April 17, 2013
“Istanbul Atatürk Airport has been named by Skytrax as the winner in the “Best Airport in Southern Europe” category. Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted presented the award to Business Development Director of TAV Airports Holding Serkan Kaptan. “It is very important to receive such a prestigious award,” Kaptan said, adding, “This award indicates that TAV consistently carries its goals much further in the airport business development.””
“Fenerbahçe qualified in the Europa League semifinals, after a 1-1 draw against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome yesterday. The Yellow Canaries, as Fenerbahçe is popularly called, cruised to the European semifinals for the first time in their history, joining Chelsea and Benfica in the last four.”
“Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) head Murad Bayar has said Turkey is working to build its own fighter jet to replace the F-16s in its fleet. Experts are currently drafting the conceptual design of the aircraft, Bayar said. “We are working on a fighter jet for Turkey,” he added on Thursday at the opening of the First International Conference on Air and Space Power (ICAP’13), being held in Istanbul. “It [the project for the new jet] is a development program and we aim to have it ready for operational use in the next 10-20 years. The conceptual design will be finished by the end of this year,” Bayar said. Speaking to reporters following the opening of the conference, Bayar said the project was initiated last year. “In a two-year phase, we will work on pre-conceptual design work with the Air Forces Command. A design is coming,” he said, adding: “By the end of this year, we aim to finish the conceptual design. Our goal is that after 10 years, on the 100th anniversary of our republic, this jet will make its first flight.””
“Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Mehdi Eker said on Monday that Turkey has gained the right to export dairy products to the EU as of April 3. Speaking at a meeting of the dairy exports project which is carried out by the ministry and the Packaged Milk and Milk Products Industrialists Association (ASUD), Eker said, “The EU’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers has confirmed that Turkish firms comply with EU standards for selling dairy products to the EU members. The legislation about the issue will enter into force on April 3.””
“Borsa Istanbul, which has combined the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) and the Istanbul Gold Exchange (IAB) under one umbrella, began to operate today. Borsa Istanbul’s abbreviation will be BIST, its logo will be the tulip and its slogan will be “worth investing.” The bourse will be inaugurated in a ceremony to be attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan today. A gala dinner was held in Istanbul for Borsa Istanbul yesterday. Speaking at the event, Babacan said that Borsa Istanbul would be a crucial step for Turkey and the region. “We cannot think of any other finance center that could compete with Istanbul,” Babacan said, adding that they aim to make Istanbul one of the most important 10 finance centers of the world.”
This news was expected by Carol Horner :
“Turkey’s Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım said Wednesday the 3rd bridge in Istanbul would be completed as of the end of 2015 if everything went fine.
He said Boğaziçi (Bosphorus) Bridge would be maintained soon but it would not be closed to traffic during the maintenance.
On 4G tender, Yıldırım said 4G was not on their agenda yet.”
“Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün said that the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) would provide 100 percent in research aid and the Science Ministry would purchase 200 electric cars over five years. “Turkey will make a name for itself with domestic electric car production and development,” Ergün has said, adding that Turkey did not want to miss the opportunity to have a say in the electric car sector, as it has lost out before in the fossil fuel vehicle technology sector. Ergün added that this endeavor was expected to result in a collaboration of universities, as well as private and public sector players.”
“Director General of Turkey’s State Airports Authority (DHMI) Orhan Birdal said that a great number of companies including foreign ones took the specifications of the tender lodged for the construction of the third airport in Istanbul. Stating that the tender will take place on May 3, 2013 at 10:00 am, Birdal said the third airport would be the biggest airport on earth in terms of passenger capacity, once it starts to operate in full capacity. Underlining that they will not publicly announce the companies which have taken the specification of the tender by virtue of strategy, Birdal added, “There are much more interest into the tender of construction of the new airport than we have expected. There are a great number of local and foreign companies interested. There are many companies which have taken the specification; yet the number of the companies which evaluates the specification is even higher. We hope that this great interest will be reflected on the tender as well.” Birdal also said that the construction of airport would be assumed jointly by the public and the private sector and the tender would be for a 25-year lease in a four-stage project. Commenting that the new airport will positively affect the region on which it will be constructed, Birdal said, “The region where the new airport is to be constructed is one of the most disadvantaged regions of Istanbul in terms of environmental factor since it has been exploited very adversely for years. We will refresh this region with the new airport.” Stating they are planning to finish the first phase of the project in 42 months upon securing the tender and site delivery, Birdal concluded that 120 thousand people would be annually employed on average and it would be the biggest airport with an annual passenger capacity of 150 million.”
“State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) President Rovnag Abdullayev recently announced his company’s goal to become Turkey’s largest foreign investor by 2018 with total of $17 billion in investments. He recalled the company’s investments in Turkey’s oil refinery, oil and natural gas, petroleum and petrochemicals sectors and noted that SOCAR’s investments help strengthen the relationship between Turkey and Azerbaijan. He added: “Projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [BTC] pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway have carried the level of relations between the countries to that of a strategic partnership.” Abdullayev also noted that the strategic relationship gained momentum with the privatization of Turkish petrochemicals giant Petkim, which was won by the joint venture SOCAR & Turcas Energy. He added that bilateral relations will become even stronger with an increase in their investments and with the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP). “We plan to increase our total investment in Turkey to $17 billion and are proud to share this with the Turkish finance sector. Our projects and investments are the main indicators of our faith in the future of Turkey,” he said. SOCAR Turkey President Kenan Yavuz also stated that that planned upgrades to Petkim’s facilities will make it one of the largest oil refinery centers in Europe. He also noted that 70 percent of the company’s construction of the STAR Refinery, which began in Izmir in October of 2011, has been completed and planning for new investments that will help the two countries cope with increasing energy demands is ongoing.”
“Turkey and Russia signed a civil aviation agreement yesterday in order to enhance cooperation with regard to airspace use, code sharing and increasing the number of fights between the two countries. After bilateral negotiations between the Turkish Ministry of Transport’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (SHGM) and Russia’s Civil Aviation Authority between April 3 and 4, the two sides concluded an aviation agreement, as SHGM made public yesterday. As the agreement will increase the frequency of, and remove restrictions for, flights between several Turkish and Russian provinces, the number of destinations served by flights to and from Russia is set to increase, notably to include locations in Turkey’s provinces of Samsun, Nevsehir and Gaziantep. Turkey’s airline companies will be able to fly to the Commonwealth of Independent States (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Russia) through Russian airspace without any restrictions on frequency, according to the agreement. Turkey will be allowed to benefit from trans-Siberian airspace for its flights to the Far East (Tokyo, Osaka, Bishkek, and Ulaanbaatar), although limited to a frequency of 21 flights per week. The agreement also allows the designated companies to engage in code sharing applications along with third parties. Turkey and Russia signed 11 agreements in many fields during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Turkey in December. As the two countries bid to increase the $32 billion annual bilateral trade to an ambitious $100 billion, energy ties dominated the talks. Russia is Turkey’s largest gas provider with two main pipelines: the Blue Stream that carries 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of fuel from underneath the Black Sea and the 6 billion bcm capacity West Line that will be soon used by four private firms rather than by the Turkish state. Russia is also building Turkey’s very first nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin. There are around 3,000 Turkish companies active in Russia, according to Moscow sources. After the lifting of visas in 2011, some 3.5 million Russian tourists have visited Turkey last year.”
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was welcomed with an official ceremony during his arrival to Mongolia yesterday. During the ceremony, horse-riding military unit paraded on Sukhbaatar Square in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, and the national anthems of both countries were also played. Greeting Mongolian soldiers at the ceremony, Erdoğan also placed a wreath upon a monument of Genghis Khan. Following the ceremony, Erdoğan held a meeting with Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag. During a joint press conference with Altankhuyag after the meetings, Erdoğan said that Turkey’s aim was to improve the trade volume with Mongolia from $36 million to $250 million by 2015. Erdoğan noted that the relationship and cooperation between Turkey and Mongolia developed after the Turkish Airlines (THY) started flights between the two countries, and added that the number of flights rose from three to seven times a week, and another aim was to hold cargo trips too. As part of Erdoğan’s visit, Turkey and Mongolia signed an agreement to initiate mutual visa liberalization between the two countries as well.”