Published On: Wed, Sep 13th, 2017

News Scan for Turkey, September 13th, 2017

Germany’s cutting arms sales to Turkey boosts our defense firms, Turkish FM says

Freezing Germany’s weapons exports to Turkey would only strengthen the local Turkish arms industry, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sept. 12.

Çavuşoğlu was responding to remarks by his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, who said Sept. 11 that Berlin was putting most arms exports to Turkey “on hold” due to recent bilateral tensions. “These kinds of approaches actually cause the strengthening of our own defense industry,” Çavuşoğlu told a joint press conference in Ankara with his visiting Pakistani counterpart, Khawaja Muhammad Asif. “In this sense we increase national and local production in all areas. We produce our own fighter jets and helicopters. Turkey is never desperate,” he added.

Sales by top Turkish arms companies rose by more than 10 percent in 2015, according to an analysis released last December which also put Turkey’s ASELSAN and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) among the world’s top 100 arms firms.

MEPs slam EU policies, Germany’s stance on Turkey, urge improved ties

European Union is the real sick man of today, the Vice Chair of Europe of Nations and Freedom Group and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Edouard Ferrand said during a parliamentary debate discussing relations between Turkey and the bloc. Ferrand’s comments are in response to a series of spats between Turkey and the EU, and his use of term “sick man” to refer to Europe showed his criticism of the bloc’s policies.

Speaking at the European Parliament on Tuesday, Ferrand slammed EU’s policies regarding Turkey.

“You invited Turkey to the negotiation table which will never produce any results and wanted to exchange migrants in return for EU membership” Ferrand said and added that the European people do not want EU’s “project of disaster” and that the block “went astray.”

Gazprom, BOTAŞ to create joint venture for TurkStream

Russian Gazprom’s board of directors will review the formation of a joint venture on Sept. 21 with Turkey’s Botas for the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project, according to Russian media late on Tuesday. Russian business daily Vedomosti revealed that the joint project company would be named TurkAkim Gaz Tasima AS.

The Daily also noted that the joint venture would be formed for the construction of the onshore section of the TurkStream natural gas project. The company will be created on a parity basis for the realization of the TurkStream project’s second line on Turkish territory.

The TurkStream project will start from the southern Russian town of Anapa on the Black Sea coast. Pipes will be laid over a 900-kilometer route under the Black Sea to reach the Thrace region of Turkey along the Black Sea coast.

Germany’s most arms exports to Turkey put on hold, says FM Gabriel

Germany has put all major arms exports to Turkey on hold due to the deteriorating human rights situation in the country and increasingly strained ties to its NATO ally, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday. The comments came after a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Berlin said another German couple was believed to have been detained in Turkey on political charges.

“We have put on hold all big requests (for arms exports) that Turkey has sent to us, and these are really not a few,” Gabriel said during a panel discussion organized by German business daily Handelsblatt.

Gabriel, senior member of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) who are junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, pointed out that Berlin was obliged to send arms to a NATO ally, if requested. But he said this was currently not possible so that nearly all arms exports were put on ice.

Turkey says freezing and restarting EU accession talks not acceptable

The EU’s stop-start approach to Turkey’s accession talks is unacceptable, the Turkish European Union Affairs Minister Omer Celik said on Friday. Foreign ministers of countries within the Eastern Partnership programme arrived at the Estonian capital, Tallinn, on Friday for an informal summit with their EU counterparts.

The summit, which on its first day focused on Turkey’s accession talks and North Korea’s nuclear tests, was attended by representatives of the candidate countries.

“This is not a child’s play. When they talk about suspending or halting the accession negotiations and then restarting it in six months, they should not forget that they are talking about Turkey which is a great, strategic and important European country and a European democracy,” Celik said after meeting EU foreign ministers in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

CHP files complaint on ‘biased’ Council of State head

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has filed a complaint on Council of State head Zerrin Güngör to the council’s board of directors, saying her remarks that criticized CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu “implicate the Council of State.”

“It is clear that the head of the Council of State is acting politically, is not free from the influence of the [government’s] executive branch with her hostile attitude toward the CHP, and is not capable of being so in the future. It is beyond doubt she cannot act in accordance with the dignity of judicature, and cannot practice as a judge in accordance with the constitutional rule of impartiality and independence,” the complaint petition issued by CHP Group Deputy Chair Levent Gök read on Sept. 12. The complaint came after Güngör criticized the main opposition party of being influential over the judiciary in the past, arguing that “the judiciary is now free from influence.”

“The CHP is uncomfortable because the old judicial order has changed. The judiciary has never been that impartial and independent,” Güngör told daily Habertürk writer Nagehan Alçı who reported on Aug. 30. Güngör had also criticized Kılıçdaroğlu’s “justice march” from Ankara to Istanbul, calling it a “so-called ‘justice march. “Justice for whom? Whose justice are you looking for? You are blaming the judiciary. We delicately care for the balance of justice,” she had said.

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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