ROAD TO CANKAYA OPENS WITH 281 VOTES
Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of the Constitutional Court and the candidate of five party leaders received 281 votes in yesterday's first round of voting of presidential elections, getting the largest number of votes against his rivals. Although 281 votes was not enough for Sezer to qualify in the first round, where a majority of 367 votes was required, the results indicated that he is due to Cankaya for sure at the end of the next round of voting or the one after. Most of his rivals are expected to withdraw their candidacies in the forthcoming round.
YET ANOTHER CREDIT MARK INCREASE
Fitch-IBCA, the third major credit rating institution of the world, increased the long-term foreign currency credit mark of Turkey from B+ to BB-. The statement made by Fitch-IBCA officials said ''The resolution to increase Turkey's credit mark is a reflection of the success of the economic program implemented by the ruling government and Turkey's victorious emergence from the 1997-99 global crisis.''
CAUGHT BY THE WOLVES
Coast Guard teams, which carried out a series of ''WOLVES'' operations in the Marmara, the Straits and the Dardanelles, handed 48 sea vehicles over to justice. The Coast Guard ''wolves'' captured the owners of 48 vehicles and handed them over to justice on charges of various crimes, including illegal fishing and fuel smuggling. A total of 145 vessels and boats were checked in the operations.
MINOR TREMORS JOLT MARMARA AND AEGEAN
The Kandilli Observatory and Seismological Research Center of Istanbul's Bogazici University annonuced that an earthquake measuring 3,0 on the Ricter Scale had been recorded at 22.50 on Wednesday with Bergama-Izmir as its epicenter. The Center said that two minor scale earthquakes, both measuring 2,9 were recorded in the Marmara Sea at 02.23 on Thursday, and that a 2,7-strong aftershock was felt in Golyaka-Duzce.
900 STUDENTS POISONED BY HAZELNUTS
Nearly 900 children were hospitalized with food poisoning after eating hazelnuts distributed as snacks by their schools yesterday. The nuts were apparently taken from a warehouse damaged during last year's devastating earthquake. Health officials conduct tests to determine the exact cause for the outbreak of food poisoning in schools in six separate cities across the country.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET DUE IN ISTANBUL
The Pacific northwest Ballet Company will perform ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'' on June 11, 12, and 13 at Ataturk Culture Center. The music of the ballet, whose coreography was made by famous Russian artist George Balanchine, was composed by Felix Mendelssohn, who was inspired by the play of British poet and playwright William Shakespeare.
LAW TO BE ENFORCED FOR ''6-ZERO-REMOVAL''
A draft law, pertaining to the removal of six zeros from the Turkish Lira, is being prepared. It is still unclear which banknotes and coins will be minted after the removal. The ''zero-removal'' operation is going to be th first in the history of the Republic of Turkey. The Central Bank is now working on a draft law pertaining to the process.
DEBATE IN MHP
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) administration protected first the MHP deputies who had a scuffle with Sadi Somuncuoglu, another MHP deputy and State Minister while he was handing in his nomination for the presidential candidacy. However, the MHP administration later decided to start disciplinary proceedings about the MHP deputies who tried to stop Somuncuoglu from becoming a presidential candidate.
GONUL SARAY ALPHAN WITHDAWS CANDIDACY
Gonul Saray Alphan, Democratic Left Party deputy from Amasya, and the first female candidate for presidency in Turkey's history, announced that she withdrew from the race in a press conference she held at the Parliament. She said that both her candidacy and her withdrawal were decisions she had taken with her free will.
Culture Minister Istemihan Talay, Azerbaijani Culture Minister Polad Bulbuloglu, Bashkortostan Culture Minister Talgat Sagitov, Mayor of Cankaya Municipality Haydar Yilmaz, Vice Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Sevket Bulent Yahnici, and art lovers attended the opening concert at the Ministry of Culture's Conference Hall.
Mehmet Basman, Chairman of the Sevda-Cenap And Music Association, who delivered a speech prior to the concert said that he was happy to host the festival for a 17th time in Ankara.
Culture Minister Istemihan Talay, who raplied to questions by reporters, said that the festival fulfilled an important mission in the promotion of universal art forms.
Say performed the Piano Concerto of Tchaikovsky in accompaniment of the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Dimitriev, and later on, he took stage one more time upon the request of the audience.
In the second half of the concert, Say performed Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2.
The 17th International Ankara Music Festival will continue until May 16.
General Edip Baser, the Deputy Chief of General Staff presides the Turkish delegation, and Frank Kramer, the American Deputy Secretary of Defense presides the American delegation in the meetings.
The sides explained their views about the developments in the Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, Syria and European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI) on the first day of the meetings, which will end on Friday.
The future of the defense cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. and technical issues were also taken up.
General Baser is expected to leave for Turkey on Saturday.
Tamer said that Easter Masses were held in the House of Mother Mary on April 23rd and 24th, as part of the Faith Tourism program, and that there was a surprising turnout in the ceremony.
Noting that tourists often asked for such religious ceremonies to be held in the holy sites of Turkey, Tamer said:
''Nearly 73 thousand tourists visited Ephesus, and 40 thousand tourists visited the House of Mother Mary in the past three days. These figures show that we are promoting our country successfully. Tourists from Estonia and Sweden, visiting Turkey for the first time, said they were very much impressed by our country and its historic riches and natural beauties, and especially by the special Easter Mass. Children coming from 36 countries within the framework of the 23 April Children's Festival were also taken to the House of Mother Mary. And the festival program was broadcast by many teleevision channels abroad. That was a great means of promoting our country, and Faith Tourism in Turkey in particular.''
Of the total 40 thousand 752 permanent housing units, 16 thousand 82 will be in Kocaeli, 6,700 in Sakarya, 10 thousand in Duzce, 1,458 in Bolu, and 5, 500 in Yalova.
According to the information given by the Disaster Area Coordinating Governorship, the number of housing units, their locations and their financial sources are as follows:
Degirmendere: 444 (Ministry)
Uzunciftlik: 450 (Ministry)
Bahcecik : 738 (Ministry)
Dongel: 574 (Ministry)
Yuvacik: 2,258 (Ministry)
Gundogdu: 4,740 (2,820 of them with World Bank credit, and 920 as grant in aid)
Korfez-Hereke: 558 (World Bank credit)
Karamursel: 506 (World Bank credit)
Ferizli: 400 (Ministry)
Central 'B' Region: 622 (World Bank credit)
Golyaka: 282 (World Bank credit)
Cumayeri:100 (World Bank credit)
Ciftlik Koy-Altinova: 2,950 (Ministry)
ISTANBUL: 1,012. (Ministry, 559 of them to be purchased from Emlak Bank)
Cicek became the second in 77 kg clean and jerk.
Ayhan Cicek lifted 155 kg in snatch event and 190 kg in clean and jerk event. Thus, he lifted 345 kg in total.
Cicek became the gold medalist in snatch and total. However, he became the second in clean and jerk.
Members of the Black Sea and Danuber River Commission, who carries out efforts in Dolmabahce Palace under the term presidency of Turkey in order to operate Bucharest Agreement, signed ''Center Agreement,'' and ''Concession and Exemption Agreement,'' following their works.
Under the agreements, headquarters of permanent secretariat will be Istanbul, and their work place will be Dolmabahce Palace.
On official from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, and Georgia will be appointed to this center. Six countries will give these officials the right of free circulation and working.
Permanent Secretariat will convene and start technical works related with the Black Sea after the agreements are signed by the concerned countries. Later, Ukraine will take over the term presidency from Turkey.
In the section of the meeting which was closed to the press, technical works to prevent pollution coming to the Black Sea from the Danube River, were discussed.
Prior to the acceptance of the bids, Turgay Doludeniz, the Acting Director General of the Turkish State Railways Administration (TCDD), told reporters that the projects aims at reducing the railway travel between Ankara and Istanbul to two and a half hours.
Cevat Oktay, the Deputy Director of the TCDD and the chairman of the tender commission, said that this rehabilitation project is on the agenda since 1992.
Oktay noted that the contract will be awarded to the consortium which will propose the cheapest price and which will request the least credit.
The proposal of the consortium which will win the tender, will be submitted to the Treasury Undersecretariat, Oktay stated.
Oktay added that if the credit is approved, a contract will be signed with the consortium.
The consortia which submitted bids for the tender are as follows:
-Yapi Merkezi, Nurol Ins. Tic. Inc, Usluer
-Alsim Alarko, DHL (Spain), G&O (Spain)
-Tekfen, Vias (Spain), Elecnor (Spain), Cobra (Spain), Dimetronic (Spain), Ineco (Spain), Inabensa (Spain)
-Limak, Mustafa Ozcan, Ircon (India)
-Turan Hazinedaroglu, Oztas, BTC (Germany), HCE (Germany)
-Gunsayil Ins. Tic. San. Ltd, Azvi (Spain).
The amount of the proposals are expected to be announced today.
The project is planned to be completed in 34 months.
Sources told A.A that IMF Executive Directors Committee, will state that performance criteria was reached, by approving Turkey's 13-Article additional intent letter. The letter includes the developments since December 1999.
The sources said that the program goes well in its course, and this will be voiced at the Committee Meeting.
The sources also said IMF circles welcomed that several commitments that should be fulfilled under the intent letter, were now at the Parliament, although they were not fulfilled yet.
The NSC meeting, which President Demirel leads for the last time, started at 15:00 local time.
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit; Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Chief of General Staff; Devlet Bahceli, Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister; Husamettin Ozkan, Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister; Foreign Minister Ismail Cem; Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Minister of National Defense; Gen. Atilla Ates, Land Forces Commander; Gen. Ergin Celasin, Air Forces Commander; and Gen. Rasim Betir, Commander of Genderma attended the meeting.
Cumhur Asparuk, NSC Secretary General; Senkal Atasagun, Undersecretary of National Intelligence Organization; Faruk Logoglu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary; Turan Genc, Director General of Security; and Gokhan Aydiner, Governor of Emergency Rule Region also attended the meeting.
Kemal Onal, the Kocaeli Governor, said that fire broke out in the tent-site which was composed of 249 tents.
A total of 15 tents burned, Onal noted.
Onal stated that no deaths or injuries were recorded in the fire.
The fire could have broken out due to a LPG canister explosion or short circuit, Onal added.
The consortia which submitted bids for the tender and the amount they proposed are listed below:
-Yapi Merkezi, Nurol Ins. Tic. Inc, Usluer: 384 million 401 thousand 659.54 U.S. dollars.
-Alsim Alarko, DHL (Spain), G&O (Spain): 441 million 179 thousand 233 EURO.
-Tekfen, Vias (Spain), Elecnor (Spain), Cobra (Spain), Dimetronic (Spain), Ineco (Spain), Inabensa (Spain): 178 million 40 thousand 44.19 U.S. dollars and 287 million 185 thousand 382.36 EURO.
-Limak, Mustafa Ozcan, Ircon (India): 320 million 519 thousand 222.33 U.S. dollars.
-Turan Hazinedaroglu, Oztas, BTC (Germany), HCE (Germany): 375 million 207 thousand 881 U.S. dollars.
-Gunsayil Ins. Tic. San. Ltd, Azvi (Spain): 424 million 663 thousand 388 U.S. dollars.
The project is planned to be completed in 34 months.
Koray Aydin, Minister of Housing and Public Affairs, will lay the foundation of infrastructures of permanent dwellings following ground searches, assessment of places, planning, projection and expropriation.
A ceremony will be staged in Karaman village of Sakarya on April 30. Following the ceremony, infrastructure of 6,628 dwellings will be laid. The dwellings were planned to shelter 33,750 people.
The dwellings will be constructed in Selcuklu-Ottoman architecture style and will be 99 square meters.
Electricity, water, and telephone networks were planned to be under ground. The permanent dwellings will have maximum four storeys.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway pertaining to the works of superstructure.
Most of the permanent dwellings are planned to be completed by the end of the year 2000.
Officials told A.A correspondent that Yuksel Unal, the Provincial Tourism Director; Cemil Durumlu, the Golyazi Mayor; Mustafa Mahmutoglu, the Sogutlu Mayor, and experts visited 22 graves.
The bones and stones taken from the graves, were sent to Samsun Archeology Museum, the officials said.
Unal said, ''it is thought that the Amazons were living near Terme. But, we have not conducted detailed researches in this region. People living around the Simenit Lake, say that some stones and bones can be seen after the turn of the tide. To this end, we launched researches there. We found stones and bones in every place we excavated. We sent these to the Museum Directorate to understand what these stones and bones are.''
Amazons, female warriors, who were believed to have lived in the 12th century B.C in city of Thamiskyra located along the banks of Terme Stream, would commission men as workers and servants, according to some legends, and would bear children from their prisoners, whom they would later kill.
Several schools and universities of the U.S., Canada, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and Europe, and some universities and foreign language education institutions in Turkey join the fair.
The fair offers possibilities to those who want to have education in medicine, tourism, social sciences, and fine arts in foreign schools and universities and those who want to have bachelor degree or doctorate degree in the foreign universities.
The fair will be open until April 30, 2000.
General Directorate of State Meteorology Affairs said rain is expected in Marmara, Central Aegean, Goller region, Eastern Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, West and Central Black Sea, and south and west parts of Southeastern Anatolia on Saturday. Other regions will be partly cloudy.
Rainstorm will be influential in Eastern Mediterranean, and Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia. Temperatures will decrease in regions where it rains, and will be stable in other regions.
Heavy rain will be effective in Ankara and in Istanbul on Saturday. Izmir will be partly cloudy.
Minimum and maximum temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are as follows:
PROVINCE SATURDAY SUNDAY
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Istanbul 13-20 13-22
Samsun 10-17 10-19
Izmir 12-22 13-25
Adana 11-20 13-22
Antalya 13-22 15-24
Ankara 9-18 9-20
Erzurum 1-16 1-16
Diyarbakir 5-18 5-20