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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-02-23

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

23 FEBRUARY

2001 Friday


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 23, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    THE LONGEST DAY
    The U.S. dollar kept its uncertainty following the decision to switch to floating exchange rate policy following the crisis in the National Security Council (NSC) meeting. There was no panic, and there was not intense sale and purchase of foreign currency. The Central Bank increased the price of one U.S. dollar from 689,000 TL to 964 TL.

    LIVE BOMB CAPTURED
    Yusuf Kirmizi, who the security forces were trying to capture as the ''live bomb,'' was caught in southern Hatay province. Security forces staged a wide scale operation in Hatay in the direction of the information obtained from Kirmizi.

    IMF CHAIRMAN KOHLER EXPRESSES SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT
    IMF Chairman Horst Kohler has said that the IMF supported the Turkish government's decision to lift control over the foreign exchange rates. Kohler, during a meeting in Washington D.C., said after the first increase in U.S. dollar, they expected the inflation to decline and thus bring a stability to the foreign exchange rates.

    IMF Turkey Desk Chief Cottarelli also expressed support to Turkey's switch to floating exchange rate policy. ''This decision will not change the government's targets and disinflation policy,'' he said.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    IMF ADMINISTRATION SCOLDS COTTARELLI
    Turkey could not find who was responsible for the crisis but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found him. The IMF administration reacted to Carlo Cottarelli, the IMF Turkey Desk Chief, who accused the Central Bank in his report which he submitted regarding the developments following the November crisis.

    IMF administration asked Cottarelli why he did not try to turn the bank from the wrong way and warn the IMF although he had the figures. The administration discusses appointing another name instead of Cottarelli.

    EVERYTHING WAS DECIDED IN G-20 SUMMIT
    Decision for the floating exchange rate policy was taken in G-20 meeting in Istanbul where Stanley Fischer, the IMF first deputy managing director, also attended. Treasury and the Central Bank gave Fischer a letter, having eight articles, in this direction. Carlo Cottarelli, the IMF Turkey Desk Chief, did not go to the U.S. and waited in Frankfurt for the decision that will be issued from Economy Summit.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    U.S. DOLLAR JOKED WITH PEOPLE
    Value of U.S. dollar changed every hour in every Turkish city yesterday, but there was not much demand from people to buy foreing currency. People gathered in front of change offices in first hours of the morning. Most change offices didn't sell foreign exchange and preferred to wait until the markets gained stability. Others sold one dollar to 1,000,000 TL.

    ECEVIT URGES CALM
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has said that the new floating exchange rate policy would revive economy. ''There might be artificial increases in foreign currency and interests in the next few days,'' he remarked and asked people to remain calm. When asked who was responsible for the crisis, he said ''the latest economic indicators were pointing to a problem anyway.''

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    CONFESSION OF THE COLLAPSE
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who addressed a news conference together with this coalition partners, pointed out that, ''economy needed a revision anyway. Politics and economy can be effected easily and quickly in Turkey. When recalled that the recent decions would cause poverty, Ecevit said they were looking for a way and in an effort to provide sources.

    TANTAN IN BULGARIA
    Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan, currently holding contacts in Bulgaria, called on required measures to be taken against the illegal activities of the terrorist PKK organization toward the Turkish businessmen in this country. The terrorist PKK organization, who threaten the businessmen, collect money illegally from the Turkish businessmen. Tantan said, ''Turkish businessmen will make more investments if this problem is overcome.''

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    WE'RE 31 PERCENT POORER NOW
    When the government switched to floating exchange rate policy, one U.S. Dollar and German Mark increased to 900,000 TL and 430,000 TL respectively. Government officials had a meeting with the IMF and revised the targeted inflation rate to 25-30 percent. New price increases and taxes are on the way.

    CANKAYA WANTS TO CHANGE TURKEY'S AGENDA
    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that government officials should not make a detailed statement to public about the row between him and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. In a written statement, Sezer said the incident should not be kept on Turkey's agenda any longer. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said that the National Security Council (NSC) meeting was not the right place to bring suggestions to the government.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    DON'T PANIC
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit staged a news conference together with the deputy prime ministers Devlet Bahceli and Mesut Yilmaz and expressed belief that switching to floating exchange rate policy would enliven economy. Ecevit said they would be in an effort to protect the working section from receiving damage due to inflation. Ecevit noted the economic program would continue.

    U.S. HITS IRAQ FROM INCIRLIK THIS TIME
    The U.S. warplanes, which took off from Incirlik base in southern Adana province, and which had training flights, bombed the Iraqi anti-aircraft and the radars which locked onto the U.S. planes.

    George W. Bush, the U.S. President, in his first news conference staged in the White House, warned Iraq against the mass destruction weapons, noting that otherwise it would have negative consequences.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    STRICT MONETARY REGIME FROM CENTRAL BANK
    State Minister Recep Onal and Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said on Thursday that a strict monetary regime would be implemented in the coming week in order to install confidence on currency again. Onal and Ercel issued a joint written statement and said, ''the primary goal in the coming few days would be to prevent the markets to show extreme reaction and to prevent Turkish lira to lose value.''

    The statement said, ''also, we reiterate that we fully back the guarantees that were given regarded with the commitments of the banking sector. The depositors and creditors in banking system are fully under guarantee, and would continue to be so.''

    DYP LEADER CILLER: NATIONAL RECONCILIATION GOVERNMENT
    Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), defended that one of the biggest crisis of the history was experienced, adding that everybody had to put his hand under the stone. Ciller also called on a national reconciliation government to be set up.

    -FINANCE MINISTER ORAL RECEIVES
    COTTARELLI, THE IMF TURKEY DESK CHIEF
    ANKARA - Finance Minister Sumer Oral on Friday received Carlo Cottarelli, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk Chief.

    Responding to the questions of A.A correspondent following the meeting, Cottarelli said they started talks with the government, noting that the talks would continue.

    It was reported that Cottarelli's visit takes place following the decision to implement floating exchange rate policies. It was also reported that macro economic targets were mainly discussed during the visit.

    -SEZER TO REPRESENT TURKEY AT D-8 MEETING IN CAIRO
    CAIRO - The third presidents meeting of Developing Countries Economic Cooperation Group (G-8) will be held in Cairo on Sunday.

    Turkey will be presented at the meeting with a delegation headed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. A group of experts will gather on Friday to discuss the details of the Cairo Declaration which is expected to be signed on Sunday.

    Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ambassador Mithat Balkan will attend the foreign ministers council meeting at the summit. The foreign ministers of the participating countries will focus on development of cooperation among member countries and give the final shape to the Cairo Declaration.

    Another agreement faciliating visa procedures to businessmen of member countries is also likely to be signed during the meetings.

    Sezer will arrive in Cairo accompanied by Cem on Saturday afternoon.

    D-8 was founded on June 15, 1997 at a meeting held in Istanbul through Turkey's initiative. The Istanbul Declaration which was signed at this meeting announced that the group which was formed by Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malesia, Nigeria and Pakistan was open to new members and non-Muslim countries. The group's goal is to increase trade among the eight member countries which have a large economic potential.

    D-8 is formed by three organs which are the Summit, Council and Commission. The higher organ of the group the Summit is convening once every year and bringing together presidents of member countries.

    The Council which is formed by the foreign ministers of D-8 countries is the decision making mechanism of the group and all issues concerning D-8 are discussed at this platform.

    The Commission is the executive organ which is consisted of experts appointed by the member countries. The Commission is in charge of maintaining coordination among the members. Retired Ambassador Ayhan Kamel have been D-8 Executive Director since 1997.

    D-8's second meeting was organized in Bangladeshi capital, Dacca in March of 1999.

    Scientists and technicians of member states came together several times where they discussed joint projects.

    -PARTIAL ANNULMENT TO SOCIAL SECURITY LAW
    ANKARA - Constitutional Court on Friday annuled the articles of the law, regarded with social security no:4447. The articles are about the gradual transition pertaining to the retirement positions of the employers.

    The Court decided that annulment decision given for the articles 17, 22, 26, 39 and 44, which were about the gradual transition, would take effect after the annulment decision is issued inthe Official Gazette.

    The Court also rejected the call for the annulment of the article which forsees retirement of women at the age of 58 and men at the age of 60. This article is valid for those who are employed following September 8, 1999.

    -IRANIAN BUS WITH 40 PASSENGERS STRANDED IN THE SNOWSTORM IN
    BITLIS

    BITLIS - An Iranian passenger bus which skidded off road in Guroymak township of eastern Bitlis province, stranded in the heavy snowfall and storm, officials said on Friday.

    Cemal Sahin, the head official of Guroymak told A.A. correspondent that that the bus which was coming from Iran was on route to eastern Mus province, and 40 passengers who are in the bus are in danger of being frozen.

    Sahin said several rescue teams are trying to reach the bus, but heavy snowfall and storm prevent them. He added that they continue to exert efforts to rescue the passengers.

    -PARTIAL ANNULMENT TO SOCIAL SECURITY LAW (2)
    ANKARA - Constitutional Court cancelled on Friday the articles of the law on social security no:4447. The articles are about the gradual transition pertaining to the retirement positions of the employers.

    Hasim Kılıc, deputy chairman of the Constitutional Court said that the application of the Virtue Party (FP) requesting the Court to cancel 34 articles of the law was concluded.

    The Court rejected the application requesting annulment of the article that foresees retirement age 58 for women and 60 for men. This article is valid for those who are employed following September 8, 1999.

    The Court decided to put into force the annulled articles to be valid in six months following their publication in the Official Gazette.

    The Court cancelled the provisions which foresaw gradual retirement for employees working in five social security institutions when the law entered into force.

    Articles 17, 22, 26, 39 and 44, which were about the gradual transition, have been cancelled.

    -DEPUTY PREMIER YILMAZ SAYS ONLY PARAMETER OF
    ECONOMIC PROGRAMME IS INFLATION TARGET FROM NOW ON
    ISTANBUL - Mesut Yılmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), State Minister and Deputy Premier said on Friday that the only parameter of the economic programme is inflation from now on, adding that everything will be arranged according to that.

    Responding to questions of journalists, Yılmaz said that the foreign exchange rates will be determined according to free market conditions like interest rates. Yılmaz said that this was their real target, adding that the foreign exchange index won't be a parameter from now on.

    When a journalist asked his views about the public opinion's fear for a new crisis during Monday's National Security Council (NSC) meeting, Yılmaz said ''I hope everybody has taken the necessary lessons from this incident, from now on everybody has to respect each other more, irrespective of their posts,'' Yılmaz said.

    -ECEVIT ADDRESSES SEEC COOPERATION PROCESS SUMMIT
    AND CALLS FOR STABILITY IN BALKANS
    SKOPJE - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Friday that the Balkans should not be divided to sub-groups, adding that ''this won't be in line with the EU targets which defend principles of indivisibility, stability and security.''

    Speaking in the South East European Countries (SEEC) heads of states and governments summit, Ecevit called for stability in the Balkans, and said that following the democratic transformation in Yugoslavia last year, a new promising period has started in the Balkans.

    Ecevit said that this new period focuses on similarities rather than differences among the communities in the Balkans in a more realistic and responsible way. Ecevit said that it won't be wrong to say that the international society's approach towards the Balkans has started to change.

    Stressing that the Balkans won't stand another crisis, Ecevit said that methods of diplomacy and dialogue should be used more.

    Ecevit said that recently security threats like terrorism, organized crime, excessive armament, migration and drug trafficking have come out, adding that ''this process urges us to unite our efforts to prevent these threats in the Balkans.''

    Ecevit said that stability can't be installed without economic development, adding that ''democracy can't be installed by pressure from the top, it should come by the demand of the people.''

    Ecevit said that the international society should help in formation of institutions that will provide the further development of democracy in the Balkans, adding that the international society should also support it.

    Ecevit indicated that the developments in Europe since 1991 have shown the necessity of international and regional cooperation particularly in security and defense fields, adding that the Kosovo crisis has shown the importance of humanitarian aid and intervention. Ecevit said that he hoped this process would continue by the installation of stability in Kosovo.

    Meanwhile, Ecevit and Greek Premier Costas Simitis greeted each other in the lunch.

    -RESCUE TEAMS REACH PASSENGERS IN IRANIAN BUS
    WHICH STRANDED IN SNOWSTORM IN BITLIS
    BITLIS - The rescue teams reached the bus which skidded off road and stranded in snowstorm in Guroymak township of eastern Bitlis province, officials said on Friday.

    Cemal Sahin, the head official of Guroymak told A.A. correspondent that the rescue teams managed to reach 40 passengers who are in the bus in spite of bad weather conditions.

    Sahin said the passengers haven't been brought to the township yet, adding that the passengers didn't suffer any major health problems.

    -STATE MINISTER TOSKAY SAYS THEY HAVE
    TO REVISE INFLATION TARGET
    ANKARA - State Minister Tunca Toskay said on Friday that they have to revise the inflation target.

    Speaking after meeting with IMF Turkey Desk Chief Carlo Cottarelli, Toskay said that they will announce the inflation target after concluding their work.

    ''We must not see the figures in floating exchange rate system as permanent. The markets started to work with new figures after the crisis. I suppose the market's need for fund has not been completely met. The interest rates are high, but it decreased compared to the past. When the conditions are normalized, a stable foreign exchange system will be seen. After seeing that, we will revise the targets.''

    Toskay said that the economic programme has three basis, adding that only one basis has changed which is related to the money and foreign exchange. ''We will evaluate its effects on the other two basis, particularly on finance policies later,'' Toskay said.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN SAYS ALL SORTS OF TERRORISM
    ARE THREAT FOR ALL COUNTRIES
    PLOVDIV - Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan said on Friday that all sorts of terrorism constitute threat for all countries, adding that ''terrorism comes to a country disguising itself in an innocent image, but later it settles there.''

    Tantan said that Turkey suffers a lot from terrorist movements, adding that Bulgaria has to be very careful about it.

    After visiting the Centre for Fight with Organized Crime in Sofia in his last day in Bulgaria, Tantan proceeded to Plovdiv city.

    Tantan visited Plovdiv mayor Ivan Comakov and Governor Andon Andonov.

    Responding to questions of Bulgarian journalists who asked if Turkey would make concrete cooperation with Bulgaria in fight with terrorist organization PKK and radical Islamic terrorist organizations after his meeting with Andonov, Tantan said that ''we worked about these issues with our counterparts. We try to explain in all countries how dangerous terrorism is. I hope the Bulgarian officials attribute importance to this issue and take necessary measures against these terrorist incidents which will threaten Bulgaria in the future. If these terrorist incidents develop here, this won't only threathen Bulgaria, but also Turkey and we must fight with it together.''

    Turks and muslims living in Plovdiv have shown great interest in Tantan when he came and prayed in Central Mosque of Plovdiv.

    Tantan, who will complete his contacts in Bulgaria today, will return to Turkey this evening.

    -TURKEY-GERMANY PERMANENT JOINT CULTURE
    COMMISSION PROTOCOL SIGNED
    BERLIN - A protocol was signed on Friday at the end of the 16th meeting of the Turkish-German Permanent Joint Culture Commission held between Turkey and Germany.

    Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sencar Ozsoy said after the meeting that they would prepare a joint action plan regarding the education of Turkish children in Germany.

    Ozsoy said that the protocol draws the frame of the bilateral relations between the two countries in the coming 2-3 years, adding that education is very important in this respect for them. ''Education covers both teaching German in Turkey and teaching Turkish in Germany...We worked well in these issues and we will prepare a joint action plan about the education of Turkish children in Germany.''

    Ozsoy said that their aim is to protect the Turkish language of Turkish citizens in Germany and Turkish citizens who got German citizenship.

    ''The issue of integration is important both for Turks and Germans, we support this integration. We want our citizens to learn well both Turkish and German languages in primary schools. We support this integration and we support the learning of both Turkish and German languages,'' he said.

    Ozsoy said that Turkish students don't go to Germany to undertake undergratude and postgraduate study in German universities, adding that it was decided to hold a meeting to develop Turkish-German cooperation in media.

    ''We will have important work in exchange of sports and young students. There is a European school in Berlin which teaches both Turkish and German. Improvement of such schools is very important for deepening cultural relations,'' Ozsoy said adding that they will also make cooperation in archaelogy.

    Albert Spiegel, the Culture Director of German Foreign Ministry and German delegation said that they would discuss the existing problems in the culture field.

    Albert said that the German Foreign Ministry spends 25 million German marks for German-Turkish culture exchange programme.

    Osman Koruturk, German Ambassador to Germany, Undersecretary Adnan Basaga also attended the signing ceremony.

    -ITALIAN AID ORGANIZATION AFMAL SETS UP
    MEDICAL SERVICES UNITS IN DUZCE
    DUZCE - The gynecology, gynecological surgery, X-Ray and intensive care units which were set up by Italian aid organization AFMAL in northern Duzce province, inaugurated on Friday.

    Fra Pietro Cicinelli, the chairman of the executive board of AFMAL, said they had a very outstanding background in health services adding that they were ready to extend support to every country which was in need of support in health sector.

    Fikret Guven, the governor of Duzce, in his part recalled that many countries all around the world sent aids to northern Duzce province following the devastating earthquakes which hit the region on August 17, 1999 and November 12, 1999.

    Officials said these units set up by AFMAL costed one million U.S. dollars.

    Ruhi Kurnaz, the mayor of Duzce, Mustafa Karslıoglu, the deputy of Denocratic Left Party (DSP) attended the inauguration ceremony.

    -STANDARD AND POOR'S REVISES TURKEY'S LONG TERM
    AND SHORT TERM CREDIT MARK
    ANKARA - Standard and Poor's, an international rating organization, revised the long term credit mark of Turkey to B from B+ and short term credit mark from B to C.

    Releasing a written statement on Friday the Standard and Poor's said that the long term marks of Turkey should be kept monitored due to negative tendency adding that the short term marks of Turkey would not be monitored anymore.

    The statement said that the reason of the recent review was that the current economic crisis caused an imbalance in the public finance and between the banks and their customers.

    -AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVES IN ANKARA
    ANKARA - Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the foreign minister of Austria arrived in Ankara on Friday for a three-day working visit.

    Ferrero-Waldner who came to Turkey upon the invitation of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, made a statement in his arrival at Esenboga Airport of Ankara.

    Cem and Ferrero-Waldner will meet tonight to discuss the relations between Turkey and Austria and the regional issues.

    Ferrero-Waldner, who will later proceed to Istanbul to visit the historical and touristic sites, will also meet with Mesut Yilmaz, the deputy prime minister.

    The Austrian foreign minister and the accompanying delegation will leave Turkey on Sunday after wrapping up their conatcts.

    -STATE MINISTER TOSKAY: ''WE EXPECT END OF YEAR FOREIGN
    TRADE DEFICIT TO BE AROUND 27 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS''
    ANKARA - State Minister Tunca Toskay has said that he expected the end of year foreign trade deficit to be around 27 billion U.S. dollars.

    Toskay responded to Virtue Party (FP) deputy Cevat Ayhan's speech on Friday.

    Turkish export is too dependent on the textile sector, Toskay said adding that textile products had a potential of 10 million U.S. dollars. ''This is a good figure for the sector, but Turkey's overall export figure is 27 billion which demonstrates the dependency on the textile sector,'' Toskay remarked.

    Toskay also pointed out that Turkey realizes over 50 percent of its export with EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and emphasized that Turkey should take necessary measures to stop being dependent on a single economic union or geography.

    He said Turkey should try to export technological products with high added value. Turkey's electronic products export increased by 11.3 percent, automobile and auto parts export rose by 6 percent, and chemical substances export increased by 7.1 percent in 2000, he explained. Export of agricultural products,on the other hand, has fallen 13 percent last year, he said. ''This might look optimistic on the surface. But we shouldn't be deceived by these figures. The decrease in the export of agricultural products did not result from a sharp increase in other sectors but it resulted from problems in agriculture. That means we failed to grow the agricultural products which are on the demand in foreign markets.''

    The foreign exchange policy used in import is creating difficulties for export, he contended. ''There are serious price increases in imported products including oil. Although we imported 9.5 percent less oil compared to 1999, it cost us 3.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2000. We lost 2.2 billion U.S. dollars because of foreign exchange policy in our export indexed to Euro parity. These two factores increased our cost 6 billion U.S: dollars although there was no drop in our economic performance last year.''

    Toskay also pointed out that one reason for the increase in import was the revival in domestic market and increasing demand for imported goods.

    Toskay said that Turkey should increase the number of countries it exports products. ''We're not doing trade with our neighbours. Our foreign policy should widen the field for us,'' he said adding that there are ongoing efforts to start trade with Gulf and African countries. Toskay also pointed to the importance of the U.S. market for Turkish export.

    Eximbank provided an export financing of 6.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 and it targeted a 7.5 billion U.S. dollars support in 2001 including insurance and loans.

    ''Our exporters need support today more then they ever did,'' Toskay emphasized. ''Officials who deal with exporters should carefully distinguish the honest exporters from the corrupt ones.''

    -U.S. PRESIDENT BUSH CALLS PREMIER ECEVIT ON PHONE
    EXTENDING SUPPORT TO FLOATING EXCHANGE RATE SYSTEM
    WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. President George Bush called Premier Bulent Ecevit on the phone on Friday noting that he extended support to the economic reforms undertaken by Turkey.

    Speaking to reporters in Skopje, Ecevit said that ''we had a very nice talk on the phone. Mr. Bush attributes great importance to friendship of Turkey and he told me that he wanted to meet me in person and added that I could pick up the phone and call him any time.''

    Ecevit said Bush told him that he knew that Turkey was going through a difficult time, but it will overcome it as it did in the past.

    U.S. President Bush called Premier Ecevit at 14.50 Turkish local time and had a five-minute talk, Ari Fleischer, White House Spokesman told A.A correspondent.

    Fleischer said that Bush called Ecevit to extend support to a close friend.

    The Spokesman said that U.S. President referred to the importance of protecting the important reforms undertaken by Turkey and he also talked about Turkish economic reforms and its working in cooperation with the IMF.

    Fleischer said that the phone talk was held in a sincere atmosphere, adding that the talk reflected the strong relations between the two countries.

    Bush called Ecevit to show U.S.'s support to Turkey as a close friend and ally, said Fleischer and added that the Bush administration supported the decision of the Turkish government to float Turkish lira.

    -U.S. PRESIDENT BUSH CALLS PREMIER ECEVIT ON PHONE
    EXTENDING SUPPORT TO FLOATING EXCHANGE RATE SYSTEM (2)
    ANKARA - U.S. President George Bush called Premier Bulent Ecevit on the phone on Friday noting that he extended support to the economic reforms undertaken by Turkey.

    Officials of the Prime Ministry quoted Bush as telling Ecevit that they hope that Ecevit will continue showing that kind of leadership.

    Below listed the full phone talk betweek Bush and Ecevit:

    Bush: Mr. Prime Minister.

    Ecevit: Yes, President Bush. It's great honour and pleasure meeting you.

    Bush: Well, thank you very much for taking my call. I look forward to meeting you in person.

    Ecevit: That's very kind of you.

    Bush: For several reasons. One is to introduce myself. I believe that is the best for two leaders can know each other personally. Secondly, I want to assure you, Mr. Prime Minister, that my Administration will work closely with you to enhance our friendship in our Alliance. Turkey is a very important friend and I will work hard to make sure our friendship will be very strong Mr. Prime Minister.

    Ecevit: That's very reassuring. It's of great value to hear these from you Mr. President. We attach great importance to our strategic cooperation with the United States and we would be very happy to enhance it during your term of office.

    Bush: Well, I look forward too. You are a very important country. You have got very strong friends here in our country. My foreign policy team and national security team are keenly aware of the importance of Turkey into the notion of keeping the peace and we look forward to working with you. I also understand that obviously you are going through a difficult time right now and I wish you all the very best. You showed a lot of courage with your economic reform program and obviously we hope that you would continue showing that kind of leadership, which I know you will and that which includes working with the IMF.

    Ecevit: These words are very reassuring Mr. President. Because we do need some cooperation and support from our friends as our economy is passing through tight waters. Thank you very much for your very kind words Mr. President. It's a great pleasure.

    Bush: You have got of course leadership capabilities. We wish you all the very best. Obviously, you have your people stay in touch with our Government for anything that you may request, that if you need to have a phone call with me, I'm only a couple of miles away. Pick up the phone and call me anytime you need.

    Ecevit: That's very kind of you Mr. President. Thank you very much.

    Bush: Quite sure. I look forward to meeting with you at some point and I wish you the very best.

    Ecevit: That's most kind of you. Thank you very much Mr. President.

    Bush: Yes, Mr. Prime Minister. Bye bye.

    Ecevit: Thank you. Good bye.


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