News Scan for Turkey, Oct 12th 2016
CHP lends support to gov’t in spat with Iraq over Bashiqa base
The presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa base near Mosul aims to protect the territorial integrity of Iraq and to remove jihadist terrorists from the country, the main opposition leader has said, lending rare support to the government in a row with Baghdad, which has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish military from the camp.
“The presence of our soldiers in Bashiqa is not an ordinary situation. It is for the protection of the Iraqi people. Because of that, do not ask our soldiers to leave the territory by taking the incorrect comments of our government into consideration,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told his parliamentary group on Oct. 11 in an indirect address to Iraqi officials.
Turkey and Russia agree to revive TurkStream project
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Turkey for the first time since Ankara and Moscow agreed to normalise relations. Turkey and Russia on Monday signed a bilateral agreement on construction of the TurkStream undersea gas pipeline. Energy Minister Berat Albayrak and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak signed the agreement following a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress being held in Istanbul.
Russia and Turkey struggled for nearly two years to start work on the TurkStream project that allows Moscow to bypass Ukraine as a transit route for transporting gas to European markets. One pipeline, with 15.75 billion cubic metres of capacity, is expected to supply the Turkish market, while a second line would carry gas to Europe.
Turkey, which is the second biggest consumer of Russian gas after Germany, imports around 30 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia annually via two pipelines — the Blue Stream, which passes under the eastern Black Sea, and the Western Line through the Balkans.
Projects from three countries in top three at Startup Istanbul
Three projects from three countries were chosen ahead of 15 finalists as the top initiatives on the final day of Startup Istanbul, an initiative launched by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and E-Tohum to promote newly launched businesses.
The three winners were selected from 15 finalists, narrowed down from dozens of other innovative projects shortlisted at Startup Istanbul on Oct. 10. This year’s event had more than 500 selected startups and more than 4,000 attendees. “CashBasha,” an e-Commerce technology firm from Jordan enabling customers in emerging markets to shop at their favorite e-commerce stores with ease, ranked first.
With CashBasha, customers from the Middle East and North Africa can shop from popular foreign online shopping sites and receive their items right to their doorstep with the preferred payment, logistics, customs clearance and customer service solutions all taken care of.
DEİK intensifies efforts in Brussels following the failed coup attempt
DEİK has intensified its lobbying activities in Brussels in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt. A delegation led by DEİK President Ömer Cihad Vardan, accompanied by DEİK’s Communication Committee Members Ebru Özdemir, Murat Özyeğin, Özlem Gökçe, Hatice Karahan and YASED’s Secretary General Özlem Özyiğit visited EU’s political heart on 26-28 Sept., in order to inform and have an exchange of views with EU and Belgian officials. The exchange of views has focused on the state of play of the Turkish economy after the failed coup attempt, the political situation as well as the way forward.
DEİK’s Delegation hold meetings with senior officials of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European External Action Services (EEAS). The group met with MEPs Kati Piri, Parliament’s Turkey Rapporteur on Turkey as well as Marietje Schaake. Two separate roundtable discussions have been organized, one with Bruegel, one of world’s leading economic think-tank; the other at the European Parliament in cooperation with ‘Friends of Turkey Group’ in the European Parliament. The Delegation also came together with Didier Reynders, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as with representatives of Belgian business circles.
Pendik extension of Kadıköy – Kartal subway line enters into service
The 4.5-kilometer-long extension to the M4 Kadıköy – Kartal subway line on Istanbul’s Asian side will enter into service as of Monday morning, providing easy access to the Pendik district.
Construction work for the Yakacık – Pendik – Kaynarca (Tavşantepe) extension of M4 line began in March 2013. Three new stations were constructed, bringing the total number of stations in the M4 line to 19, with the total length reaching 26.2 kilometers. The new extension will help reduce traffic and the commute time on the east-west axis on the Asian side, connecting all southern districts on the Asian side together, except for easternmost district of Tuzla.
Russia lifts ban on some Turkish farm imports
Just a day after Turkey and Russia struck a historic pipeline deal on Oct. 10 to carry natural gas beneath the Black Sea before it reaches Europe, the Russian government has lifted a ban on some food imports from Turkey. The size and cost of the line remains unknown, but the positive signal on ties has already spread hopes for business in both countries. The bans lifted on Oct. 11 were imposed last year after Turkey downed a Russian warplane near the Syrian border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to end the ban on Oct. 10 in Istanbul, where the two countries agreed to build an undersea gas pipeline to Turkey known as Turkish Stream. An Oct. 11 government decree said Russia had lifted the ban on imports of fresh and dried oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruit, as well as apricots, peaches and plums. Both sides have since made significant progress to mend relations and agreed to revive trade relations in July after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed regret over the shooting-down of the Russian plane. Russian tour operators have already resumed operations in the Turkish market, their top destination.
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.