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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-02-20

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

20 FEBRUARY

2001 Tuesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 20, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    HERE IS THE COST
    The cost of the argument which took place between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Premier Bulent Ecevit during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting yesterday has been high for the country. In a few hours, nearly 5 billion U.S. dollars were drawn from the Central Bank. A heavy blow was struck on Istanbul Stock Exchange and interest rates also increased.

    TWO IMPORTANT DECISIONS
    The government will show its reaction to the president by getting two important decisions: Firstly, the government officials won't participate in the official receptions that will be hosted by the president. Secondly, a law will be adopted soon which will restrict the authorities of the president.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    IMF MEETING IN ANKARA
    Stanley Fischer, IMF First Deputy Managing Director and Selcuk Demiralp, the Treasury Undersecretary who attended the G-20 meeting in Istanbul yesterday, later left for Ankara. Fischer met with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit together with Michael Deppler, the IMF European I Department Director in the evening. Fischer said that he didn't understand the reason of the tension between the president and prime minister.

    BUSINESS WORLD CALLS STATE OFFICIALS TO CALM DOWN
    Businessmen called on President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit telling them nobody has the right to create a crisis in the state. Fuat Miras, Chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) said that these fights would create further problems for Turkey's economy.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    SOLDIERS REQUEST GOVERNMENT NOT TO RESIGN
    The soldiers became a mediator between the president and the government for the first time. General Asparuk, the Secretary General of the National Security Council (NSC), went to the Prime Ministry following Premier Bulent Ecevit and requested Ecevit not to resign. Then, Ecevit suspended the Council of Ministers meeting and said, ''we are in full charge. The program will continue to be implemented.''

    PEOPLE AFFECTED BY RECENT CRISIS
    The crisis at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting paralyzed the economy. The stock exchange lost 14.6 percent in value. The bond interest rates increased to 85 percent while the overnight repo interests climbed to 250 percent. The Central Bank sold 7.5 billion U.S. dollars. The most important, the bond tender that the Treasury will hold today is endangered. The cost of 15-20 percent increase in interests will reach 1 billion U.S. dollars.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    SEZER: ''WE WON'T LET THEM ROB THE STATE''
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit walked out of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting yesterday when President Ahmet Necdet Sezer accused Ecevit of ''not being familiar with law and constitution, pressuring prosecutor and protecting Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer who should resign.'' The government said Sezer was responsible for escalating the tension and asked him to apologize in front of the public. Ecevit said Sezer acted ''rude and against the state traditions.'' After the incident, Ecevit said the government was in full charge of the country and held Sezer responsible for the argument's economic consequences.

    ECEVIT MEETS WITH FISCHER
    First Deputy Managing Director of IMF Stanley Fischer had a meeting with Ecevit after yesterday morning's political crisis. Ecevit and Fischer focused on the impact of the crisis on the Turkish economy. Fischer, during a half hour meeting, said the government should not make concessions from the economic stability program and take measures for the real sector. He also said the obstacles in front of Telekom's privatization should be removed.

    After the Ecevit-Fischer meeting, Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said they would do ''whatever is necessary'' for the markets to recover.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    DEMIRALP SAYS PROGRAM WILL NOT BE AFFECTED
    Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said that the crisis which occured between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Premier Bulent Ecevit will not cause a deviation in the anti-inflation program backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Demiralp noted that the markets will start to recover on Tuesday.

    EXPORTATION TO IRAQ
    The Iraqi market which stagnated for several years due to the embargo imposed on Iraq will be revived by the initiatives of the Turkish exporters. A delegation including Turkish businessmen and bureaucrats will visit Iraq in March. The Third Turkish Export Products Fair will be held in Baghdad in May. Businessmen and bureaucrats will go to Iraq on May 12 under the coordination of the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat and the contributions of the Uludag Exporters' Union.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    CABINET REQUESTS 'APOLOGY'
    The Council of Ministers which convened under the chairmanship of Premier Bulent Ecevit released a harsh statement related with the crisis at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting. Strongly criticizing Sezer, the statement said that the words told to Ecevit were told to the Council of Ministers. The statement said, ''the president should apologize before the public.''

    AND RESPONSE FROM PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
    The statement of the Presidential Palace said, ''the Prime Minister and ministers left the meeting of National Security Council (NSC) after disrespectful expressions and impolite manner of a minister who interfered before Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Despite this fact, holding the president responsible for these developments which actually occurred due to the statement of the prime minister is nothing but injustice.''

    DINC BILGIN BANNED FROM GOING ABROAD
    The Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) banned on Monday seven former administrators of Etibank which was transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund from going abroad. The Istanbul DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office banned Dinc Bilgin, Zafer Mutlu, Huseyin Vural Beyazit, Ercan Arikli, Ayse Hande Guven, Zeki Unal and Ismail Hakki Karakaya, the former administrators of Etibank, from going abroad.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    PLATFORM A PROTESTS G-20 MEETING
    A group of protestors who call themselves Platform A yesterday protested the G-20 meeting which is attended by the deputy finance ministers and central bank deputy governors of member countries in Istanbul. About 40 people who gathered in front of Istanbul's Hyatt Regency Hotel shouted slogans saying ''No to global capitalism and IMF''. The protestors who threw coins and rotten eggs at the hall where the meeting was going on were later taken into custody by the police.

    POLITICAL CRISIS COST TURKEY IS 6 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS
    The political crisis between Sezer and Ecevit turned the markets upside down in a few hours. Stock exchange rated fell 14.62 percent while repo interest rate increased 764 percent. The estimated cost of the crisis to Turkey is 6 billion U.S. dollars.

    -NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU LEAVES FOR INDIA
    ANKARA - National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu left on Tuesday for India as the official guest of his Indian counterpart.

    Prior to his departure, Cakmakoglu told reporters that it is publicly known that Turkey pursues an opening policy towards other countries when its geographical condition and relations with other countries are taken under consideration.

    Cakmakoglu said that American, especially South American countries, African countries, Asia and Central Asian Turkish Republics, and Far Eastern countries are included in the opening policy of Turkey.

    India is a country which has importance for Turkey, Cakmakoglu noted.

    Cakmakoglu stated that he will meet with the Indian parliament speaker, prime minister and the president during his visit.

    He will exchange views about the bilateral and military relations, international and regional issues during his contacts, Cakmakoglu added.

    -NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU:
    -''TIME IS THE BEST REMEDY. WE SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND THE PAST,
    BUT WE SHOULD TAKE LESSONS FROM IT''
    ANKARA - National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said on Tuesday that time is the best remedy to overcome the crisis at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting.

    Prior to his departure for India, Cakmakoglu told reporters that they should leave behind the past, but they should take lessons from it.

    Asked how he evaluates yesterday's crisis and how he predicts the future of the relations between the government and the president, Cakmakoglu said that he does not want to make statements about this issue.

    Cakmakoglu went on saying, ''but, I attended the NSC meeting because I am the National Defense Minister who is one of the three permanent members of the NSC, not because I attended on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, who was abroad. This was what some press organs had said. I hoped we had not experienced such an unfortunate incident.''

    Expressing sorrow to witness such an incident between two high institutions of the state, Cakmakoglu said, ''as you all know, the executive branch is our government and the head of the execution is the president under our Constitution. Of course, the president may have some words to say to the government and the prime minister related with the administration.''

    Cakmakoglu continued, ''but what I want to stress is that the president was subject to criticisms at the very beginning of the meeting and in front of the bureaucrats who were at the meeting to inform the NSC about some recent developments. I believe there will be remedies to overcome this unfortunate incident which occured between the president who is responsible for administrating the state and all its branches in harmony and efficiently and the government and the prime minister who are responsible for the execution.''

    When asked about what the remedy can be, Cakmakoglu said, ''time is the best remedy. We should leave behind the past, but we should take lessons from it.''

    -TURKISH-AMERICAN BUSINESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN CALIFORNIA
    NEW YORK - The First California Turkish-American Business Conference will be held in Silicon Valley, located south of San Francisco, between March 29 and 31.

    This will be the first business conference which will bring together the Turkish and American businessmen in California.

    The organizators of the conference told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that their aim is to bring together the companies and the enterepreneurs from both the U.S. and Turkey who deal with advanced technology.

    The organizators said that a job fair will be opened during the conference and that the aim of the fair is to help companies and entrepreneurs find talented individuals to recruit.

    Yavuz Atila, the Chairman of the Turkish American Association of California (TAAC), said that not only the businessmen in the region but also the representatives of public and private sector in Turkey, Turkish investors and businessmen will attend the conference.

    Atila said that some panel discussions will also be held during the conference.

    The TAAC which was set up in 1975 has more than a thousand members.

    -TREASURY TO HOLD ONE-MONTH BOND TENDER
    ANKARA - The Treasury will hold one-month bond tender on Tuesday.

    The Treasury, which had planned to hold 12-month and 7-month bond tenders today, decided to cancel these two tenders and to hold one-month bond tender.

    The bonds will be issued on February 21 and repaid on March 21.

    The Treasury will also issue four-month bonds on U.S. dollar basis through the Central Bank.

    The value date of the auction will be February 21 and the bonds will be repaid on June 21.

    The investors who want to buy the bonds will have to notify this to the Central Bank until midday.

    -TREASURY UNDERSECRETARY DEMIRALP SAYS
    THEY WILL HOLD ONE AUCTION TODAY
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said on Tuesday that the Treasury will hold one auction the same day.

    Responding to questions of A.A, Demiralp said that only one auction will be held today by the Treasury, whose amount won't be clear, adding it will be for one month.

    The Treasury will issue a detailed statement about the tender soon.

    -PARLIAMENTARY FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION ADOPTS DRAFT LAW
    AGAINST INTERNATIONAL CLAIMS, ACCUSATIONS AND DISTORTIONS
    ANKARA - The Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission adopted on Tuesday the draft law against ''International Claims, Accusations and Distortions.''

    The draft law prepared by Kamran Inan, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman, foresees any imposition regarded with claims of so- called genocide on Armenians, which the history did not assess and accept, to be considered as ''hostile acts.''

    The articles of the draft law against ''International Claims, Accusations and Distortions'' are as follows:

    1 - Turkey denies the claims of so-called genocide on Armenians which the history did not confirm and accept, and considers any imposition on the issue as ''hostile attitude.''

    2 - Turkey condemns the attitude of France and other forces who used the Armenians for their interests during the World War I, and their attitude in causing loss of lives by inciting them (Armenians) to rebel.

    3 - Turkey harshly condemns the support and protection given to ASALA terrorism.

    4 - Turkey condemns occupation of Upper Karabakh and Azeri territories, and forcing people to immigrate. Turkey also refuses broadening of territories by using force.

    5 - Turkey condemns those who remain as spectators to the massacre of more than 200,000 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina because of their religion, and declares that France and other European forces have moral responsibility.

    6 - The history, which concerns all humanity, can not be changed, rewritten, and distorted with political decisions. The judgement belongs to history.

    7 - The government takes required measures for opening the reasons mentioned in the above articles, to the discussions of the world public opinion.

    Stating that the allegations of Armenian genocide are also brought onto the agenda of some countries other than France, Inan said Armenia is insistent on its policy to use its own minority against Turkey. ''They will pay the damage. Those who make out accounts for others should not forget that they will also have to account for themselves. I hope the things would not go that far.''

    The draft law is expected to be submitted to the Office of Parliament Speaker on Tuesday.

    -TREASURY SELLS 355.45 TRILLION LIRAS OF BONDS TO PUBLIC
    ANKARA - Treasury sold net 355.45 trillion Turkish liras (TL) of bonds to public before today's one-month bond auction.

    Sources said that Treasury sold net 355.45 trillion TL of bonds with uncompetitive price before today's one-month bond auction.

    Treasury which earlier foresaw to hold a 7-month bond auction and a 12- month debenture bond auction today changed the maturity and sale limits of these auction after yesterday's developments.

    According to this revision, Treasury will hold a four-month bond auction denominated in U.S. dollar and through tapping in addition to the one-month bond auction today.

    -IMF DEPUTY HEAD FISCHER FOLLOWS DEVELOPMENTS IN ANKARA
    ANKARA - IMF deputy head Stanley Fischer and IMF director for part of Europe Michael Deppler decided to stay in Ankara to follow developments in the economy, sources said on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, Fischer and Deppler visited the same day the Central Bank and observed the bids for the bond auction.

    Fischer and Deppler are expected to leave Turkey on Wednesday.

    Sources said that the IMF delegation headed by Turkey Desk chief Carlo Cottarelli which was expected to make a statement late on last Friday and leave Turkey early on last Saturday postponed their departure to today's morning after IMF deputy head Fischer had arrived in Istanbul to attend the G-20 meeting.

    Following yesterday's developments, the IMF delegation wanted to see the results of today's one-month bond auction which would be denominated in U.S. dollar and held through tapping, sources said.

    Meanwhile, the IMF delegation had met with Turkish economy bureaucrats and discussed how the Fund could be supported to relax the markets, sources said.

    Fischer who attended the G-20 meeting in Istanbul came to Ankara late on Monday together with Deppler, and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received Fischer, Deppler and Cottarelli.

    Following the meeting which lasted for nearly forty minutes, Prime Minister and relevant ministers and bureaucrats held an assessment meeting.

    -PRIVATIZATION OF THY
    -DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING BIDS EXTENDED TO MARCH 30, 2001
    ANKARA - The deadline for submitting bids in the tander for privatization of the Turkish Airlines (THY) was extended to March 30, 2001.

    The Privatization Administration Board (OIB) said on Tuesday that demands of potential investor organizations which took specifications document, for extension of deadline was taken into consideration.

    In accordance with this decision, the deadline for those organizations to submit their bids is March 30, 2001.

    The tender notice was released on December 14, 2000 and the deadline for bids was set as February 28, 2001.

    Nine organizations were given contract of trust to bid for THY's tender and four them signed the contract and purchased specifications document.

    -FOREIGN MINISTER CEM ARRIVES IN ITALY
    ROME - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived on Tuesday in Italian capital Rome on an official visit.

    Cem who had paid a two-day official visit to Portugal, proceeded to Rome from Lisbon.

    Ismail Cem is scheduled to meet with his Italian counterpart Lamberto Dini tomorrow.

    At the meeting, Cem and Dini will sign an agreement envisaging scientific and technological cooperation between Turkey and Italy.

    -TREASURY SELLS NEARLY 1.5 QUADRILLION LIRAS OF BONDS (1)
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretariat sold net 1 quadrillion 492.2 trillion Turkish liras (TL) of 1-month bonds in Tuesday's auction.

    The annual composite interest rate in this auction became 144.2 percent.

    (To be continued)

    -DYP WITHDRAWS ITS CENSURE MOTION
    ANKARA - The True Path Party (DYP) withdrew on Tuesday its censure motion regarded with economic situation.

    The DYP said that it had withdrawn the censure motion not to affect the current ecenomic situation more negatively.

    The DYP plans to submit the censure motion to the parliament again later.

    -TREASURY SELLS NEARLY 1.5 QUADRILLION LIRAS OF BONDS (2)
    ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretariat borrowed 1 quadrillion 492.2 trillion Turkish liras (TL) in today's one-month bond auction.

    The total bid had been 1 quadrillion 770.3 trillion TL while Treasury sold 1 quadrillion 598.4 trillion TL of nominal-valued bonds.

    The annual simple interest rate became 92.43 percent and annual composite interest rate became 144.2 percent.

    The minimum simple interest rate became 29.12 percent and maximum simple interest rate became 114.66 percent while minimum composite interest rate became 33.37 percent and maximum composite interest rate became 200.06 percent.

    In today's auction, Treasury sold 355.45 trillion TL of bonds to public.

    Treasury will repay 3 quadrillion 926 trillion 81.8 billion TL in domestic borrowing on Wednesday, and total domestic borrowing repayment in February will reach 5 quadrillion 347 trillion 608.5 billion TL.

    Treasury will repay 9 quadrillion 374.3 trillion TL in domestic borrowing in first quarter of 2001.

    Treasury had sold 916 trillion 349.5 billion TL of 91-day bonds in the previous auction on February 13. The gross annual interest rate had become 57.03 percent and the gross composite interest rate had become 70.43 percent.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:
    -''ANY DEVIATION IN ECONOMIC PROGRAM FOLLOWING DISTRESSING
    ROW AT YESTERDAY'S NSC MEETING IS OUT QUESTION''
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday, ''any change or any deviation in economic program following distressing row at yesterday's meeting of National Security Council (NSC) is out question.''

    Releasing a written statement, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''any change or any deviation in economic program following distressing row at yesterday's NSC meeting is out question. The government is determined to maintain the program. Turkish and foreign circles interested in economic activities do not need to be worried.''

    -BANKS SELL MORE THAN 3.6 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF
    FOREIGN EXCHANGE TO CENTRAL BANK BY AFTERNOON
    ANKARA - Banks which purchased almost 5 billion U.S. dollars of foreign exchange from the Central Bank after yesterday's developments, sold more than 3.6 billion U.S. dollars of foreign exchange to Central Bank as of 03:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

    Banks sold almost 300 million U.S. dollars of foreign exchange to Central Bank by afternoon.

    Following Treasury's one-month bond auction, banks accelerated sale of foreign exchange.

    Meanwhile, overnight interest rates at the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) repo market which started with 300 percent increased to maximum 2000 percent.

    -IMF FIRST DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR FISCHER:
    -''GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS
    IN ECONOMIC PROGRAM''
    ANKARA - International Monetary Fund (IMF) First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer said on Tuesday that the government was determined to achieve success in economic program.

    Fischer responded to questions of journalists following his one-hour meeting with Prime Minister Ecevit.

    Noting that he had held two beneficial meetings with Prime Minister Ecevit and other government members, Fischer said that the government was determined to maintain ongoing economic program by strengthening it.

    Fischer told reporters that their negotiations with the government would continue.

    Noting that the government was determined to achieve success in economic program, Fischer said that structural measures and steps to be taken in future for success of the economic program were discussed at the meeting.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:
    -''I HAVE LAUNCHED INITIATIVES TO HOLD YESTERDAY'S
    INTERRUPTED NSC MEETING ON FEBRUARY 26''
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that he launched initiatives to hold the meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) which was interrupted yesterday on February 26.

    Ecevit responded to questions of journalists as he was departing from the Prime Ministry Office to meet with Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi.

    When asked whether or not he contacted with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer after yesterday's row at the NSC meeting, Prime Minister Ecevit said that such a contact did not take place.

    Stressing that state affairs should continue, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''I called NSC Secretary General Cumhur Asparuk to hold the interrupted NSC meeting next Monday. He will launch the necessary initiatives. The meeting may be held on Monday.''

    Prime Minister Ecevit refrained from responding to questions about the Presidential Press Center's statement holding State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan responsible for yesterday's row at the NSC meeting.

    When asked whether or not he would hold his weekly routine meeting with President Sezer, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''what is important is to hold the interrupted NSC meeting. We have launched the necessary initiatives. Now, we are waiting for the results.''

    When asked whether or not the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has new demands and expectations on the economic program, Ecevit said, ''there is not any new expectation. Economic program will meet Turkey's requirements. We will maintain the program with determination.''

    When asked whether or not IMF delegation was concerned about yesterday's row, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''the IMF delegation does not have any serious concern. Because we could overcome previous crisis in a short period of time. Current situation will be solved without turning into crisis. The IMF closely monitors the developments.''

    When asked whether or not supplementary measures would be taken in economy, Prime Minister Ecevit said that there was not any change in the economic program.

    Later, Ecevit was received by Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''STATE'S FUNCTIONING WILL CONTINUE''
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that state's functioning will continue.

    Speaking to journalists, Ecevit said that Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi and he had assessed latest developments.

    When asked whether or not Izgi would mediate between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the government, Ecevit said, ''no, he does not have such an intention.''

    When asked what would happen in the future, Ecevit said, ''the state's functioning will continue, of course.''

    When asked whether or not they had made a request to Tansu Ciller of True Path Party (DYP) for withdrawal of censure motion regarded with economic situation, Ecevit said, ''no, I did not make such a request.''

    -STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''WE ARE CAPABLE OF
    MAKING TOMORROW'S REPAYMENT''
    ANKARA - State Minister Recep Onal said on Tuesday that they were capable of making Wednesday's 3.9 quadrillion Turkish liras (TL) of domestic borrowing repayment.

    Responding to questions of journalists, Onal said that Treasury developed a new method and held a single auction to sell bonds denominated in foreign currency.

    Noting that this auction displayed Treasury's facility to repay 3.9 quadrillion TL of domestic borrowing on Wednesday, Onal said, ''we are capable of repaying this borrowing tomorrow.''

    Stating that any outflow of money from Turkey had not occurred, Onal said, ''the U.S. markets were closed yesterday. Central Bank's accounts are in the U.S. These markets should be open in order to make payments from these accounts. Today, markets are opening.''

    ''Our disinflation program is under way without any concession. We continue to do everything possible within framework of the program. An important meeting was held in Istanbul yesterday. Officials from the G-7 attended this meeting, too. Several programs implemented in the world were assessed. Also, the ongoing program in Turkey was discussed, of course,'' he said.

    ''There was external deficit last year, but we are overcoming it this year. As you know that we will put flexible foreign exchange currency system in July of 2001. Our problems related with this issue will be removed within specific limits,'' he said.

    ''We should altogether protect political stability. It is impossible to achieve any economic success without political stability,'' he stressed.

    -BANKS' FOREIGN EXCHANGE SALE TO CENTRAL
    BANK EXCEEDS 4.3 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS
    ANKARA - Banks which purchased nearly 5 billion U.S. dollars of foreign exchange from the Central Bank yesterday continue to sell foreign exchange to Central Bank.

    Sources said that banks sold more than 4.3 billion U.S. dollars of foreign exchange to Central Bank by 04:20 p.m. on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, the maximum overnight interest rate at the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) repo market reached 3,000 percent and average interest rate became 1,112.19 percent.

    -MAHRUKI GETS READY FOR CRUSADE TO ANTARCTICA
    BOLU - Turkish search and rescue team AKUT leader Nasuh Mahruki is receiving skiing lessons together with Akdeniz University students at Bolu- Kartalkaya Skiing Resort.

    Mahruki, who joined the 8th Winter Sports Training Camp of Akdeniz University's Physical Education Department, told reporters on Tuesday that he had joined the camp to become a professional skier.

    ''I will be going on a two month journey to Antarctica with my German triathlete friend Marcus this November. We will have to carry 150-200-kg loads on sledges, that is our equipment and food, and that will require good skiing skills. I'm also planning to take part in another training camp in April in Alaska,'' Mahruki said.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN TO PAY TWO-DAY
    OFFICIAL VISIT TO BULGARIA
    SOFIA - Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan will come to Bulgaria on Wednesday on a two-day official visit.

    Tantan and accompanying delegation will arrive in Sofia at about 06:15 p.m. Turkish local time.

    Tantan who will meet with Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Yordan Sokolov, Interior Minister Emanuil Yordanov and Bulgarian Parliament National Security Commission Chairman Yordan Bakalov, will visit some facilities of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry.

    Relations between Turkish and Bulgarian interior ministries, cooperation in struggle against international terrorism and smuggling and activities of terrorist organization in Bulgaria will be discussed during Tantan's contacts.

    A memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed following Tantan's meetings.

    Official visit of Tantan to Bulgaria will end on February 23.

    -DOMESTIC DEBT STOCK RISES 22 PERCENT TO
    44.4 QUADRILLION LIRAS IN JANUARY OF 2001
    ANKARA - Treasury's domestic debt stock reached 44 quadrillion 428.1 trillion Turkish lira (TL) as of end-January of 2001.

    Treasury Undersecretariat said on Tuesday that domestic debt stock which had been 36 quadrillion 420.6 trillion TL excluding guaranteed debt stock at the end of 2000 rose 22 percent till end of January of 2001.

    It said that the domestic debt position in January was composed of 40 quadrillion 993.2 trillion TL of borrowings made through bonds and 3 quadrillion 434.9 trillion TL of borrowings made through bills.

    The borrowings made through bonds which had been 34 quadrillion 362.9 trillion TL at the end of last year rose 19.3 percent until end of January of 2001.

    In the same period, borrowings made through bills rose 66.9 percent from 2 quadrillion 57.7 trillion TL to 3 quadrillion 434.9 trillion TL.

    Meanwhile, Treasury-guaranteed domestic debt stock remained at 6 billion TL.

    -MACEDONIA TO HOST SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES COOPERATION
    PROCESS SUMMIT
    SKOPJE - Preparatory works are under way in Macedonian capital Skopje for the Southeast European Countries Cooperation Process Heads of State and Government Summit Meeting between February 22 and 23.

    High-level officials from foreign ministries of member countries came together on Tuesday to carry out works documents which will be signed at the summit meeting.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Istanbul Cem will represent Turkey at the two-day summit.

    At the end of the summit meeting, an action plan is envisaged to be signed by participating heads of state and government.

    The action plan includes issues regarded with trade, investments of private sector, infrastructure, transportation, communication, energy, environment and development of regional economic cooperation.

    Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Yugoslavia will attend the summit meeting in which Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia will be in attendance as observers.

    At the fourth regular summit meeting in Skopje, Macedonia will hand over the term presidency to Albania.

    Previous summit meetings were held in Crete in 1997, in Antalya in 1998 and in Bucharest in 2000.

    The meeting which was scheduled to be held in 1999 was postponed to 2000 in the wake of massive quake disaster in Turkey.

    -REPRESENTATIVES OF PRIVATE SECTOR CALL ON PRESIDENT AND
    PRIME MINISTER TO MAINTAIN DIALOGUE
    ISTANBUL - The representatives of the private sector, who gathered in Istanbul on Tuesday, issued a statement and urged for a dialogue among the statesmen.

    The statement issued by the chairmen of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), Association of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD), Chambers of Commerce, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Chambers of the Maritime Trade, stressed that Turkey couldn't endure artificial crises.

    ''We call on our president and prime minister and request them to maintain a dialogue as soon as possible. We believe that the National Security Council (MGK) should convene urgently to finalize works on some issues including the National Program which will be submitted to the European Union (EU). We shouldn't forget that the recent row among the statesmen could cause some other social reactions,'' the statement added.

    -NSC TO CONVENE ON MONDAY
    ANKARA - The National Security Council (NSC) will continue its interrupted meeting on Monday.

    The NSC meeting will start at 09:30 a.m. on Monday.

    Yesterday's NSC meeting was interrupted after Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and ministers left the meeting.


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