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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-16

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA News

16 December 1999 Thursday


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 16, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


Saadettin Tantan, Minister of Interior, said, ''we have applied two times to interrogate Alaattin Cakici on the day when he arrived in Turkey. They did not give permission.'' Tantan said, ''we have to interrogate Cakici on many issues. We have applied to State Security Court (DGM) two times. Yet, the prosecutor told police not to interrogate him.'' Tantan went on as saying, ''interrogating him and trying him are separate things. France says we can judge him on charges of ''committing crime and forming a gang''. You can interrogate him to get additional information, but you can not try him.''

Parliamentary Quake Research Commission prepared its draft report. The report criticizes all institutions, including the Red Crescent and civil defense. It said the insensitivity that has been experienced for 30 years turned the disaster into catastrophe.


1- Regions, which have high risk, will be determined. These will be moved to areas which have strong base. 2- A special action plan will be prepared that will cover the minute of quake after afterwards. 3- A special rescue team will be established. Civilian defense teams will be reinforced. 4- Quake law to be issued. A quake committee to be established to assess the measures. 5- There are two alternatives for the finance of committee. A special article will be added to the law. 6- State-run Mining Institute MTA gave a briefing to Demirel and proposed, ''immigrations should be stopped to the cities.


Koc group will not make more than 20 percent price increase to its goods in the year 2000 in a bid to help government's struggle against inflation. A notice has been sent to all companies not to make more than 20 percent price increase. Other companies, mainly Sabanci, are getting prepared to change their estimations. These groups which have made their inflation calculations for the year 2000 between 35-50 percent, will reduce to 20 percent ratio.

Sumer Oral, the Minister of Finance said on Wednesday that Turkey will have a say in decisions that will be taken in the international field by her membership to the G-20 group.

Oral said that countries which are accepted as members to G-20 are economic leaders in their regions, adding Turkey has also been accepted to this formation.

During IMF-World Bank meetings in September, G-7 group decided to form a new basis under the title of G-20, said Oral, reminding that a meeting of G- 20 group took place in Canada last month at the level of undersecretaries.


After Turkey's formal candidacy to the European Union (EU), the government decided to start working to assess the required efforts that should be done in this respect before the new year. Government partners are expected to convene in a broadened summit to determine the studies and arrangements that Turkey should do. It was reported that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will call for the ministers to determine the issues related with their ministries and start working for harmonization with the EU.

President Suleyman Demirel said Turkey will function democracy better and will be a member of the European Union (EU) soon. ''We will not be contended with this, we will be among the first 10 countries of the world.''


Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), who had defined the Cyprus resolution of the European Union (EU) as dynamite, after meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, said, ''we hope the EU will contribute to the solution.'' Denktas decided to continue Cyprus talks.

For the first time, Foreign Ministry and General Staff prepared a joint Southeast Report. The report included the steps that should be taken for the democratic solution of the problem in the region. The joint report included assessments under the titles, emergency rule applied in the region, distribution of income, industry investments, position of social and cultural activities. The report also stressed security problems, and included the expection of regional people from the state.


The questions which were sent to France to be asked to Alaattin Cakici, notorious mafia boss, are still unanswered. French officials did not ask, and Turkey will not be able to ask. Aykut Cengiz Engin, Prosecutor of State Security Court (DGM), applied to French Justice Ministry and listed a series of questions when Cakici was captured in France. The prosecutor asked a Turkish judge to attend the interrogation. Yet, this interrogation did not take place, and these questions were not asked to Cakici.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have evaluated New York talks and Helsinki Summit. Denktas and Ecevit reiterated that there was no change in Turkey's policy. Denktas said second tour of Cyprus talks will resume in January. Ecevit said formal candidacy to European Union (EU) has been granted to Turkey by knowning that there was no change in Turkey's attitude.


NEW YORK, Dec 16 (A.A) - The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously accepted the draft resolution which extends the mandate of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months, until June 15, 2000.
The draft resolution did not include the paragraph claiming that there is ''only one state, one sovereignty, and one international personality'' on Cyprus. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus opposed to the inclusion of this paragraph to the draft resolution.

Thus, the attitude of TRNC who did not accept the draft resolutions which mention about the Greek Cypriot administration as ''Cyprus government'', was in a way accepted by the U.N.

Diplomatic sources said Security Council cooperated with the U.N. Secretariat in the preparation stage of the draft resolution, and noted that the text included elements foreseeing to prevent the sides, which participated in ''proximity talks'' in New York, from leaving the negotiation table.

The draft resolution did not mention TRNC openly, but underlined that there are two sides in Cyprus, and referred to the ''sides''.

The draft resolution calls for the sides to give priority to the solution of missing persons issue.

Despite all these positive sides, the draft resolution mentions Greek Cypriot side as ''Cyprus government''. TRNC officially informed Jeremy Greenstock, Security Council Chairman, that it could not cooperate with the UN peace forces as this expression is included in the draft resolution.

So, the UN Secretariat began to look for ways to find a formula that will arrange relations between TRNC and UNFICYP.

Diplomatic sources told A.A correspondent that this formula will ''settle relations between TRNC and UNFICYP to a new framework.''


NEW YORK, Dec 16 (A.A) - Rapid developments were recorded in the U.N. before and after the U.N. adopted the decision which extends the mandate of the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months, until June 15, 2000.

The most important one of these developments was the rejection of the resolution, which renewed the mandate of UNFICYP, by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Aytug Plumer, TRNC's New York Representative, told Jeremy Greenstock, UN Council term chairman, that TRNC government did not accept the renewal decision because of the expression ''Cyprus government'' that is included in the draft resolution.

Attitude of TRNC was clear before draft resolution was voted in the Council. So, the U.N. Secretariat decided to put an additional sentence to the report which Secretary General prepared, and wanted this to be issued as a part of the report.

The addition in question stressed for the first time that the consent of TRNC authorities was obligatory for the operation of UNFICYP in northern part of the Island.

Diplomatic sources told A.A correspondent that this article was important as it means that UN confirms that TRNC is sovereign on its territory. They noted that this formed a turning point in UN-TRNC relations.

Diplomatic sources said after this development, UNFICYP commander or representative will be summoned to TRNC Foreign Ministry to negotiate and sign a ''framework agreement'' which will determine the conditions of activities of peace forces on TRNC territory.

Sources said UNFICYP acted de facto and with the permission of TRNC in Northern Cyprus so far, yet noted that this activity will be settled in a legal base from now on.

The sources also said that Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary General gave directives to the UNFICYP officials to negotiate the conditions of the agreement in question.

Thus, for the first time, it has been documented and confirmed by the U.N. that there are two separate ''sides'' on Cyprus.

Sources said negotiation of the agreement between TRNC and UNFICYP may last for an hour, and that the agreement was expected to be signed at the end of the negotiations.


ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who also acts as the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Thursday that ''leading mafia members'' were in the mood that, ''I am powerful, more powerful than the state and justice.'' Ecevit said, ''we should prove that the state and justice have the actual power against these people.''

Addressing his party group meeting, Ecevit stressed that it was impossible for Turkey to be a full member of the EU before abolishment of capital punishment. Ecevit said, ''requirements of this known fact should be fulfilled soon.''

Noting that abolishment of capital punishment was required not only for the EU, but also to expose the chain crime circles which bothered our people, Ecevit recalled that people who got involved in crimes and murders were caught abroad, yet that they were not sent to Turkey, or sent conditionally.

Pointing out that this was extremely distressing, Ecevit said, ''thus, leading mafia members in a way gain an immunity, and assume a mood like 'I am powerful, more powerful than than the state and justice. Nobody can touch me.' Yet, we should prove that the state and the justice owns the actual power.''

Pointing out that it will be impossible to illuminate incidents like Susurluk before lifting capital punishment, Ecevit said, ''requirements of this fact should be fulfilled soon. I believe that our government and the Parliament will succeed in this.''


ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who also acts as the leader of Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Thursday that a compromise in Cyprus will be facilitated if Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) fact is not ignored and if the European Union (EU) gives up deceiving itself. ''Besides, nobody should have doubts that we will carry out our known determined attitude if a negative decision is taken despite Turkey.''

Addressing his party group meeting, Ecevit said Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) returned from New York with very positive impressions. Ecevit said the TRNC President did not meet a situation that will put him into a difficult position and expressed the gratitude he felt over Turkey's resolved attitude.

Ecevit said, ''if shadow of Helsinki summit and its resolution was not casted over proximity talks in New York, several concrete steps could have been taken on Cyprus question in New York. Yet, resolutions taken in Helsinki gave hope to the Greek Cypriot side that 'they will be a member of the EU sooner or later'. Greek Cypriot administration and Clerides, its representative in New York, carried out their tough attitude by basing on that hope. However, there is a positive expression for TRNC and Turkey in the final statement. It has been pointed out that 'all relevant factors will be taken into account when the EU takes a decision about Cyprus.' Naturally, TRNC and Turkey are the main relevant factors. I hope this expression of Summit statement will not remain in words. Besides, nobody should doubt that we will carry out our determined attitude if a negative decision is taken despite Turkey.''

Ecevit said reaching a compromise between Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides has a very simple requirement, adding that, ''the fact that there are two independent states in Cyprus should not be ignored.'' Ecevit said Washington Times, one of the most influential newspapers of the U.S., mentions Denktas as ''TRNC President''.

Pointing out the importance of mentioning of this title in the U.S., Ecevit said, ''this is an important stage. A new incident which proves that facts cannot be ignored any more. Ecevit said the same newspaper stressed that ''the federation which the U.N., the U.S., and the West force to establish was a futile and impossible effort in an atmosphere where Greek Cypriots carry out a systematized hostility against Turkish Cypriots. Prime Minister noted that a comment issued in British Times newspaper, which was published the same day, pointed out that Turkey's membership to the EU can not be linked to a condition for a solution on Cyprus.''

Stressing that TRNC was a very interesting state, Ecevit said, ''it has not been recognized by any country other than Turkey. But the TRNC gradually increases its economic power despite grave economic embargoes, and unjust, cruel economic embargoes of the EU, Greece, and the Greek Cypriot side.''


ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that today's era was the information era.

He said Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) enters a new century by pioneering information era because there are six universities in a country which has 180,000 population. He said diplomas of those universities are internationally valid. ''I don't think there is another state in the world which attributes importance to science and information more than the TRNC. Also, nobody can say anything to its democracy and human rights register. It is impossible to ignore such a state. TRNC will get its rightful place sooner or later.''

Addressing his party group meeting, Ecevit said the embargo imposed on TRNC was more grave than the embargo imposed on Iraq. ''This cannot be forgiven. Of course, now, as an EU formal candidate, we will find the opportunity to work more effectively to overcome this injustice.''

Ecevit said the TRNC did not accept membership in the EU which Turkey is not included in, and could not digest entering into the EU together with the Greek Cypriot administration, Ecevit said if the Greek Cypriot side is accepted to the EU by violating international agreements, it will de facto accept the fact that there is a separate state in Northern Cyprus.''

Recalling that there was a negative expression in Helsinki Final Statement for Turkey, Ecevit said the European Union summit in Helsinki called for a negotiated solution by 2004 when the issue would be reviewed with a view to sending the case to the international court.

Ecevit said we could never accept such a condition. ''Panic started in the EU backstages upon this. Lipponen, the EU Term President sent us a letter. The letter said the year 2004 was not a date when the disputes will be solved in International Court of Justice in The Hague, but the date when Council of Europe will review the situation. It is clear that Greek Prime Minister realized this late and showed his reaction. Simitis claims that Lipponen sent the letter as the Prime Minister of Finland, not as the EU Term President.''

Ecevit said Lipponen made a speech in the European Parliament the same day and clarified that this was not correct. Lipponen's letter tooks a binding position in the law of EU as the addition of Helsinki Resolution. ''There is no reason for Greece to make it a problem. Anyway, we will do whatever we can to reach a solution to the Aegean problems within four years without going to the courts.''

Ecevit said Turkey began to remove its deficiences due to human rights, and noted that it will not have any deficiencies in this respect soon.

Prime Minister Ecevit noted that Turkey has to improve its economy to be a member of the EU, and reduce the inflation, adding that important steps have already been taken with the contribution of the Parliament and the government.

Ecevit said positive results of monetary and finance policies have began to be seen, and noted that, ''inflation began to reduce. The interest rates have been reduced. Records are broken in stock exchange. This will add momentum to our economy. It will have great benefits to producers and workers.''

''I believe that decrease in inflation will gain momentum. Our credit note in international area has increased. Our agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is about to become definite. Of course, we will have problems for another one or two years. Turkey creates the last miracle of the 20th century with the resolved, rapid, and consistent efforts.''


BERLIN, Dec 16 (A.A) - Sumer Oral, Minister of Finance, said on Thursday that he got a positive impression from his meeting with Michael Camdessus, Chairman of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Oral said Camdessus, speaking about Turkey's economic program, said, ''it was a program that had to be.''

Speaking to Turkish journalists after ''G-20 family photograph'' he had with Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors who attended G-20 meeting, Oral said ''this statement of Camdessus created a positive impression on me about the confirmation of the program.''


ISTANBUL, Dec 16 (A.A) - Daryal Batibay, Turkey's Ambassador to Beijing, said on Wednesday that Turkey's commercial relations with China, which has a rapidly growing economy, was inadequate.

Addressing a meeting of Turkish-Chinese Business Council which acts within the body of Foreign Economic Relations Committee (DEIK), Batibay defined China as a giant which wakes up in transition process to market economy and which opens abroad in the last 20 years.

Batibay said China's membership to World Trade Organization (WTO) almost became definite for the next year, adding that this will create opportunities for Turkey and provide customs advantages.

Stressing that trade balance with China was spoiled against Turkey in the last 10 years, Batibay said Turkey was not promoted in China.

Batibay said the only thing known in China about Turkey and Turkish people is the Galatasaray soccer team and its striker Hakan Sukur. Turkey should be promoted in China and in the Far East. Unfortunately, nothing has been done for the promotion of Turkey so far.

Pointing out that China was the 8th biggest investor of the world at the same time, Batibay said China has investments in 130 countries. Batibay said China formed a potential due to tourism also, adding that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Austria in the year 1998 was 500,000.

Batibay said private sector should attend the developed fairs in China.


STRASBOURG, Dec 16 (A.A) - Turkey on Wednesday responded to the recent report of European Committee Against Torture and Mistreatment, and gave detailed examples from the improvements in conditions of prisons and police stations. Turkey said reforms will continue.

In its response, Turkey mentioned the circulars sent by Prime Ministry on February 26 and June 25, 1999, and a report of Justice Ministry issued on May 6, 1999 regarding protection of human rights.

In the response, Turkey also mentioned the constitutional changes regarding interrogation of civil servants who were included in mistreatment and torture, and exclusion of military judges from the State Security Courts (DGM).

The response included detailed information about human rights education project and special courses within the body of Interior Ministry related with the implementations in interrogation and custody period.

The response recalled that important steps have been taken to improve police stations and custody centers in Turkey, and briefed about the number of personnel who were investigation on charges that they did torture and mistreatment.

The final part of the response said Turkey accepted that it has several deficiencies in issues covering the field which interests European Committee against torture, yet noted that finding a solution to these problems was one of the main goals of Turkish government.

European Committee Against Torture inspects prisons, police stations, and mental hospitals of the member countries without prior information. The Committee later reports the defiencies and sends it to the concerned country.

The Committee, in its report issued in June 1998, criticized the conditions in some prisons, and noted mistreatment continues in some prisons and police stations. Yet, the Committee also underlined that Turkey recorded important steps in this field when compared with previous visits.


ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that an additional document of the U.N. Security Council, regarding the extension of the mandate of U.N. Peace Forces on Cyprus, accepted and confirmed officially that there are two equal sides on Cyprus. It called on the U.N. to continue on this line.

A statement of the Foreign Ministry recalled that the Security Council on Wednesday decided to extend the mandate of Peace Forces for another six months, yet noted that several aspects in this resolution were unacceptable.

The ministry stated that the references to the decisions of the Security Council related to the so-called ''Cyprus government'' which Turkey does not recognize, were preserved. It added that the statement also mentioned from the irrelevant issue of missing persons which can not be solved due to the policies of the Greek Cypriot side.

The statement said the resolution has a new dimension which carried a great importance for the future of Cyprus problem, and proves that views of Turkish side were understood and confirmed by the Security Council. The statement said that was an actual meaningful development.

The statement said this development was included in the context of the additional document to the report of the U.N. Secretary General about Peace Forces, adding that:

''With this additional document, it has been officially registered for the first time that Turkey supports the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side that the U.N. Peace Force can function on both sides of the Island only with the consent of both sides in the Island, and in this direction, the U.N. authorities will ask Turkish Cypriots to cooperate with them to determine the modalities of their activities in Northern Cyprus.''

The Foreing Ministry said that it has been accepted and confirmed that there are two equal sides on Cyprus, and these two have equal authority with this official document of the U.N. It said the U.N. also accepted that the activities of the U.N. must be determined by the authorities of both sides separately.

The statement said, ''the continuation of the U.N. Security Council's position which is in conformity with the realities of the Island, and the reflection of this position to its decisions, will facilitate the searches for a solution in Cyprus.''

[12] Anadolu Ajansı

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