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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-02-15

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

15 FEBRUARY

2001 Thursday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] PRESIDENT SEZER LEAVES FOR BULGARIA (1)

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 15, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    PRIME MINISTERY INSPECTION BOARD DENOUNCES TEN ENERGY MINISTERS
    The Prime Ministry Inspection Board claimed that ten energy and natural resources ministers who served in the last ten years damaged the state in accounts between Aktas Electricity Firm and Turkish Electricity Production and Transmission Inc. (TEAS). The Prime Ministry Inspection Board denounced these ministers to Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office. The Chief Prosecutor's Office returned the dossier saying that only the parliament could launch an investigation against the ministers. Officials said, ''if the Prime Ministry sends the dossier to the parliament, the High Tribunal process will start.'' Meanwhile, the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry condemned the Prime Ministry Inspection Board, and said that the allegations were baseless.

    EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES FRAME REGULATION FOR TURKEY
    The European Parliament approved the Frame Regulations Document for Turkey. The document enables all financial assistances to be collected under the same roof. The annual financial assistances of 177 million euros which the European Union (EU) plans to give Turkey in the next five years, became official after approval of the Frame Regulations Document. Meanwhile, Turkey has been included in all programs of the EU.

    DEMAND FOR GOLD INCREASES 49 PERCENT IN 2000
    The World Gold Council announced that the demand for gold in Turkey, which is among the five countries consuming gold the most in world, increased 49 percent to 207 tonnes in 2000. The council said that the demand for gold increased 90 percent to 38 tonnes in Turkey in the last quarter of the year in spite of the economic crisis in November and the increase in the interest rates.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    DRAFT RESOLUTION ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS WITHDRAWN FROM DUMA
    A draft resolution on so-called genocide on Armenians which was submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, by Aleksy Mitrofanov, a deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), was withdrawn. Mitrofanov said that he changed his mind due to reaction of Dimitri Rogozin, the Chairman of State Duma's Foreign Relations Committee.

    ARAFAT ASKS FOR SUPPORT
    President Yasser Arafat of Palestine came to Turkey on a one-day working visit. Arafat's visit coincided with an attack in Tel Aviv, Israel, in which a Palestinian driver crashed a bus into a bus-stop crowded with Israeli soldiers and civilians, killing eight people and injuring 21 others. Arafat asked Turkey to support deployment of an international force in the region. Arafat held talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    SERIAL KILLER DETAINED
    Police detained a suspected serial killer who admitted that he killed six people. Police have been searching for the killer for the past three years in the central province of Kayseri, where the victims were discovered shot dead with a hunting rifle. The serial killer confessed, ''I see this as hunting. I am a hunter. I see my victims as prey.'' The man said he brought the bodies of two victims, the latest murdered last month, to the city's garbage dump.

    DEMIRALP: ''THERE IS NEITHER A LETTER NOR A REPORT''
    Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said that there was neither a letter nor a report claimed to have been sent to them by International Monetary Fund (IMF). Demiralp said that the news reports published in the press claiming that the IMF sent a letter to Turkey was baseless, adding that either the IMF or Turkey Desk Chief Carlo Cottarelli would make a statement on this issue during his press conference he would stage before leaving Turkey.

    LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST THREE GOVERNORS
    Sabih Kanadoglu, the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, field three separate lawsuits against Guner Ozmen, the former Governor of Kilis, Orhan Tasanlar, the former Governor of Bursa, and Recep Yazicioglu, the former Governor of Erzincan, on charges of misusing their authority. The indictments prepared against the three former governors were sent to the Criminal Department no: 4 of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    ''NO TO IMF''
    Everyone from employees to employers are uneasy about ongoing economic program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Following workers, farmers and employers have begun to react to the economic program.

    PRIME MINISTRY PROTECTS ERSUMER
    The Prime Ministry took into consideration opinions of two inspectors writing opposition commentary instead of opinions of three inspectors accusing Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer and Ziya Aktas, the owner of Aktas Electricity Firm, in their reports on allegations of corruption in energy tenders.

    DOG FISH-2001 MANOEUVRES TO START ON THURSDAY
    Dog Fish-2001 Manoeuvres, one of the concerted military exercises of the NATO, will start in Ionian sea which is in eastern part of the Sicily island, on Thursday. The manoeuvres will end on February 28. Turkey, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Britain, the U.S. and a total of seven submarines, nine surface ships and 17 maritime patrol aircraft will participate in Dog Fish-2001. TCG 18 Mart (S-355) submarine from the Turkish Fleet Commandership will participate in the submarine phase of the manoeuvres. TCG Gemlik (F-492) frigate from the Turkish Fleet Commandership and NATO Mediterranean Permanent Naval Force will pariticipate in the second phase of the Dog Fish-2001.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    ARAFAT ASKS SUPPORT FROM TURKEY
    Palestinian President Yasser Arafat who came to Turkey yesterday to pay a one day official visit, asked the support of Turkey as the clashes between Israelis and the Palestinians gained speed after Ariel Sharon elected as the prime minister of Israel. In the meetings, Arafat asked the support of Turkish side for the deployment of an international force in the region. Turkey promised Arafat that it would bring the deployment of an unarmed military force to whole Palestine to the agenda. An unarmed military force is currently deployed in Hebron.

    INTERNATIONAL ''FLYING BROOM'' WOMAN MOVIES FESTIVAL TO BE HELD
    Fourth International Ucan Supurge (Flying Broom) Woman Movies Festival will be held in Ankara between May 3-10. Comedy films will be diplayed in this year's festival in which 60 movies from 23 countries will participate.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    GOVERNMENT EXTENDS SUPPORT TO REAL SECTOR
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said they would make the necessary legal arrangements to find an urgent solution to the problmes of the real sector. Noting that they wouldn't make any concessions in the economic program when implementing those solutions, Ecevit said they would submit draft laws that would ease the bureaucratic procedure for the foreign investors.

    ATO PREPARES BOOK ON CLAIMS ON SO CALLED GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS
    The Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) published a book as a reply to the claims on so-called genocide on Armenians. Sinan Aygun, the chairman of ATO said that the book comprised completely of historical documents, adding that the attitude of some ally countries on the issue was completely inappropriate.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    ''PARLIAMENT IS NOT FREE''
    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that MPs should be free. Speaking at a meeting with representatives of the Turkish Democracy Foundation, President Sezer underlined importance of democratization of Turkey and preparation of a new constitution. Describing the Political Parties Law and the Election Law as the biggest obstacles in front of democratization, President Sezer said, ''political party leaders choose the deputies. I want deputies to be free.''

    [02] PRESIDENT SEZER LEAVES FOR BULGARIA (1)

    ANKARA - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer left on Thursday for Bulgaria to attend the 4th tripartite summit meeting among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania in Plovdiv.

    The private airplane carrying President Sezer and his entourage took off from the Esenboga Airport in Ankara at 09:00 a.m.

    -PRESIDENT SEZER LEAVES FOR BULGARIA (2)
    ANKARA - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer left on Thursday for Bulgaria to attend the 4th tripartite summit meeting among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania in Plovdiv.

    Addressing journalists at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara prior to his departure, President Sezer said, ''I will attend the 4th tripartite summit meeting in Plovdiv. The first summit meeting among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania was held in Varna, Bulgaria, on October 3, 1997. At the summit meeting, the Tripartite Summit Process has been put into practice. The process became traditional after the summit meetings in Antalya, Turkey, between April 16 and 17, 1998, and in Sinaia, Romania, between March 11 and 12, 1999.''
    ''The summit meetings with the participation of Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian presidents, have made an important contribution to make peace and solidarity lasting in the Balkans and to develop a concrete cooperation among the three countries. Also, these summit meetings have an important function to determine cooperation fields among the countries,'' he said.

    Recalling that the agreement for struggle against terrorism and organized crimes was signed at the second summit meeting in Antalya and the joint communique for formation of a free trade area and the agreement for tripartite tourism cooperation were signed in Sinaia, President Sezer told reporters, ''at the fourth summit meeting in Plovdiv, new cooperation opportunities will be sought. We will also scrutinize the developments in implementation of previous cooperation fields.''

    He said, ''the summit meeting in Plovdiv will enable us to exchange opinions on the problems regarding the stability in our region. The latest situation under the light of democratic changes in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, recent developments in the region, and struggle against terrorism and organized crimes will be high on the agenda at the summit meeting.''

    Noting that he would also hold bilateral talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Petar Stoyanov and his Romanian counterpart Ion Iliescu, President Sezer added, ''I believe that the fourth summit meeting in Plovdiv will make important contributions to cooperation among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania and to stability in the region.''

    -CULTURE MINISTRY DELIVERS BOOKS GIVEN AS GIFTS
    TO NATIONAL LIBRARY OF CHINA
    BEIJING - Rafet Akgunay, the ambassador of Turkey in Beijing, delivered the books given by the Culture Ministry as gifts to the National Library of China, sources said on Thursday.

    A total of 161 books about the Turkish culture and history were delivered to the National Library of China in a ceremony held at the Library.

    Ren Jiyu, the chairman of the National Library of China, officials from the Chinese Culture Ministry and officials from the Turkish Embassy in Beijing participated in the ceremony.

    Delivering a speech at the ceremony, Jiyu said it was both nations' common duty to strengthen the friendship between the nations, adding that although economic relations were the driving force in bilateral relations, cultural exchanges could be considered as lasting relations.

    Rafet Akgunay, in his part said Turkey and China had strong historical ties and added that this ties were strengthened with the mutual visits of Chinese and Turkish leaders.

    Later, Akgunay presented Andrew Mango's ''Ataturk'' book to Ren Jiyu and advised him to read the book to have a better understanding about today's Turkey.

    The set up of a section in the National Library of China, where the Turkish books would stand, had come to the agenda during the visit of Culture Minister Istemihan Talay to China in May 2000.

    -TURKEY TO HOST G-20 MEETINGS
    ANKARA - The Group-20 (G-20) meetings at the level of deputy finance ministers and central bank deputy governors will be held in Istanbul between February 18 and 19.

    Deputy finance ministers and central bank deputy governors of seven industrialized countries and 11 developing countries including Turkey will attend the meetings.

    Representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU) will also be in attendance at the meetings.

    Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp and Central Bank Deputy Governor Sukru Binay will represent Turkey at the meetings at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

    At the meetings, agenda of G-20 finance ministers meeting to be held in November or in December of 2001, will be determined.

    Stanley Fischer, the Deputy Chairman of the IMF, is expected to attend the meetings in which high-level officials from the World Bank and the EU Central Bank will be in attendance.

    Economic developments of member countries will be discussed at the meetings.

    Following the global financial crisis which started in Far East in 1997 and affected many developing countries, several mechanisms have been set up to predict such crisises.

    Following the crisis, it has been decided to develop cooperation between developing countries and industrialized countries.

    Within framework of all these developments, the G-20 was founded on September 26, 1999 between seven industrialized countries and Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Republic of South Africa and South Korea.

    The term presidency of G-20 will be carried out finance ministers of G-7 members.

    For the first two years, Finance Minister Paul Martin of Canada will act as the Term President of G-20.

    The G-20 aims at providing stability in the global economy and leading the world economy to a sustainable growth trend by encouraging a dense information exchange among the member countries on economic and financial issue.

    -FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY TUZMEN GIVES INFORMATION
    ABOUT HIS CONTACTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
    JOHANNESBURG - Kursad Tuzmen, the foreign trade undersecretary, said on Thursday that export was the best solution for Turkey, adding that export was considered as the cheapest finance source.

    Tuzmen answered the questions of journalists in Johannesburg about the recent contacts they made in South Africa.

    Noting that Turkey has developed an export mechanism peculiar to itself, Tuzmen said comparing this mechanism to the world scale wouldn't be a right attitude.

    There were certain issues that Turkey had to overcome in exports said Tuzmen and added that the encouragement mechanism in Turkey was easily effected by the structural defects.

    ''However, it is not right to criticize the encouragament process alone. There were problems in implementation. We believe that the Turkish exporters are exerting their utmost effort on the issue,'' said Tuzmen.

    We should encourage exportation rather than constantly criticizing it, said Tuzmen and added that Turkey came to realize that the cheapest finance source was exportation.

    Tuzmen said there wouldn't be a transfer of foreign sources if Turkey couldn't manage to stand on its feet, adding that the increase in exportation would be the remedy for gaining strength in the economy.

    Recalling that Turkey started exporting goods only 20 years ago, Tuzmen said ''we should encourage the exporters and should exert efforts to become permanent in the markets.''

    Tuzmen also gave information about the contacts he made in South Africa and said Turkey could also benefit from the agreements that South Africa made with other countries.

    ''South Africa has an agreement with the U.S. that brought selling textiles and ready-to-wear products without a quota. We could benefit from this agreement and South Africa could become a strategic partner for Turkey,'' said Tuzmen.

    Tuzmen noted he met with the representatives of the banking sector, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the chairman of stocks market within the framework of the contacts, adding that they discussed the cooperation opportunities in the meetings.

    -SIXTH TERM MEETING OF TURKEY-NETHERLANDS JEC STARTS IN ANKARA
    ANKARA - The Sixth Term Meeting of Turkey-the Netherlands Economic and Technologic Cooperation Joint Economic Commission (JEC) started in Ankara on Thursday.

    Abdullah Koten, the Acting Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, and D. J. Bruinsma, the Director General of Foreign Economic Relations Department of Dutch Economic Affairs Ministry, are presiding the meeting.

    Recent developments in Turkish and Dutch economies, commercial relations between Turkey and the Netherlands and measures to be taken to increase a balanced trade between the two countries will be discussed at the meeting.

    Turkish side is expected to ask for support of the Netherlands in the European Union full membership process.

    A memorandum of understanding regarding the meeting will be signed later in the day.

    -PRESIDENT ARAFAT OF PALESTINE DEPARTS FROM TURKEY
    ANKARA - President Yasser Arafat of Palestine left Ankara for Gaza on Thursday after wrapping up his one-day working visit to Turkey.

    President Arafat was seen off by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Fouad Yaseen, the Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey.

    Responding to a question, Yaseen said that President Arafat had left for Gaza.

    Earlier, Israel announced that the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been sealed off after yesterday's attack by a Palestinian bus driver who plowed into a crowded bus stop in Tel Aviv, killing eight people and injuring 21 others.

    Israel also stated that it would take a series of measurs like banning all Palestinians from entering Israel, closing border crossings between the West Bank and Jordan and between Gaza and Egypt, cutting off Palestinian travel from place to place inside the territories, closing the Palestinian airport in Gaza, imposing a sea blockade and suspending VIP permits for Palestinian authority officials which allow them to travel freely through Israel.

    Meanwhile, sources said that President Arafat reiterated during his contacts in Ankara that he wanted Turkey to maintain its support to the Middle East peace process.

    Calling on Turkey to suggest Israel to be respectful to international laws, President Arafat said that he was in favor of putting pressure on Israel to lift its economic embargo on Palestine.

    Diplomatic sources noted that it was too early to be pessimistic about the future of Middle East peace process following the recent developments.

    Meanwhile, a high-level Israeli official is expected to come to Turkey next week following President Arafat's visit.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM DUE TO PORTUGAL, ITALY,
    MACEDONIA, EGYPT, BELGIUM AND YUGOSLAVIA
    ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has an intensive program in the second half of February.

    Within framework of his program, Cem will first host his Norwegian counterpart Thorbjorn Jagland who is due to Turkey on Thursday evening.

    Cem and Jagland will discuss bilateral relations, and Middle East peace process under the light of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's visit to Turkey.

    At the weekend, Foreign Minister Cem will deliver a speech at the opening of Caucasus Stability Pact in Istanbul.

    Cem will leave for Portugal on Sunday on an official visit.

    He will proceed to Italy from Portugal as the official guest of Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini.

    After wrapping up his contacts in Rome, Cem will proceed to Macedonia to accompany Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit at the Balkan Summit Meeting.

    Cem is expected to come together with his Greek counterpart George Papendreou during the Balkan Summit Meeting in Skopje.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will host Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero Waldner in Turkey.

    Cem will accompany President Ahmet Necdet Sezer at the D-8 Summit in Egyptian capital of Cairo.

    Following the D-8 Summit, Cem will leave for Brussels to attend the NATO Foreign Ministers' Summit on February 27.

    Cem will meet with Colin Powell, the new U.S. Secretary of State.

    In March, Cem will pay an official visit to Yugoslavia.

    The visit is important in regard to Yugoslavia's re-integration to the international community under the leadership of Voislav Kostunitsa.

    -PROMINENT PLAYWRIGHT ASENA PASSES AWAY
    ANKARA - Prominent playwright Orhan Asena passed away on Thursday morning.

    Asena had been under medical treatment due to his illness.

    Orhan Asena who was born in southeastern province of Diyarbakir in 1922, earned a degree in medicine at the Istanbul Medical Faculty in 1945.

    Asena became famous with his play ''Gods and Humans: Gilgamesh'' which was staged by the State Theatres in 1954. The play has been translated into English, German, Russian, Spanish and Italian languages.

    Some of his works are as follows: ''Hurrem Sultan (Hurrem Sultan)'', ''Seed and Soil (Tohum ve Toprak)'', ''Hunting in Chile (Sili'de Av)'', ''Pulse of a Dead City (Olu Kentin Nabzi)'', and ''End of Night (Gecenin Sonu)''.

    -TRIPARTITE BALKAN SUMMIT MEETING STARTS
    PLOVDIV - The Fourth Tripartite Balkan Summit Meeting with the participation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President Petar Stoyanov of Bulgaria and President Ion Iliescu of Romania started in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on Thursday.

    The summit meeting is being held in Balabanov House in Plovdiv.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT DUE TO MACEDONIA
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will go to Macedonian capital of Skopje on February 22 to attend the Southeast European Countries Cooperation Process Heads of State and Government of Southeastern Summit.

    Prime Minister Ecevit is expected to return to Turkey on February 23.

    Rahsan Ecevit, the wife of Prime Minister Ecevit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and some bureaucrats will accompany Prime Minister Ecevit during his visit to Macedonia.

    -ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MILO DEPARTS FROM TURKEY
    ISTANBUL - Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo left Turkey for Albania on Thursday after wrapping up his official visit to Turkey.

    Milo was seen off by Saim Eskioglu, the Deputy Governor of Istanbul, and Foreign Ministry officials.

    -TREASURY INCREASES AMOUNT OF BOND ISSUANCE
    ON JANUARY 30 BY 250 MILLION EURO
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretariat decided on Thursday to rise its 500 million Euro of bond issuance on January 30, 2001 by 250 million Euro.

    Releasing a statement, Treasury Undersecretariat said that the amount of 500 million Euro of bond issuance led by ABN Amro Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston was increased to 750 million Euro under same conditions.

    The three-year maturity 500 million Euro bond issuance with a 8.25 percent annual interest was made on January 30, 2001 and the foreign exchange raised through this issuance was deposited to Treasury's account as of February 14, 2001.

    Noting that the amount of bond issuance was increased by 250 million Euro under same conditions after intense demand, it added that this supplementary foreign exchange would enter Treasury's account on February 19, 2001.
    -FIFTH TERM MEETING OF TURKEY-BULGARIA JOINT
    ENERGY COMMISSION STARTS IN SOFIA
    SOFIA - The fifth term meeting of Turkey-Bulgaria Joint Energy Commission, where the cooperation between the two countries in energy field will be discussed, started in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria on Thursday.

    Making statements after the first meeting, Cumhur Ersumer, the minister of energy and natural resources, said they believed that the joint works between Turkey and Bulgaria in energy and infrastructure would be finalized.

    Stating that the cooperation between Turkey and Bulgaria in energy field was improving, Ersumer said, ''we aim at materializing the infrastructure projects as soon as possible.''

    Ersumer said the amount of the electricity purchased from Bulgaria would increase and reach to six billion kilowatt-hour annually, adding that they would fulfill the requirements of the energy and infrastructure agreement which was previously signed by two countries.

    Noting that they were exerting efforts to obtain the necessary finance for important infrastructure projects, Ersumer said the governments of both countries had shown their political determination once again to implement these projects.

    Ersumer said they were carrying out works to increase the amount of the Russian natural gas passing through Bulgaria, adding that daily capacity would be increased to 40 million cubicmeters with the set up of additional pumps.

    Ersumer added 32 million cubicmeters of natural gas has been currently passing through Bulgaria.

    Answering questions about three dams which were planned to be constructed by Ceylan Holding in Bulgaria, Ersumer said these projects should also be implemented as soon as possible.

    Bulgarian Regional Development and Public Works Minister Evgenii Chachev, in his part, said Bulgaria attributed importance to relations with Turkey, adding that these relations were based on principles of mutual respect and not intervening each other's domestic affairs.

    Turkey and Bulgaria should be partners in integration to Europe, not rivals, said Chachev.

    Noting that Bulgaria extended support to the democratization process in Turkey, Chachev said they were ready to do as much as they can in removing the obstacles in front of Turkey in integration to Europe.

    -BUDGET PERFORMANCE IN JANUARY OF 2001
    ANKARA - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Thursday that the non-interest surplus became 1 quadrillion 292 trillion Turkish lira (TL) in January of 2001.

    Releasing a statement on budget performance in January of 2001, Oral said that the non-interest surplus rose 169.2 percent in January of 2001 when compared to January of 2000.

    The Finance Minister said that 3 quadrillion 101 trillion TL revenues including 2 quadrillion 498 trillion TL of tax collection had been raised while expenditures became 3 quadrillion 136 trillion TL in January of 2001.

    Stressing that the non-interest budget expenditures became 1 quadrillion 809 trillion TL, Oral said that the non-interest surplus became 1 quadrillion 292 trillion TL, and budget deficit became 35 trillion TL in January of 2001.

    Noting that the budget deficit in January of 2001 was 97.8 percent less than the budget deficit in January of 2000, Oral said that budget expenditures rose 51.9 percent, tax revenues increased 53.9 percent and non- interest expenditures climbed 15.9 percent while expenditures including interest decreased 13.6 percent in January of 2001.

    Oral said that interest payments reduced 35.9 percent in January of 2001.

    He said that those figures recorded in the beginning of second year of the disinflation program showed that the program was on the right track.

    Oral added that the disinflation program would continue with same determination and without any concession.

    -NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JAGLAND DUE IN ANKARA
    ANKARA - Thorbjorn Jagland, the Foreign Minister of U.N. Security Council member Norway, will come to Ankara late on Thursday on a working visit.

    Relations between Turkey and Norway, Middle East peace process, European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) and U.N. sanctions on Iraq are expected to be discussed during contacts of Jagland in Ankara.

    Jagland who is the leader of Norwegian Workers Party and a member of the Fact-Finding Committee which was formed to contribute to the Middle East peace process, also served as a Norwegian Prime Minister.

    Norway which formed the ground for first agreements between Israel and Palestine and hosted secret peace talks in 1993, continues its effective role in the Middle East peace process.

    Norway earlier proposed to send unarmed observers to the region to prevent clashed between Isreal and Palestine but Israel rejected this proposal.

    After Ariel Sharon won the prime ministry elections in Israel, Jagland said that he had concerns that this result would incite violence in the Middle East.

    Turkey, Norway, Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic which are NATO allies but not European Union (EU) members, also announced that they wanted to take part in ESDI decision-making mechanisms.

    Norway has similar opinions with Turkey about the ESDI, but Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic don't express such a demand as their full-membership negotiations with the EU started.

    Although Norway is a west European country, it does not want to enter the EU.

    -TRIPARTITE BALKAN SUMMIT MEETING
    -FIRST SESSION ENDS
    PLOVDIV - The first session of the Fourth Tripartite Balkan Summit Meeting in Plovdiv, Bulgaria with the participation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President Petar Stoyanov of Bulgaria and President Ion Iliescu of Romania ended.

    Following the first session which lasted for one hour and 15 minutes, President Stoyanov hosted a luncheon for his guests.

    Meanwhile, Neri Terziyeva, the Spokeswoman of Bulgarian Presidency, told reporters that the first session of the summit meeting had focused on struggle against international organized crimes.

    Terziyeva pointed out that initiatives of Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania for reconstruction of Yugoslavia were also discussed at the meeting.

    He said that the presidents had reached a consensus of opinion on setting up a joint center for struggle against international organized crimes.

    The place of the center will be determined at the second session later today.

    Terziyeva said that President Sezer asked a question at the meeting to his Bulgarian counterpart Stoyanov about terrorist organization PKK's activities in Bulgaria. Terziyeva quoted Stoyanov as saying in response to President Sezer, ''Bulgaria has never allowed activities of an organization which will threat Turkey, on its territories, it will not allow such activities in the future.''

    President Iliescu of Romania proposed to form a joint aid team to carry out necessary works in case of a natural disaster.

    Meanwhile, Bulgarian President Stoyanov and Romanian President Iliescu thanked President Sezer for Turkey's support to their membership to NATO.

    -DRAFT LAWS ON RECOGNITION OF GENOCIDES COMMITTED BY FRANCE
    -FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION AUTHORIZES INAN TO PREPARE A NEW DRAFT
    ANKARA - Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission decided on Thursday to authorize its Chairman Kamran Inan to prepare a new draft on the draft laws which foresee recognition of genocides committed by France.

    The commission agreed to include the responsibility of the western countries in incidents occurred in the Ottoman territories, ASALA terrorism, occupation of Azerbaijani territories, and Upper Karabakh and Bosnia- Herzegovina incidents in the new draft.

    The Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission took up the ''Draft Law on Genocide Committed by France in Algeria'' which was submitted by 42 deputies from the Virtue Party (FP), the ''Draft Law on Recognition of Oppression and Genocides Committed by France'' which was submitted by Bulent Akarcali, a deputy from the Motherland Party (ANAP), and the ''Draft Law on Genocide Committed by France in Algeria'' which was submitted by Mail Buyukerman, an independent deputy, and the ''Draft Law on Sanctions to be Imposed on Countries Which Carry Out Works Against Turkey'' which was submitted by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural, Ismail Kose and Mehmet Sandir.

    Speaking at the meeting, Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Kamran Inan said that unfriendly movements against Turkey started to come to the forefront. ''The issue has exceeded the limits of Armenian issue, and it has started to change into an enmity against Turkey,'' he said.

    Noting that some western countries were trying to create a new ''East Problem'', Inan said that many countries, especially the United States, took or planned to take decisions on Armenian issue.

    Stressing that it became a widespread opinion that the countries which took or were planning to take such decisions were forced by the Armenian side, Inan emphasized that Armenia displayed a hostile position by occupying Azerbaijani territories.

    Noting that more than one million Azerbaijani people were left homeless and were living under difficult conditions, Inan said that the world turned a blind eye to those developments.

    Stressing that such incidents increased following Turkey's European Union (EU) candidacy, Inan stressed that French parliament which developed interest in the incidents which occurred 90 years ago was ignoring massacre of 200 thousand people due to their religious beliefs just before its eyes.

    Inan added that western countries continued to keep the Cyprus operation in 1974 in their agenda while they forgot Karabakh, occupation of Azerbaijani territories and Bosnia-Herzegovina incidents.

    Speaking at the meeting of the commission, MPs explained the genocide committed by France in Algeria and said that France attempted to commit genocide on Turks in Anatolia by letting Armenians wear French military uniforms.

    Stressing that Turks and Armenians lived in friendly atmosphere for centuries and Armenians were appointed as high-level officials during the Ottoman era, MPs said that western countries incited Armenians against Turks.

    Noting that the parliament should politically give response to the political decision taken by the French parliament, MPs said that there were sculptures in museums in France bearing the sentence which said ''in memory of Armenians who died for sake of France in Anatolia''.

    Zafer Gurel, a deputy from the Democratic Left Party (DSP), defended that parliament's taking decision against other countries would be wrong and offend those countries.

    Noting that border gates with Armenia should be opened, Gurel said that there are three million starving Armenians just near Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, a deputy of the Motherland Party (ANAP) from Istanbul, said, ''we all know what France had done throughout the history. If we take this decision now, Vietnam, Rwanda and Algeria can ask us why we did not react to genocide in those days. Then what will we tell them? Turkey did not recognized Algeria's independence in 1954. In the new draft, we should take up crimes committed by France in Anatolia by using Armenians. There is not need to refer to other countries in the new draft.''

    Hikmet Ulugbay, a deputy of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) from Ankara, supported Irtemcelik's opinion.

    Ulugbay stressed that it would be more realistic to focus on France's atrocities in Anatolia.

    Sevket Bulent Yahnici, the Deputy Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said, ''we should not use the word of 'genocide' in the new draft. Only organizations such as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice in the Hague can decide whether or not it was genocide. None of the Armenians organizations has applied to such organizations on the issue of genocide. We should bring onto agenda France's massacres in Anatolia through the Armenians wearing French uniforms.''

    Later, Irtemcelik proposed to prepare a new draft.

    He said that the new draft should include the factors mentioned below:

    - Determination of Western countries' responsibilities in the incidents in Ottoman Empire period. France's use of Armenians in the uprisings in Anatolia,

    - Terrorist activities of ASALA and carnage in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

    - Upper Karabakh dispute,

    - Occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia.

    Irtemcelik said that the new draft could refer to genocides committed by France and other states in many countries like Algeria.

    Irtemcelik proposed the Commission members that the new draft should be prepared by Kamran Inan, and the Commission should convene next week.

    Members of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission welcomed Irtemcelik's proposal.

    The Commission will convene next week to discuss the new draft.

    -PARLIAMENTARY HUMAN RIGHTS INQUIRY COMMISION
    VISITS JUVENILE PRISON IN GERMANY
    BERLIN - The Parliamentary Human Rights Inquiry Commission, which is currently making official contacts in Berlin, visited a juvenile prison in Charlootenburg district of Berlin on Thursday.

    Huseyin Akgul, the chairman of the commission, said they visited the Plotzensee juvenile prison, where inmates sentenced up to four years of imprisonment were staying, adding that they spoke to seven Turkish inmates there.

    Noting that there were fifteen Turkish inmates in the prison, Akgul said some of them had problems stemming from rules in Turkey and Germany.

    Akgul said there were efforts in the prison to enable inmates to integrate with the society again, adding that they would exert efforts to implement some of those practices in the Turkish prisons.

    Hakan Okcal, the ambassador undersecretary of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin, and Consul Iskender Okyay also participated in the visit of the Commission.

    The Commission headed by Huseyin Akgul will return to Turkey on Friday.

    -TRIPARTITE BALKAN SUMMIT MEETING
    -PRESIDENT SEZER ASKS HIS BULGARIAN AND ROMANIAN COUNTERPARTS
    NOT TO ALLOW PKK TO CARRY OUT ACTIVITIES IN THEIR COUNTRIES
    PLOVDIV - The first session of the tripartite summit meeting in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, among President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov and Romanian President Ion Iliescu focused on cooperation in struggle against terrorism, organized crimes and illicit drugs trafficking.

    Presidential Cabinet Chief and Foreign Relations Adviser Tacan Ildem responded to questions of journalists.

    Ildem said, ''at the first session of the tripartite summit meeting, three presidents exchanged opinions on cooperation in struggle against terrorism, organized crimes and illicit drug trafficking. They discussed measures to be taken to strengthen the cooperation agreement signed in 1998 among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Activities of the center set up in Romanian capital Bucharest to this end, were brought onto agenda of the meeting. President Sezer, President Stoyanov and President Iliescu stressed that their countries were in the European Union (EU) candidacy process, and underlined that their cooperation would form an important ring for the EU process.''

    ''President Iliescu of Romania brought the quake disaster in Turkey in 1999 onto agenda of the meeting. Noting that all three countries sit on quake- prone belts, President Iliescu proposed his counterparts to cooperate against possible quake disasters. President Sezer supported the proposal, and said that the cooperation should not be limited with quake disasters but it should include all natural disasters,'' he told reporters.

    Tacan Ildem said,''President Sezer underlined importance of smooth communication flow among security forces of three countries in taking measures in time in struggle against terrorism. President Sezer stressed that all measures should be taken to develop communication among the three countries. President Stoyanov and President Iliescu supported President Sezer's proposal.''

    Ildem said, ''at the meeting, President Sezer said that cooperation between the three countries would make an important contribution to their relations with the EU. He said that their candidacy to the EU did not reduce importance of the tripartite summit meetings. President Stoyanov and President Iliescu agreed with President Sezer.''

    Responding to a question, Ildem told reporters, ''President Sezer referred to the issue of terrorist organization PKK within scope of struggle against terrorism. Underlining importance of cooperation in struggle against terrorism, President Sezer said that Turkey was in favor of developing cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania. President Sezer asked his Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts not to allow PKK to carry out activities in their countries. President Stoyanov and President Iliescu expressed their support to President Sezer's request. Bulgarian President Stoyanov stressed that they would not allow PKK's activities targeting Turkey.''

    Responding to another question, Ildem said, ''there is a center in Bucharest for cooperation in struggle against terrorism, organized crimes and illicit drug trafficking. President Sezer said that foundation of branches of this center in Sofia and in Ankara would make exchange of information more effective. President Stoyanov and President Iliescu supported President Sezer's proposal.''

    Ildem added that the second session of the summit meeting would focus on infrastructure projects, economic cooperation and motorway projects.

    -PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION RETURNS TO TURKEY
    AFTER WRAPPING UP ITS VISIT TO IRAQ
    BAGHDAD-ANKARA - The parliamentary delegation which paid an official visit to Turkey after a long time returned to Turkey on Thursday.

    During the delegation's four-day visit, increase in shuttle trade, effective participation of Turkish companies in Iraq which entered a reconstruction process and development of Turkey-Iraq relations were discussed.

    The visit of the delegation headed by Suat Caglayan, a deputy from the Democratic Left Party (DSP), aimed to see situation and health of the Iraqi people, especially children and women, and the living conditions of those people. The visit also reflected Turkey's intention to bring the Turkey- Iraq relations which were negatively affected by the embargo, to the level before the Gulf War.

    At the meetings of the delegation with Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, Parliament Speaker Dr. Sa'adoun Hammadi, Health, Industry, Housing and Repair, Transportation and Communications ministers and Foreign Trade Undersecretary, the negative effects of the embargo on Iraq were assessed, and the delegations gave the message that commercial and neighborly relations could be increased ''despite every preventions''.

    Iraq which has nearly 24 million population suffered from the war with its neighbor Iran between 1980-1988 and later from the embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council after the Gulf War in 1991.

    Iraq, having a destroyed economy, has the opportunity to import food, medicine and other humanitarian goods in return for exporting 2 billion U.S. dollars of oil in six months within framework of the ''oil-for-food program''.

    The easing of embargo on Iraq aroused interest of many countries including Turkey in the projects in Iraq which entered a reconstruction process.

    The necessity for construction of two million dwellings and many hospitals plays an important role in visits of world-wide famous companies to Baghdad with special flights.

    Iraq which has a 115 billion barrels of oil reserves and plans to produce 1 million barrels of oil a year states that it is ready to meet Turkey's oil demand and wants Turkish companies to show interest in oil bed projects.

    The parliamentary delegation members stressed that the embargo on Iraq should be lifted.

    Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Caglayan said that they paid a ''successful'' visit. ''We saw the health condition of the Iraqi people, and we conveyed the parliament's and Turkish officials' sincere feelings to Iraq after a long time,'' he said.

    Noting that they had the opportunity to see dimensions of poverty in Iraq, Caglayan said that Iraqi people were not unhappy despite the embargo and they felt proud of reconstructing everything.

    Stressing that Iraq was expending great effort to abide by U.N. Security Council decisions, Caglayan said that as a result of those efforts, the embargo eased and that the relations between Turkey and Iraq would increase in the coming period.

    Caglayan emphasized that Iraqi people know that Turkey won't make any concession from Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty. ''However, Iraq does not want extension of mandate of the Operation Northern Watch,'' he said.

    Noting that a new period started between Turkey and Iraq, Caglayan said that they would convey Iraqi officials' expectations and demands to the Turkish officials.

    Caglayan added that they would prepare a report on their contacts and submit it to officials.


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