Other News - Turkey 40% OF TURKEY'S POPULATION NOT PURE TURKS - EXPERT
The fact that many Turks have been identifying themselves as representatives of other ethnic groups in the past 5-6 years is very important, according to Ruben Safrastyan, the director of the National Academy's Institute of Oriental Studies.
Speaking to Tert.am, the expert said that those not considering themselves pure Turks make 40% of the country's population now, the trend being likely to deepen in future.
"The nationalistic party AKP [Justice and Development] is attempting to fight against that in an attempt to create a new identity not based on the Kemalist principle," he said, adding that such policies are no longer functional in the country, with many taking to the streets to declare they are not Turks.
Turkey's ruling party, according to Safrastyan, wishes the Turkish identity to be based on the Ottoman idea that the different nations lived in the same empire.
"That's the ideology of neo-Ottomanism which sought to create a new identity inside the state or transform the existing one, introducing in it the new element that we all are the descendents of the Ottoman Empire," he said.
Safrastyan noted that such trend poses serious hazards both to Turkey and its neighbors, especially the Armenians, and called on the nation to be prepared.
ARMENIA, ISRAEL AND SYRIA DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH - TURKISH FM
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that it is difficult to reach an agreement with Armenia, Israel and Syria.
As the Trend agency reports referring to the Milliyet newspaper, the Turkish minister commended his country's "zero problems with neighbors" policy.
According to him, it brings positive results, and Ankara really has very good relations with neighbors, with the exception of three. He pointed out bad relations with such neighboring countries as Armenia, Israel and Syria. These countries' policy, Davutoglu believes, is characterized by crimes against their own and other nations.
EU concerned about freedom of media in Turkey - statement
The European Union is concerned about the significant increase in the number of imprisoned journalists in Turkey. According to the Representative on Freedom of the Media's updated list of imprisoned journalists in Turkey around ninety journalists are currently in prison.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Union says it shares the Representative's assessment of the need for continued judicial reforms, in particular regarding the anti-terror law and the criminal code and the restrictive interpretation of both laws by the courts.
"While we welcome the recent release of a few journalists, we note that their cases are still pending trial. We regret that courts usually do not grant pre-trial release of defendants. Also the length of pre-trial detentions continues to be a matter of concern, as well as the long sentences given to journalists if convicted.
The EU would like to reiterate, that it strongly condemns terrorism and continues to support Turkey's efforts to fight against it. Nonetheless, this must not provide a pretext to constrain freedom of expression or to impair the independence of the media," reads the statement.
Turkish pianist forced to leave Turkey
Fazil Say, a Turkish composer and pianist, said that he is going to leave his native country and move to Japan after he confessed he is an atheist, AFP report says.
Fazil Say said he was placed under investigation by the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office for "insulting religious values" and offending Islamic belief. Tweeting that he is an atheist: `I am an atheist and proud to have said it loud and clear.' He also gently mocked the call to prayer.
Turkish laws define three and more months of imprisonment for insulting religious values.
A new Middle East is born
/APR 27/Sabah, Turkey/
Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu states that a new MiddleEast is about to be born and Turkey will be the pioneers of this era.
Addressing Turkey's Grand National Assembly in a special session devoted to Syria, Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed that Turkey will be the pioneers of a new period about to be embarked on in the Middle East. "We will direct the winds of change. We have a vision of a new Middle East and Turkey will lead this new order of peace."
Minister Davutoglu also criticized the opposition's support of the Baath regime and stated that the era of 'stand-in's is over. The AK Party has abandoned the traditional 'wait and see' policy, states Davutoglu who went on to say that the era of being dragged behind large forces and being part of the agenda of others is over.
"Turkey is a central nation in its region. It does what befalls it and will continue to do so. Dealing with Syria is not a matter of choice, it is an obligation. Whatever talks are held on Syria from here on out, will be held where we are present. We will be involved in any steps taken in regards to Syria's future," states Davutoglu. The Foreign Minister went on to say that there is a price for friendship with Turkey and they will take back the hand that they extended in friendship to the hand of the Assad administration upon seeing the blood of the innocent.
Minister Davutoglu also stated that throughout the world Turkey is known for being 'mighty and majestic', "Go to Somalia, go to Uzbekistan, Bosnia or Libya and ask them if we are powerful or weak. History is what will prove our power."
IKEA partners with Turkey's richest person to establish bank in Russia
Swedish furniture and household product retail chain IKEA will have Fiba Holding Chairman Husnu Ozyegin, also Turkey's richest person, as an equal partner in a bank to be established in Moscow.
According to a statement from Ozyegin's Credit Europe Bank in Russia, the new bank will be a partnership between it and the Ikano Bank, owned by IKEA's founder Ingvar Kamprad's family through Ikano Group. It will start operations in 2013 and is meant to first serve the corporate clients of Ikano and IKEA but later expand its clientele beyond the two enterprises.
`Credit Europe Bank has immense experience in the Russian market. We totally believe that our cooperation will be fruitful,' Birger Lund, Ikano Group's Russia representative, said in a statement. Credit Europe General Manager Murat Basbay said they have formed a strategic partnership with the Ikano Group. Ikano Bank offers consumer loans to IKEA's customers in Germany, Austria, Poland and the Scandinavian countries.
The partners have already applied to the Russian banking watchdog to receive a banking license with a paid-up capital of 300 million rubles (nearly $10 million), Credit Europe Russia manager Haluk Aydinoglu told Today's Zaman in Moscow. `You have to be proactive to do business in Russia, and we have learned how to do it in the Russian business environment,' he added. `We continue our investments because we have faith in Russia's future. The country grew stronger in the 2008-09 global financial crisis,' Aydinoglu noted.
Ozyegin topped the `100 richest Turks' 2011 list in Forbes magazine with $3 billion in net assets. His Fiba Holding is active in tourism, real estate, energy and retails markets as well as the banking sector. It has the Fibabank in Turkey other than Amsterdam-based Credit Europe. In August 2006, the holding sold all the shares it had in Finansbank to the National Bank of Greece. Credit Europe has 122 branches in 53 cities across Russia, the world's largest country in terms of area, and employs 4,600 people there.
http://www.todayszaman.com/news-278973-ikea-partners-with-turkeys-richest-person-to-establish-bank-in-russia.html MEDIA FREEDOM DECLINES IN TURKEY, PRESS GROUPS WARN
International Press Institute (IPI) and Turkish Journalist Association warn against the worsening situation of media freedom.
The decline of media freedom in Turkey is continuing, the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) Executive Board points out in a statement on World Press Freedom Day, May 3.
"There are serious problems obstructing freedom of the press in Turkey. The major ones among them are problems related to legal obstacles, labor regulations and the structure of the media," the statement reads, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
International Press Institute (IPI) states that in the first quarter of the current year, 29 journalists were killed around the globe because of their work.
Last year was the second-worst on record, with 102 journalists killed.
And 2009 was the grimmest ever, with 110 deaths ~V 32 of them in a single election convoy massacre in the Philippines in which another 26 civilians were slain.
CTB lowers threat level of Turkey travel advisory
/MAY 1/Attila Somfalvi/ Israel Travel/
Counter Terrorism Bureau lifts stern warning issued regarding Turkish
destinations; still advises against non-essential visits The Counter Terrorism Bureau has revised its travel advisory on Turkey, stating that the threat level has significantly decreased. The CTB issued an "imminent threat" advisory on Turkey in March, but the threat level is currently defined as "potentially ongoing" - the lowest of the CTB's four levels.
The revision was made following a security and threat assessment of one of
the Israeli public's favorite vacation destinations.
Still, the CTB warned that "There is an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks
against Israeli and Jewish targets in Turkey," the advisory stated Tuesday.
to the country or at least take precautions and remain highly vigilant."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4223259,00.html Duchess of York tries to settle Turkey orphan case
ANKARA - Lawyers for the Duchess of York on Friday attempted to settle a case brought against her after she secretly filmed a documentary critical of conditions in Turkish orphanages.
Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Queen Elizabeth II's second son Prince Andrew, is accused of breaching the privacy of five children when she filmed with a hidden camera at an orphanage outside Ankara in 2008.
Cansu Sahin, representing Ferguson, who was not present, told the Ankara court her client was prepared to settle the case, the Anatolia news agency said, without giving details.
Turkish prosecutors have said they are seeking a prison term of between seven and 22 years.
Britain has already rejected a 2009 request from Ankara for the duchess's extradition.
The documentary, screened on Britain's ITV1 television channel in November 2008, depicted disturbing scenes at the orphanage for handicapped children, including one where a child was seen encased in a wooden box.
Over the years, Ferguson, who was divorced from Andrew in 1996, has been involved in a string of episodes that have caused embarrassment to the royal family.
Turkish party leader: NATO anti-missile shield in favor of Zionists
Ankara - The Chairman of Turkish Islamist Saadet Party Mustafa Kamalak said on Wednesday NATO anti-missile shield in Turkey is aimed at serving the interests of the Zionist regime.
He made the remarks in a Saadet party meeting in Antalia where he warned that the project is a plot by arrogant powers against Islamic countries.
outlining the global arrogance's conspiracies in the region, Kamalak said Islamic countries must reinforce their ties to stop the West from materializing its goals in the region.
Pointing to the West's plan to weaken Islamic countries, he said if Turkey failed to confront this scenario, it will be disintegrated in the future.
"The West deployed the anti-missile shield in Turkey to mislead Muslims' public opinion while it really aims to save the Zionist regime," The party leader said.
Addressing leaders of Muslim states, Kamalak said all Islamic countries should expand trade cooperation among themselves to be independent from the West and its economic colonial policies.