Account deficit narrows on revenues in services – July 12th 2012

Turkey’s current account deficit dropped by 25.9 percent year-on-year to $5.8 billion in May, according to the Central Bank’s monthly report. The significant fall in the deficit, which was slightly above market expectations, was supported by an increase in services sector surplus. The main reasons behind the performance of the services sector were an increase in revenues from construction services and a slowdown in the pace of the tourism industry’s downward trend, according to a VakıfBank report issued yesterday. Other positive factors in the closing of the gap were a drop in oil prices and the value of the Turkish Lira, and a slowdown in domestic demand which pulled down imports, according to the Economic Research Department at VakıfBank. According to the estimates of VakıfBank, the current account deficit sat at about 2.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in May, excluding energy imports. The overall deficit was at 8.8 percent in May, the bank’s economists estimate. “Possible increases in the value of the Turkish Lira and oil prices may bring the slowdown in the current account deficit to an end,” VakıfBank’s report said. Oil prices – which hit $128 per barrel in March, the highest level seen this year – dropped to nearly $100 in May.

Financial Times praises Turkey as a favorite among investors – July 20th 2012

The Financial Times daily reported on Wednesday that Russia and Turkey are favorites among investors. According to the daily, there is more evidence of a recovery in investor sentiment towards emerging markets, which is indicated by a recent research by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Russia and Turkey are favorites among investors, with 36 per cent and 14 per cent increase in country views’ index respectively, while globally, the investor sentiment on China is cautiously optimistic,” the Financial Times reported.

Gabonese fisherman receives engine for his boat from Gül – July 16th 2012

Gabonese Ayao Nyavor who has become publicly known in Turkey as the fisherman with whom President Abdullah Gül had a conversation on the coast and who has requested an engine for his boat from the president. Accordingly, the engine which costs nearly 4,000 Euros has been delivered by Turkey’s Ambassador in Libreville Ali Rıza Demirer and officials from the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) to Nyavor in a ceremony held at the International Turkish-Gabonese School. Afterwards, the fish provided by Nyavor was offered to guests in a luncheon.

Gül receives Ondimba of Gabon – July 19th 2012

President Abdullah Gül yesterday hosted President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon at the Çankaya Presidential Palace. Speaking at a joint press conference following a tete-a-tete meeting, Gül said that Turkey’s economic cooperation with African countries was not based on a unilateral gain, but that Turkey develops its relations on the principle of win-win. Stating that Turkish businesspeople and small and medium scale businesses are greatly interested in Gabon, Gül said that they had many big infrastructure investments in that country. Gül also said that Turkish companies would construct new residential units in Gabon. Touching upon the situation in Syria, Gül recalled that UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan announced a plan after his first visit to Syria. Gül said that fierce clashes had been continuing, cities had been under bombing, and more civilians had been killed after so-called cease fire had been declared under the plan. “Migration of Syrian citizens is speeding up. There are almost more than 40,000 Syrians crossed in Turkey so as in Jordan and other countries,” said Gül. Gül added that a new administration, which would represent the will of people, should immediately be set up after so many deaths in Syria. For his part, Ondimba said that Turkey was now one of the biggest strategic partners of Africa. Stating that Turkey is a model for Gabon and other countries on development sector, Ondimba said that the residential sector was their priority to develop. “There is a huge gap in this sector in Gabon, and a need of approximately 200,000 accommodation units. To close this gap we received constructive response from Turkey,” Ondimba said, adding, “Turkey is one of the biggest strategic partners of Africa. We want Turkey’s flag to wave in the capital city of Libreville. In the light of these, we want Turkish Airlines to begin flights to Gabon soon.”

Turkey, Tunisia sign development cooperation deal – July 18th 2012

Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz and Tunisian Minister of Planning and Regional Development Jamel Eddine Gharbi signed an agreement on Tuesday that aims to increase cooperation between the two countries in terms of development. At the signing ceremony, which took place in Tunisia, Yılmaz noted that the sides had come to an agreement after conducting comprehensive studies and holding meetings of high-ranking officials. Stressing that the interests of the Tunisian people were foremost in terms of making decisions, he said, “This agreement is an example of brotherhood between both countries.” The minister announced that many projects would be implemented, including the construction of dams, municipality works, security cooperation, support of agricultural lands, promoting employment, the reduction of poverty, etc., intensifying cooperation and development for Turkey and Tunisia. Stating that relations are expected to prosper between the countries at both a public and private level, he said Turkey will continue to stand firm behind every project to carry Tunisia to a better future.

Number of tourists in Turkey increases – July 24th 2012

The number of tourists visiting Turkey this year totaled 12.72 million people in the first six months of this year. Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry data shows that Turkey received 3.88 million tourists in June this year — a 2.7 percent increase compared to the same month last year. In the category of countries sending the highest number of tourists to Turkey, Germany ranks the first with a share of 15.12 percent and 1.92 million people, with the second and third ranks occupied by Russia with 11.24 percent and 1.49 million tourists and Britain with 7.04 percent and 895,358 tourists. Britain was followed by Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, the Netherlands, France, the US and Greece. The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey climbed to 31.46 million with an increase by 9.86 percent in 2011, compared to 2010.

Turkey’s tourism income increases – July 30th 2012

Turkey’s tourism income increased 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2012 (April, May and June) compared to the same period of the previous year.

ANKARA – In a statement released on Monday, Turkish Statistical Institute (TürkStat) stated that Turkey’s tourism income was calculated as 5.576 billion USD with a 3.8 percent rise in the second quarter of 2012.

While 82.1 percent of the total income was obtained from foreign visitors, 17.9 percent of it was gained from citizens residing outside Turkey.

4.303 billion of tourism income came from individuals, 1.272 billion of it came from package tour expenditures, the institute stated.

TürkStat also stated that the average expenditure was 598 USD in the mentioned period.

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PS. Turkey to have semi-presidential system – July 26th 2012

Turkish deputy PM said that the president would be elected by public vote in 2014 and it was called semi-presidential system.

“Turkey will keep advancing on its path as a different Turkey after the presidential election in 2014,” Bozdağ told AA correspondent.

Election of the president by popular vote would be the first in the history of Turkey, he said.

Bozdağ said that a de-facto semi-presidential system would appear together with the president’s authorities set in the Constitution.

Turkey should continue on its way with a sound system, he said.

Turkey would adopt the presidential system one day, he said, adding that if Turkey adopted such system at the right time, then the country would win.

Presidential election system is one of the constitutional issues on which a compromise should be reached, he said.

Bozdağ said the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party could not put it into practice on its own, stating that it needed 367 seats in the parliament.

AK Party has 326 seats in the parliament.

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