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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-02-24
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>Anadolu Agency
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 24, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL)U.S. PRESIDENT BUSH CALLS PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT
U.S. President George Bush called Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on the phone, and said that he extended support to the economic reforms undertaken by Turkey. Noting that they attributed great importance to friendly relations with Turkey, President Bush expressed his belief that Turkey would overcome current difficulties in economy.
CRISIS IN TURKEY AFFECTS GREECE
COALITION PARTNERS AGREE TO MAKE CHANGE IN ECONOMY MANAGEMENT
IRTEMCELIK TO RESIGN FROM ANAP
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)SOME MINISTERS AND BUREAUCRATS TO PAY BILL OF CRISIS
Some ministers and bureaucrats will pay bill of current economic crisis. State Minister Recep Onal, State Minister Yuksel Yalova, Finance Minister Sumer Oral, Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz, Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel and Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp are expected to be dismissed from their posts. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the issue would be discussed at a summit meeting among leaders of three parties forming coalition government.
''LET'S CHANGE BALKANS' FATE''
SABAH (LIBERAL)WORLD GIANTS TO ASSIST TURKEY After U.S. President George W. Bush has pledged to support Turkey, seven richest countries of the world have mobilized for Turkey. Governments of these countries have been encouraging their banks to provide loans to Turkey.
NICE GESTURE FROM GREECE
JUSTICE MINISTRY WORKS FOR EXTRADITION OF KARAHASANOGLU
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)IMF HITS TURKISH LIRA
Wall Street Journal said, ''we want to remind the officious people in Washington that IMF's leaving the Turkish lira to free floating means a great reduction in the working poor people. This step will inevitably increase extreme poverty index of Turkey like in Brazil, Mexico and Indenosia.''
IMPORTANT SUMMIT MEETING IN ISTANBUL
4,727 YEARS IMPRISONMENT SOUGHT FOR DEMIREL
RADIKAL (LEFT)PRESIDENT SEZER TO ATTEND D-8 SUMMIT MEETING
The third summit meeting of the Developing-8 (D-8) Economic Cooperation Group will be held in Egyptian capital Cairo. A delegation headed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, would represent Turkey at the summit meeting. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will take place in the delegation. At the end of the summit meeting, participating heads of state and government will sign the Cairo Statement. President Sezer is expected to hold bilateral contacts during the summit meeting. The D-8 was formed as a result of Turkey's initiatives in Istanbul on October 1996 at a conference on cooperation in developments. Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Nigeria are the member countries to the D-8.
STANDARD AND POOR'S REVISES TURKEY'S RATING
TURKIYE (RIGHT)AGES OF RETIREMENT APPROVED
It became clear that men will retire at the age of 60 and women will retire at the age of 60. The Constitutional Court approved the law on ages of retirement while it annulled articles about graded transition. Labor and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan said everybody retire at 58-60 ages even if there are few days remaining for their retirement.
MARKETS DON'T CALM DOWN
TURKEY'S RATING DOWNGRADED
AND BUSH BOOSTS MORALE
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)EMLAKBANK UNDER SUPERVISION
Upon President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's instructions, inpectors of the State Supervision Authority (DDK) started to control Emlakbank. DDK asked for information about the loans given by Emlakbank in last three years. Warning the Emlakbank management that managers would be punished if they rejected to give information, DDK sent similar letters to banks which suffered nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars of losses.
ATMS OUT OF ORDER
-IS BANKASI DIRECTOR GENERAL OZINCE: ''WE BELIEVE THAT BOTH
Speaking to journalists following a three-hour meeting among high level officials from banks, Ozince said that they had discussed the problems in the meeting, and that they would convey their opinions to the officials in Ankara on Saturday.
Stressing that they absolutely believed that the Turkish economy would overcome problems, Ozince said, ''I only say that we believe both the system and the economy will overcome this crisis. We think that this is a temporay crisis and we have the necessary strength. We will use our currently existing power. Besides, the public should trust us.''
''Bankers have the self-confidence and we will express this to officials in Ankara. We will extend the utmost support. We should rely on ourselves. It is impossible to consider this great economy as destroyed in a very short time,'' he said.
When asked whether or not the crisis could be overcome, Ozince said, ''absolutely. It will be overcome if we rely on ourselves.''
Meanwhile, Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi Director General Naci Sigin said that they would discuss the general situation in the markets and their liquidity at the meeting with officials in Ankara on Saturday.
''We want a balanced liquidity, and with this objective, the Central Bank should be more effective,'' he added.
-LEADERS OF COALITION PARTNERS TO CONVENE
State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of Motherland Party (ANAP), decided to cut short his visits to Yalova and Istanbul and to return to Ankara to attend the summit meeting.
State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan will also attend the meeting.
At the meeting, latest developments in economy will be assessed under the light of government's decisions, and details of new economic policy will be discussed.
High-level bureaucrats are also expected to attend the meeting.
-TURKEY-OMAN JOINT ECONOMIC COMMISSION TO CONVENE
Releasing a statement, the State Ministry said on Saturday that State Minister Mehmet Kececiler and Omani National Economy and Finance Ministry Secretary General Mohammad Bin Nasir Al-Khusaibi would preside the meeting.
The meeting aims at implementing Commercial, Economic, Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement signed between the two countries in 1995, strengthening economic and technical cooperation and developing commercial exchange.
Issues such as development of trade between Turkey and Oman, current situation of economic relations, problems in these relations, international highway transportation, cooperation in tourism, cooperation in customs, protection of environment and sea transportation will be taken up at the meeting.
At the meeting, the sides are envisaged to revise the Commercial, Economic, Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement.
Khusaibi is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with State Minister Kececiler, Finance Minister Sumer Oral, Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz, Industry and Trade Minister Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu and Culture Minister Istemihan Talay.
Omani delegation will proceed to Istanbul to hold talks with Turkish businessmen after wrapping up their contacts in Ankara.
The statement added, ''our exports to Oman increased by 34 percent from 21.6 million U.S. dollars to 29 million U.S. dollars in 1999 compared to figures of previous year. In January-November period of 2000, our exports to Oman decreased by 27.9 percent to 19.6 million U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, our imports from Oman in January-November period of 2000 was 127 thousand U.S. dollars.''
-PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT:
Addressing journalists as he departed from the Prime Ministry Office for lunch break, Ecevit said that they would not release a statement before finalization of their works.
When asked whether or not leaders of three political parties forming the coalition government would convene, Ecevit said that they would continue to work till midnight.
-HEAVY SNOWFALL PARALYZES DAILY LIFE AND TRAFFIC IN SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA
A total of 1,208 village roads in Diyarbakir, Sirnak, Siirt, Mardin and Elazig provinces have been closed to traffic due to heavy snowfall.
Highway teams have been working to re-open the roads.
Meanwhile, some parts of the region cannot be given electricity.
-LABOR AND SOCIAL SECURITY MINISTER OKUYAN: ''WE WILL RAPIDLY MAKE A
Responding to questions of journalists about the issue, Okuyan stressed that any article of the Law comprising 64 articles and 177 paragraphs had not been annulled by the Constitutional Court.
Noting that the court had annulled ten paragraphs related with three articles, Okuyan said, ''so there is not any problem. Retirement ages of 58 for women and 60 for men are still valid. Except these, all of the rules of the Law are still valid.''
Stating that the transtition period in the Law and the transition period prepapred by his ministry and government had proportional similarity, Okuyan said, ''I personally have been thinking that this part would be annulled. We will rapidly make an arrangement about this annulled part. So there is not any problem.''
-D-8 SUMMIT MEETING
Speaking at the meeting, Foreign Minister Abdulsamed Azad of Bangladesh which will hand over the term presidency to Egypt at tomorrow's D-8 Heads of State and Government Summit meeting, said that the D-8 had recorded an important progress in reaching its target under two-year term presidency of Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Amr Moussa of Egypt said in his part that the developing countries should have as equal as possible shares with the industrialized countries in the global economic system, and called on member countries to unite their powers to provide such an equality.
Moussa stressed that the main target of Egypt's term presidency would be development of cooperation among the member countries.
Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Mithat Balkan represents Turkey at the meeting.
The D-8 was formed as a result of Turkey's initiatives in Istanbul on October 1996 at a conference on cooperation in developments.
Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Nigeria are the member countries to the D-8.
-BRSA CHAIRMAN TEMIZEL:
Responding to questions of journalists, Temizel said, ''all banks have fulfilled their commitments as of yesterday. The banks have fulfilled all of their commitments abroad.''
Noting that change was regarded with only monetary policy, Temizel noted, ''we had to transfer to floating foreign exchange currency system due to excessive valuation. This does not mean giving up other policies and arrangements regarded with net domestic assets. The Central Bank will of course meet the liquidity requirement.''
Temizel told reporters, ''some banks could not fulfil some of their commitments. Because they could not take their sources.''
''Turkey should keep its calmness. Current situation of economy will be assessed. Later, Turkey will transit into a more sound structure,'' he added.
-STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ IN YALOVA:
Yilmaz attended inauguration of a primary school constructed by the Clothing Industrialists' Association Education Foundation in Ciftlikkoy township of northwestern province of Yalova.
Recalling that Turkey experienced a massive quake disaster in 1999, Yilmaz said, ''we have been still grieving for those who lost their lives in the disaster. The government has been expending great efforts to remove the physical traces of the disaster. All traces of the quake disaster in 1999 will be removed till end-2001.''
Yilmaz thanked all private organizations and non-governmental organizations for their contributions to quake survivors.
Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan; National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu; Turhan Tayan, the Chairman of Parliamentary Commission of Constitution; Turgut Yilmaz, the Chairman of Clothing Industrialists' Association; and Mehmet Atakan, the Chairman of Clothing Industrialists' Association Education Foundation; were also in attendance at the inauguration.
Later, Yilmaz left Yalova for Ankara to attend the summit meeting among leaders of three political parties forming the coalition government.
-PRESIDENT SEZER LEAVES FOR EGYPT (1)
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is accompanying President Sezer.
-MEETING WITH BANKERS STARTS UNDER CHAIRMANSHIP OF STATE MINISTER ONAL
Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel is not attending the meeting.
Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of Treasury; Akin Izmirlioglu, the Chairman of State Planning Organization (DPT); Zekeriya Temizel, the Chairman of Banking Regulatory and Supervisory Authority (BRSA); and Sukru Binay, the Deputy Governor of Central Bank; are attending the meeting.
Osman Tunaboylu, the Chairman of Banks' Union and Director General of Ziraat Bankasi; Yenal Ansen, the Director General of Halk Bankasi; Mustafa Saracoz, the Director General of Emlak Bankasi; Altan Kocer, the Director General of Vakifbank; Ahmet Kilicoglu, the Director General of Eximbank; Ersin Ozince, the Director General of Is Bankasi; Zafer Kurtul, the Director General of Akbank; Halil Ergul, the Director General of Kocbank; Ergun Ozen, the Director General of Garanti Bankasi; Husnu Ozyegin, the Chairman of Executive Board of Finansbank; and directors general of some other banks are in attendance at the meeting.
-PRESIDENT SEZER LEAVES FOR EGYPT (2)
President Sezer staged a press conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Egyptian capital Cairo to attend the third summit meeting of heads of state and government of the D-8.
Speaking at the press conference, President Sezer said, ''the D-8 was formed as a result of Turkey's initiatives in Istanbul in 1996 at a conference on cooperation in development. The D-8 has been fulfilling an important function in regard to development of technical, commercial and economic cooperation among eight countries taking place in a huge geography from Western Africa to Southeastern Asia and having various economic opportunities and rich natural resources, and to increase this countries' role in the world economy.''
''During the summit meeting in Cairo, we will assess decisions taken at meetings of the Trade Experts Group, the Business Forum, the D-8 Commission and the Council of Foreign Ministers,'' he told reporters.
President Sezer said, ''I will bring current economic problems onto agenda during the summit meeting. I will underline importance of development of cooperation among member countries to the D-8. Also I will explain our opinions about new proposals and new cooperation fields within scope of the D-8.''
Noting that he would hold bilateral contacts during the summit meeting, President Sezer added, ''we believe that the third summit meeting of heads of state and government of D-8 would yield beneficial results in regard to development and welfare of member countries.''
President Sezer is expected to return to Turkey late on Sunday after wrapping up his contacts in Cairo.
-LEADERS OF COALITION PARTNERS CONVENE
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP); State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP); State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP); and State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husemettin Ozkan are in attendance at the meeting which started at 03:10 p.m.
Yilmaz cut short his visits to Yalova and Istanbul and returned to Ankara to attend the summit meeting.
At the meeting, details of economy management and new policies will be assessed.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit refrained from responding to questions of journalists about allegations saying that Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel has resigned.
Ercel is not attending the meeting with representatives of some banks under the chairmanship of State Minister Recep Onal.
-GEORGIA ALLOWS TURKISH FISHERMEN TO FISH ONLY IN 7-MILE AREA
Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Necipoglu said that fishermen were experiencing a very unfortunate season.
''Turkish fishermen which were expecting to fish a lot this season, are now facing the worst season in recent years. After they couldn't fish lots of bonito, they hoped to fish lots of anchovy. However, bad weather conditions frustrated their hopes. So they decided to fish in Georgian territorial waters but they couldn't find what they expected,'' he said.
''Nearly for last one month, twenty Turkish fishing boats have been fishing off Poti city of Georgia and bringing the anchovy to the Hopa Port after a six-hour travel. Here, they market the anchovy by paying three U.S. dollars of duty per case. When they recovered their situation, Georgia narrowed their fishing area. They were forced to fish just in a seven miles of area. So they now want to return back,'' he added.
-STATE MINISTER TOSKAY: ''A STATE SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY
Speaking at a meeting held in Abant township of Bolu, Toskay said, ''this government started his mission after taking over an economy whose budget was unclear, and it achieved great successes in 2000 so we should objectively assess developments.''
Noting that the government targeted to decrease the inflation to one-digit numbers in three years, Toskay said, ''in January, inflation rate became 28 percent in wholesale prices index (WPI) and 35 percent in consumer prices index (CPI). If the latest crisis won't be effective, we expect a 25-26 percent inflation in WPI and 30 percent inflation in CPI. Although the government failed to reach these targets, it recorded an important progress.''
''The thing which created trouble for us and necessitated a revision in the program was enlargening difference between the Turkish lira (TL) and foreign exchange when the inflation did not reduce. Exportation became difficult and importation became easier when TL gained in value. And this increased the foreign trade deficit. We were negatively affected by these developments. Besides, negative developments occurred in foreign currency and Euro-U.S. dollar parity,'' he said.
Toskay added that Turkey should not make any concession from the economic program and continue implementing it in order to form an economy which was able to compete with the world.
Meanwhile, State Minister Faruk Bal said that Turkey had been struggling against high chronic inflation for last 25 years, adding, ''the government will not give up this economic program and program will continue.''
-JUSTICE MINISTER TURK:
Turk responded to questions of journalists after attending a meeting on ''Activity of Judicial System and Problems of Jurisdiction''.
Responding to a question about the row between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit at last Monday's meeting of the National Security Council, Turk said, ''such a row should have never taken place. It was understood that President Sezer expressed his opinions on issues such as the State Supervision Board and intervention in jurisdiction. He could express his opinions at his weekly routine meetings with Prime Minister Ecevit. The President can explain his recommendations to government at any time. But this should be made at appropriate place, ground and with appropriate manner. On the contrary of President Sezer's statement, there is not any intervention in jurisdiction.''
When asked whether or not the Justice Ministry has launched initiatives for extradition of Sukru Karahasanoglu, the former director general of Sumerbank who was captured in Italy, Turk said that the Justice Ministry prepared and sent a dossier about Karahasanoglu to the Foreign Ministry.
He noted that there had not been any problem between Turkey and Italy in extradition of offenders except for extradition of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK.
Responding to a question about Law on Conditional Release from Prison, Turk said, ''there may be an increase in crimes, but this increase should not be connected with the Law. Crime has many social and psychological reasons. Only 18 people who benefitted from the Law on Conditional Release from Prison, committed crimes again. We should create job opportunities for these people to prevent them from committing crimes again.''
-PRESIDENT SEZER ARRIVES IN EGYPT
A delegation including Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is accompanying President Sezer.
President Sezer and his entourage were welcomed at the airport by Prime Minister Atef Ebeid of Egypt and Aykut Cetirge, the Turkish Ambassador to Egypt.
President Sezer will deliver a speech at the D-8 summit meeting on Sunday.
He is expected to bring current economic problems onto agenda during the summit meeting, and to underline importance of development of cooperation among member countries to the D-8.
President Sezer is expected to hold bilateral contacts during the summit meeting.
He will come together with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt on Sunday morning.
President Sezer and the accompanying delegation are expected to return to Turkey later in the same day.
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