November 14, 2011
Azra, a 2-week old baby rescued with her mother after the earthquake which has hit eastern Turkey on Sunday, has become the subject of UNESCO’s general conference in Paris.
Director-General Irina Bokova talked about Azra at the beginning of her opening speech. “The survival of the baby who was rescued miraculously has caused an emotional storm. In line with humanitarian feelings, we all have empathized with Ercis, a district name we have never heard before. We have all re-connected with each other as members of human society. We must join our powers and cooperate to solve the world’s serious problems effectively,” Bokova said.
Members of human society. Beautiful words.
Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomio criticized the EU for lack of leadership, stressing that the statements made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are more important than EU leaders’ statements.
Tuomio reiterated that Erdoğan talked about secularism in his visit to Egypt, adding that the lessons given by Erdoğan in those regions is very important, because his statements are quite important and taken into account more seriously than those of EU leaders.
The Minister for European Union and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış met Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip as part of his contacts in Estonia.
At the meeting held at Prime Minister’s office, Estonian Premier Andrus Ansip said Estonia will never forget the friendy attitude Turkey has shown towards Estonia.
Recalling that Turkey recognized Estonia’s independence in 1924, Ansip also said they are grateful for the support Turkey extended during their NATO membership process.
Minister Bağış for his part conveyed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s kindest regards, and thanked Estonia for its support in Turkey’s EU membership process.
Egemen Bağış said Turkey was not after Europe’s financial ressources. Turkey had constructed more highways, schools and airports than many countries that received financial assistance from the EU in the last nine years, when the Justice & Development (AK) Party ruled the country.
“We have invested in agriculture more than those countries in nine years, and we have tripled our agricultural production. Turkey does not think that EU membership will provide more economic advantages to itself”, Bağış told a conference at the Estonian Foreign Ministry in Tallinn.
Bağış said Turkey’s EU membership was a win-win process for both parties, and Turkey would wait for some more time for some narrow-minded circles in the EU to understand that fact.
Croatia’s former president Stjepan Mesic has said that Turkey made highest contribution for peace in the Balkans.
In an exclusive interview with AA, Mesic recalled that he had been the last president of former Yugoslavia before the war in 1990s, and said that Turkey had been a peace actor since the first day the tension and clashes began in former Yugoslavia.
During the war too, Turkey exerted efforts to solve problems through peace and dialogue, he noted.
Mesic said that Turkey also sit at the table with Serbia – although Serbia was occupier – and exerted efforts to seek for solutions by peaceful means.
Turkey, after the war, is still pursuing its efforts to strengthen peace and to eliminate problems, said Mesic, adding that they sincerely supported Turkey’s efforts.
Turkey’s place is in Europe, and Turkey has the European standards, he said.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu yesterday met with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic at a breakfast organized at the Ciragan Palace. Reportedly, the two ministers discussed the tension in the Balkans and northern Kosovo, as well as the situation of Sancak Turks during the three-hour meeting.
Davutoğlu also met with Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiye at the Cirağan Palace yesterday, during which he was informed on the latest situation about the contacts made by the Arab League in Syria, as well as other regional developments. The Arab League and Syria have previously agreed to give an end to the violence in Syria and release the people who were arrested after the uprisings against the government have started.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday reassured that Turkey would remain undivided on the path to a brighter future, free from terror, as the country commemorated Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic, on the 73rd anniversary of his death. Quoting Atatürk’s speech from 1927, Erdoğan emphasized that Turkey would stand unified in the face of terror, and will only grow stronger through a new, more democratic and liberal constitution.
“No one should have doubts that the Republic is in the right hands,” vowed the prime minister. “Every person in this country is a first-class citizen. We will not accept or allow any sort of separation, inequality or injustice”, said Erdoğan, speaking at a conference at the National Library.
“It is thus our greatest desire to create a constitution that brings the individual and their liberties to the forefront while fortifying the unity of the country”, he said. “This is the only way we can eliminate terror. As long as this nation continues to embrace each other in dialogue, friendship and sincerity, as it has done throughout history, terror and those who use it as a tool will once again be disappointed” he said.
Atatürk’s words in his book titled “Nutuk” are significant at this point, added Erdoğan, reciting the quote; “Our nation, insisting on unity and ambitions, will make any proud and violating enemy regret their pride and violation.”
“As 74 million Turkish citizens, we will continue insisting,” said Erdoğan. “We will never compromise our freedoms, basic rights, and advanced democratic standards. We will not recognize factions and plots.”
The construction of the Ankara-Adana transit road linking Europe to the Middle East is nearing completion.
The 25 km part of the Niğde-Kemerhisar segment which is one of the highway’s most important junctions has opened to traffic.
Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım, speaking at the opening, said once the road was completed, Europe would be linked to the Middle East.
The road will enable an intermittent travel from Europe to Iraq ,and going to Niğde from Mersin and Adana will be shortened by 45 minutes.
The highway from Edirne, Yıldırım said, going to Urfa passing through Istanbul, Adana and Antep will also link Anatolia to the Middle East, almost making Niğde one of the meeting points of Europe and the Middle East.
35 software companies, operating in technocity in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, joined and established a single company as “Astec”.
A total of 35 Turkish software companies will open an office in Silicon Valley, hub of the world’s largest technology corporations, in Northern California in the US.
“Astec” will open an office in Silicon Valley in December, said Ileri, adding that Akdeniz University, owner of Antalya Technocity, would be the first Turkish university to enter Silicon Valley.
Northwestern province of Bursa, Turkey’s important textile center, increased its textile exports by 22.2 percent and ready-made clothing exports by 9.2 percent in the first ten months of 2011 when compared to the same period of 2010.
Total exports of textile and ready-made clothing sectors, which was 1.1 billion USD in the first ten months of 2010, increased to 1.3 billion USD in the same period of 2011, according to Uludağ Exporters’ Association (UIB).
Textile exports reached 928.6 million USD with a 22.2 percent rise, while ready-made clothing sector’s exports reached 441.7 million USD with a 9.2 percent rise in January-October period of 2011.
Turkey’s exports of steel and iron reached to 12.6 billion USD in the first ten months of 2011, data showed.
Exports were up five percent in quantity to 15 million tons over the same period a year earlier and in terms of value they increased by 27.2 percent to 12.6 billion USD.
The biggest increase was in hot-rolled flat steel products with a 144 percent rise and 1.6 million tons. Revenue from the products were up 172 percent to 1.2 billion USD.
Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Airlines, has been presented “the best growth award” by the East Capital, international asset managing company.
Turkish Airlines, one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines in recent years, was presented with the award at a ceremony in Stockholm at “the 2011 East Capital Awards.”
“Since 2003 Turkish Airlines has tripled its fleet size, grown the number of passengers by on average 18 percent per year and increased its revenues even during the worst of the global financial crisis in 2008-2009,” East Capital said on its website. “As a result of this consistent growth, the company doubled its market share compared to 2005 and has become the fourth largest carrier in Europe.”
Due to its services for India, Turkish Airlines (THY) has been elected “best airline of europe 2011”, and THY director general Temel Kotil and THY marketing and sales president Sezgin Sağlam have been given friendship awards.
Historical UK Parliament building hosted the award ceremony organized by Asian Guild Institution set up by Asians who contribute to the country’s economic and cultural life.
Given an award at the ceremony THY Marketing and Sales Director Sezgin Sağlam said THY has already flights to-and-from Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester airports and that it will begin flights to Gatwick airport as of December 20.
Lord King of West Bromwich said it would strengthen social and political bonds and defined THY as one of the best in the world.
The city harbors Turkey’s only Museum of Underwater Archaeology which displays the world’s oldest shipwreck.
The Castle of Bodrum is a center of attraction especially for foreign visitors.
The castle, which was built by the Knights of the St. John of Rhodes to protect Rhodes from the Ottoman army, is now a museum.
Yaşar Yıldız, Director of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, said, “There are around 10 thousand archeological materials, about 2 thousand ethnographic materials, and 4 to 5 thousand coins in our Museum but we display some of them. The museum hosts the world’s oldest wracked ‘The Uluburun Shipwreck’.”
The Bodrum castle is the 4th most visited museum of Turkey.
The English Tower hosts remains of the knights. Museum guards dressed in the period’s costumes welcome the guests.
I visited that great castle in 1998. I remember “The sovereign of the sea”. I captured this small-scale replica for evermore with my camera.
Tourism is the new hope for development in the Black Sea. Besides tableland, cave and nature tourism, thermal tourism is also on the rise in the region.
Modern facilities began to offer service in the region to prompt opportunities for thermal tourism. One of these facilities is located in İkizdere district in Rize province. Sales Manager, Davut Taşpınar says “Our spring is among world’s top five in terms of its medicinal value. It has a mineral value of 4650 PPM. Tourism Ministry has certified it. It is good for many diseases.”
Incoming tourists utilize the hot springs for medicinal purposes. One of them says “It relieves fatigue. It is good for many diseases, including rheumatism. I was very, very tired. I have been here for three days and I feel great now.”
Şahika Ercümen broke two records in constant weight and vertical dive categories by diving to 60 and 70 meters with and without fins.
Preparing for a long time to break double world record, Şahika Ercümen had a pretty intense camp in Dahab city along the Red Sea, Egypt.
Diving to 70 meters in constant weight and vertical dive category, Ercümen improved the record of American Tanya Streeter who dived to 67 meters.
After the record broken on a single breath and with fins, Şahika Ercümen attempted 60 meters without fins. Thus, she became the first record holder in the without fins category.
Competing for METU Underwater Sports Club, Şahika Ercümen swam 110 meters under ice on a single breath on 11 February. With this result, 26 year old diver entered the Guinness Book of Records both in men’s and women’s categories in horizontal diving under ice.
Şahika Ercümen is Fishwoman!