Ashgabat, March 30
Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has arrived in Turkmenistan to discuss the construction of a Transcaspian gas pipeline. Prompted by the mutual interest in a speedy implementation of this project, the Presidents of the two countries have decided to join forces in solving the problems that hamper progress, primarily disagreements between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan over quotas for Azerbaijani gas exports. Baku has stated its intention to transport gas by the Transcaspian pipeline and use up to 50 percent of its capacity. The estimated capacity of the pipeline is 30 billion cubic meters of gas, of which only five billion cubic meters were secured for transit states. Being the initiator of the project designed for the export of Turkmen gas, Ashgabat disagrees with this approach. Demirel's support for Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov's position may be considered as one of the results of his visit. Speaking at a press conference in Ashgabat, the Turkish President said his country would help resolve disagreements between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Another problem delaying the commencement of the project is the lack of financial support, Niyazov said. He thinks that the proposals submitted by project sponsors and members of the consortium are raw but acceptable to Turkmenistan. During the talks, the Presidents discussed a number of other areas of cooperation, including building and textile industries, power supplies to Turkey through Iran, and ways to boost trade turnover between the two countries. All these projects will be stated in an agreement on trade and economic cooperation between Turkey and Turkmenistan up to the year 2011. The document is expected to be signed by the Presidents at their next meeting.
By MICHAEL ROTHBART
March 29 (AP)
Kyrgyz authorities yesterday prevented publication of the independent weekly newspaper Respublica. The Bishkek paper is one of a handful of national newspapers in Kyrgyzstan which is not under government control.
The state printing company Uchkun refused to print yesterday�s edition ofthe paper after the National Department of Justice levied the newspaper witha fine of 200 000 som (US$ 4,200). Respublica has been charged inPJuly 1999. Today, Respublica editor-in-chief Zamira Sydykova was broughtto the Bishkek
Prosecutor�s Office for questioning on her support ofOpposition leader Felix Kulov. Tuesday`s paper was to have included an editorial from three human rightsleaders demanding to know �whether the right of freedom of speech is stillin force? �It is just the latest example in Kyrgyzstan of the national governmentturning to the police and the court system to enact measures that keepcontrol over opposition leaders and supporters.
Meanwhile, Felix Kulov, chairman of the Ar-Namys party, continued a sevenday hunger strike in prison. Kulov was arrested March 22nd for allegedly misusing power in 1997 and 1998, when he was Minister of National Security.He has been denied access to all visitors, including his wife, doctors orhis lawyer Nina Zotova.At present, nine supporters of Kulov in Bishkek have joined in the hungerstrike.The furor over Kulov has overshadowed other recent government measuresagainst the oppostion, including the detainment of opposition figures, police searches of the home and office of El ( Bei-Beshara) Party chairDaniyar Usenov, a fine against the Kyrgyz language opposition newspaperAsaba for alleged 1994 tax violations, and a tax inspection of the paperDelo No.
Ongoing protests in Bishkek and Kara-Buura demanding the annulment of theMarch 12th Parliamentary elections have increasingly turned confrontational. One week ago, 70 protestors in Kara-Buura were beaten and detained bypolice. Eleven were subsequently sentenced to 7 to 15 days in prison. TheKyrgyz Committee for Human Rights issued an unconfirmed statement reportingthe death of one of the protestors following her arrest. Human rights organizations have applied to [not sure who yet; for now say: officials] to hold a demonstration in Bishkek�s Republic Square on Sunday, April 2nd, to protest against the series of arbitrary arrests in Bishkek, Kara-Buura and Issyk-Kul, and the government manipulation of elections whichpercipitated the current political crisis.
Although authorities have not yet granted permission for Sunday`s protest, it is still expected to be held.
ALMATY, March 30
Late at night on March 29, hooliganism (i.e. abusive notes, cut telephonic wires, and concreting of doors) struck three members of opposition. Despite minor differences, all three incidents were similar. All three victims had planned to participate in the opposition's meeting organised by the RPPK (Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan).
The deputy chairman of the RPPK Executive Committee was the first who informed of the incident. Amirzhan Kosanov said in his interview to THE GLOBE that at approximately 6 a.m. one of the windows of his flat had been broken by a stone. Police arriving after his call had to destroy a layer of concrete with which the malefactors covered a lower part of the flat's door. At dawn it was found that telephone and TV wires had been cut.
All this was accompanied by abusive and mostly unquotable inscriptions, such as �Amirzhan, you are dead,� �Here lives political prostitute,� etc. in the entrance, on the road in front of the house, and on nearby garages.
�I think they wanted to frighten me before the meeting, where I was to speak. It was people who I criticise and I criticise the authorities, the President, law-enforcement agencies, and those who are responsible for national security,� Mr. Kosanov stated.
Another man suffered a similar fate was Nurbulat Masanov, a political scientist. Apart from other things, a metallic bar was inserted in the lock of his door, and all viewing glasses were painted over with a black colour.
Nurbulat Masanov believes the incident to be the work of the special services to frighten him.
�They tried to make this look like the work of young hooligans, but they were obviously adults. For example, at 2.30 a.m. I was called and said only one word: �Nureke�. Then they laughed in a receiver, it was voice of a grown-up man with a Kazakh accent,� he said in an interview to THE GLOBE.
In the same night inscriptions appeared at the flat of the Orleu leader. The public statement by Seidakhmet Kuttykadam states that unidentified people cut off his telephone line and threw a bottle at his window, although the latter did not reach the target and struck the window one floor below.
Mr. Kuttykadam also said that the event was most probably aimed at frightening the member of opposition and prevent him from participating in the meeting.
�Undoubtedly, local special services are behind these blackmailers, but they will not scare either Seidakhmet Kuttykadam or other representatives of opposition,� the statement says.
According to a RPPK spokesman, Yermurat Bapi, participating in the meeting, there were provocations at the event as well. Near the RPPK meeting a new organisation �Municipal Youth's Movement Talapker� was holding a meeting. Its representatives, young athletic men held slogans directed against the party and its disgraced leader, Akezhan Kazhegeldin, according to Mr Bapi.
�But our meeting, unlike the neighbouring one, was sanctioned. We did not respond to this provocation, and we avoided all trouble,� � he said to THE GLOBE.
P.S. Unfortunately, for the time being THE GLOBE could not get in touch with the City Department of Internal Affairs. So, we do not know how representatives of force structures would comment on the incident. The appearance of previously unknown movements is also mysterious. THE GLOBE will keep readers informed of the investigation, and will try to clarify details surrounding the new organisation.
All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
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