Published On: Sun, Mar 19th, 2017

News Scan for Turkey, March 19th 2017

Reinstatement of death penalty would end Turkey’s EU bid, says EU Commission President

The introduction of the death penalty in Turkey would mean breaking off accession negotiations with the European Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said.

“If Turkey were to reintroduce the death penalty, that would be tantamount to breaking off negotiations,” he told German daily Bild am Sonntag on March 19 regarding President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s comments at a March 18 rally, where he said he would restore the capital punishment.

Juncker also commented on the latest row between Turkey and the Netherlands and Germany over the European countries’ decision to ban Turkish ministers from holding meetings for the April 16 referendum, which will decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president or to protect the current parliamentary system.

Disclose political lists of ByLock users, CHP leader says

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on the government to reveal the political wing of the July 2016 coup attempt, accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of reluctance in revealing names of party members who used an application allegedly used by the coup plotters.

“[They should] publicly disclose the ByLock lists. If Fetullahism is a crime, why are these lists kept secret? It should be explained immediately,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet in an interview on March 18.

ByLock, an encrypted messaging application that is said to have been used by members of the Gülen Movement under U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016, has been cited as prime evidence of links to Gülen and the coup plot.

Turkish, foreign banks line up to finance Çanakkale Bridge

Following the signing ceremony for the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge on Thursday in Ankara, which will see Turkish and South Korean firms work together, Middle East, Korean, European and Turkish companies eye financing the multi-billion-dollar project

In a move that shows confidence in the future of Turkey, which is proceeding full speed ahead despite the recent negative turn of events since July 15 last year, banks are seeking to provide financing resources for the country’s mega infrastructure projects. Moreover, 12 banks have made an offer for the financing of the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, which will connect Asia and Europe for the fourth time, for an investment of around TL 10.35 billion ($2.80 billion), the groundbreaking ceremony for which is scheduled to be held on Saturday.

202 more judges and prosecutors dismissed from post in Turkey

Deputy head of the Turkey’s High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, Mehmet Yılmaz, announced today (March 18) that the Council has decided to dismiss 202 more judges and prosecutors in reference to testimonies of judges and prosecutors expelled from their posts previously.

Turkey’s PM: ‘State of emergency will remain in force until FETÖ is completely wiped out’ Turkey’s PM: ‘State of emergency will remain in force until FETÖ is completely wiped out’
Last massive dismissal, which involved 227 judges and chief prosecutors, was ordered by the Council this year on February 20th.

With today’s decision, total number of judges and prosecutors dismissed from post due to their alleged ties and/or contact with Gülenist movement, the network group claimed by the government to be behind last year’s failed coup attempt, has reached 4088.

Turkey to reduce food inflation, Deputy Prime Minister says

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said that Turkey is to reduce food inflation and that the Food Committee has begun to take steps to work on the rising cost of fruits.

“We have identified the areas of basic intervention and will soon have serious support for producer associations, as well as logistical support to take radical steps on issues such as the way standards are reflected in legislation,” Şimşek stated.

Şimşek also told Anadolu Agency that the high rate of food inflation and the extreme volatility in food prices affected the overall inflation outlook and predictability. He pointed out that fluctuations in food production happened for various reasons, mainly seasonal conditions, which cause fluctuations in food prices in almost all countries, but added that the volatility in Turkey was considerably high.

Boğaziçi University Presidency Cancels Speech of CHP’s Vice Chair Böke

CHP Vice Chair Assoc. Prof. Dr. Böke’s speech she would hold in “Leaders Summit” at Boğaziçi University has been cancelled by the university’s presidency. Speech of Republican People’s Party (CHP) Vice Chair Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selin Sayek Böke, who was invited to “Boğaziçi Leaders Summit” to be organized by Boğaziçi University Business and Economy Club on March 18-19, has been cancelled upon the instruction of Boğaziçi University President Prof. Dr. Mehmed Özkan.

When assigned to the presidency office, Özkan had pledged to “look after participative, pluralist and libertarian life style”. According to Kemal Göktaş from Cumhuriyet newspaper, the president cancelled the program “due to the worry that advocating ‘no’ for the presidential system referendum might cause problems”. Another allegation is that the President said “I cannot allow political figures during the State of Emergency”.

compiled by Editor BTT

This is a news-scan from major Turkish papers and internet sites. However, we do not verify above stories neither do we vouch for their accuracy.

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