November 29, 2012
“Nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, “The Civilizations Choir of Antakya”, a mosaic of exceptional performers from Turkey performed on Tuesday at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, US capital.”
“The Choir, composed of 130 members from the southern city’s rich mosaic of peoples, performed hymns from the three major monotheistic religions and gave messages of friendship and peace at the first stop of their US tour.
The choir will perform at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, US Congress and in Houston respectively.
The goal of the choir is to show the people of the world that they can live together in a peaceful environment.
The choir, featuring 38 performers from the three major monotheistic religions, is a symbol of the unique heritage in Turkey: a place where diverse civilizations and religions have called home throughout centuries.
The choir is currently on a tour including 14 countries to spread the message of peace and friendship all around the world. By using music’s universal language, the choir strives to act as a bridge between civilizations.”
“National flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) saw its net profits in the first three quarters of this year skyrocket to TL 868 million ($480.8 million), a 655 percent increase over the same period a year ago. The carrier released the results in a note to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) on Sunday. The number of THY passengers jumped by 20 percent to reach 29.1 million while the occupancy rate for its flights was 77.9 percent in the January-September period, 5.3 points higher over the same months of 2011. THY sales also increased by 30 percent to TL 11.2 billion in the same period. The company has made a quantum leap thanks to new investments. Last month, THY’s destination countries increased to 87, making the carrier’s destination network from one hub the world’s largest. THY serves customers with 2,445 pilots and 5,344 cabin crew. Sunday’s data arrives amid talks of a possible co-management agreement between THY and German airline Lufthansa.”
“Serbian Prime Minister and Internal Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic has said that Turkey was playing a key role for stability in the region.”
“İstanbul – Interior ministers of Turkey, Serbia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Albania and Croatia held a joint press conference at the end of a meeting of interior ministers of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Istanbul on Friday.”
“Dacic said that there was need for a sound cooperation among member states of the BSEC in combating cross-border crimes.
Azerbaijan’s Internal Affairs Minister Ramil Usubov said that he hoped that the cooperation among the BSEC countries would be enhanced.
Albanian Interior Minister Flamur Noka said that significant steps have been taken in fight against organized crimes.”
“The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from the Turkish and Dutch business circles held contacts in a round table meeting yesterday in Istanbul, which was also attended by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Rutte praised Turkey on its economic performance over the past years. “Your country has become one the fastest growing economies in the world and to be frank I am a bit jealous. You have an amazing growth potential,” Rutte said. Stating that Turkey is one of the most important trade and investment partners of his country, Rutte reiterated that the annual trade volume of the two countries surpassed $7 billion. “We have met with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. These meetings were not only related with political issues. We have also talked about how we can boost commercial and economic relations between the two countries,” Rutte added. For his part, Babacan said that this year was important, as the two countries celebrate the 400th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Babacan also said that the trade volume of the two countries was below their potential, adding that he expected direct investments from the Netherlands to surpass $16 billion by the end of year.”
“NATO Allied Force Command Izmir will be inaugurated with a formal ceremony on November 30. The command post will take over responsibilities of German Heidelberg and Spain’s Madrid land force commands. The NATO base in Izmir has been serving as an air force command until now. The Land Force Command is responsible for assessment, supervision, interoperability and standardization of NATO’s land forces.”
“Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu dismissed concerns that possible deployment of NATO missiles along Turkey’s southern border with Syria would make the crisis more complicated. Speaking in a televised interview on CNN Türk, Davutoğlu said, “We cannot see any point that would justify these concerns. The missile system has a defensive purpose only. This system will not be operational unless there is a risk to our security. And it is our government’s obligation to take any measure when there is even the slightest chance of risk.” Davutoğlu also said that it was a duty for the government to take every measure when there is even a 1 percent probability that Turkey’s security is at risk, adding that the missiles, which the Netherlands, the US and Germany possess, would be sent back as soon as the security threat disappears.”
“A news story covered by the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore underlined the achievements gained by Turkey in energy, free zones and diplomatic relations, adding that the “strong gate is back.” Stating that Turkey’s gross domestic product has climbed from $266 billion to $763 billion in the last decade, the daily wrote that Turkey has doubled its energy consumption in 1990-2010 and ranked the first in South Mediterranean in terms of energy consumption. “Located in the center of 68 percent of oil reserves and 75 percent of worldwide natural gas reserves, Turkey benefits from its role in the natural gas transition platform and establishes a regionally central role for itself,” added the daily.”
“Industry Minister Nihat Ergün has said that Turkey is continuing the production of its own missiles in an effort to reinforce its defense capabilities, while setting the new missiles apart from NATO Patriot missiles. “Production of the missiles is proceeding. However, it is incorrect to call them Patriots, as that name is specific to missiles produced by other countries. The missile we have begun preparations for is a SOM missile with a range of 250 kilometers,” Ergün said in response to a reporter’s question during a ceremony hosted by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) in Ankara. Out of NATO allies, only Germany, the Netherlands and the United States possess Patriot surface-to-air missile systems. Asked to comment on the state of the Turkey-made missiles, and whether such a project was possible in the country, Ergün said that production had already begun. Ergün said preliminary tests on the missiles had been completed and that the process had reached mass production, adding that the goal is to have them reach 500 kilometers. “In parallel with that, another institute of ours is producing defensive missiles to ward off potential attacks. Our goal is to meet all the needs of our country with local facilities. I believe the next 10 years will provide us this opportunity,” Ergün noted. Turkey formally asked NATO on Nov. 21 to deploy missile defense elements on its border with Syria to boost its air defense systems, for which NATO has also announced its willingness.”
“Turkish and Chinese post offices have jointly released a stamp within the concept of “2012 Year of Chinese Culture in Turkey.” The stamps, offered for sale for those who interested in, aims at increasing mutual understanding and friendship in order to contribute to cultural exchange between the two countries. The theme of bridge, referring to communication, shopping and connection, is used on stamps. Besides, there are pictures of the Istanbul Bosporus Bridge and the Taizhou Yangtze River Viaduct in China on the stamps. 250,000 stamps issued by the Turkish Post Telephone and Telegraphs (PTT) are in the size of 14×8 cm.”
“Turkish athlete Enes Erkan won the gold medal in the World Senior Karate Championships which was held in Paris on Saturday. Accordingly, Erkan became the first Turkish karate player to win a senior title since 2006. Turkish team won three more medals on Saturday. Serap Özcelik and Yavuz Karamollaoğlu won bronze medals, while Seyda Burucu took silver at the competition.”