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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-02-21

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

21 FEBRUARY

2001 Wednesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] TOURISM BOOM IN TURKEY
  • [03] EBRD SAYS IT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO FINANCING OF

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 21, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    MOBILIZATION FOR PEACE
    Political and business circles have mobilized to make peace between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit following the row at Monday's National Security Council meeting which created a state crisis. Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi plans to mediate between the Presidency and the government. Businessmen called on President Ecevit and Prime Minister Ecevit to make peace. The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and the Turkish Exporters' Assembly said, ''we do not want argument any longer.''

    ''HE THREW A BOOK TO MY HEAD''
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the main reason of the crisis was President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's manner. Ecevit said, ''he threw a copy of the Constitution to our face. I have never encountered such an impudent manner before. I would either argue with him or leave the meeting. I preferred the latter.'' Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan said, ''the President came to the meeting to kick up a row. He was extremely irascible. He could not control himself. Prime Minister Ecevit is so dear to me like my father. He insulted Ecevit, and I reacted to him.''

    FP REQUESTED ONE-MONTH EXTRA TIME
    The Virtue Party (FP) requested one-month extra time from the Constitutional Court to prepare the preliminary defense in the closure case. Yasin Hatiboglu, the Deputy Chairman of FP's parliamentary group, submitted the petition requesting additional time to the Constitutional Court. The Consitutional Court will hold a meeting on Wednesday morning and take a decision about the request. The Constitutional Court earlier gave 15 days to FP to prepare its preliminary defense. The 15-day period, given to the FP by the Constitutional Court for preliminary defense, will end late on February 23.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    TURKISH PUBLIC EXTEND SUPPORT TO PRESIDENT SEZER
    The Turkish public extended support to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who accused the government of hushing up the corruption cases in the National Security Council meeting held on Monday. Fifteen thousand fax messages and 20 thousand e-mails were sent to the Presidential Palace in one day. The number of the messages sent from southeastern provinces such as Batman, Hakkari and Adiyaman were more than the messages sent from other provinces. The messages told president to continue his policy in corruption cases.

    MOST SERIOUS CRISIS IS MARMARA FAULT LINE
    Seventeen months passed since the devastating earthquake hit the Marmara region in 1999. Scientists continue to make warnings to many politicians on the outcomes of a possible earthquake that may jolt the region once again. Professor Aykut Barka, the general director of the Istanbul Technical University's Eurasia Earth Sciences claimed that more than 60 thousand buildings could be collapsed in Istanbul if another devastating earthquake rocked the region. More measures should be taken on the issue, added Barka.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    EVERYWHERE IS THE SNOW
    The snowfall paralyzed daily life and traffic throughout Turkey. Two people froze to death in Kirikkale and Izmir. Communication was cut with 1,687 settlements. Snow depth reached 40 centimetres in eastern Bitlis province, 60 centimetres in eastern Tatvan township, 100 centimetres in southeastern Hakkari province and its townships, 42 centimetres in eastern Mus province, 37 ceenimetres in eastern Agri province, 16 centimetres in eastern Erzurum and Ardahan provinces, and 20 centimetres in eastern Van province. A total of 541 village roads were closed to traffic due to heavy snowfall in Black Sea Region.

    GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS ARE HOSTILE
    The Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission adopted the draft law against ''International Claims, Accusations and Distortions.'' Denying the so- called Armenian genocide allegations which the history did not assess and accept, the draft law foresaw 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 draft law was prepared by Kamran Inan, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    TENSION STARTS TO BE EASED
    Soldiers and Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi exerted intense efforts to ease the tension which occured due to the argument between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the governmental officials at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting. When the soldiers intervened in the issue and said that there could not be any disappointments in the state administration, Premier Bulent Ecevit said that they will try to overcome disappointments. Noting that the state affairs should not be hampered, Ecevit said that he met with General Cumhur Asparuk, the NSC General Secretary, and launched initiatives to hold a new NSC meeting.

    TURKISH FAIR IN GREECE
    Ali Tuygan, the Turkish Ambassador to Greece, said that especially the economic and commercial relations between Turkey and Greece were revived in the last one year. Speaking in the meeting held to introduce the Turkish Fashion-2001 Ready-Made Cloth and Leather Fair which will be held in Athens between March 1 and 3, Tuygan said that there are many fields in which Turkey and Greece can have cooperation but which have been neglected for years.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    PEOPLE TO PAY BILL OF CRISIS
    Following the row at the meeting on National Security Council of Monday, Treasury could sold only 1 quadrillion 847.6 trillion TL of one-month bonds in yesterday's auction with 144.2 percent annual composite interest rate in order to pay 3 quadrillion 926 trillion 81.8 billion TL in domestic borrowing on Wednesday. Businessmen and bankers said that the sudden crisis would have negative impacts on financial and real sectors. Meanwhile, overnight interest rates at the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) repo market which started with 300 percent increased to maximum 3000 percent.

    SIGNALS OF PEACE
    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer responded Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's request for holding the National Security Council's interrupted meeting on Monday, in the affirmative. Prime Minister Ecevit stressed, ''we will try to overcome disappointments.''

    DYP WITHDRAWS ITS CENSURE MOTION
    Having regard to heavy burden of Monday's row at the meeting on National Security Council on economy, the True Path Party (DYP) withdrew 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.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    RECENT SNOW FALLS DECREASE RISK OF DROUGHT
    The rain and snow falls which started to intensify this week, decreased the risk of drought all over Turkey. In many regions, the rain fall was less then the seasonal averages and the water collected in many dams considered to be insufficient for the next summer. Officials had previously announced that Turkey would face with a serious energy problem if it didn't rain in the spring. Officials added they were pleased with the snow especially in the regions where the dams are located. Many village roads were closed to traffic in eastern parts of Turkey due to the recent snow.

    MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ADVISES TAPES OF
    JENNIFER LOPEZ AND RICKY MARTIN
    The Ministry of National Education placed the tapes of Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez, two famous pop singers, among the ''advised'' educational tools for schools. The Ministry also advised the use of video tapes, audio tapes and magazines in foreign languages in the 2000 semester. The books of Franz Kafka, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde are the books which were advised by the Ministry of National Education.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING BIDS EXTENDED TO MARCH 30, 2001
    The deadline for submitting bids in the tender for privatization of the Turkish Airlines (THY) was extended to March 30, 2001. The Privatization Administration Board (OIB) said 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.

    IMF FIRST DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR FISCHER SAYS
    THEY THINK GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED
    International Monetary Fund (IMF) First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer said that the government should strengthen the program. Fischer noted that he had a positive meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and his counterparts. Stating that the government will carry out efforts to strengthen the program, Fischer said that he is pleased about the determination of the government.

    [02] TOURISM BOOM IN TURKEY

    ANTALYA - Omer Guneri, the Bentour Travelling Agency's Antalya Regional Director, said on Wednesday that particularly German, Dutch, French, Belgium and British people want to make reservations for the 2001 tourism season.

    Guneri told A.A correspondent that the giant tour operators in Europe have started to make reservations for the hotels and touristic facilities.

    The reservations from Germany increased 200 percent this year when compared with the last year, Guneri said.

    Guneri noted that most of the hotels have already become full for this year's tourism season.

    A total of 345 thousand 189 Russian tourists visited Antalya in 2000, Guneri said, stating that they expect this number to increase 20 percent to 400 thousand.

    Guneri stated that the Bentour targets at increasing number of German and Russian people visiting Turkey by 40 percent this year and that to this end, they increased their advertisements.

    Bentour travelling agency has an important place in the German and Russian markets.

    [03] EBRD SAYS IT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO FINANCING OF

    BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROJECT
    NEW YORK - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could contribute to the financing of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project if the British Petroleum (BP) company extended support and had a demand on the issue, officials said on Wednesday.

    Charles Frank, the first vice president of the EBRD, who made statements at a meeting at the Center for Energy, Marine Transport and Public Policy (CEMTPP), of the Columbia University in New York, said the BP managers, who estimated the cost of the project as 2.7 billion U.S. dollars, reached to an outcome that the project could be economically profitable.

    The Baku-Ceyhan project is foreseen to transfer one million barrels of oil daily, when materialized. Chevron, an American company, had previously announced that it would contribute to the project of 100 million U.S. dollars which was for the engineering works of the project.

    Frank said the EBRD would contribute to the project if Baku-Ceyhan pipeline was a cheaper way than transfering the oil via Black Sea.

    Claiming that a pipeline through Iran would be the most economical solution, Frank said the sanctions of the U.S. on Iran prevented them from making investments for the infrastructure and the oil industry of Iran.

    The companies which form the multi-national consortium for the construction of the Baku Ceyhan pipeline project are; SOCAR (Azerbaijan) with a share of 50 percent, BP with a share of 25.41, UNOCAL with a share of 7.48, Statoil (Norway), with a share of 6.37, Turkish Petroleums Inc. (TPAO), with a share of 5.02, Itochu (Japan) with a share of 2.92, Ramco (Britain) with a share of 1.55 and Delta Hess with a share of 1.25.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT AND FOREIGN MINISTER CEM TO REPRESENT
    TURKEY AT SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES COOPERATION PROCESS SUMMIT
    SKOPJE - The Southeast European Countries Cooperation Process Heads of State and Government Summit Meeting will start in Macedonian capital Skopje on Thursday.

    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.

    Heads of state and government of member countries came together in an unofficial summit meeting in Skopje on October 25, 2000 upon a proposal of President Boris Traykovski of Macedonia to assess developments in Yugosliva.

    President Vojislav Kostunica; Bodo Hombach, the Special Coordinator of Stability Pact; and European Union Security and Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana were in attendance at the summit meeting.

    Diplomatic sources said that Turkey attributed great importance to the Southeast European Countries Cooperation Process.

    Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou are also expected to come together in Skopje.

    In a previous statement, Papendreou said that he might hold talks with Cem in Skopje.

    -IMF TURKEY DESK CHIEF COTTARELLI DEPARTS FROM ANKARA
    ANKARA - Carlo Cottarelli, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Turkey Desk Chief, departed from Ankara on Wednesday.

    Cottarelli came to Ankara on February 11 for the sixth review.

    IMF's Turkey Desk Chief, who was expected to depart from Turkey last Friday, postponed his departure since IMF's First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer and IMF European I Department Director Michael Deppler came to Istanbul for G-20 meeting and held contacts in Ankara.

    Cottarelli did not make a joint press conference together with the Treasury Undersecretariat officials this time.

    Fischer and Deppler had departed from Ankara on Tuesday evening.

    -JOINT ENVIRONMENT PROJECT OF TURKEY AND GERMANY TO BE
    MATERIALIZED
    ANKARA - The project envisaging encouragement of systematic environment administration, which was signed within the framework of Turkish German Technical Cooperation to improve works in the environment administration, would be materialized officals said on Wednesday.

    The project aims at forming a body at the Environment Ministry to prevent the environmental pollution all around Turkey.

    Western Bursa province and Mugla provinces were chosen as the target provinces of the project which will continue for three years.

    Officials said these provinces were chosen as there were many industrial facilities in Bursa and as there was a high tourism potential in Mugla.

    Fevzi Aytekin, the minister of environment and Rudolf Schmidt, the ambassador of Germany to Turkey will participate in the meeting which will be held on Thursday to promote the joint project.

    Information concerning the works within the framework of the project will be given in the meeting where the equipment provided by the German government for the project would also be delivered.

    The Germans would provide a fund of 750 thousand German marks within the framework of the project and this money would be used in training, counselling, and setting up of network systems as well as in purchase of motor vehicles.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT (1):
    -''PRESIDENT SEZER AND I HAVE SERIOUS DISAGREEMENTS
    IN UNDERSTANDING OF STATE AND POLICY''
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Wednesday, ''President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and I have serious disagreements in understanding of state and policy.''

    Speaking at the DSP's parliamentary group meeting, Prime Minister Ecevit gave information about the row at Monday's meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).

    ''I have never encountered such an incident in my 50-year political life. Everyone knows that I have attributed great importance to compromise during my political life,'' he stressed.

    President Ecevit said, ''before starting the official part of the NSC meeting, President Sezer accused the government and the DSP in front of high-ranking military officials and bureaucrats. He threw a copy of the Constitution to our face. President Sezer's bringing the issue to the agenda of NSC has a special meaning. I do not want to even explain it. We left the meeting in a reaction to President Sezer's manner. I made a statement to the press to prevent reflection of the incident to the public opinion in a wrong way. In my statements, I told that the row was not caused due to disagreements on economic issues in order to prevent an economic crisis.''

    He added, ''I conveyed a message through experts to President Sezer to make a statement by saying that economy was in good condition. President Sezer responded my message by saying that there was no need to make such a statement at that point. He said that he could make a statement after Thursday's weekly routine meeting or after Monday's NSC meeting.''

    (To be continued)

    -PREMIER ECEVIT (2):
    -''THE PRESIDENT HAD A SPECIAL PURPOSE WHEN HE BROUGHT FORWARD
    THESE ISSUES IN NSC MEETING AND I DO NOT WANT TO MENTION IT''
    ANKARA - Premier Bulent Ecevit and the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) said on Wednesday that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer had a special purpose when he brought forward these issues in the National Security Council (NSC) and he does not want to mention this purpose.

    Speaking in the group meeting of his party, Ecevit said that he has been in the politics for almost 50 years.

    Ecevit said, ''but, the incident I faced two days ago had never occured in my 50-year political life. To this end, I am very upset.''

    What had happened in the NSC meeting does not have any other example in the history of the Republic of Turkey, Ecevit noted.

    Ecevit said that the style is as important as the core and the core is as important as the style in politics.

    ''I have never met a similar style that the president had used in my political and state life. I had many discussions with Suleyman Demirel in 1960s and 1970s. But, we had never hurt each other by the style we used. We had worked in full harmony during his presidency and my prime ministry and had left behind the previous discussions,'' Ecevit said.

    Ecevit added, ''when I think of these, I once more see that how cruel and unjust the treatment I faced two days ago was. The president may have complaints about me and the government. But, the NSC meeting is not the place he should bring forward these complaints. He had a special purpose when he brought forward these issues in the National Security Council (NSC) and I do not want to mention this purpose.''

    (To be continued)

    -ANKARA CHIEF PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE FILES CASE AGAINST IHD
    ANKARA - Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office filed a case against the Human Rights Association (IHD) for charges of alleged ''involvement of activities serving to purposes other than that was listed in the association's by- law'' on Wednesday.

    Ankara Press Prosecutor Levent Tacer recently completed the investigation he carried out about the IHD. He said certain documents demonstrating that the IHD was involved in activities which was against association's by-law and purpose, were found during a police search carried at the IHD headquarters.

    During the search, Tacer explained, 33 banned publications and different types of bullets were found in the headquarters.

    Under Article 37 of the Anti Terrorism Law, associations cannot be engaged in activities other than those which are listed in their by-laws.

    Ankara State Security Court (DGM) Prosecutor Hamza Keles had also recently asked for the closure of Ankara branch of the IDH for charges of allegedly ''providing assistance and shelter to terrorist organizations.''

    Commenting on the case filed against the association, IHD Chairman Husnu Ondul told the A.A that the accusations directed against them were totally baseless and he added that the believed the case would be dropped.

    -TURKEY-GERMANY CULTURE COMMISSION'S MEETING STARTS IN BERLIN
    BERLƯN - Turkey-Germany Permanent Joint Culture Commission's 16th meeting started Wednesday in the German capital of Berlin.

    The participants will explore cooperation opportunities between Turkey and Germany on education, science, art, mass communication, youth and sports fields during the two-day meeting.

    A delegation headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sencar Ozsoy is representing Turkey at the meeting. German Foreign Ministry Culture Director Albert Spiegel is heading the German delegation.

    -SUMERBANK TO BE PRIVATIZED AGAIN
    ISTANBUL - Sumerbank formed a new giant in the sector with its 1.5 quadrillion lira assests. Egebank, Yurtbank, Yasarbank and Bank Kapital were earlier transferred to Sumerbank with its working assests and liabilities.

    Tevfik Altinok, the Chairmen of the Joint Executive Board Chairmen of nine companies in Savings Account Insurance Fund, pointed out that privatization of Sumerbank would be brought onto the agenda after the completion of the merging process of Sumerbank.

    Altinok told A.A correspondent that although Egebank, Yurtbank, Yasarbank, and Bank Kapital were transferred to Sumerbank with all their assests and liabilities, legal entity of the four banks continued on documents.

    Altinok said, ''they don't have the authority to act like a bank and to collect accounts.''

    Altinok stressed that the biggest benefit of the merging under the name of Sumerbank was that number of banks in markets decreased. He also said a more compact structure was formed with the operation and that savings were provided.

    Altinok said 344 branches of the five banks in question were decreased to 258, noting that, ''the most important thing is that information systems would be united within the merging.''

    Altinok said there was not a decrease in number of the investors, noting that no panic was experienced in the investors.

    ''When this merging process ends, I will bring privatization of the bank onto the agenda. Our final target is the sale of it as the bank would not continue as a public bank,'' he noted.

    Altinok said Etibank would be transferred to the joint administration like the Bank Kapital when its accounts are completed.

    -STATE MINISTER BAHCELI VISITS MERV CITY OF TURKMENISTAN
    ASHKABAT - State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli who is currently in Turkmenistan as the guest of Turkmen President Saparmurad Turkmenbasi, visited Merv historical city in Mary state of Turkmenistan on Wednesday.

    Bahceli visited the tombs of Sahabe Hakem El Gifari, Hoca Yusuf Hemedani and Sultan Sencer, the last empiror of Great Seljuk Empiror in the city.

    Bahceli, who later proceeded to Ashkabat, will return to Turkey today.

    -TURKISH HISTORY BOARD CHAIRMAN PROF. HALACOGLU SAYS
    TURKEY HAS TO KNOW THE THINGS IT MUST DO REGARDING
    CLAIMS OF SO-CALLED GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS
    BURSA - Prof. Yusuf Halacoglu, the Chairman of the Turkish History Board (TTK), said on Wednesday that ''we must know the things we must do against claims of so-called genocide on Armenians rather than complaining about them all the time.''

    Speaking in a panel discussion on Armenian problem held by Prime Ministry Ataturk Research Centre (ATAM) and Uludag University, Halacoglu said that the claims of so-called genocide didn't start to be voiced first by France or the U.S., but by Russia in 1916.

    Halacoglu said that the Armenian problem is not a historical, but a political problem, stressing that Armenians have never been killed in any period of Turkish history. This fact is seen clearly in Ottoman archives, he said.

    Prof. Huseyin Algul of Uludag University said in his part that there are 33 Armenian churches, 28 schools, many newspapers in Turkey, adding that Armenians have the same rights with Turks.

    ''Turkish territories have been the place where Armenians, Christians and Jews took shelter as they escaped from violence, not the place where they were oppressed,'' he added.


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