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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-01-31

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

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

Anadolu Agency

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

31 JANUARY

2001 Wednesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] DEMISE OF SIHANLIOGLU

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 31, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS SAY GARCIA BETTER GO HOME
    Turkish Ambassador to France Sonmez Koksal will prolong his stay in Ankara. The Turkish Ministry has decided to make the official visits between Turkey and France less frequent. Now all the eyes have turned to French Ambassador Bernard Garcia. Foreign Ministry officials said it is up to Garcia to stay in Turkey or to return home. Some sources interprete this as ''you better go home.''

    AKUT SAVES LIVES IN INDIA
    AKUT search and rescue team went to Gucarat city of India which was devastated by an earthquake. AKUT members pulled out a seventy year old man and a sixty year old woman alive yesterday. AKUT members said they would continue their efforts to save lives in the devastated city. Indian Defense Ministry stated that the death toll might exceed 100,000. The ministry is estimated the number of injured as 200,000.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    HEZBOLLAH IMAGE
    According to the recent intelligence reports, the Hezbollah militants started to apply new tactics in order not to be captured by the security forces. The report added the militants were trying to get rid of their ''Hezbollah image'' by wearing blue jeans and sports shoes. The report pointed out that the Hezbollah militants had a beard shave and were carrying play cards, and even the pictures of artists in order not to reveal their real identities when captured. Hezbollah started to use thieves, and pickpockets in their recent operations due to the dissolution in the illegal organization, the report added.

    NEW UNIVERSITY CAMPUS TO BE BUILT IN TRNC
    The foundation of the Cyprus International Universities' new campus were laid in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday. The universities in the TRNC have become an alternative to many students with their high quality education. President Rauf Denktas of the TRNC, and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu of the TRNC were also in attendance at the ceremony.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    DOCUMENT WHICH CAUSED STIR IN ANKARA
    State Security Court Public Prosecutor Talat Salk sent a letter to IMF, World Bank and EU representations on January 20, asking them wheter or not they have documents related with the criminal investigation into energy corruptions and send them to him within seven days if they have such documents. Salk also asked them to inform him whether or not they had made recommendations, instructions or orders related with the privatizations in energy sector. It caused a stir in Ankara when the IMF representation faxed this letter to Prime Ministry and asked what kind of a way they should follow. The Prime Ministry is expending efforts to prevent Salk's demands from turning into international scandal.

    ANGELIKA'S PKK GAME CREATES CRISIS
    German deputy Angelika Beer's wearing a hair decoration with red, green and yellow color symbolizing terrorist PKK organization's flag caused a stir in the parliament. National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu refused to meet with Beer. Parliamentary National Defense Commission's meeting was postponed and the dinner in honor of German delegation was cancelled. Beer said that one of her friends in Northern Iraq had given this hair decoration to her as a gift.

    AKUT PULLS 70-YEAR-OLD INDIAN MAN OUT FROM RUBBLES ALIVE
    The Search and Rescue Team (AKUT) of Turkey is expending intense efforts in the quake-hit region in India. With the help of their sniffer dog Barney, the AKUT team pulled a seventy-year-old Indian man out from rubbles alive five days after the massive earthquake.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    CHIRAC BREAKS TIES WITH TURKEY
    French President Jacques Chirac ratified the resolution of the French parliament regarding the so-called Armenian genocide. In yesterday's French Official Gazette, it wrote, ''France officially recognizes the genocide Armenians faced in the beginning of last century''. Turkey had earlier warned France and asked it to annul the resolution stating that the law would seriously damage Turkish-French relations.

    DYP DEPUTY SIHANLIOGLU DIES FOLLOWING FIGHT AT PARLIAMENT
    During a fight which broke up because of parliament regulations debates, Fevzi Sihanlioglu from the True Path Party (DYP) had an heart attack and died. Deputies from the government and opposition parties started fistfighting because of a disagreement which arose during discussions of parliament regulations. Sihanlioglu who was taken to Guven Hospital could not be saved despite all efforts of the doctors.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    VOICE OF COMMON SENSE
    French President Jacques Chirac approved the law on so-called genocide on Armenians yesterday. Following the approval, Ankara stated that France didn't protect the friendship between the two countries which had been established centuries ago. Premier Bulent Ecevit said they were assessing the relations with France. Meanwhile, a delegation of ninty people representing the Armenians living in Turkey issued a joint declaration saying that the parliament which would discuss their problems is in Ankara. The declaration added the intervention of the foreign parliaments in the issue makes them feel sorry.

    WOLFENSOHN OF WORLD BANK SAYS TURKISH ECONOMY STARTS TO RECOVER
    World Bank President James Wolfensohn who is currently in Davos for the World Economic Forum annual meeting said Turkish economy will reach a better situation. Wolfensohn said that in order to maintain stability in the economy, it was necessary to continue reforms especially in the finance sector. Noting that they extended support to Turkey during the economic crisis which erupted at the end of last year, Wolfensohn said they would continue backing the reforms in Turkey. Wolfensohn added the coalition government was successful in implementation of the economic program.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    MONUMENTAL RESPONSE TO FRANCE
    Ankara, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras municipalities will retaliate France's decision to grant Armenian lie monumental status with real ''French brutality'' monuments. Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek will change the names of Paris and De Gaulle streets. He said, ''we will remind the genocide committed against Algerians by France with a monument.'' Sanliurfa Governor Muzaffer Dilek said that a monument would be built by April 11, giving the necessary response to France. Gaziantep Governor Erhan Tanju said that they would extend every support to a monument to be built in Gaziantep, adding that France had killed six thousand Turks during Gaziantep defense. Gaziantep Mayor Celal Dogan said, ''why did they enter Gaziantep where even a French was not living? Why did they massacre thousands of innocent civilians? We will build a colonialism monument in Gaziantep, reminding the oppression.'' Kahramanmaras Mayor Hanefi Mahcicek said, ''we will build a monument in city center symbolizing the oppression imposed by Armenians and exhibiting the massacre committed by Armenians.''

    DYP DEPUTY SIHANLIOGLU DIES IN FIGHT AT PARLIAMENT
    During the discussions at parliament on by-regulations, coalition government and opposition deputies had a fist fight. Mehmet Fevzi Sihanlioglu, a deputy from the True Path Party (DYP), suffered a heart attack during the fight. First aid to Sihanlioglu was made at parliament by doctor deputies including Health Minister Osman Durmus. Sihanlioglu who went into coma was brought to the Guven Hospital. He died at hospital despite all efforts of doctors. Sources said Sihanlioglu had earlier underwent an angio cardiography. Tansu Ciller of DYP said that he died for democracy.

    FIRST ROADSHOW FOR TURKISH TELEKOM IN GERMANY
    The first roadshow for bloack sale of Turkish Telekom's 33.5 percent shares to strategical investors will be held today in Bonn city of Germany. The deadline for submitting bids to the tender which was opened on December 14, 2000 is May 14, 2001.

    TURKEY ON RIGHT TRACK
    World Bank President James Wolfensohn said that he appreciated the coalition government as a result of its successful works. He said that the Turkish economy was getting recovered rapidly. Meanwhile, Wolfensohn will come to Turkey to attend an international conference in May.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    WORLD BANK PRESIDENT WOLFENSOHN SAYS TURKISH ECONOMY IS ON RIGHT TRACK
    World Bank President James Wolfensohn said that the Turkish economy managed to overcome last year's crisis and added that the economy will be better this year. Speaking at Davos, where he came to attend the World Economic Forum, Wolfensohn said Turkey should continue its structural reforms to maintain economic stability.

    GEORGIAN PRESIDENT SHEVARDNADZE MEETS WITH DEMIREL AND ECEVIT
    Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze met with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and former president Suleyman Demirel. After the meetings, Ecevit and Demirel pointed to Georgia's strategic importance for Turkey. Shevardnadze and Ecevit exchanged views on fight against corruption in their countries. Ecevit told reporters that Turkey has very special relations with this country. Some ongoing projects such as Kars-Tbilisi railway, border gates and Batumi airport were other topics of discussion during Shevardnadze's contacts.

    [02] DEMISE OF SIHANLIOGLU

    -NUMBER OF DYP SEATS AT PARLIAMENT REDUCES TO 83
    ANKARA - The number of True Path Party (DYP) seats at parliament reduced to 83 after demise of Fevzi Sihanlioglu, a DYP deputy from southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

    The recent distribution of seats at parliament is as follows:

    Democratic Left Party (DSP).....: 134

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): 126

    Virtue Party (FP)...............: 102

    Motherland Party (ANAP).........: 88

    DYP.............................: 83
    Independent.....................: 9

    Vacant..........................: 8

    -HOSPITAL REPORT ON DEMISE OF DYP DEPUTY SIHANLIOGLU ANNOUNCED
    ANKARA - The hospital report on demise of True Path Party (DYP) deputy Fevzi Sihanlioglu who died of a heart attack in the parliament was announced early on Wednesday.

    The report released by the Guven Hospital said Sihanlioglu was already dead when he was brought to the hospital adding that every medical effort to turn him back to life had failed.

    Sihanlioglu will be laid to rest in southeastern Sanliurfa province on Thursday.

    -FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY TUZMEN:
    ''2001 WILL BE A BETTER YEAR FOR EXPORTERS''
    ANKARA - Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen said on Wednesday that 2001 would be a better year than 2000 for exporters.

    Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Tuzman said that they were struggling in a tough market. ''We believe that it is the time to export goods and values instead of businessmen and industrialists.''

    Regarding Eximbank's support to exporters, Tuzmen said, ''we expanded the commitments and liabilities. The burden on Eximbank has started to increase as its interest rates remained below the market interest rates. The burden on Eximbank will be reduced when the market interest rates start to decrease. It is insufficient to support 27 billion U.S. dollars of exports with 800 million U.S. dollars. The support should be at least ten percent of total exports.''

    Tuzmen said that they continued their works to let Turkey to be a country which sells quality.

    ''We will try to change temporary successes into lasting successes. I think that this period, we will overcome the negative effect of especially Euro- U.S. dollar parity compared to last year,'' he added.

    -125 CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM CONDITIONAL RELEASE
    IZMIR - A total of 122 children were released from prisons and juvenile correction facilities after the conditional release law was passed, sources said on Wednesday.

    According to the Justice Ministry's Detentions General Directorate, before the law took effect, there were 411 children staying at penitentiaries in Ankara, Elazig, Izmir, Bakirkoy and Elmadag. This number dropped to 289 after the release of 122 children.

    It was also stated that the Detentions General Directorate was trying to protect the boys and girls under the age of 19 who were released through a treatment program. Some children are sent to school by the financing of welfare organizations if they have no place to go after their release.

    The children are given vocational training and they are encouraged to participate in social and cultural activities. Psychological help is also available for children who need it.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: ''FROM NOW ON, IT IS OUT OF QUESTION FOR TURKEY
    TO MEET SOME OF ITS MILITARY REQUIREMENTS FROM FRANCE''
    KAYSERI - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Wednesday that it was out of question for Turkey to meet some of its military requirements from France.

    Cem said that the Republic of Turkey had done and stated whatever is necessary against the incident created by the French state and parliament.

    Noting that Turkish people should be calm and determined in this issue, Cem said, ''we will do what we are saying and we will say what we are doing. We will be determined. We won't show rapid reactions but we will take planned measures which we will implement. This incident upset all of us. However, everybody should know that such initiatives at a foreign parliament won't reduce Turkey's power and destroy its determination.''

    ''The statement of our citizens of Armenian origin about this issue is very appropriate, effective, accurate, correct and sincere. I appreciate their evaluation and I consider it very natural. Our citizens share feelings of all of us, and they have put forward that they share same feelings,'' he said.

    Responding to a question about construction of a monument reflecting the genocide committed against Algerians by France, Cem said, ''such initiatives are the common reaction of people who are right. We support it, of course.''

    Ismail Cem said that from now on, Turkey can't leave economic decisions which affect its security and strategic future, to justice of France.

    ''As you see that as the government, we don't announce this issue with great campaigns and enter fussy attitudes. But we did what is necessary. Turkey can't leave its whole communication system to France. Turkey can't entrust very important tanks purchase to France. From now on, it is out question for Turkey to meet some of its military requirements from France. Because, a state which made such an injustice against us can repeat similar injustices in our vital issues in the future. Let's say we purchased tanks from France but we can't trust France as they can take such a decision preventing sale of spare parts of these tanks to Turkey. Thus we lost our confidence. This is very important,'' he said.

    Stressing that France destroyed confidence also in Azerbaijani-Armenian relations, Cem said, ''France is a country which wants to be influent in Caucasus. We lost our confidence in France's fair approach to Azerbaijani- Armenian issue. A state which brought enmity from the history can't expect confidence from the Azerbaijani people and Azerbaijani people can't expect a fair approach from France, and they don't consider France's contributions as fair. All of these have affected France's position. We don't have enmity against French people. Actually, we are not a nation in favor of enmity and hostility. Badness and unjust treatment are not beneficial to anybody. They made a mistake and badness.''

    When asked whether or not they had received information which could be a reason for inclusion of an expression in yesterday's government statement which said ''France will be the responsible side if an attack is staged against Turks,'' Cem said, ''no, I am the one who firstly used this expression. When we summoned the French Ambassador, I told him that eight Turkish diplomats were killed in France by Armenian terrorists. I told him that what they were doing could incite the currently existing xenophobia in some western European countries. Besides, I said that there are 300 thousand Turkish citizens living in France, we have concerns about lives of our citizens and diplomats in France and France is responsible for the safety of our people. I reflected these in yesterday's government statement.''

    -TRADESMEN OF ANKARA PROTEST FRANCE AND LAUNCH SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN
    ANKARA - Ali Riza Ercan, the Chairman of the Union of Ankara Tradesmen's and Artisans' Chambers (ANKESOB), said on Wednesday that they condemn France for ratifying the resolution on the so-called genocide on the Armenians.

    Ercan, Bedevi Palandoken, the Deputy Chairman of the Turkish Union of Tradesmen's and Artisans', and many members of these chambers launched signature campaign against France.

    Ercan said that France, which turns a blind eye to the genocide and oppression it made in Algeria, put forward its hostile feelings against Turkey by trying to create an impression that there had been genocide on the Armenians by some allegations.

    ''We strongly condemn this decision and we call on France to account for the oppression it made in Algeria,'' Ercan added.

    -DIGITURK WINS AUCTION FOR LIVE BROADCASTING OF FOOTBALL MATCHES
    ISTANBUL - Atlas Yayincilik ve Dijital Platform (Atlas Broadcasting and Digital Platform), shortly known as Digiturk, won on Wednesday the auction for the live broadcasting of Turkish Division One soccer matches.

    Four companies joined the auction for broadcasting of Turkish Division One soccer matches live on television channel.

    Ata Aksu, the Acting Chairman of Football Federation, said that the bids of the three companies did not comply with the tender specification, adding that Atlas Yayincilik and Dijital Platform won the tender.

    -FINANCE MINISTER SAYS INCOMES HAVE BEEN 33,7 QUADRILLION
    LIRAS AND MONEY RECEIVED FROM TAX INCOMES HAVE BEEN 26,5
    QUADRILLION LIRAS
    ANKARA - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Wednesday that incomes have been 33,7 quadrillion liras and money received from tax incomes have been 26,5 quadrillion liras in 2000.

    Staging a press briefing about 2000 year budget figures, Oral said that the expenditures of 2000 have been 46,6 quadrillion liras, adding that expenditures excluding interests have been 26,1 quadrillion liras and the interests have been 20,4 quadrillion liras.

    Oral said that the budget deficit has been 12,8 quadrillion liras, non- interest surplus has been 7,5 quadrillion liras.

    Oral said that they announce the realizations of 2000 year budget with a delay of 10-11 days.

    ''Budget surplus is below the one that is foreseen, but the non-interset surplus is more than the one foreseen. This shows that the 2000 year budget has been resulted in a healthy way,'' he added.

    -LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY MINISTER OKUYAN:
    -''FRANCE ACCEPTED TO END ITS FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH TURKEY
    AND TO SEEM LIKE A HOSTILE COUNTRY AGAINST TURKISH NATION
    JUST TO GAIN ONE OR TWO VOTES''
    ANKARA - Labour and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan said on Wednesday that France accepted to end its friendly relations with Turkey and to seem like a hostile country against the Turkish nation just to gain one or two votes.

    Resat Morali, the Deputy Counsellor for Labour Affairs in Turkey's Embassy in Paris; Tecelli Ari, the Counsellor for Religious Affairs in Paris; and Erdogan Ozen, the Counsellor for Labour Affairs; who were assassinated by the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA, were commemorated in a ceremony held at the Labour and Social Security Ministry.

    Speaking in the ceremony, Okuyan said that no genocide was committed in the history of Turkish people.

    Okuyan noted that 34 Turkish officials abroad were assassinated by the terrorist organization ASALA and three of these officials were the personnel of his ministry.

    Some western countries are in an effort to protect and back the terrorist organization ASALA and terrorist organization PKK, Okuyan stated.

    Okuyan said that some western countries have taken steps to debate and legalize so-called Armenian genocide allegations in their parliaments in recent days.

    ''There was no genocide in the history of Turkish nation. There were some wars and battles but there was not any genocide. There were shameful genocide in the history of France. France, which assumed such an attitude against Turkey by ignoring the massacres it made in Algeria, will have difficulties in explaining this to the forthcoming generations and nations, '' Okuyan said.

    Okuyan added that Turkey does not have any problems with the French people.

    State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu said that the Ottoman Empire deported the Armenians to take under control its fronts.

    Mirzaoglu said, ''there was no genocide. Today, they bring forward this issue as genocide. Distorting the history will not be beneficial to them.''

    -MHP DEPUTIES SUPPORT SIGNATURE
    CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARMENIAN RESOLUTION
    ANKARA - Deputies of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supported on Wednesday the signature campaign launched by the Ankara Club to protest the ratification of the resolution on the so-called genocide on the Armenians.

    A group of MHP deputies handed over the dossier including the signatures of all the MHP deputies to Bulent Kalipci, the Chairman of the Ankara Club.

    Sevket Bulent Yahnici, the deputy leader of MHP, criticized the ratification of the resolution and the initiative launched by the Paris Municipal Board to erect a monument of so-called genocide.

    Yahnici said that their aim is to prove that the decision is wrong and that to this end, they will put forward the documents and archives regarding the issue.

    -TUSIAD AND MEDEF ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT AGAINST FRENCH
    RESOLUTION ON SOCALLED GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS
    ISTANBUL - The decisions taken in the meeting between the Turkish and French businessmen in Paris on Tuesday were announced on Wednesday.

    The Association of Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSIAD) announced the decisions taken yesterday with the French association of businessmen and association (MEDEF).

    The two institutions decided to take efforts for appeasing the political tension between the two countries.

    The joint statement of MEDEF and TUSIAD expressed sorrow over the tension caused by adoption of the resolution on socalled genocide on Armenians by the French parliament.

    It noted that this resolution which hurt the friendship feelings of the Turkish people against France, went into force despite the warnings of French and Turkish private sectors.

    The joint statement noted that the two associations decided to appease the atmosphere between the two countries caused by political tension and tough public opinion reaction which damages the common interests. The statement stressed that France is the second trade partner of Turkey and Turkey is the first trade partner of France excluding EU.

    The statement added that the two associations want

    -''speeding up economic, cultural, technological cooperation between the two countries.''

    -''holding common activities in order to promote better Turkey in the EU and EU in Turkey,''

    -''continuation of the French support to EU membership and the cooperation between Turkish and French enterpreneurs.''

    The statement stressed that efforts will be launched to stress that the EU membership perspective of Turkey will be to the common interest of all European countries.

    -FINANCE MINISTER ORAL SAYS THEY DON'T THINK OF
    TAX AMNESTY
    ANKARA - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Wednesday that they don't think about tax amnesty.

    Staging a press briefing, Oral said about tax amnesty that ''budget is a means of economic programme. We think that we will reach the target of tax incomes in 2001, I would like to stress once again that we don't think of tax amnesty.''

    Oral stressed that the non-interest surplus, which has vital importance in having a healthy structure in public finance has been above the targetted surplus and it has been 7,59 quadrillion liras.

    ''When the wholesale prices index (TEFE) which has been 32.7 percent in the year 2000 is taken into consideration, this shows that a high performance has been provided in respect of budget incomes. Besides the interest rates which have been around 100 percent throughout 1999, decreased to 40 percent in 2000,'' he said.

    Oral pointed out that they don't fell the necessity to revise the targets of 2001 year budget, adding that ''we try to correct our state personnel system, but while doing that we won't give any concessions from the disinflationary programme.''

    -CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO CONTINUE TO HEAR FP CLOSURE CASE ON THURSDAY
    ANKARA - The Constitutional Court will continue to hear the closure case of the Virtue Party (FP) on Thursday.

    Hasim Kilic, the Acting Chairman of the Constitutional Court, told reporters that the court session will resume at 10.00 a.m. on Thursday.

    Today's session of the Constitutional Court lasted for almost four hours.

    Following yesterday's session, Kilic had said that they discussed every issue and that they also debated the application of the FP leader Recai Kutan who claimed in his petition that the Article 104 of the Political Parties Law should be applied and that except some cases, warning should be made before the closure case.

    The Constitutional Court will decide whether or not to accept the footage about the FP congress as evidence in this case.

    -RESULT OF AUTOPSY CONDUCTED ON SIHANLIOGLU
    TO BE SENT TO ISTANBUL FORENSIC MEDICINE
    ANKARA - The result of the autopsy conducted on True Path Party (DYP) deputy Fevzi Sıhanlıoglu at Kecioren Forensic Medicine will be sent to Istanbul Forensic Medicine.

    The final result of the autopsy will be announced at Istanbul Forensic Medicine.

    A ceremony will be held in the parliament at 10.00 local time tomorrow and the funeral will be held in Viransehir, where he was born. DYP deputies will also participate in the funeral.


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