Turkey

Gul: “We will not swallow it at all” – June 27th 2012

President Abdullah Gül responded to reporters’ questions after a press conference he held along with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic as part of the 20th Anniversary Summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) yesterday. In reply to a question whether the outcome of the NATO meeting on Syria satisfied Turkey, Gül said the details about the incident have already been revealed and reiterated that the Turkish jet which was shot down by Syria was not hostile toward it at all. “It was not flying at the time to detect what was going on in Syria either. It was a routine flight indeed. Otherwise, it would have been guarded by another jet. However, what happened in the international waters demonstrated the paranoia the Syrian Armed Forces are experiencing. We appreciate the solidarity of the international community about this incident. Obviously, we will not swallow it at all,” Gül said.

Escape from Syria continues – July 7th 2012

A Lieutenant Colonel and Captain of the Syrian army fled the country with their families and came to Turkey.

Soldiers keep coming to Turkey from Syria with their families. The recent incomers have been accepted to the Apaydın tent city in Hatay.

Meanwhile, 212 Syrian civilians including wounded people have entered Turkey. The wounded have been transferred to nearby hospitals. Others have been taken to Ceylanpınar tent city in Şanlıurfa province.

Egemen Bağış: “Turkey is the most Eastern part of the West and the most Western part of the East” – July 5th 2012

Turkey’s EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış wrote an article for The Huffington Post which was published on Tuesday. In the article entitled “Democracy and Bread: Turkey’s Link Between the EU and the Middle East” Bağış says, “While Turkey is firmly attached to its destined course of integration with the European Union, we are equally involved with our Eastern and Southern neighbors. Turkey’s attachment and alliance with the West is complemented with its historic and cultural roots in the East. This combination makes Turkey a strategic asset for the EU. Similarly, Turkey’s unique position in Eurasia makes us a key global actor. Turkey is the most Eastern part of the West and the most Western part of the East whereas Istanbul is the most European City of Asia and the most Asian City of Europe,” adding, “If Turkey is seen as an inspiration that Muslim nations can advance through democracy, economic reforms, popular dynamism and stable democratic governments, let it be. If this is seen as a “Turkish Model” we have no objection.” Bağış further says, “A civilian government with a puppet image under the military’s custodial rule is not the Turkish model.

Mexican officials praises Turkey – June 19th 2012

Turkey was praised by economy and foreign affairs officials in Mexico, the host of G20 Summit this year. Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexican Deputy Finance Minister Gerardo Rodriguez said that Turkey has performed very well within the G20 Working Group on International Financial Architecture which conducts the 2010 Quota and Governance Reform work of the IMF. Rodriguez added that emerging economies such as Turkey and Mexico should have more say in international finance institutions. Speaking for his part, Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Lourdes Aranda said that the G20 Summit in Los Cabos would play an important role in terms of increasing the influence of developing countries such as Mexico and Turkey.

Giant agreement with Azerbaijan on natural gas – June 27th 2012

Turkey yesterday signed a deal with Azerbaijan to build the $7 billion Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) to carry Azeri gas to European markets. Energy Minister Taner Yıldız and his Azeri counterpart Natiq Aliyev put their signatures on the agreement. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also signed the deal at a ceremony held in Istanbul. The project set to be completed in six years will pipe 16 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field. Representatives from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the Turkish state-owned pipeline and Gas Company BOTAŞ and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) were also present during the ceremony. Held at the Turkish Prime Ministry, the signing ceremony was also attended by Aliyev and Yıldız. “Today we have taken a historic step,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his speech yesterday at the signing ceremony. “Today’s signing is the most important step in completing the legal framework for this project,” Erdoğan said. “This project will not only deepen ties between our countries, but also create an organic tie between Azerbaijan and Europe via Turkey.” The project will establish an “organic bond” between Azerbaijan and Europe, he added. “What makes these projects a reality is the fraternity and friendship relations between the two countries,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said. With yesterday’s signing of the accord by Erdoğan and Aliyev in Istanbul, the seven billion-dollar (5.6 billion-euro) project took a step closer to becoming a reality in the next six years.

Speaker of Nabucco: Trans-Anatolian pipeline does not obstruct Nabucco-West project – July 6th 2012

Christian Dolezal, the Director of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs at Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, said that signing the Trans-Anatolia natural gas pipeline project (TANAP) between Azerbaijan and Turkey did not obstruct the Nabucco-West project.

Dolezal said, “I do not think that there will be a problem in financing the Nabucco-West project which will begin in the Turkish-Bulgarian border. We will develop financially.”

Dolezal also stated that the Nabucco is an important project for Turkey and natural gas producers and said, “All shareholders of Nabucco-West believe that the project will be carried out successfully.”

Christian Dolezal explained that parameters were open after signing the TANAP between Azerbaijan and Turkey and said that they were holding intensive negotiations.

Dolezal expressed that they kept supporting Nabucco-West which was set up for moving the Nabucco consortium natural gas of Azerbaijan to Europe.

Official speaker of Nabucco gas pipeline Dolezal underlined that they would like to connect Nabucco-West to the TANAP project.

“In a short period of time there have been interesting developments in Turkey and TANAP side. We are following all these developments closely and contribute into the project positively. Turkey is a partner of Nabucco-West alongside BOTAŞ and Turkey will stay as a partner in the future”, Dolezal said.

Dolezal highlighted that the predictions of current natural gas capacity was positive and said that in order to transfer the natural gas between Iraq and Turkey, there needs to be a pipeline to be set up.

The Nabucco pipeline referred to as a Turkey-Austria natural gas pipeline is a delivery route for natural gas reaching Europe.

Erdogan marks the first release of HÜRKUŞ – June 28th 2012

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday attended a ceremony in Ankara marking the first release of primary and basic trainer aircraft HÜRKUŞ (Free Bird) of Turkish aviation company TUSAŞ from the hangar. Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan underlined the importance of the concept of defense, saying, “We will respond to hostile attitudes against us, attacks and threats in the strongest manner, using all the power and inspiration we derive from our history. We will never avoid teaching a lesson to gang-run states that have no legitimacy in the eyes of their public, those who resort to state terrorism against their people and those who dare test the limits of Turkey’s might,” Erdoğan said. Erdoğan also described the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) as “one of the oldest, most experienced and powerful armies,” adding, “And today we get to equip this powerful army through our own technicians and engineers and with the devices these people create. Turkey is becoming a country that has more power, expertise and determination in the defense industry every single day. We, as a government, will continue having a visionary stance in the defense industry and supporting this industry with determination.” The HÜRKUŞ which was manufactured by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) can fly up to a speed of 574 km/h with a maximum stall speed of 143 km/h in landing configuration. The maximum service ceiling of the jet is 10,577 km, which can fly at 15,000 feet for a stretch of four hours and 15 minutes and has a 1,600-horsepower engine. The aircraft also has a system producing oxygen for pilots while flying.

Deal for first phase of Izmir fast train signed – June 12th 2012

Turkey’s Forest and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu attended the signing of the 287 kilometer Ankara-Afyonkarahisar high speed rail project yesterday. This is the first phase of the larger Izmir-Ankara high speed rail project. Eroğlu said he was proud of the transportation ministry’s support and efforts and thanked Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım for making the project a reality at the signing ceremony. “In the past we used to spend an eternity on the road,” he said, recalling his university days when it took him 12, 15 or 17 hours to get from Afyonkarahisar to Istanbul. According to Eroğlu, he used to spend hours stuck behind a truck in heavy traffic. Turkey’s rail system, which was conceived during the Ottoman period, was neglected after the initial impetus in the Republican period, Eroğlu said. “As a government we support the country’s rail system. Our rail system is our pride,” Eroğlu said. Afyonkarahisar, a western Anatolian province, is one of the world’s new hubs of thermal tourism, according to Eroğlu, and has taken its place as an important center for health and congress tourism as well. In terms of the number of five star hotels, it ranks fourth in Turkey, according to Eroğlu. The new Zafer Airport in Afyonkarahisar is scheduled to open on October 29, according to Eroğlu, and will facilitate the province’s thermal tourism. “I believe the infrastructure for the rail line will be completed shortly,” said Eroğlu. “We are going to connect the Ankara castle with the Afyonkarahisar castle.” After the rail line is complete, the commute time between Ankara and Izmir will drop to three hours and 30 minutes, which is a huge improvement from the current eight to nine hours, said Eroğlu. Time is precious and Turkey needs to connect all of its cities by rail as soon as possible, Eroğlu said. “We are going to integrate Turkey with the world. Turkey is going to be the apple of the world’s eye. We are ready for Turkey’s 2023 targets,” said Eroğlu.

Number of visitors of Cappadocia rises over a million in six months time – July 6th 2012

Historical and touristic attractions around Cappadocia had been visited by 1.09 million local and foreign visitors in the first half of this year.

According to information received from Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, 2.5 million tourists visit the region in a year approximately and the most visited place is Göreme open-air museum.

In the first half of 2011, the region received 1.15 million tourists.

Yours sincerely,

Cem

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Comments

  1. Dear CEM: We have spoken before.

    Your items are illuminating and very interesting.

    How is the Third Bosphorus Bridge contract getting on? I read that this is to be built soon and in a Turkish-Italian Construction Consortium.

    Please advise.

    Carol

  2. Hello Carol,

    hope you are OK.

    Yes the third bridge will see the daylight. But I don’t know when it is finished.

    I will suggest a news about that project as soon as I catch them on the Turkish web!

    Besides, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan answered to some circles several weeks ago that Kanal Istanbul is a serious project.

    We have to wait. That huge project is being deeply studied.

    See you soon,

    Cem

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