recent developments in Turkey.

A FERRY COLLIDES WITH A SHIP OFFSHORE SARAYBURNU
A ferry collided with a ship offshore Sarayburnu district of Istanbul at about 20:20 local time of Friday. No casualties were reported in the accident. The accident caused financial damages in the ferry and the ship.

SABAH (LIBERAL) IRTEMCELIK: ''WE ACCEPT STANDART EXPECTATIONS
OF EU FROM ALL CANDIDATES AND WE WILL MEET THEM''
Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister responsible from human rights, said that Turkey accepted standart expectations of the European Union (EU) from all candidates and she would meet them. Staging a press conference upon the 51th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Irtemcelik noted, ''we expect the positive result which we deserve at Helsinki summit. While we continue to walk on our path, we want to further improve relations with the EU. Whatever the decisions of the EU countries will be, we will continue to walk towards civilization targets shown by great Ataturk with or without the EU.''

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

22 THOUSAND PREFABRICATED HUTS CONSTRUCTED FOR QUAKE SURVIVORS
In the wake of the two massive quakes in August and November, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing planned to built 33,289 prefabric huts for the quake survivors, and 22,330 of them have been completed as of Friday and ready to be given to their owners. A total of 10,330 huts in Kocaeli, 5,290 in Sakarya, 1,494 in Bolu and 5,216 in Yalova are waiting to be given to the quake survivors. 3,299 huts in Kocaeli, 3,010 in Sakarya, 344 in Bolu, and 763 in Yalova were already given to their owners. A total of 17,215 huts are ready to be distributed at the disaster area and 10,261 survivors applied for them so far.

TEN TERRORISTS KILLED
A total of 10 terrorists were killed in operations launched by the security forces in southeastern Diyarbakir and Sirnak provinces. Eight of them were killed in Hani county of Diyarbakir province while two others were killed in in Guneycam-Behranci region of Sirnak province.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

3.6-MAGNITUTE QUAKE IN BALIKESIR
An earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, was recorded in

Balikesir province in the Marmara region. The Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Seismology Institute said the quake, which occured at 13:59 local time, was felt in Balikesir and surroundings. There were not any immediate reports of casualties or financial damage.

CYPRUS TALKS TO CONTINUE
President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

(TRNC) said that the proximity talks would continue till Tuesday.

Denktas said, ''the European Union's (EU) doors seems to be opened for Turkey. As for Cyprus, it is obvious that they were speaking only about the Greek Cypriot side. There is nothing against our state in the north. So we shall consider the whole thing when we see the official text.'' Meanwhile, a source close to Denktas expressed concern by saying, ''Helsinki has dynamited New York.'' Denktas met with Alvaro de Soto, the Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General to Cyprus. Prior to his meeting with Alvaro de Soto, Denktas held talks with Von Rantzau, the German Coordinator to Cyprus. Denktas, and Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, will meet separately with Annan on Saturday.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

FIVE TENTS BURNT DOWN TO ASHES
Fire broke out in tents where quake survivors have taken shelter in Duzce county of Bolu province which was devastated by 7.2-magnitude earthquake on November 12. No casualties were reported in the fire, but five tents were burnt down to ashes.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS DISCUSSES EU'S DECISION
The Council of Ministers convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to evaluate European Union's (EU) decision regarding Turkey's candidacy. Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), one of the three partners of the coalition government, also attended the meeting. Tunca Toskay, Minister of State and Government Spokesman, told journalists following the two-hour meeting that Council of Ministers had discussed the EU, and Turkey's formal candidacy to EU with all aspects.

[03] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT LEAVES FOR HELSINKI: - ''IT WAS UNDERSTOOD AND CLARIFIED THAT EUROPE COULD NOT BE WITHOUT TURKEY, AND TURKEY COULD NOT BE WITHOUT EUROPE''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday, ''it was understood and clarified that Europe could not be without Turkey, and Turkey could not be without Europe.''

Ecevit staged a press conference at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara prior to his departure to Finnish capital Helsinki to attend the last day of the European Union's (EU) summit.

Recalling that Turkey's candidacy to the EU was officialy announced yesterday, Ecevit stressed, ''Turkey will be applied the same criteria applied to the other candidate states. There will be no preconditions for Turkey.''

Underlining the importance of Turkey's candidacy to the EU, Prime Minister Ecevit said that the decision was not important only for Turkey, but it was also important for both Europe and the whole world.

He told reporters, ''the world is going through Euroasianization process. In this process, the most important country is Republic of Turkey. Therefore, it was understood that Europe could not be without Turkey, and Turkey could not be without Europe. Our membership to the EU is a significant factor in Europe's opening towards Asia. I hope that this development would be the best for our people.''

Ecevit said that he would attend the ceremony regarding Turkey's candidacy to the EU.

When asked whether or not he will express Turkey's concerns on the Cyprus question and the Aegean dispute at Helsinki Summit, Ecevit said, ''there will be no consultations in Helsinki. It is rather a ceremonial matter.''

Ecevit added, ''Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen of Finland, the Term President of the EU, sent us a written statement yesterday. In his message, he clarified that this did not mean a necessity, but referred the date when the European Council will review the disputes in case of a failure in negotiations between Turkey and Greece. He removed our concerns. The Term President's words are the part of the EU's law.''

''We consider it inconvenient to grant the EU membership to the Greek Cypriot side under the name of Cyprus even a result can not be obtained from the talks regarding Cyprus. As we stated on numerous occasions, it is not possible to reach a reconciliation on the island without recognizing the fact that there are two separate states on the island. If the Greek Cypriot administration's membership to the EU is accepted despite our objections, the more Turkey will integrate with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the more the EU will integrate with the Greek Cypriot administration. We stated it very clearly, and will continue to so in the future.''

Responding to a question whether or not he held talks with President Rauf Denktas of the TRNC after the annoucement of Turkey's formal candidacy, Ecevit noted that he held talks with Denktas every day.

When asked whether or not he will meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis, Ecevit said, ''we will probably meet with all prime ministers at Helsinki summit.''

Prime Minister Ecevit is expected to return to Turkey later today.

[04] SOLANA: ''TURKEY HAS ACCEPTED THE EU CANDIDACY''

HELSINKI - Javier Solana, the High Representative of the European Union's (EU) Foreign Policy and Joint Defense, briefed on Saturday the heads of state and government of EU countries about his contacts in Ankara.

Addressing a press conference in Helsinki, Solana said that Turkey had accepted the EU candidacy, and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit would come to Helsinki.

Recalling that he had paid a visit to Ankara together with Gunter Verheugen, the member of the European Commission responsible for the enlargement, to explain to Turkish leaders details of the EU's invitation to be a candidate for membership, Solana described his meetings with Ecevit and Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, as ''productive and positive''.

Solana stressed that Turkey was a candidate which could become a full member to the Union under the same conditions with the other candidate states.

When asked about case of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, Solana said that the EU countries attributed great importance to living, adding that it would be hard to think of membership of a country which did not assume the same attitude.

Solana said that the issue of European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) was not brought onto agenda of his contacts in Turkey.

He added that Turkey's candidacy would become definite after the approval of the text, noting that Turkey would benefit from overall opportunities granted to other candidates.

Solana refrained from responding to question about when would start full membership negotiations.

When asked, ''wasn't it a discrimination that you visited Ankara?'' Solana said that they considered Turkey equal with the other candidate states, and added that this fact was reflected in the text.

[05] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT IN HELSINKI (2) - ECEVIT: ''TURKEY'S CANDIDACY IS AN IMPORTANT STAGE FOR INTEGRATION OF EAST AND WEST, AND ASIA AND EUROPE''

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that that annoucement of Turkey's formal candidacy to European Union (EU) was an important matter both for Turkey and EU. Ecevit said, ''this is an important stage for integration of the East and the West, and Asia and Europe.''

Ecevit responded to the questions of reporters in his arrival to Helsinki.

When asked how long will it take for Turkey's full membership, Ecevit said this was important for the EU as well as Turkey.

Pointing out that announcement of Turkey's candidacy meant EU opened to other countries of the world, Ecevit said, ''Turkey can not be without Europe, and Europe can not be without Turkey.''

When recalled that previous governments extended intense efforts for EU candidacy, yet they managed to succeed, Ecevit said, ''yes, this is very pleasing. Also, I am very happy to be in Finland in this respect.''

When asked if he accepted the conditions of the EU, Ecevit said a consensus has been reached. Responding to a question if there was a change in final decleration, Ecevit said he released a statement after meeting with Javier Solana, the High Representative of the European Union's (EU) Foreign Policy and Joint Defense. Ecevit also said letter of Paavo Lipponen, Finnish Prime Minister, overcome the concerns.

Ecevit later left for summit center.

[06] LEADERS' FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN AT HELSINKI SUMMIT

ANKARA - Family photograph of the heads of state and government of 15 member countries, 12 candidate countries including Turkey, and the representatives of the Greek Cypriot administration, was taken on Saturday at the European Union's (EU) Helsinki summit.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister, took place in the family photograph.

The EU leaders congratulated Ecevit for Turkey's formal candidacy.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis shook hands with Ecevit.

[07] EU HELSINKI SUMMIT ENDS

HELSINKI - European Union (EU) Helsinki Summit, which brought together 15 EU member countries and 13 candidates, ended on Saturday after news conference of Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland, EU Term President.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is expected to leave for Turkey after staging separate news conference for foreign press and Turkish press.

[08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (1)

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that announcement of Turkey's formal candidacy to the European Union (EU) was an important issues not only for Europe, but for the whole world.

Ecevit staged a press conference at the end of the EU's summit in Finnish capital Helsinki.

Addressing the press conference, Ecevit said, ''full membership is a right stemming from Turkey's history, geography, and the 1963 Agreement after the candidacy and required corditions are provided. Also, Turkey has been the only country which finalized the Customs Union for the last four years although she is not a full member of the EU. With this respect, unanimous acceptance and announcement of Turkey's formal candidacy at the summit in Helsinki and clear and definite expression that Turkey would have the equal status with the other candidate states are very positive developments. Thus, the door to full membership was opened for Turkey.''

''During the Cold War period, Turkey made a considerable contributions to security both in Europe and the whole western world within structure of the NATO. She undertook the economical burden of this without any complaints. Turkey's geopolitical importance has increased since the end of the Cold War period and bi-polar world period. In integration process between Europe and Asia, Turkey has become a key country. The Bogazici Bridges not only connect the two sides of Istanbul, but also connect Europe to Asia. These bridges connect the two continents not only in geographical means, but also in political and cultural means,'' Ecevit noted.

He added, ''Turkish people have been European for 600 years. But they are not only European, at the same time they are Asian, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern. Besides Turkey is very influencial country of eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Balkans. Turkey is becoming a terminal country via which the Caspian Basin and Caucasian oil and natural gas sources will be transported to the world markets. Turkey is a living bridge not only between European and Asia, but also among the Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.''

''Turkey is pioneer country of democracy and secularism among the countries densely populated by Moslem people. Turkey is the country miscarrying predictions of Rudyard Kpling who claimed that the East and the West can never intermingle, and Samuel Huntington who defended inevitability of dispute among civilizations,'' he said.

Ecevit added that Turkey's membership to the EU was also beneficial for the EU to this end.

He stressed, ''we are aware that there were some deficiencies in the fields of human rights and democracy, and there were some negativities in our economy concerning Turkey's full membership.''

Separatist terrorism, which is continuing with foreign support for a long time, is responsible for this to a great extend. The serious duties we have undertaken for the peace and welfare of the West, the Balkans, and Caucasia are also responsible for these. Yet, whatever th negative reactions of foreign factors are, it is under our responsibility to overcome our deficiencies in every field.

Our three party coalition government, which has been performing for 6.5 months, records developments in the field of human righs, democracy, and improvement of economy.

''I would like to give several examples,'' Ecevit noted, and listed them as:

-State Security Courts (DGMs)are now totally composed of civilian judges and prosecutors after a Constitutional change.

-Again with a Constitutional change, we have facilitated international arbitration and privatization. We will be able to pass harmonization laws of the constitution, related with the arbitration, by the end of the year.

-We have brought deterrent measures against every kind of mistreatment.

-We have given freedom to authors and journalists in prisons.

-We have issued Repentance Law for separatist terrorists.

-We have made a legal adjustment making party closure harder.

-We have realized a comprehensive tax reform.

-We have realized Social Security Reform.

-We have realized a reform regarded with customs.

-We have made constitutional amendments improving measures that will be taken against natural disasters.

-We prepared a new Civil Code which will make women-men equality to the highest norms.

''These are only some of the performances our governments carried out in 6.5 months'' Ecevit said.

Ecevit said, ''we managed to take required measures to reduce chronic high inflation and high interests. Positive results of them are began to be obtained.''

Prime Minister noted that, ''on the other hand, we are healing the wounds of grave quake disasters in a short time like 6.5 months.'' Ecevit appreciated the valuable contributions of friendly countries, European Union (EU), and EU member countries.

''Those developments we have recorded in a short time not only prove the harmonization and determination of our government, but also the tendency of our people for reforms.''

Prime Minister Ecevit noted that EU thinks that it will take long years for Turkey to provide full membership conditions, ''yet, I believe that we may reach these targets in a short time with the dynamism of Turkish people and their loyalty to democracy. Of course, Turkey and EU should fulfill their responsibilities with good will.''

Ecevit expressed hope that EU's decision will be beneficial for Turkey, EU, and to for all humanity.

[09] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (2)

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the full membership to the European Union (EU) was a right stemming from Turkey's history, geography, and the 1963 Agreement.

Ecevit staged a press conference at the end of the EU's summit in Finnish capital Helsinki.

Addressing the press conference, Ecevit said, ''Turkey has been the only country which finalized the Customs Union for the last four years although she is not a full member of the EU. With this respect, unanimous acceptance and announcement of Turkey's formal candidacy at the summit in Helsinki, and clear and definite expression that Turkey would have the equal status with the other candidate states are very positive developments.''

He noted, ''the EU thinks that it could take years to Turkey to provide full membership conditions. But I believe that we could reach these targets in a short period of time with Turkish society's dynamism and its loyalty to democracy. Of course, Turkey and the EU should fulfil their responsibilities with good-will to reach this target.''

[10] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (3) - ''TURKEY'S GEOPOLITICAL IMPORTANCE INCREASED WHOLLY AFTER THE END OF COLD WAR''

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that Turkey's geopolitical importance increased wholly, after the end of cold war and bi- polar world order.

Addressing a news conference which he staged in Helsinki, Prime Minister Ecevit said Turkey contributed to the security of Europe and whole West, and undertook the economical burden of this without any complaints.

Pointing out that Turkey's geopolitical importance increased more after the end of Cold War and bi-polar world period, Ecevit said, ''Turkey became a key country in integration process of Europe and Asia. The Bogazici Bridges not only connect the two sides of Istanbul, but also connect Europe to Asia. These bridges connect the two continents not only in geographical means, but also in political and cultural means.''

He added, ''Turkish people have been European for 600 years. But they are not only European, at the same time they are Asian, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern. Besides Turkey is very influencial country of eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Balkans. Turkey is becoming a terminal country via which the Caspian Basin and Caucasian oil and natural gas sources will be transported to the world markets. Turkey is a living bridge not only between European and Asia, but also among the Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.''

''Turkey is pioneer country of democracy and secularism among the countries densely populated by Moslem people. Turkey is the country miscarrying predictions of Rudyard Kpling who claimed that the East and the West can never intermingle, and Samuel Huntington who defended inevitability of dispute among civilizations,'' he said.

Ecevit added that Turkey's membership to the EU was also beneficial for the EU to this end.

He stressed, ''we are aware that there were some deficiencies in the fields of human rights and democracy, and there were some negativities in our economy concerning Turkey's full membership.'

Ecevit noted that, ''separatist terrorism, which is continuing with foreign support for a long time, is responsible for this to a great extend.''

Prime Minister noted that, ''the serious duties we have undertaken for the peace and welfare of the West, the Balkans, and Caucasia are also responsible for these. Yet, whatever the negative reactions of foreign factors are, it is under our responsibility to overcome our deficiencies in every field.''

[11] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (4) - ''OUR THREE-PARTY COALITION GOVERNMENT, WHICH HAS BEEN IN POWER FOR 6.5 MONTHS, HAS RECORDED IMPORTANT PROGRESS IN HUMAN RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMY''

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the coalition government, which had been in power for 6.5 months, has recorded great progress in human rights, democracy and economy.

Prime Minister Ecevit staged a press conference after the European Union (EU) Summit in Helsinki.

Addressing the press conference, Ecevit said the structure of the State Security Courts (DGM) was changed, and the DGMs now were totally composed of civilian judges and prosecutors.

''Again with another Constitutional amendment, we facilitated international arbitration and privatization. We will be able to pass from the Parliament the accord laws of the constitutional changes concerning the arbitration till the end of the year,'' he said.

''We took dissuasive measures against every kind of maltreatment. We released authors and journalists from prison. We passed Repentance Law for separatist terrorists. We made a legal revision that makes closure of political parties difficult. We adopted a comprehensive tax reform. We realized a reform concerning the Customs. We made legal revisions that improve the measures taken against natural disasters. We prepared a new Civil Code that will bring equality between men and women into the most advanced norms,'' he said.

Stressing that all of them constituted a few examples of successes achieved by the Turkish government in 6.5 months, Ecevit said the necessary measures aimed at decreasing the chronic high inflation and high interest rates started to be taken, and the positive outcomes of those measures had already seen.

''This progress we recorded in a very short time proves not only the Turkish government's harmonization and determination but also inclination of Turkish people to reforms,'' he stated.

''Turkey devastated by two strong earthquakes. We have been trying to heal the wounds. We are grateful to valuable help and aid of friendly countries, the EU and the EU members,'' he mentioned.

[12] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (5)

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the so-called Kurdish problem was brought to Turkey from abroad.

Ecevit held a press conference at the end of the European Union's (EU) summit in Finnish capital Helsinki.

When asked whether or not a peaceful solution will be find to the Kurdish problem, Ecevit noted, ''the so-called Kurdish problem was brought to Turkey from abroad. There is a problem in eastern and southeastern Turkey, but this problem stems from the feodal structure, not from the presence of a number of people with Kurdish origin. Several countries have launched initiatives with the aim to create instability in Turkey, and to separate the country. It is impossible to separate Turkish population into groups and classes such as Turks and Kurds. We have been living together in freedom for centuries. The conception of Turkish nation does not define a single race. On the contrary, it defines a group of people who migrated from many different countries, and intermingled freely in Anatolia.''

Ecevit added, ''we have been living together in this region for a long time. It is very difficult to separate Turks from Kurds in this country. Also, we do not have a concept of racial discrimination. On my personal view, our western friends should adopt a different approach. They have to assume a more realistic attitude towards the current structure of the Turkish society.''

When asked, ''You said previously that Russians were killing civilians in Chechnya. Didn't you do the same thing in the southeastern Anatolia?'' Ecevit said, ''civilians in the southeast were killed by the separatist organization, not by the government.''

When asked, ''education in Kurdish language was banned in Turkey contradicting with the Copenhagen criteria. Will there be a change in this prohibition?'', Ecevit said, ''cautious steps must be taken while there is separatist terrorism. When the separatist terrorism comes to an end, our approach will change.''

[13] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (6) - ''MY PARTY ALREADY BACKED ABOLISHING THE DEATH PENALTY''

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that his Democratic Left Party (DSP) was opposed to death sentence in principle.

Addressing the press conference he staged at the end of European Union (EU) Helsinki Summit, Ecevit said, ''now, we are a partner of the coalition government so we can't take a decision alone. However, we hope that the government will take a joint decision about the death sentence.''

Responding to a question about the water problem, Ecevit said, ''on the contrary to the opinion of everybody, Turkey is not a rich country concerning water sources. However, Turkey attach great importance not to have its neighbours suffer although it has a legal responsibility.''

Noting that attacks on Chechnya were expected to end, Ecevit recalled that Turkey called on Russia to stop its attacks on civilians in the holy Ramadan month of Moslems.

The Prime Minister stressed that the western countries should increase their humanitarian aid to refugees in Chechnya.

Ecevit emphasized that the opinions that Turkey's importance would decrease following the end of the bi-polar world order were clearly proved to be wrong.

Ecevit's press conference became one of the press conferences followed by many journalists during the Helsinki Summit.

As a result of the great interest in Ecevit's press conference, it was staged in the hall which was allocated to Term President Finland.

[14] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S PRESS CONFERENCE (7)

HELSINKI - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that announcement of Turkey's formal candidacy to the European Union (EU) would coerce Turkey and Greece to resolve problems through dialogue.

Ecevit staged a press conference at the end of the EU's summit in Finnish capital Helsinki.

When asked whether or not Turkey's candidacy would affect relations between Turkey and Greece, Ecevit said, ''in my point of view, Turkey and Greece should resolve the problems through dialogue as two neighbouring and allied countries. Of course, announcement of Turkey's formal candidacy will coerce two sides to resolve their problems.''

''We started dialogue with Karamanlis, then-Greek Prime Minister, in 1970s, and recorded great progress in a short period of time on the issue of the Aegean dispute. But dialogue was broken off after I left the government. Today, a 'promising' dialogue process has begun between Ismail Cem, the Foreign minister, and his Greek counterpart Yorgo Papandreou. At this point, talks did not focus on sensitive issues. Several other issues were discussed, and progress was recorded in dialogue process. When we decide to take up the issue of the Aegean dispute, there will be through dialogue between two neighbours. Our candidacy to the EU will strengthen such approaches.''

Referring to the Cyprus question, Ecevit said, ''a lasting peace can only be established on Cyprus with the recognition of the truth. The Cyprus question has an undeniable aspect. Two separate and independent states exist on the island, and it is a healthy structure. In pre-1974 period, there was a perpetual conflict on the island before the Turkish soldiers launched a military operation. Peace has been dominant on the island since 1974. There was no democracy in pre-1974 period, but today, two democratic systems are existing side by side on the island. Cyprus was an extremely poor island in 1974, but the Greek Cypriot side became a very rich country recently. Despite the economic embargo imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), economy is further improving. Therefore, the current fact on the island cannot be ignored. A lasting solution which will be acceptable for both sides, can be found on the island.''

When asked whether or not he held talks with President Rauf Denktas of the TRNC who is currently in New York to attend the proximity talks, Ecevit said, ''we share the same opinions with President Denktas. I insistently refrain from making any comments which can overshadow the proximity talks.''

When asked, ''you have mentioned dialogue process in bilateral issues between Turkey and Greece. If a problem remains as a result of this dialogue in a reasonable period, should they be brought to the International Court of Justice in The Hague? Do you accept the resolution of European Ministers Council?'', Ecevit said, ''bringing the disputes to the International Court of Justice in The Hague is a method that is used in settlement of very sensitive issues. I think we should be in an effort to solve the joint problems through dialogue and negotiations, it can be arbitration, before bringing the disputes there. We can think of International Court of Justice in The Hague if we fail to succeed in all these methods. Yet, bringing the disputes to the International Court of Justice directly will contradict with the relations between neighboring countries. We are both allies and neighbours with Greece. We do not have any ambitions and claims on Greek territories. So, let us try actual dialogue first of all, and think of other ways if we fail.''

[15] DENKTAS, TRNC PRESIDENT: (1) ''IF THE EU CONTINUES WITH THIS MENTALITY, SOLUTION OF CYPRUS QUESTION IS NOT POSSIBLE''

NEW YORK - Rauf Denktas, the President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Saturday that ''the European Union forces the TRNC to integrate with Turkey by its Helsinki decision.''

Before he start meeting with Alvaro Des Oto, the Special Representative of Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary General, Denktas said ''with this decision, they are forcing us to come closer to Turkey.''

''Ankara objected the Cyprus part (of Helsinki document). Turkey's relations with the EU, were successful within the framework they defended. We are also pleased on behalf of the motherland. But it is unacceptable connecting this to Cyprus.''

Responding to a question if the solution of Cyprus problem became even more difficult after this development, Denktas said, ''it is not possible if they continue with this mentality.''

He said, ''the erroneous position taken by the EU on the issue of Cyprus will necessitate the furtherance of our existing special ties and relationship with our motherland and guarantor, Turkey.'' When a journalist asked the meaning of this phrase, Denktas said, ''integration.''

''If the EU accepts the full membership of the Greek Cypriot administration in the name of 'Cyprus,' it will shoulder the heavy responsibility of dividing the island permanently,'' he said.

Stating that it was pleasing that the EU supported the ongoing proximity talks in New York, Denktas said in an accompanying written statement, ''without a comprehensive settlement, we find it wrong, unjust, and unacceptable to keep the EU membership door open to the Greek Cypriot side under the name of 'Cyprus.' We strongly oppose on the basis of law and international agreements the ongoing talks with the Greek Cypriot side which are against the principles of law and justice.

The EU's support for an overall settlement between two equal parties, on the one hand, and its treatment of one of the parties as eligible to negotiate in the name of Cyprus, on the other, is a contradiction that forces the limits of logic and justice.''

''Pointing out that Helsinki resolution undermined the ongoing proximity talks in New York, Denktas said, ''the views put forward in the name of the EU Council, directly contradict with the aim of preparation of a base for comprehensive negotiations, and weaken the chance to advance towards a comprehensive solution. It is clear that such an approach will not serve to a target other than increasing uncompromising attitude of Greek Cypriot side.''

Denktas continued to warn the EU saying, ''the EU should avoid attitudes and approaches which may weaken the U.N. Secretary General's good will mission and make a negotiated compromise between two equal sides on Cyprus difficult. Taking these into consideration, will serve peace, security, and stability, not only in Cyprus, but also in whole eastern Mediterranean.''

[16] PRESIDENT DENKTAS OF THE TRNC (2) - ''THE EU HAS TAKEN A WRONG DECISION BECAUSE OF GREEK CYPRIOT BLACKMAILING''

NEW YORK - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Saturday, ''the European Union (EU) has taken a wrong decision because of Greek Cypriot blackmailing.

Addressing journalists, Denktas said, ''the EU's support for an overall settlement between two equal parties, on the one hand, and its treatment of one of the parties as eligible to negotiate in the name of Cyprus, on the other, is a contradiction that forces the limits of logic and justice. They are extremely distressing developments.''

Denktas said that they did not have any obligation regarding the second round talks which are told to be held in January, adding, ''the future of the proximity talks is dependent on evaluations in New York and in Lefkosa.''

Denktas said, ''I am not angry with anyone, but I am deeply sorry following the EU's decision.''

He noted, ''our confederation proposal takes into consideration the fact that there are two separate nations, two separete democracies, and two administrations. If insistence on that there is only one Cyprus, only one government, and only one democracy, then it means that you want the 36-year division on the island to continue. The full membership of the Greek Cypriot administration in the name of 'Cyprus,' will shoulder the heavy responsibility of dividing the island permanently.''

Recalling that the Greek Cypriot side applied to the EU, not the whole Cyprus, Denktas wished good luck to the Greek Cypriot side, and added that the Turkish Cypriots were not coming with them.

Denktas met with Alvaro de Soto, the Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General to Cyprus. He is scheduled to come together with de Soto on Monday once again.

President Denktas will hold his last meeting prior to his departure from New York on Tuesday with Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations.

[17] FRIENDSHIP SAPLING TO ECEVIT FROM SIMITIS

HELSINKI - Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis sent an olive sapling to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who was going to leave Helsinki after wrapping up his contacts, as a symbol of friendship between Turkey and Greece.

Sources said that Ecevit, who took part in the family photograph and later attended the working lunch within the framework of the Helsinki Summit, had a little surprise at the airport.

Sources said the Greek Ambassador to Helsinki brought an olive sapling to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit upon the instructions of Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

[18] Anadolu Ajansı


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