Turkey-Africa conference brings together 53 countries – December 17th 2011

Ministers attending the Turkey-Africa Partnership Ministerial Review Conference reviewed the future of the African continent on Friday, with Arab Spring on the north of Africa dominating the agenda.

A final communique issued at the end of the Conference expressed support for the new government in Libya. African states also thanked Turkey for its aid activities in Somalia.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said at a news conference that there is no limit to Turkey’s cooperation with Africa. He said Turkey and the African Union took up many matters as two friendly political actors, underscoring that Africa will claim the 21st century.

African Union term president and Foreign Minister of Equatorial Guinea Nseng Esono praised Turkey and said “Turkey brings together not only Europe with Asia, but with Africa as well.”

African Union President praises Turkey – December 19th 2011

Speaking to the Zaman daily last week, African Union President and Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Eustaquio Nseng Esono said that Africa could solve its current problems only through education and that the number of Turkish schools in various countries in Africa should be increased.

“While Europe closed its embassies, Turkey opened schools in Africa. It has showed our people how to catch fish. Our need for these schools has increased. We aren’t satisfied by the current number of schools, and thus we would like to see that Turkish schools are opened in all provinces in all African countries,” said Esono.

Stating that they won’t forget the aid efforts of Turkey aimed at helping the Somali people in fighting famine, Esono said they were ready to help Turkey any time when it is necessary and that the Turkish-African partnership would last forever.

Wall Street Journal: “Turkish economy booms” – December 13th 2011

American newspaper The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said that Turkish economy expanded 8.2% in the third quarter, smashing economists’ expectations and underscoring its reputation as Eurasia’s rising tiger.

A news story on the website of WSJ said, “Monday’s official growth figure, compared with the same period a year earlier, dramatically exceeded market forecasts of a 6.6% gain and followed an 8.8% expansion in the second quarter. Turkey’s rapid growth momentum comes at a time when many of Ankara’s neighbors in the Middle East and Europe are struggling with political turmoil and bailouts.”

Economists speaking to the WSJ said, “Turkish economy was unstoppable … importantly, seasonally adjusted sequential quarterly growth in the third quarter was 1.7%, which was a surprise to us and probably to market players, since we have expected a very mild increase.”

Economic growth achieved by Turkey evaluated by Babacan and Çağlayan – December 13th 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan yesterday stated that Turkey’s economy achieved a growth of 9.6 percent at an annual rate in the first nine months of the year.

“Our economy had a great performance of growth among OECD, EU and G20 countries.” Babacan said. “This growth is driven by the private sector demand” said Babacan adding that the contribution of public sector expenditure is limited.

Babacan also said that the domestic demand contributed to the growth by a 7.7 points and the high performance of export supported the growth with a considerable amount.

Speaking in his part, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said, “The environment of confidence and the economical stability together will be reflected in every area. Diverging from the world economies with the growth performance in the first two quarters of 2011, Turkey proved its difference also in the third quarter. We aren’t surprised by this growth rate.”

UN declares October 11 as “Day of World Girls” after Turkey’s proposal – December 20th 2011

A draft resolution prepared by Turkey, Canada and Peru to celebrate October 11 as the “Day of World Girls” was approved by 193 countries at the UN General Assembly on Monday.

Speaking to the AA, Turkey’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, said that Turkey paid high attention to the rights of girls and cooperation in the international field to protect girls.

“As such, Turkey has, in cooperation with Canada and Peru, sponsored a resolution to celebrate October 11 as the ‘Day of World Girls’ beginning in 2012,” Apakan noted.

Britain to retain its two south Cyprus military bases – December 15th 2011

Britain will retain both its military bases in Southern Cyprus following the completion of a review of their operations, Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said on Thursday.

He confirmed Britain’s “enduring commitment” to the bases, saying they had proved their worth during air operations in Libya and as a logistic hub for activities in Afghanistan.

“The sovereign base areas are in a region of geo-political importance and high priority for the United Kingdom’s long-term national security interests,” he said in a written statement to parliament.

Britain has two extensive bases on the island, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
The bases would also play a role in the withdrawal of British military operations from Afghanistan, Hammond added, as Britain brings back its 9,500 troops by the end of 2014.

I wonder if the reunification of Cyprus is in the interest of the UK.

Turkish unmanned vehicle takes off, lands on autopilot (click to watch the short video)

ANKA unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Turkish engineers at TAI was flown for six hours today for tests, reaching a maximum height of 6,000 meters above ground.

Impressive. Well done Turkey.

Yours faithfully,


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