• NATO says 1st missile defense battery deployed to Turkey is operational
• Turkey scrambles to avoid international financial blacklist
• Turkey will help northern Iraq to establish a housing administration
• Turkey now over 75 million in population
• Turkey cabinet shuffle supports Kurdish peace talks
• Turkey allows Kurdish language in courts
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey is planning to build the world’s biggest airport
• Turkey to explore fuel with Shell in Black Sea
• Turkey abandons USD 4 billion T-Loramids SAM system buy
NATO says 1st missile defense battery deployed to Turkey is operational
The first of six Patriot missile batteries being deployed to Turkey to protect against attack from Syria was declared operational and placed under NATO command, the international organization said on January 26. The battery, provided by the Netherlands, is meant to protect the city of Adana by shooting down missiles that could come over the Syrian border. The other five Patriot batteries are expected to be in place and operational in the coming days in Adana, Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep.
“This is a clear demonstration of the agility and flexibility of NATO forces and of our willingness to defend Allies who face threats in an unstable world,” Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, said in a statement.
Washington Post, 26 January 2013, NATO says 1st missile defense battery deployed to Turkey is operational
Turkey scrambles to avoid international financial blacklist
Turkey is scrambling to push through a long-awaited anti-terrorism financing law before a deadline next month to avoid being expelled from an international watchdog and placed on its blacklist alongside Iran and North Korea. Turkey is already on a “grey list” of countries drawn up by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a money-laundering watchdog, for not implementing the legislation required by its members despite pressing Ankara for years. The FATF has warned Turkey if it does not pass the necessary legislation, which would allow alleged “terrorist” accounts to be frozen without a court order, by Feb. 22, it will be expelled as a member of the group and blacklisted.
Hakkı Koylu, deputy chairman of the parliament’s Justice Committee, expressed that if the new rules do not satisfy international demands, “It could cause problems in money transfers; foreign countries may increase scrutiny for transfers from Turkey and delay the process.” Turkey may also face hurdles in “cash flow and credits, which could lead to higher interest rates and inflation. The economy may face a complete deterioration.”
Bloomberg Businessweek, 24 January 2014, Turkey concerned terror-finance law may not satisfy OECD
Reuters, 25 January 2013, Turkey scrambles to avoid international financial blacklist
Turkey will help northern Iraq to establish a housing administration
Turkey will help the semi-autonomous region of Iraq, Kurdistan, to establish a housing institution similar to the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), local media reported Friday. Turkey’s Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün said that TOKI will be used as a model by the regional government of northern Iraq after a meeting he held with Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Ankara. KRG Industry and Trade Minister Sinan Çelebi said Turkey was their role model, pointing out that they would examine the structure of TOKİ in order to have a similar institution within the KRG and they have already advanced in the process, reported Anatolia news agency. Çelebi also said they would conduct research on industrial zones in Turkey, adding that they realized the poverty of the country after the collapse of late President Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. Turkish construction firms have taken a large part in northern Iraq’s restructuration, according to Çelebi.
Al Arabiya, 27 January 2013, Turkey will help northern Iraq to establish a housing administration
Turkey now over 75 million in population
Turkey now has 75,627,384 people residing in the country, according to official numbers revealed by the Turkish Statistical Institute. A 903,115-person increase was seen over the previous year, with the male population nearing 50.2 percent, and female population accounting for around 49.8 percent. The population’s overall increase rate was 12 in 1,000, slower that last year’s rate of 13.5 in 1,000. Eighteen percent of the country’s population resides in Istanbul, which has as an official population of 13.8 million. The average age of the country increased up to 30, with the working age group also increasing in numbers, official numbers show.
Hurriyet Daily News, 28 January 2013, Turkey now over 75 million in population
Turkey cabinet shuffle supports Kurdish peace talks
Turkey sent yet another strong signal of its desire to end a three-decade Kurdish insurgency on Thursday when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan picked a moderate interior minister to replace a hawkish predecessor in a cabinet shuffle. Muammer Guler, a lawmaker and former governor of Istanbul, took over the Interior Ministry from Idris Naim Sahin, who made headlines with his gaffes and nationalist outbursts during his one-and-a-half-year stint.
Wall Street Journal, 25 January 2013, Turkey cabinet shuffle supports Kurdish peace talks
Turkey allows Kurdish language in courts
Turkey’s parliament has voted to allow Kurds to use their own language
in court. The move long demanded by Turkey’s minority could break a deadlock at trials of hundreds of Kurds suspected of having links to rebels.
Turkey’s parliament voted 238-41 late Thursday with support coming from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AK Party and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
During a heated debate, the BDP was, however, critical of a requirement in the legislation that defendants speaking Kurdish pay for translators.
Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey over 60,000 euros in the case of several politicians who were all tried and convicted by Turkish courts for speaking Kurdish during election rallies. The court decided unanimously that Turkey had violated freedom of expression by convicting the Kurdish politicians – Şükran Aydın, Ayşe Gökkan, Ayhan Erkmen, Orhan Miroğlu and Mesut Bektaş – who had been fined and even sentenced to prison under a now-amended law that banned speaking any language other than Turkish during election campaigns.
Hurriyet Daily News, 22 January 2013, European court fines Turkey over Kurdish-speaking politicians
DW, 25 January 2013, Turkey allows Kurdish language in courts
ECONOMY / ENERGY
Turkey is planning to build the world’s biggest airport
Turkey is planning to build the world’s biggest airport in Istanbul, the country’s Transportation Minister Binali Yılıdrım stated on Jan. 22. To be built on a 828 million-square-foot plot of land on the European side of the city, it will be able to serve 150 million annual passengers, making it the busiest airport in the world.
Business Insider, 23 January 2013, Turkey is planning to build the world’s biggest airport
Turkey to explore fuel with Shell in Black Sea
Turkey’s state-run oil researcher TPAO prepares to search for oil in the Black Sea with the Anglo-Dutch Shell, after failed attempts by international energy companies, according to sources. The contract date has been determined to be Feb. 14, when the two companies will reveal their search and production deal to the public, sources said.
Hurriyet Daily News, 28 January 2013, Turkey to explore fuel with Shell in Black Sea
Turkey abandons USD 4 billion T-Loramids SAM system buy
Turkey has decided to abandon its plans to buy an off-the-shelf system for its T-Loramids surface-to-air missile (SAM) program and is now seeking to co-develop a SAM system instead. Local and foreign defense industry sources have informed IHS Jane’s that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used his influence on the Executive Committee (EC) of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) during its 3 January meeting to abandon the USD4 billion purchase of 12 SAM systems in favor of the development of an advanced SAM system between Turkey and one of the bidding companies.
IHS Jane’s, 24 January 2013,
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