general Turkish news articles.....

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Posted by Alexander from ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 at 11:02PM :

Assorted articles(scroll up or down along the headings to select specific topics)....the topics are divided by double-lines and spacing in order to differentiate between the individual articles.

And I know these articles may not appear to be relevant to the current issues in Iraq and such, but it doesn't hurt to post them here anyway, just so you see what is happening in the local news in other places. After all, since I am reading them already, I figure I should just post them for general information on the forum.

Saros quake is surprising, scientists say
Aftershocks of the strong quake, epicentered in the Sea of Marmara's Saros Gulf, continue; a crisis management center was set up in Canakkale Governor's Office


The strong earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale that hit western Turkey late on Sunday caused no injuries or deaths but it caused panic and surprise, as it was not expected by scientists in terms of its location.

The quake struck at around 10:10 p.m. on Sunday evening and was centered in the town of Saros Gulf, some 300 kilometers southwest of Istanbul. At least eight aftershocks measuring up to 4.9 in magnitude sent residents in the town of Canakkale rushing out of their homes in panic after the first tremor struck.

The quake was felt in Istanbul and several other cities several hundred kilometers east of Canakkale.

The earthquake, and especially the aftershocks, caused panic among residents of Canakkale and many people spent the night out of their homes on streets.

Canakkale Governor Suleyman Kamci said that they felt the tremor strongly but added that there was no injury or damages. A crisis management center was immediately set up at the governor's office while certain inpatients left the state hospital as aftershocks continued in the city.

Turkey Geophysics Engineers Chamber Head Prof. Ahmet Ercan told the Anatolia news agency that no earthquake was expected in the Saros Gulf and added, "It's kind of a surprise."

Ercan stated that the Saros Gulf has long been inactive, emphasizing that they were not expecting an earthquake. He stressed that the quake might be considered a foreshock.

"I do not want to say that an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale is a foreshock but these earthquakes are never sufficient to prevent the expected earthquake," he added.

According to Ercan, the quake was on the northern Anatolia fault line, but said that he was not expecting a big earthquake in Marmara until 2007.

Prof. Sener Usenmezsoy from Istanbul University said, however, the quake was on a different fault line that is the extension of Tekirdag fault line.

In 1999 two massive quakes on the northern Anatolia fault line killed more than 18,000 people and devastated large sections of the industrialized northwest.

Quakes are frequent in Turkey, which lies atop active fault lines. Shoddy construction and poorly enforced building codes have contributed to high quake mortality rates in the past.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Turks believe government does not need IMF
The number of people that believe the government is capable of curing economic hardship rises from 37 percent to 45 percent. The survey also reveals that 35 percent of those surveyed believe that the economic problems are already in the curing process


The majority of Turkish people believe that the government can maintain the economic program without the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a public opinion conducted by the ANAR research company revealed.

Recently, there have been news reports that say the government will carry on the economic program without the IMF. According to the ANAR poll, 67 percent of those who surveyed believed that the government can carry out the program successfully without the support of the IMF while 24 percent of them said it cannot do it.

ANAR conducted the public opinion poll in 12 different cities and surveyed 1,900 people. ANAR holds monthly surveys in an effort to see the changing choices and demands of the public.

The public opinion revealed that half the people that participated in the survey stated that they believe that the government's team in charge of economy administration are not successful. According to the survey, only 37 of people said the economic team of the ruling Justice and Development Party is successful.

Meanwhile, the number of people that thought the government is capable of curing economic hardship rose from 37 percent to 45 percent. The survey showed that 35 percent of those surveyed believed that the economic problems are already in the curing process.

Participants said that decreasing inflation, the low foreign currency rate and increases in investments and exports are indicative of the cure.

Turks hail decision to shorten military service term
Results of the public opinion poll revealed that Turks appreciated the decision to shorten the military service term best during June.

In June, the Office of the General Staff announced that the Turkish Armed Forces decided to reduce the obligatory military service period as a part of reconstruction efforts in the army.

According to the decision, military service will be reduced from 18 months to 15 months starting from July 15, 2003, allowing a decrease in the number of soldiers by 17 percent, which military observers said is 85,000 soldiers.

According to the plan, the service period of reserve officers will be reduced from 16 months to 12 months and the service period of short term military service will be shortened from eight months to six months.

The government approved the decision of the TSK.

Almost 19 percent of those who surveyed said it was the best action of the government, while 10.1 percent believe that the government's efforts and reform packages that were passed as a part of Turkey's ambition to become a full-member to the European Union were the best action of the government.

The government has completed the sixth reform package in line with Turkey's EU path and it has been working on the seventh package, mainly limiting the influence of the military on politics.

EU officials repeatedly told Turkey that implementation of the reforms has equal importance with passing the reform packages.

Performance of the government and political parties
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Cem Uzan's Young Party (GP) were the parties that witnessed important increases in their voter support in June.

The survey revealed that the voter support of AK Party rose to 39.8 percent from the 34.2 support it gained in the November 2003 elections. During the same time interval, the voter support of GP rose from 7.2 to 14.4 percent.

Uzan's GP has no seat in Parliament as it failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold, but political commentators still believed that it was a success for a newly-founded party to get 7.2 percent of votes during the elections.

Uzan founded GP shortly before the elections and carried out a successful campaign by using the advantage of owning media investments.

Uzan owns a few television stations such as Star and Kanal 6, as well as daily Star newspaper.

According to the results of the survey, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) are among the parties that witnessed a decrease in voter support together with the True Path Party (DYP), having three seats in the 550-member Parliament, Motherland Party (ANAP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The ANAR survey revealed that 41.1 percent of people believe that the government was successful throughout June while 39 percent found the government not successful.

Popularity of Sezer decreases while Demirel sees rise in popularity
The public opinion poll revealed that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's popularity in the eye of the public is gradually decreasing while former President Suleyman Demirel gains more popularity.

According to the results of the poll, seven percent of those surveyed said that Sezer is the most successful official of the country while Demirel followed him with 6.5 percent.

The survey showed that AK Party leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the most popular official in the country with 19.4 percent.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Traffic accidents continue to claim lives throughout the country
More than 20 people were killed in traffic accidents during the weekend, officials point to the violation of traffic rules as the most significant reason of accidents


Some 20 people lost their lives in traffic accidents throughout the country last weekend as accidents continue increasing as people started to set off for summer holiday.

Some five people were killed and seven other were injured in traffic accidents that took place in Aksaray, Canakkale and Eskisehir, while a bus which swerved off the road, claimed the lives of three people 30 kilometers away from capital Ankara on Monday morning.

The bus heading to Ardahan from Bursa hit on the central barrier when it was 30 kilometers away from Ankara after its driver fell asleep. Being dragged for 50 meters; the bus then fell down the river beside the road. Three people were killed and some 33 were injured at the accident.

Meanwhile, the funeral of the six people who were killed in a traffic accident in Duzce on Saturday, was held on Sunday.

Another six people also lost their lives at traffic accidents which took place in Adapazari, Mugla, Kocaeli, Aydin, Malatya and Zonguldak during the weekend.

Psychiatrist Ayhan Akcan from Bakirkoy Psychotechnic Assessment and Traffic Consultancy Center said that the main factor, which creates problem in traffic, is the person who sits at the driver's seat, adding that there's no such thing as traffic monster.

Akcan noted that those who violated the traffic rules, who pass at red lights and who drive fast but do not wear safety belts were responsible for the traffic accidents.

Akcan told the Anatolia that one person was killed in traffic accidents in every 55 minutes in Turkey, adding that 90 percent of the accidents stemmed from the mistakes of people.

Recalling that over 400,000 drivers lost their licenses temporarily in the past four years, Akcan said these people should receive psychological treatment according to the law but noted that only 12,000 drivers received this treatment.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Akarcali introduces new book in Parliament


Bulent Akarcali, former health minister and tourism minister, introduced his new book "Karanlik Hep Vardi Biz Aydinliga Cabaladik" (There was Always Darkness, We Tried for Enlightment) in a press conference in Parliament, reported Anatolian news agency.

The book is composed of the events that occurred in the last three years. In his book, Akarcali gave place for numerous subjects including democracy inside the political parties. "In the book, I wrote the last three years of my 20-year political career. Those years were the period of radical change in Turkey and these changes still maintain their importance," said Akarcali.

According to Anatolian news agency, it is the first time a book has been released in Parliament. Akarcali noted, "In Turkey if we get rid of the obstacles that prevent getting information, we will solve all of the problems such as corruption. In Turkey some of the political names seem very important but they are not as important as they were exaggerated, I wanted to point out this reality in my book."

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Academics Association head criticizes YOK-AKP dispute


Academics Association Chairman Professor Kadir Erin yesterday criticized the controversy between Higher Education Board (YOK) and ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) over the YOK draft law by saying the ongoing discussions make the issue deviate from its core.

Erdin said in a statement that the association was making efforts to enable YOK and universities gain a real academic structure, adding that the certain parties distorted the issue in the recent period.

"YOK head and certain university rectors say that AK Party government really aims to provide reactionary structuring in universities with YOK reform, asking people to oppose these efforts," Erdin said.

Erdin noted that his association believed that YOK head and these rectors use this claim as a shelter to protect the current system, adding that his association would first of all react to such a development in case the signs of a reactionary structuring start to emerge.

Erdin stated that the association rejected to be a party of this controversy, emphasizing that the country needed a higher education reform.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Surprising decision at OSCE


Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Professor Nevzat Yalcintas was nominated candidate for deputy chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at a meeting which started in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

European socialist, liberal and conservative parties' groups decided to nominate Yalcintas as a candidate for the deputy chairmanship post of the OSCE on Monday.

The decision of these three different groups regarding Yalcintas was interpreted as a surprising decision by OSCE circles. The agreement of the three is evaluated as a decision in favor of Turkey, which means support for Turkey's candidacy to the EU.

The election will be held on Wednesday at a secret ballot in Rotterdam and more than 300 lawmakers from 55 countries will vote to select the deputy chairman.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Government to prepare regulations for fuel stations
In the aftermath of a blast injuring more than a hundred people, government initiates a study to prepare a regulation to bar fuel stations from densely populated areas


Justice Minister and government speaker Cemil Cicek said on Monday that government believed that a new regulation is needed for fuel stations two days after a blast in Ankara injured more than a hundred people.

According to the figures of the health ministry 189 people were injured when an explosion ripped through a petrol station in central Ankara, most of them wedding guests celebrating in a hall on the same site.

A massive fireball engulfed the hall after the blast which happened late on Saturday as a tanker delivered liquid petroleum gas (LPG) at the station in a working-class neighbourhood in the Turkish capital.

Cicek said that a new study has been conducted under the coordination of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler in order to bar fuel stations from densely populated areas.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Engineers and Architects on Monday called on government to fill the legal gap in the regulations about fuel stations.

Soon after the blast, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan pledged new rules to bar LPG stations from residential areas, and the government on Sunday announced a special inspector to investigate the blast.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News

-- Alexander
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