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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-02-12

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

12 FEBRUARY

2001 Monday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] FAZIL SAY'S CONCERT SHOWN AMONG FIVE BEST CONCERTS GIVEN IN JAPAN
  • [03] U.S. EXTENDS SUPPORT TO TURKEY'S HOUSING PROBLEM

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 12, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    TURKEY BREAKS RECORD IN TOURISM
    World Tourism Organization (WTO) announced that Turkey is the country where the number of tourists increased rapidly in 2000 among European countries. While the world tourism growth increased by 7.4 percent, the growth in Turkey has become 39.6 percent.

    FOGG SAYS TURKEY HAS TO EXPLAIN WELL EU MEMBERSHIP TO ITS CITIZENS
    Karen Fogg, the EU Commission's Representative to Turkey recounted that the European Union (EU) approved Turkey's full membership process to the EU by Helsinki Summit, adding that ''during this process, the Turkish government has to explain well the advantages of Turkey's membership to the EU both for Turkey and the EU.''

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    FP SHOCKED BECAUSE OF IHLAS
    Deputies of the Virtue Party (FP) who lost money as Ihlas Holding's activities have been stopped are in shock. They try to reach Enver Oran, the president of the holding's executive board in order to save their money. Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) said in his part that some institutions like Ihlas holding manipulated religion.

    LAW ON PROTECTION OF ANIMALS TO BE ADOPTED SOON
    The parliament included the law on protection of animals into its agenda. When the law is adopted, those who give harm to animals will be imprisoned. The parliament plans to discuss the law till the Feast of Sacrifice.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    PARLIAMENT'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL TO BE RENEWED
    Parliament's General Assembly hall, which had been renewed by paying 50 million U.S. dollars, will be demolished and constructed again. The hall, which caused former Parliament Speaker Kalemli to be tried on charges of corruption, will be returned to its previous form again after paying a large amount of money.

    NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS INCREASE TO BROADEN THE SCOPE OF AMNESTY
    The number of files that were sent to the Constitutional Court to broaden the scope of amnesty reached 100. The latest files that were sent to the Constitutional Court claimed that ''determining April 23, 1999 as the starting of amnesty contradicts with the equality and justice principles,'' and wanted this date to be taken to an earlier time. The court found this claim serious. Jurists think some changes would be made in the Amnesty as a result of the oppositions.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    CEM TO VISIT IRAN WITH BUSINESSMEN
    Turkey aims at improving both its political and also economic relations with Iran, which is a problematic neighbour of Turkey. Businessmen, who will accompany Foreign Minister Ismail Cem in his visit to Tehran, Iran today, will come together with Iranian Trade Chamber.

    NO CONCESSION FROM ECONOMIC POLICY
    State Minister Recep Onal who is in charge of economy said that the demands of bankers and businessmen started to be examined by concerned institutions after the economy meeting held last week. Onal stressed that no concessions will be given from the economic programme which is being implemented.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF IT DOES NOT RAIN
    There is the concern for drought in all regions as temperatures increased and as precipitation was below the seasonal averages in the past three months. Alarm has been given for potable water and agricultural irrigation. Farmers are hopeful for the rain that is expected in February.

    SCHOOLS START TODAY
    Schools will re-open today after 15 days recess. A total of 13 million students and nearly 500,000 teachers will re-start lessons. The National Education Ministry (MEB), on March 23, for the first time will make an evaluation examination to assess the level of the students in the 8th class.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    THERE IS POLITICAL EROSION
    Devlet Bahceli, the deputy prime minister and state minister, who also acts as the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said confidence and esteem erosion between the policy and the society reached ''dramatic,'' dimensions.

    Bahceli said disappointment and difficulties experienced in economy stemmed from the distorted political mentality. However, Bahceli also pointed out that economic program, which has been under implementation for the past one year, was successful despite some deficiencies.

    FP LEDER KUTAN: THERE IS SOCIAL QUAKE IN TURKEY
    Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), claimed that Turkey experienced social, economic and moral quakes all together, noting that, ''there is corruption even in places one can not imagine. Corruption, plundering, and bribery surrounded all our body like a cancer.''

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR YASEEN SAYS SHARON CAN BE BETTER THAN BARAK
    Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey Fouad Yaseen said that Ariel Sharon who won the elections in Israel can be better than Ehud Barak in the peace talks. Stressing that peace is necessary for everybody, Yaseen said that Turkey is the only country which is a friend of the clashing sides in the Middle East. Yaseen commented that at least Turkey has to act as a mediator in the talks.

    GOOD NEWS FROM TOURISM
    Tourism will ease the Turkish economy in 2001. Nearly all the hotels have been booked for 2001 and 2002. The Turkish tourism sector competes with Spain this year. The representatives of the sector expect 12,5 million tourists and a tourism income of 10 billion dollars in 2001.

    [02] FAZIL SAY'S CONCERT SHOWN AMONG FIVE BEST CONCERTS GIVEN IN JAPAN

    ANKARA - Koho Uno, one of the most famous music authorities of Japan showed the concert given by Fazil Say, a famous Turkish pianist, among the best five concerts given in Japan last year.

    Aydin Evirgen, the Turkish Ambassador to Japan sent a message of congratulation to Fazıl Say.

    Evirgen said in his message that they were pleased by the evaluations of Koho Uno, who showed the concert of Fazil Say among the best concerts given in Japan last year.

    [03] U.S. EXTENDS SUPPORT TO TURKEY'S HOUSING PROBLEM

    ATLANTA - Koray Aydin, Minister of Housing and Public Works, and Ann Veneman, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will sign a cooperation agreement within the framework of the ''American Wood Products Construction Program,'' that presented an alternative to Turkish construction sector following the quake.

    The training cooperation agreement which Aydin will sign with Veneman during Turkish-American Council meetings that will take place in Washington D.C. by the end of March, aims at promoting quake-resistant wooden house models to the Turkish architects and engineers. The houses were developed by some U.S. companies with the support of the U.S. Agriculture Department.

    Aydin earlier examined the wooden house models produced with the technologies developed by the U.S. companies First Renaissance Ventures, Wickes International and APA institutions.

    Speaking to Turkish journalists, Aydin said a very important starting would be made by bringing these models to Turkey and spreading them to meet housing need of Turkey.

    Aydin said they started to look for a project to benefit from the one billion U.S. dollars loan provided by the American Eximbank, adding that, an agreement would be signed with the U.S. Agriculture Department to promote the wooden house model that is called as, ''American Forest Products Construction Program.''

    Meanwhile Dorian Vanessa Weaver, the American Eximbank executive board member, who met with Aydin in Atlanta, told reporters that the Eximbank loan was announced in November 1999, during the visit of the former U.S. President Bill Clinton to Turkey.

    Weaver said efforts were underway to provide the U.S. companies to participate in various projects to meet Turkey's dwelling need.

    Aydin is expected to proceed to California later this week to examine various projects related with the quake-resistant houses.

    -DROUGHT ALARM FROM AGRICULTURE MINISTER GOKALP
    ANKARA - Husnu Yusuf Gokalp, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, said on Monday that Turkey faced with a serious threat of drought, and warned that Turkey might turn into Afghanistan.

    Addressing the opening of agriculture provincial directors consultation meeting, Gokalp said forests were destroyed and that the meadows lessened in the country.

    Gokalp said Water Council should be set up urgently, and called on the provincial directors to work in coordination with the governorships against drought, and to start disaster works.

    -COTTARELLI, IMF TURKEY DESK CHIEF, IN TREASURY
    ANKARA - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, led by Carlo Cottarelli, the Turkey Desk Chief, started contacts in Ankara within the framework of sixth review.

    Cottarelli visited Selcuk Demiralp, the Treasury Undersecretary, and later official talks started.

    Ajay Chhibber, the World Bank Turkey Director, as well as experts from Treasury, Finance and Central Bank attended the meeting.

    Demiralp is expected to make statement regarded with the talks.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM ARRIVES IN IRAN
    TEHRAN - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived in Iran on Monday on a two-day official visit.

    Cem and an accompanying delegation arrived at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport at 11:15 local time.

    Cem will meet with Iranian Parliament Speaker Huccetulislam Mehdi Kerrubi in the evening hours following interdelegational talks.

    Cem who will attend a dinner that will be hosted by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, is expected to be received by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.

    Cem and Kharrazi are expected to sign Turkey-Iran Cultural Exchange Program following the completion of the talks. The two foreign ministers will stage a joint news conference following the signing ceremony.

    Cem and the accompanying delegation will leave for Ankara on Tuesday evening.

    -SECURITY FORCES ON ALERT AGAINST POSSIBILITY OF SUICIDE ATTACK
    IN TOKAT AND SIVAS
    TOKAT/SIVAS, Feb 12 (A.A) - Security forces are on the alert after getting information saying that Sengul Gulsoy, a member of the terrorist organization DHKP-C could stage a suicide attack in Tokat and Sivas provinces.

    The photographs of Gulsoy, who is in rural parts of Tokat province have been given to the concerned units. Security forces said that Gulsoy is a drug addict.

    Meanwhile security measures have been tightened in all public institutions in Tokat and Sivas particularly in Governors' Offices.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN IRAN:
    -''WE PLAN TO START A NEW DIALOGUE PROCESS''
    TEHRAN -Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Monday, ''we plan to start a new dialogue process with Iran.''

    Cem responded to question of journalists aboard the play on his way to Iranian capital of Tehran on an official visit.

    He noted that he planned to take steps in the fields of politics, security and economy during his visit to Turkey.

    ''On the issue of security, we plan to start a new dialogue process with Iran except for the Higher Security Committee's works in the fields of military and intelligence. These issues will be discussed in detail during Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan's visit to Tehran in April of 2001. We have been supporting all developments towards improvement of relations between the two countries,'' he stressed.

    Noting that Turkey would start in July to purchase 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Iran every year, Cem told reporters, ''this amount is envisaged to be increased to 10 billion cubic metres in 2007. Iran wants to give more natural gas to Turkey, but we do not want to exceed the framework of our commitments. Together with natural gas, our import from Iran will exceed one billion U.S. dollars. We expect Iran to provide several facilities to Turkish businessmen.''

    Underlining importance of transportation between the two countries, Cem said, ''problems of Turkish truck-drivers in Iran like high taxes, will be taken up during my contacts in Tehran. The railway between Istanbul and Tehran can be used to transport passengers in coming days. The railway has been used to transport cango so far.''

    He noted, ''we expect a more determined attitude from Iran to develop our economic cooperation. My visit to Tehran will be a beginning to improve our economic relations with Iran. Iranian Trade Minister will pay a visit to Turkey soon.''

    ''During my contacts in Tehran, the Iranian side will bring the Afghan problem onto agenda, and we will bring the Middle East peace process onto agenda. I will explain Turkey's thoughts about the Middle East peace process,'' he said.

    Underlining importance of Northern Iraq for both countries, Cem said that he would explain Turkey's sensitivity over the issue during his contacts in Tehran.

    Responding to a question about a file on terrorist Hezbollah organization which was given to Iran earlier, Cem told reporters, ''the file was prepared by the Interior Ministry. These issues are being taken up by the Higher Security Committee which was set up between the two countries.''

    When asked of allegations saying that Iran was trying to export regime to Turkey, Cem emphasized, ''no one has enough power to export regime to Turkey.''

    Responding to a question about rapproachment among Iran, Greece and Armenia, Cem said, ''the issue concerns these countries' own foreign policies. If we are hurt by a country, we will call that of the country to account for the damage.''

    When recalled that there had been some initiatives launched for recognition of so-called genocide on Armenians by the Iranian parliament, Cem said, ''we hope such a thing will not happen.''

    Responding to a question about terrorist organization PKK's taking shelter in Iran, Cem told reporters, ''works on security cooperation between the two countries have been continuing.''

    -DRAFT LAW ON SUPERVISION OF PUBLIC BANKS WHICH WILL BE PRIVATIZED
    TO BE DISCUSSED BY RELEVANT PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION ON TUESDAY
    ANKARA - The draft law which foresees supervision of three public banks which will be privatized following the process of autonomous structure will be discussed by the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission on Tuesday.

    The draft law foresees amendment to the ''Law on Ziraat Bankasi, Halk Bankasi and Emlak Bankasi'' which was adopted on November 15, 2000.

    The draft law foresees supervision and control of these banks in accordance with the rules of the Decree With the Force of Law on Prime Ministry Supreme Supervisory Authority and of the Law on Supervision of Funds and State Economic Enterprises (SEEs) by Parliament.

    If this draft law is legalized, it will come into force on November 25, 2000 together with the law which foresees to privatize these three public banks after granting them autonomous structure.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer earlier approved law on privatization of these three banks but he stated that supervision of these banks should be made in accordance with the law on SEEs as the public holds 51 percent of these banks, and State Minister Recep Onal said that a new legal arrangement would be made in accordance with President Sezer's statement.

    -TURKEY-IMF (1)
    -TREASURY UNDERSECRETARY DEMIRALP: ''MEETINGS WILL FOCUS ON BANKING
    SECTOR, PRIVATIZATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF STRUCTURAL DECISIONS''
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said on Monday that meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation would focus on banking sector, privatization and implementation of structural decisions.

    Speaking to journalists, Demiralp said that some news articles published by the press claimed that early arrival of the IMF delegation meant a message. ''Earlier, the delegation was scheduled to arrive in Turkey on February 15. Early arrival of the delegation shouldn't be considered as a message.''

    Noting that the delegation arrived earlier as they would attend the G-20 meeting, Demiralp said that G-20 meeting is an important meeting and that Treasury Undersecretariat, Finance Ministry and Central Bank officials would participate in the meeting, adding that organization of such a meeting proved the importance attributed to Turkey.

    Demiralp said that the agenda and timetable of the coming G-20 finance ministers meeting would be set at this G-20 meeting in Istanbul.

    Noting that talks with the IMF delegation started early the same day, and the sixth review would be made, Demiralp said that the IMF Board would convene after conclusion of the sixth review and the credit tranche would be approved.

    Demiralp stressed that all reviews were linked to each other, and the difference between the fifth and sixth reviews was review of performance in January.

    ''Current deficit developments and growth will be reviewed. Results of current deficit in November of 2000 were announced. There will be works and talks on these issues,'' he said.

    Noting that they were planning to work with the IMF delegation by the week- end, Demiralp said that they would probably stage a press conference late on next Friday.

    (to be continued)

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM ARRIVES IN IRAN
    TEHRAN - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived in Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday on a two-day official visit.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi welcomed Cem at the airport.

    Addressing journalists together with Kharrazi, Cem said, ''regular meetings are being held between Turkey and Iran. Relations between the two countries have been further improving in recent years.''

    Noting that his visit to Iran aimed at developing opinions to further improve bilateral relations in every field, Cem stressed, ''good relations between Turkey and Iran are factors of security in the region. We will assess all regional issues during our contacts in Tehran. I believe that this visit would be very beneficial.''

    Meanwhile,Iranian Foreign Minister Kharrazi said in his part that bilateral contacts would be helpful to settle peace and security in the region.

    Noting that Cem was paying a visit to Iran within framework of regular visits between the two countries, Kharrazi said that Cem's visit aimed at solving problems and further improving relations between the two countries.

    Stressing that both Turkey and Iran have important roles in settling peace and security in the region, Kharrazi added that bilateral contacts would be beneficial to this end.

    Foreign Minister Cem will be received by President Mohammad Khatemi of Iran, and Iranian Parliament Speaker Huccetulislam Mehdi Kerrubi following interdelegationary meetings later in the day.

    Mohammad Hussein Lavasani, the Iranian Ambassador to Turkey, and Turan Morali, the Turkish Ambassador to Iran, were in attendance at the welcoming ceremony at the airport.

    -ARMENIAN PATRIARCH MUTAFYAN TO VISIT PRESIDENT SEZER,
    PARLIAMENT SPEAKER IZGI, PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT AND
    CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF GENERAL KIVRIKOGLU ON TUESDAY
    ANKARA, Feb 12 (A.A) - Mesrob Mutafyan, the Patriarch of Armenians in Turkey, will visit President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Chief of General Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu on Tuesday.

    Releasing a statement, the Armenian Patriarchate said on Monday that Deputy Patriarch and Archbishop Sahan Sivaciyan and Aram Ates, the Chairman of Spiritual Council, would accompany Patriach Mutafyan during the visits.

    -TURKEY-IMF (2)
    -TREASURY UNDERSECRETARY DEMIRALP: ''PRIVATIZATION
    OF TURKISH TELEKOM IS OUR PRINCIPLE''
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said on Monday that privatization of Turkish Telekom was their principle.

    Following his meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation headed by Turkey Desk Chief Carlo Cottarelli, Demiralp said that privatization of Turkish Telekom was important, and that necessary legal arrangements were made if there were legal problems and obstacles in front of this privatization.

    Noting that there were fluctuations in the international telecommunications market, Demiralp said, ''the IMF said last week that privatization of Telekom was an important indication, and questions about dynamics in this field in case of inappropriate market conditions came onto the agenda.''

    ''Here are the dynamics - we put forward a seven billion U.S. dollars privatization target in 2000. As of tomorrow, two billion U.S. dollars will come from the GSM. If it won't be Telekom, there are privatizations like Turkish Airlines (THY), Petrochemistry Corp (Petkim), Turkish Refineries (Tupras) for the remaining five billion U.S. dollars. What I mean to say that the Privatization Board has the capacity for a 5 billion U.S. dollars of privatization this year. We will do everything to achieve success in this privatization. We are ready against every condition,'' he said.

    Responding to a question, Demiralp recalled that rate of public borrowing stock in the gross national product (GNP) had been 62.3 percent in 2000, and that they planned to reduce it to 57.5 percent by the end of 2001, decreasing below 60 percent norm of the European Union (EU) Copenhagen criteria.

    He said that this public borrowing included also 15 billion U.S. dollars to meet losses of public banks and 6.1 billion U.S. dollars of bonds given to the Banking Regulatory and Supervisory Authority (BRSA).

    Responding to a question about the real economy, Demiralp said that what the Treasury could do related with the real economy was limited with the program and budget.

    ''We will hold a meeting with the State Planning Organization which is working on this issue. Treasury doesn't have great opportunities. Actually, sources given by Eximbank for exports is clear. Everything will be carried out within framework of the programme and without destroying the balances, '' he said.

    Responding to a question about the G-20 meeting in Istanbul at the week-end, Demiralp said that high-level officials from the IMF and World Bank were expected to attend this meeting.

    Responding to another question, Demiralp said that political instability was an obligation for a success in this program, and the government should continue its determination by protecting the stability.

    (To be continued)

    -SECURITY FORCES DETAIN 80 PEOPLE WHO HELD AN ILLEGAL
    DEMONSTRATION TO PROTEST F TYPE PRISONS
    ANKARA - Security forces detained on Monday 80 people who held an illegal demonstration in Ankara to protest F type prisons in which inmates are kept in rooms instead of large dormitories.

    A group of relatives of prisoners came to Ankara from Istanbul earlier today, and gathered in Kurtulus Park.

    Security forces intervened in the group, and called on demonstrators to disperse peacefully.

    After the demonstrators refused to disperse, security forces detained 80 of them.

    Meanwhile, another group gathered in front of Human Rights Association (IHD).

    They wanted to meet with Justice Ministry officials.

    Security forces allowed only five of them to enter the Justice Ministry building.

    -NEW GSM 1800 OPERATOR, JOINT VENTURE OF TURKIYE IS BANKASI AND TELECOM
    ITALIA, TO BE PROMOTED ON TUESDAY
    ISTANBUL - IS-TIM, the new GSM operator of Turkey, which is a joint venture of Turkiye Is Bankasi and Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), will be promoted in a press conference that will be held in Istanbul on Tuesday.

    Ersin Ozince, the general manager of Turkiye Is Bankasi, and Guiseppe Farina, the general manager of IS-TIM, will attend the meeting.

    The IS-TIM had won the GSM 1800 tender with an offer of two billion 525 million U.S. dollars, plus the value added tax.

    Farina, the general manager of IS-TIM, had previously said that they would make investments in Turkey equal to licence cost in coming years.

    Telecom Italia Mobile, the Italian partner of IS-TIM has more than 20 million subscribers in Italy and more than 40 million subscribres all around the world with its joint ventures under the Telecom Italia Group.

    Officials said the mobile telephone subscribers will exceed twenty million in Turkey in a few years' time.


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