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24.01.2003

Nuclear threat on Turkish border

Nuclear threat on Turkish border  » Aras warns of Armenian nuclear plant threat  » Turks trust their government contrary to the general attitude  » Erdogan restored as AKP leader; court decision sparks controversy over Nov. polls  » Parliament paves way for retrial of former DEP deputies  » Visit to our page
Turkish Daily News Online...DOMESTIC NEWS     24 January 2003




  • Nuclear threat on Turkish border
  • Aras warns of Armenian nuclear plant threat
  • Turks trust their government contrary to the general attitude
  • Erdogan restored as AKP leader; court decision sparks controversy over Nov. polls
  • Parliament paves way for retrial of former DEP deputies
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    Nuclear threat on Turkish border

  • An outdated Armenian nuclear power plant located on a fault line poses great danger for Turkey and environs.

  • Italian Ferrara University Academician Professor Hayrettin Kilic stated that the Metzamor nuclear power plant, Armenia, poses a great threat to Turkey. He warned that any leakage in the power plant constructed with outdated technology might cause the deaths of millions of people in neighboring countries. Kilic underlined that the nuclear power plant should be closed.

    Professor Kilic, famous from studies on waste pollution of nuclear power plants and security, spoke at a conference jointly organized by Kars Kafkas University and Kars City Council and said that in the rating of nuclear power plants of the world one power plant in Armenia and three in Bulgaria are listed among the worst power plants in quality and technology.

    "These four power plants were blacklisted and the European Union put pressure on these countries to close down these facilities immediately. Armenia opened its closed power plant in 1995 following an energy crisis," said Kilic.

    Kilic went on to say that, "The risk is tremendous. Metzamor nuclear power plant is not a problem of Kars, Agri, Igdir, Yerevan and Nakhichevan but a problem of Turkey, Georgia and all Armenia. This is a regional problem."

    According to Kilic, the license for NPP exploitation, located 15 kilometers from Igdir and 100 kilometers from Kars, expires in two years, after which it must be renewed.

    Noting that the nuclear power plant is located on a fault line, Kilic said that even if the nuclear power plant were meeting Western standards, it would still have an adverse effect on the environment. He stressed that people living in the regions should be evacuated.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Atom Energy Institution Deputy Chairman Dr. Erdener Birol said that nuclear power plant located at the border is an old type of reactor similar to the one in Chernobyl and underlined the big risk.

    "After Chernobyl we enacted our fast response system, completely mastered by our engineers. As the radiation level increases, Ankara is notified about it immediately", he stated.

    Kars Mayor and the head of city council Naif Alibeyoglu noted that people are faced with huge danger.

    "We are doing everything to close this plant, but not everything is in our power. It is essential that state authorities attend to this matter closely. Should there be a leakage or explosion, the aftermath of the disaster may be more terrible than those of Chernobyl," said Alibeyoglu.

    Stressing that currently the construction of such power plants in the world is prohibited, Alibeyoglu continued to say, "Even if permission is given, there is demand to build such plants in deserted areas at least 100 kilometers off the settlements. Around the Armenian nuclear power plant there are numerous residential areas, apart from Kars. In the dangerous vicinity of this power plant Igdir and Ardagan are located. The exploitation of this nuclear power plant should be banned. It is a violation of human rights, because of this exploitation. It is necessary to obtain the permission of the area residents, and this has nothing to do with borders. The NPP is to be shut down in 2004, yet Armenians intend to prolong it for another 10 years".

    Ankara - Turkish Daily News

    Aras warns of Armenian nuclear plant threat


    Igdir Mayor Nurettin Aras stated Thursday that the Armenian Metsamor nuclear power plant threatens Igdir's population due to outdated technology and lack of protection measures.

    Aras stated that Turkey's Atomic Energy Institution placed an early warning system in Igdir to check for any nuclear leakage threat. He underlined that the plant operates with 33-year-old technology and that there are no measures taken to protect people against any accident or natural disaster, such as an earthquake.

    Aras declared that nuclear plants have to be established 90 kilometers from the nearest inhabitants, but Aralik, Karakoyunlu, Karakale, Gaziler districts and Alican are 15 kilometers from the plant.

    Aras stated that the level of radiation is normal for the moment. "We are in danger of a disaster. We will apply for the closing down of the nuclear plant."

    Ankara- Turkish Daily News

    Turks trust their government contrary to the general attitude


    According to a report presented in Davos, Switzerland before the World Economic Forum, Turkish people trust their government in the fight against terrorism more than people trust their own governments in the world.

    The report is a result of research conducted among 15,000 people in 15 countries. It states that people trust their government less since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack but not in Turkey. According to the survey Chinese people trust their government most while Indian and Turkish governments gain confidence. The U.S. leaders on the other hand have lost their people's confidence.

    The forum aims to build confidence in economic issues.

    The survey also states that nongovernmental organization leaders are the champions of trust. Religious and spiritual leaders along with U.N. authorities are top of the list.

    The survey also stated that people have lost confidence in democracy and the media while military institutions are trusted more.

    The report states that people look for new alternatives in case of instabilities and that Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power as a democratic result of the people's choice.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, State Minister Ali Babacan, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Health Minister Recep Akdag, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan are expected to attend the meeting.

    Gul is expected to attend a meeting on the Iraq issue, to meet with the Swiss Interior Minister and head of the Swiss Confederation Pascal Couchpin and Mogol Prime Minister Nambar Enkhbayar Friday.

    Ankara- Turkish Daily News

    Erdogan restored as AKP leader; court decision sparks controversy over Nov. polls

  • Erdogan: I see every obstacle as an opportunity. I praise God that I have been given a role in the struggle for democracy and freedom in this country
  • Jurists have started to discuss whether Erdogan's position as party leader was invalid since October, a month before the poll, or not since this situation may also necessitate the cancellation of Nov. 3 elections, for which AK Party ran under the chairmanship of Erdogan

  • Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was formally restored as head of his party on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Turkey's top court ruled him disqualified.

    The AK Party leadership met on Thursday morning, hours before Erdogan left for a world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, and formally re-elected him to the chairmanship, constitutional procedures this time duly observed.

    The Constitutional Court on Wednesday said Erdogan could not lead the party but said if he were re-elected he could assume the post again with full powers.

    "I see every obstacle as an opportunity... However much I praise God that I have been given a role in the struggle for democracy and freedom in this country, it is not enough," Erdogan said after he was re-elected by his party's executive board in an unanimous vote.

    Erdogan further said that he was sorry about the resistance to prevent the removal of barricades in front of democracy in Turkey.

    Erdogan led his party to a landslide victory at the November elections. Erdogan was convicted in 1999 for inciting religious hatred and barred from politics but the law under which he was sentenced was amended after the Nov. polls.

    In October, a lower court ordered Erdogan to step down as party chief because he violated laws by founding the party despite his conviction. Erdogan refused to step down but did resign as a founding member as the court requested. On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court said that since Erdogan resigned as a founding member he could no longer exercise the powers of a party leader.

    The Constitutional Court Chairman Mustafa Bumin yesterday responded to criticism against the court. The court was criticized for being slow in deciding Erdogan's leadership status as the prosecutor applied to the court on October 23.

    Bumin said that the three-month period trial process was not long, finding the criticism unfair. Stating that the court had many cases awaiting trial at present, Bumin noted that the criticism should be made within the limits of respect.

    AK Party officials believe that there's no legal obstacle in front of Erdogan to make politics as he's been re-elected once again. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday that there was no constitutional or legal obstacle in front of Erdogan's making politics, emphasizing that there would be no special bans for a certain individual in a democratic secular civil state.

    Erdogan is widely expected to become prime minister after he runs in parliamentary by-elections in March. Erdogan has already been acting as if he was the head of the government, meeting with dignitaries around the world.

    Abdullah Gul is currently serving as prime minister, but is expected to step down if Erdogan wins a seat in Parliament at Siirt by-elections to be held at the beginning of March.

    Legal changes have lifted a political ban that accompanied Erdogan's past conviction, though there is still room for the High Electoral Board to bar him from running.

    Turkish renowned businessman and beloved figure Sakip Sabanci said yesterday that Erdogan should become prime minister since people voted to make him the prime minister. Sabanci said that Turkey should eliminate the impression of a "double-headed" administration.

    Court decision sparks controversy over Nov. polls

    The Constitutional Court caused widespread amazement by ruling that Erdogan's position as party leader was invalid on a technicality.

    Renowned jurists of the country started to discuss whether Erdogan's position as party leader was invalid since October, a month before the poll or not, since this situation may also necessitate the cancellation of Nov. 3 elections, for which AK Party ran under the chairmanship of Erdogan.

    Erdogan was named as the party leader in the ballot papers at the Nov. 3 elections and that certain jurists claim that this may be a cause for the cancellation of polls as they believe that the Constitutional Court decision was retroactive.

    Although Justice Minister Cicek and deputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir support that the court decision was related with AK Party, Constitutional law expert professor Erdogan Soyaslan claimed that the top court gave a decision, which made all the transactions of Erdogan, including the elections, controversial.

    "All the signatures of Erdogan are invalid. The elections became unhealthy," Soyaslan added.

    Claiming the opposite, professor Orhan Aldikacti, architect of the 1982 constitution, said that the decision of the top court was not retroactive, emphasizing that Erdogan's transactions as party leader were valid. According to Aldikacti, the court's decision is valid as of January 22.

    When responding to a question on this issue, Supreme Election Board (YSK) head Tufan Algan said that the board would evaluate the issue if there were an application demanding the cancellation of the elections.

    Algan stressed that the court's rationale was yet to be issued, saying that the board would discuss the situation if there were a necessity to take a retroactive decision in line with the court decision.

    Ankara- Turkish Daily News

    Parliament paves way for retrial of former DEP deputies

  • Justice Minister Cicek says European Court delivered 286 verdicts against Turkey and 12 verdicts in favor of the country, emphasizing that Turkey should pay a total of TL 2.9 trillion compensation

  • Parliament yesterday adopted a draft law paving way for the retrial of former imprisoned pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) deputies, including Leyla Zana as part of a second reform package aiming to harmonize with the EU laws.

    Supported by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the law enables former DEP deputies who received renewal of trial from the European Court will have the right to apply to Turkish courts for retrial in a year's time.

    According to the law, the retrial will be made by the courts which imprisoned those DEP deputies.

    Addressing Parliament before the voting on the law, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that Turkey took a new step on the way to harmonization with the EU laws with the law.

    Cicek said that there were some 4,820 applications regarding Turkey to the European Court to date, adding that Greek Cypriots only presented 2,250 applications to the Court.

    Cicek informed that the European Court delivered 286 verdicts against Turkey and 12 verdicts in favor of the country. He said that there were only 513 verdicts, which can be described as friendly solutions. Cicek added that European Court rejected 107 other applications.

    According to Cicek, the total amount of compensation that Turkey paid and has to pay is TL 2.9 trillion. He noted that Turkey paid $425,516 compensation to date, while it had to pay another $15,022,228 compensation.

    Ankara- Turkish Daily News

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