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Mehmet Agar speaks but reveals nothing
|Mehmet Agar speaks but reveals nothing » Turkey to order 800 tanks in new $4.5 billion project » The footprints of political Islam » Bread price increases spark controversy » Three new road tunnels planned for Ulus » Workers' unions meet to plan common agenda » Government reshuffles police chiefs » BBP withdraw's support from coalition » PKK confessors turn into state hitmen » Whose gang is this? » ANAP calls for another Ciller inquiry » Commission clears bill ratifying accord on chemical weapons » Parliament votes again to regulate promotional campaigns|
|Turkish Daily News Electronic Edition, Domestic News Section, Jan 17 1997
Domestic News Page Contents
Mehmet Agar speaks but reveals nothing
TDN Parliament Bureau
ANKARA- Parliament's Susurluk Commission, established to investigate state-mafia links, heard from former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar on Thursday. Agar broke his silence for the first time after the traffic accident in Susurluk on Nov. 3. However, during the three-hour commission hearing, Agar wasreported not to have said anything definite on the issue, and to have hidden behind Article 138 of the Constitution, which stipulates that "pending cases shall not be questioned in Parliament."
"I am unconcerned, and confident enough to be able to account for everything," Agar said on leaving Parliament.
Noting that he had been invited by the commission to express his views on the issue, Agar said, "During my term as a statesman, I always put up an honorable fight against terrorism and illegal forces. Turkey is not Luxembourg or San Marino. Turkey is a serious state. Defense and security have always been important due to Turkey's strategic position, and they will continue to be so. Of course, people who provide services in these fields perform their duty in a courageous manner within the limits of the law, taking all kinds of risks.
"If there is an error in any of this, of course it has been brought before the court, and those who have committed the error will eventually be revealed. If there is punishment, it will also be made clear to everyone."
Emphasizing that no one would be able to find any dishonorable or dishonest activities from the performance of his duties, Agar said, "There is bread, sweat, service and peace where we are. Since we came to power three years ago, there have been no serious incidents in Turkey. There has been a decrease in terrorism and illegal activities. Everyone, from those in tourism to ordinary workers, is peaceful. Honest and honorable citizens who obey the law and are loyal to their country do not have any complaints about me.
"The Turkey of today is not the Turkey of the 1920s. Turkey has prosecutors and judges. All Turkish agencies are standing firmly on their feet. Turkey is a very strong country. Turkey will embrace its bright future," he added.Agar at the commission
Agar stayed at the commission hearing, which he arrived at under heavy security, for three hours. Commission Chairman Mehmet Elkatmis from the Welfare Party (RP) said he explained to Agar that, due to Article 138 of the Constitution, he would not have to answer certain questions, but he would have to testify on those questions at a court hearing. Elkatmis stated that the commission will hear True Path Party (DYP) Urfa Deputy Sedat Bucak, who survived the crash, next Tuesday, Meral Catli, Catli's wife, Ahmet Baydar, his business partner, and Arzu Yaman, the sister of Catli's girlfriend, Gonca Us, who died in the crash, on Wednesday.
Elkatmis said on Thursday the commission will also hear from Teoman Koman, former Undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and former Commander of the Gendarmerie forces, Necdet Menzir, DYP deputy and former chief of Istanbul police force, and Abdullah Kaderoglu, who was kidnapped by the mafia.
Meanwhile, it was reported that during the commission hearing, Agar referred to the constitutional article which forbids parliamentary meetings and inquiries into cases brought before the court, but agreed to answer questions when commission members reminded him that the relevant article is limited to "issues relating to the power to try people." It was also said that Agar, while answering questions, constantly denied all allegations. Asked whether Abdullah Catli was used by the state, Agar said, "If he was, he was not used to carry out acts on behalf of the state, but to collect information for the state. The state utilizes everyone to get information." Agar also denied allegations that the HAVAS firm, of which Agar's brother is a partner, is involved in narcotics smuggling.DGM law to change, says Beduk
Meanwhile, the True Path Party (DYP) has been disturbed bydisputes over the amendment of State Security Court's (DGM) jurisdiction with regard to the hearing of crimes relating to organized gangs.
DYP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Saffet Arikan Beduk said the amendment, which calls for offenses set forth in Article 313 of the Criminal Code (relating to the organization of gangs), to be heard in ordinary courts instead of state security courts, had no connection with the controversial Susurluk incident.
Responding to TDN's questions, Beduk said, "The Foreign Ministry has asked for this amendment, because in some cities the state security courts are not able to finalize cases before two years have passed, due to their heavy workload. When this happens, the accused apply to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that they were unable to receive the benefit of a fair trial in Turkey. We want to exclude these cases from DGM's authority and enable them to be heard without delay in ordinary courts."
Beduk stressed that the coincidence of the arrest of police officers from the special police force at the Istanbul DGM on charges of establishing gangs, and the changes to DGM's authority was purely by chance. He added that the postponement of the date for bringing the amendment into force is being considered, to eliminate public suspicion.
"When cases related to the Susurluk accident have been heard at the DGM, the new law can be put into force," Beduk said.
Turkey to order 800 tanks in new $4.5 billion project
By Metehan Demir / Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Turkey is to produce at least 800 third generation tanks in a $4.5 billion project to meet the army's 21st century defense needs, high-level military sources told the Turkish Daily News on Thursday.
"In the long term, the number of tanks that will be produced under this project is expected to reach around 2,500. The tanks will have high maneuverability, high firing power and low weight. These are among the specifications that will be requested for the tanks of the future," said the military source.
"This project will play a key role in Turkey's defense concept and it will make the Turkish Armed Forces one of the world's most sophisticated armies," said the source, adding that for the first time, Turkey is to implement a bidding system similar to the United States by asking all competing firms to produce prototypes before the contract is given.
Approximately four Turkish firms are to be invited to bid for the project, which will be opened at the end of the year. Any Turkish company bidding for the project has to find a foreign partner who has experience in tank production. Under the new-style bidding system, each joint consortium will be required to produce a prototype tank with the expenses for research and development to be paid for by the State Defense Fund.
The total cost of the project, including the cost of research and development, will be at least $4.5 billion.
A project group made up of two generals and Yalcin Burcak, the undersecretary for Defense Industries (SSM), has been established and will be responsible to the Defense Industry Executive Board -- made up of the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief Of general staff.
The 780,000-strong Turkish army is one of the ten largest armies in the world, according to the World Strategic Information Institute, while the army's 4,280 tanks are the fifth largest tank force in the world.
In recent years, Turkey has given priority to army modernization programs and new weapons systems. During a briefing last year, the General Staff said $150 billion would be needed to fund the arms and operations of the Turkish Armed Forces for the next 25 years. During that period, the ground forces would need $60 billion, the navy $25 billion, and the air force would need $65 billion in arms and equipment.
The footprints of political Islam
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- A public survey on the senior party in the coalition government, the Welfare Party (RP) has revealed that the party'ssupporters are in general "pessimistic" about the country's political future and have turned to the RP as a kind of "refuge."
Poll conductors Piar-Gallup carried out the survey in provinces where the RP has strong support, polling those who said they had voted for the RP at the last general election.
The research group, owned by Democratic Left Party (DSP) Deputy Bulent Tanla, said its aim in carrying out the survey was to examine the views of RP voters on the current political situation in Turkey and their attitudes toward the party they had voted for.
Calling the report, "The footprints of political Islam", Bulent Tanla said the RP electorate consider the party as one who which would "restore justice," in part because its pro-religious character had "earned the people's trust."
Analysts regarded the findings as an indication that the RP electorate regarded the party as a "savior" and that they would continue to support the party come what may. voters would continue to support the party in all conditions.
On the economic side, 41.5 percent of RP supporters believe the country's economic future will be brighter in one year, 21.6 percent believe it will be the same, 23.7 percent believe it will be worse, and 13.2 said they did not know.
A majority, 60.6 percent of those surveyed, expressed support for including Islamic rules into the Constitution.
When asked who, amongst prominent people and institutions, they trusted, the prime minister came out on top -- with 72.5 percent of those surveyed saying they trust him. The next most trustworthy was the government itself with 66.7 percent of those surveyed. The armed forces came in third with 65.9 percent. In previo___us surveys in which voters in general were asked, the armed forces almost every time came out as the most trusted institution in the country.
When it comes to international organizations, the RP supporters have the least belief in those from the West. Only a little over a quarter of those surveyed believe that the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the United Nations and NATO actually help Turkey. On the other hand 59.5 percent said they think the Islamic Conference Organization helps Turkey.
One interesting fact was gleaned when surveyors asked whether the Aya Sofya should become a mosque. A whopping 63.3 percent agreed, 25.2 percent disagreed, and 11.5 percent gave no answer.
Bread price increases spark controversy
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- The price of bread, which was reduced to TL 15,000 all around Turkey as a result of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan's decision on Nov. 20, 1996, increased to TL 18,000 in Ankara, the Anatolia news agency reported. Agricultural and Rural Affairs Minister Musa Demirci reportedly talked to Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir governors and requested that a commission should be formed to determine a reasonable price for bread.
Officials from the Ministry said that the ministry did not have the authority to determine the bread price. They explained that they had made a new cost analysis and that the increase in fuel oil and electricity raised the costs.
The officials said that putting technical and hygienic alterations in effect at bakeries would be more effective than just dealing with prices.
Ankara Governor Erdogan Sahinoglu told Anatolia that he held a meeting with the bakers on Wednesday and requested them to reduce the bread price to TL 17,000 or TL 17,500.
Sahinoglu said that he would file a complaint for the annulment of the price increase on Wednesday since the bakers did not accept his offer.
Sahinoglu recalled that the bakeries in Istanbul wanted to increase the price to TL 22,000. He said that the bakeries in Ankara were waiting for the increase in Istanbul and that they promised to reduce their prices to TL 17,000 if Istanbul bakeries kept it under TL 20,000.
Sahinoglu said that the municipalities and governorships should have more authority in determining the prices.
Three new road tunnels planned for Ulus
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- The Ankara Municipality will build three new tunnels in Ulus this year to help solve the traffic problems there, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.
The first tunnel, which will be 150 meters long, will link the Opera in front of Iller Bank to the Yiba store.
The 620 meter long second tunnel will run from Emlak Bank to Ruzgarli Street and will only be used by buses.
The third tunnel will be one kilometer long and will link the Government Guest House to Bentderesi.
Officials said that construction of the tunnels would begin this year. One problem they may face during the excavations will be if they come across historical relics. "We hope we don't come across any ancient ruins," one said.
Workers' unions meet to plan common agenda
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- The secretary-generals of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is), the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DISK), the Hak-Is Labor Union, the Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK) and the Turkish Public Workers' Labor Union (KESK) on Thursday came together at the Turk-Is headquarters to evaluate the problems of workers and to determine the method to be followed to solve them, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Turk-Is Secretary-general Semsi Denizer said in his opening speech that they believed in cooperation among workers' and civil servants' unions in order to overcome the problems of the country and workers. Noting that Turkey was facing many problems, such as in the Southeast and unemployment, he added that these examples clearly showed that political powers have not achieved success.
"We believe in using our power arising from production including a general strike," he said.
Hak-Is Secretary-general Recai Baskan noted that the solution to problems required a just distribution of income, while DISK Secretary-general Kemal Daysal said that cooperation among workers' and civil servants' would contribute to the formation of just distribution of income and the solution of workers' economic and social problems.
KESK Secretary-general Faysal Ozcift said they attached great importance to this new plan of cooperation because it would help the development of peace and democracy, the issuing of a democratic constitution and the struggle against privatization.
Kamu-Sen Secretary-general Harun Onder called forappropriation laws concerning public workers' unions without delay.
Government reshuffles police chiefs
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Five deputy general directors and 28 security directors from the Security Directorate have been laid off by the government, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.
Deputy Security Directors Kamil Tecirlioglu, Ertugrul Ogan, Halil Tug, Cevdet Saral and Ertugrul Cakir were discharged after President Suleyman Demirel gave his approval to the Police Chief's decree.
Security Director Sevket Ayaz, police inspectors Salih Zeki Yigit, Abdullah Selvi, Adnan Eser and M. Sabri Kanlikavak were appointed as deputy security directors. Ramazan Er has been appointed to the Istanbul Security Directorate and Mehmet Cebe, former Sanliurfa Security Director, has been appointed to Ankara Security Directorate. Under the decree, 43 new appointments have been made, and 21 of them are said to be from the Welfare Party.
BBP withdraw's support from coalition
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- The Grand Unity Party (BBP) announced on Thursday that it was withdrawing its support from the Welfare Party (RP)-True Path Party (DYP) coalition, thus reducing the parliamentary support for the government.
BBP leader Muhsin Yazicioglu, in announcing their decision at a press conference, said the injustices faced by public sector workers and the government's inability to redress these had constituted "the last straw" for them.
The BBP, although it has only seven deputies in Parliament, came into prominence in July when it supported the RP-DYP coalition in the parliamentary vote of confidence.
The BBP's support was crucial because it counterbalanced the prospect that some DYP deputies might have cast a negative vote to voice their opposition to cooperating with an Islamist party.
These concerns turned out to be groundless and the BBP's support proved to be unnecessary in the end.
Deniz Baykal, the head of the center-left Republican Peoples' Party (CHP), was to first to come up with praise for the yesterday's move by the ultranationalist BBP.
Baykal said he congratulated the BBP for this action and said there was a need for the present RP-DYP government to end as quickly as possible.
Answering questions for reporters in Ankara Baykal said he only wished the BBP had announced this decision 24 hours earlier and had supported the opposition in its censure motion for the minister for labor and social security.
Baykal nevertheless lauded the BBP for its decision, saying this was the correct one given the treatment meted out to public sector workers.
Asked about this development, DYP deputy chairman Hayri Kozakcioglu told reporters on Thursday that they would try and seek the means to "work in harmony with the BBP in Parliament."
"Politics is the art of agreeing and arriving at a compromise," Kozakcioglu said.
"The government never said it would not give a pay rise to public sector workers," he added indicating that work was underway to give this increase.
PKK confessors turn into state hitmen
By Zeki Ayik / Turkish Daily News
ISTANBUL- It has recently come to light that ultranationalist Ulkucu militants have been used to do some of the Turkish state's dirty work.Now it is claimed that former Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) militants who cooperate with the state have been used to perform state-sponsored extrajudicial killings as well.
People's Democracy Party (HADEP) Istanbul executive Latif Kaya told the TDN that the Gendarmerie Intelligence Services (JITEM) views HADEP as a potentially terroristic organization, and abducts HADEP members to pressurize them into joining an armed counter-PKK organization, AMED, formed under its command.
Kaya also claims that AMED kidnaps and "eliminates" Kurdish intellectuals in the predominately Kurdish provinces of southeastern and eastern Turkey due to the authorities' belief that they support the PKK.
Kaya alleges that HADEP Istanbul executive Mahmut Demir, code named "Yesil" (Green) and Alaattin Kanat, whose names have cropped up quite frequently in the press, are former PKK militants who have been used by the state as part of AMED along with Turkish soldiers, village guards and special teams in its fight against the PKK.
The group's first assignment, mentioned in the memoirs of the late JITEM commander Ahmet Cem Ersever, was supposedly the murder of Vedat Aydin, the People's Labor Party (HEP) Diyarbakir Branch leader, in 1991.Ersever had stated that captured Ulkucu and PKK militants who cooperated were placed in this group.Ersever himself died in a mysterious "unresolved murder" in 1994.
Alaattin Kanat, who agreed to cooperate with the state after his arrest as a PKK militant, was released instead of being imprisoned.Kaya claims that following his release Kanat was involved in the assassination of former Mardin parliamentarian Mehmet Sincar.
Demir, who had been active in Tunceli and Elazig provinces between 1990-1993 with the code names "Yesil" (green) and "Sakalli" (The Bearded One) is said by Kaya to have claimed to be working on behalf of the state, and was actually a former PKK militant who joined AMED.Demir is supposed to have been involved in the assassinations of Mehmet Sincar, journalist Musa Anter and Vedat Aydin.
In addition Demir is supposed to have been active in the assassination of Faruk Candan, the Democracy Party (DEP) Ankara's branch leader, in Golbasi, Ankara in 1994.Forced to convert to AMED
"AMED, which used to be active in the Eastern provinces, now operates also in the major cities," said Kaya."They kidnap the Istanbul members of HADEP, take them to the Istanbul Police Headquarters in Aksaray where they force them to become confessors.In November 1996, 38 HADEP members were kidnapped by this group.Since 1994, 164 people have been murdered by this group, and none of these murders have been solved."
Kaya said 3,870 people who could not bear the pressures to defect to AMED or serve as village guards have migrated to the cities, and added "there will be many more AMED groups in this environment."
Kaya stated that AMED was formed in Diyarbakir, and continued with the Bucak clan in Sanliurfa.He claimed that there is a torture chamber in the basement of True Path Party (DYP) Sanliurfa Deputy Sedat Bucak's house, which is used to force the abducted people to join AMED.
One so taken and forced to work for the state is HADEP member Adil Dizek, who recounted his experiences for the TDN:
"I was forced into a car by two plainclothes men, who identified themselves as Police Investigation Bureau officers, in front of Kucukkoy Park, Istanbul.When I asked them why they were not taking me to the Kucukkoy Police Station, they replied, `We are from JITEM. Do not think of resisting.'
"We arrived at Istanbul Police Headquarters in Aksaray and waited in the car for someone called "Dayi" (Uncle).Then we drove through an army base in Macka where a couple of police vehicles were waiting at the entrance.We continued on an unfinished road for about two kilometers and stopped.They threatened me with death by putting a gun in my mouth and firing another gun beside my ear.For about two hours they beat me, and I agreed to work with them.
"They brought me to Istanbul Police Headquarters and said, `from now on, you are one of us.You will join AMED.You will tell us whatever happens in HADEP.We will supply money and arms for you.If you want, we can find you drugs to sell.'After making an appointment to meet in 15 days, they released me."
Dizek did not show up at the appointed date. Èe said the threats on his life continued and he filed a criminal suit against the Istanbul Police.
A sudden increase in the numbers of the unresolved murders and "missings" coincides with the alleged formation date of AMED in 1991.Following are some events since 1991 in which the AMED group is believed to have taken part:
Four missings and 31 unresolved murders in 1991; eight missings and 360 unresolved murders in 1992; 13 missings and 467 unresolved murders in 1993; 49 missings and 423 unresolved murders in 1994; 163 missings and 84 unresolved murders 1995; 191 missings and 59 unresolved murders in 1996.
Kaya claims their investigation has established Alaattin Kanat, Mahmut Demir, Ibrahim Bobat, Ali Pinar, Abdulhakim Guven, Kahraman Bilgic, Ali Timurtas, Kemal Enik, Irfan Beyaz, Ali Ozansoy, and Abdulkerim Altug as AMED hitmen.
Whose gang is this?
By M. Akif Beki / Turkish Daily News
ISTANBUL- There are two mafias as well as two secret services within the state of Turkey. The first is the so-called pro-European gang, and the other is the pro-American one, according to a former officer of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
An economics professor and retired branch chairman of MIT, Mahir Kaynak has revealed a left-wing military intervention attempt dated March 9, 1970.He defines the gangs within the state as extensions of the blocs of the foreign secret services.
After taking coup leaders, including former General Cemal Madanoglu and army officers, journalists and academicians to court, MT disclosed Kaynak as its spy within the junta. Although he resigned from MIT after the disclosure, he returned to the organization and became branch chairman responsible for the foreign intelligence, a post from which he retired in 1980.
Kaynak described the Madanoglu junta as European backed despite public opinion that this junta, as well as the left-wing movement supporting were Soviets puppets.
According to Kaynak the clash between left-wing (socialist or communist) and right-wing (multi-nationalist) movements, and even the three military coups in Turkey since World War II were aspects of the conflict between those blocs, the Europeans, led by Germany and France, and America.
"We have two mafias, thank God.One is the so-called pro-western gang, and the other is pro-American. These mafias practice murders in accordance with the policies of their supporters," Kaynak told the TDN.Has MIT never used Rights to operation?
Although MIT is an important factor in illuminating the mysterious murders blamed on state gangs, Kaynak cautioned that first people should ask which gang it was, the pro-American or pro-European?
"The high-level directory of MIT is out of this structure," he said." They are only showing off in Mercedeses, and are paying attention to Angola, where there are no Turkish spies," he stressed.
According to him extensions of the blocs within MIT might involve criminal activities, but MIT cannot be institutionally related to the gangs.
However, saying that he has never seen or heard of a gang member being used by MIT, like Abdullah Catli and his colleagues, whose identities were disclosed in the Susurluk crash, Kaynak said that in the 1980s MIT began discussing operational rights.
Kaynak went on to say "Originally, the duty of MIT is to collect information, and there is no operation within this duty. Contrary to its image within the public, MIT does not provoke events for manipulation in the public, and it does not has gang members.
"But I accept that there might be someone personally involved in criminal activities. MIT does not force anyone to commit a crime, but it uses them to get information.
"Furthermore, many discussions happen time by time regarding position of the organization (MIT) as that whether the MT should be contented with the espionage, or it should be involved in the operations against enemies, as MOSSAD of Israel is. This discussions came to the agenda along with the entry of Hiram Abbas into the service, who was defending rights to operation for MT."Who ignited the clash?
During the 1980s there was a choppy period in MIT, because of the demilitarization attempts. Former President Turgut Ozal, the Prime Minister at the time, wanted to appoint a civilundersecretary to MIT, a position Abbas filled.
Until this time, particularly during Suleyman Demirel's Prime Ministries through the 1970s, MIT was a sensitive issue to the political powers and decisions were made in accordance with the wishes of the army, Kaynak said, and continued "This tendency of involving in operations headed by Hiram Abbas and his team, appeared in a certain period in which date also Abdullah Catli and his friends were connected with the MIT.
"Hiram Abbas has been specialized on the counter-espionage, while became deputy undersecretary for a short time. Mehmet Eymur, the present branch chairman of the counterespionage department in the MIT, was amongst Hiram Abbas' team."
Mehmet Eymir went on duty when Abbas left the service, but after a scandal Eymur was forced from office in 1987 returning later. "Eymir is a good intelligence officer with great support in the service, whose father also was been a member of MIT," said Kaynak. Abbas was killed in a mysterious armed attack in Kadikoy after leaving MIT.
Meanwhile, MIT has become a `key-position' in illuminating the criminal activities which have resulted in dozens of mysterious murders, in which gangs within the state were involved, after the statements of Eymir to the Parliamentary Investigation Commission for the gangs.
Eymir has confessed that Catli was used by MIT for a certain time after 1982 during operations abroad." But later we noticed that Catli began to use his connection with MIT for his personal profits and involved in criminal activities, we cut this relation," Eymir has said, adding that later police organizations -- led by former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar -- began to use him.
Revaluating police operations against to the criminal organizations through those years, and positions of the police chiefs who has been accused of backing organized crime, Mahir Kaynak said:
"I can say that no one who related with the gangs even within the police organization tried to eliminate the mafia or organized crime in Turkey, but everyone tried to eliminate the opponent crime organization in order to gain the market of the subject -- ranging from drug smuggling traffic to the phony money and extorting to tax -- in favor of his own gang.
"Therefore, to think as that, the state is not able to prevent this terror of gangs despite to trying it, will not be correct. Because continuations of this international forces backing gangs are within the state, even we learned that, the state officials who are responsible for catching gangs, were protector of these gangs."
Finally, the arrest of the three special team members as suspects of the Omer Lutfi Topal and MIT spy Tarik Umit murders, was allegedly conducted by MIT, which also has evidences to proof relation between those suspects and the investigative columnist Ugur Mumcu assassination held in 1993.
This is why, it is claimed that, the old clash between both candidates of MIT undersecretary Hiram Abbas and Nuri Gundes, is still continuing between MIT officer Mehmet Eymir, and former police chief Mehmet Agar.
ANAP calls for another Ciller inquiry
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Main opposition Motherland Party (ANAP) deputies have presented a motion to the office of Parliament Speaker for launching an inquiry against Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller for alleged corruption at the state-owned tourism enterprise TURBAN while she was prime minister, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.
The motion submitted by ANAP Istanbul Deputy Halit Dumankaya and his colleagues, drew attention to the alleged corruption at TURBAN in early 1992.
The deputies said that although there had been a parliamentary investigative commission into the matter at the time, the Chief Prosecutor's Office had been hindered from investigating properly and then Prime Minister Ciller had made attempts to cover upthe alleged corruption.
The deputies claimed that Ciller had knowingly or unknowingly misused her office and that she had obtained various benefits through TURBAN.
According to parliamentary regulations, the ANAP motion must be debated at a plenary session in one month at the latest. If Parliament decides to launch an inquiry, a 15 person commission will be set up.
Ciller has recently been cleared of corruption by three separate commissions after coalition deputies voted as a bloc in her favor.
Commission clears bill ratifying accord on chemical weapons
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission passed a draft bill regarding the ratification of the international accord banning development, storage and usage of chemical weapons and also requirng their destruction.
The international accord also requires that the production, transfer and development of elements, which have been determined to have played a critical role in the production of chemical weapons, be subjected to international supervision and control.
According to the accord, if a signatory state has doubts about the accuracy of information provided by another signatory state, and thinks that the state may produce chemical weapons or elements which may be used for the production of chemical weapons, it may ask the monitoring organization for international supervision and control.
The draft bill, cleared by the commission, stresses that Turkey has never produced chemical weapons and that it has never attempted to do so. It reads that the accord must be put into effect for world peace, after all the necessary amendments have been made in national and international law. It notes that Turkey has taken into consideration the fact that the implementation of the accord is important particularly in the Middle East.
Parliament votes again to regulate promotional campaigns
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Parliament has once again passed the law imposing restrictions on promotional campaigns by newspapers without making any amendments in its original version which President Suleyman Demirel had earlier sent back for reconsideration.
Under the new law, newspapers' promotional campaigns are now limited to cultural items, with restrictions regarding these campaigns' duration and financial scope.
Democratic Left Party (DSP) Deputy Mumtaz Soysal protested that the law was against the Constitution and that therefore it would be annulled by the Constitutional Court.
According to the bill, sponsored by the Welfare Party (RP)-True Path Party (DYP) coalition government, periodical publications (newspapers and other press establishments) will have to limit their promotion campaigns to cultural items. In other words, they may offer their readers only such things as books, magazines, encyclopedias, posters, flags, laser discs, or audio or visual tapes.
One of the clauses of the new bill which has drawn a lot of criticism stipulates that the market value of a commodity or service to be offered during a given newspaper's promotion campaign may not exceed 50 percent of the total sum the reader would have to spend to buy that newspaper during the promotion. The bill also says that these campaigns may last for a maximum of 60 days. During that period, the newspaper in question may not raise the selling price of its copies by using as a pretext the increase in the production cost caused by the promotion campaign.
The new bill gives the Ministry of Industry and Trade wide powers to regulate the promotion campaigns. Those who do not comply with these rules will receive a fine of TL 500 million for local publications, or 20 times that amount in the case of nationwide publications.
If it determines that a "periodical publication" is not complying with these rules, the Ministry will demand that the campaign be suspended, along with all the relevant announcements and advertisements. If the violation continues, the newspaper will be fined TL 1 billion for every issue and the Ministry will ask the consumer protection court to suspend the relevant announcements and advertisements.
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