Published On: Thu, Sep 7th, 2017

News Scan for Turkey, September 7th, 2017

Former Turkish minister indicted in US for violating embargo on Iran

U.S. prosecutors have charged a former Turkish economy minister and a former general manager of a state bank with conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, with a Turkish minister defending his predecessor.

The charges targeted former economy minister Zafer Çağlayan, former Halkbank general manager Süleyman Aslan and two others, according to the filing, dated on Sept. 6, from the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. The U.S. indictment broadens a case targeting Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who is still in prison in the U.S. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he believed U.S. authorities had “ulterior motives” in prosecuting Zarrab.

Çağlayan, Aslan and the other two individuals are charged with “conspiring to use the U.S. financial system to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of transactions on behalf of the Government of Iran and other Iranian entities, which were barred by United States sanctions.”

Greece, Bulgaria announce new rail link plan between Black Sea, Aegean ports

The prime ministers of Greece and Bulgaria on Sept. 6 announced plans for a new rail link from the Aegean to the Black Sea, bypassing the congested Bosphorus Strait maritime route.

“We have a vision to get the Balkans going,” Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said from the northern port of Kavala, where he signed a memorandum on the project with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov. “We are opening new trade routes by connecting the Aegean with the Danube and the Black Sea,” he told reporters.

The EU-approved project, which has no launch or completion date at present, aims to link the Greek ports of Thessaloniki and Kavala with Varna, Burgas and Ruse in Bulgaria. The Greek section alone is expected to cost up to four billion euros ($4.7 billion).

Turkish banks’ first-half net profit rises: Watchdog

et profit for Turkish banks rose 27.5 percent in the same period of January to July from a year ago, by the support of net interest rates and commission fees, based on the data from Turkey’s banking regulator on Wednesday.

Turkish lenders posted a 29.5 billion Turkish Lira (8.6 billion USD) net profit in the first seven months of the year, according to the data from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).

Their net profit was 22.8 billion liras a year earlier. The lenders posted a 25.4 billion lira net profit in the first half of the year with a 33.2 percent year-on-year increase, mainly due to a significant rise in loans, which were provided to businesses in line with a number of government measures to rebound the economy.

Turkish defense exports to Germany increase 17 pct

Turkish exports to Germany in the defense and aviation industry went up by 17 percent in the eight months of 2017 compared to the same term last year, according to figures released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly on Thursday.

Last year for the same term $119 million exports in the defense and aviation sector were made to Germany.

Turkish defense and aviation firms have made $1.066 billion exports worldwide in 2017, a slight increase from last year’s $1.064 billion. In 2017, the largest export of $443.9 million was made with the U.S. Germany came second with exports valuing to $140.2 million. India was in third spot with $66.2 million.

European Parliament President: ‘EU must keep doors open to Turkey’

The European Union should end Turkey’s membership talks on only one condition: if Ankara brings back the death penalty, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Wednesday.

“It’s very difficult today for Turkey to get into the European Union, but we cannot close the chapter,” Tajani told POLITICO during an interview in his office. “But we need to send clear messages: the death penalty is not acceptable for us” and if Ankara decided to reintroduce it, then there’s “every chance” dialogue would be closed.

The former European commissioner said there were a number of problems with Turkey, including its stance on “personal freedom and freedom of opinion. It’s unacceptable that there are journalists in jail,” Tajani said, adding that he has raised these issues with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

France: Political situation in Turkey hinders possibility of EU talks

MOSCOW — The political situation in Turkey deters the country’s accession process to the European Union, French government spokesman Christophe Castaner said on Tuesday.

“The political situation in Turkey, taking into account our relevant positions, does not allow to consider the possibility of the talks’ promotion, exchange of opinions and expectations related to enhancing integration with Turkey,” Castaner told the France Inter radio broadcaster. Castaner noted that the dialogue between the bloc and Ankara should be maintained even though the “accession negotiations are suspended.”

Turkish-EU relations became significantly strained after the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey as, from the European Union’s point of view, Ankara continues to violate human rights while persecuting those who are believed to have links with the coup plotters. Brussels has additionally criticized the April referen

EU divided over calls to block Turkey’s bid

European Union member countries are presenting a divided picture on whether to continue full membership talks with Turkey, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to call her European partners to either suspend or end Ankara’s bid to join the 29-member club.

Strongest opposition to Merkel’s call came from Paris, as President Emmanuel Macron stated that ties with Turkey should continue despite the fact that the Turkish government has failed to meet EU democratic and human rights norms of late. Turkey remains a vital partner of the EU and ties should be maintained even if the country has taken a worrying turn of late, Macron said in an interview published on Sept. 7. “Turkey has indeed strayed away from the European Union in recent months and worryingly overstepped the mark in ways that cannot go ignored. This notably concerns [an update of] the Customs Union,” he was quoted as telling Greece’s Kathimerini newspaper.

“But I want to avoid a split because Turkey is a vital partner in many crises that we all face, notably the immigration challenge and the terrorist threat,” Macron added.

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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