Turkey warns Greece over illegal military exercise

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Turkey warned Greece on Thursday for conducting an illegal joint military exercise with Egypt at the Greek island of Rhodes.

In a written statement, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said it learned that Greece and Egypt are conducting a joint amphibian attack exercise from Oct. 30 – Nov. 4 at Greece’s Rhodes island according to information received from Turkish military sources.

The statement said the 1947 Treaty of Paris prohibits any kind of military education activities on Rhodes island, which was transferred to Greece from Italy after World War II on the condition of being disarmed.

“Therefore, this military exercise conducted on Rhodes is an open breach of international law,” the statement stressed.

The statement said they have conveyed warnings to the Greek Embassy in Ankara and reminded them of the importance of avoiding one-sided acts that will increase tensions in the Aegean Sea.

“In this framework, we stress our expectation from Greece to avoid hostile acts and acts against international law, and we invite third parties not to be partners to these kinds of violations of Greece,” the statement added.

Rhodes island is located in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea and is close to the Turkish coast.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Number of tourists up 60 pct in first-class resort city of Antalya

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Number of tourists up 60 pct in first-class resort city of Antalya

Often called Turkey’s tourism capital, Antalya saw a 60 percent increase of tourists in the first 10 months of this year, welcoming around 9.48 million via Antalya Airport, compared to the same period last year, according to the Antalya Airport Administrative Authority.

The city was visited by about 444,507 Russian tourists from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 last year, but saw a 724 percent increase, with around 3.66 million Russians coming in the same period this year out of the nearly 9.5 million tourists who came to Antalya.

For October, around 982,441 tourists came to the city, an increase of 24 percent compared to the same period last year.

Russian tourists visiting the city in the said period constituted 63 percent of the total number of tourists.

In October, Antalya welcomed around 361,251 Russians, an increase of 96 percent when compared to the same month last year when around 183,000 Russian tourists arrived. Russian tourists constituted 36.7 percent of all tourists in October.

The number of tourists from Germany, one of the countries with the highest number of tourists in Antalya in previous years, was below 2016 figures. Around 1.579 million German tourists came to Antalya in the first 10 months of this year, a decrease of 16 percent compared to the same period last year.

In October, the number of tourists from Germany decreased 17 percent compared to the same month last year, falling from 296,000 to 247,000.

Germans constituted 27 percent of the total number of tourists in the 10-month period and 25 percent in October.

The Ukrainian market, which has risen sharply since last year, saw to rise this year. The number of tourists from Ukraine, which was the second-most popular market along with Russia, saw an increase of 25 percent in the 10-month period, reaching 710,000.

In October, around 49,961 tourists came from Ukraine, which ranked third after Russia and Germany, the countries that have the highest number of tourists coming to Turkey, an increase of 28 percent compared to the same month last year.

Antalya also saw a 7 percent increase in tourists from the U.K. in the first 10 months of the year, reaching 350,000, while in October, there was an increase of 27 percent, reaching 45,000, compared to the same month last year. The British constituted 6 percent of all tourists in the country.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Leader of FETÖ-linked Turkish Air Forces officers detained in Ankara

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emAA file photo/em

AA file photo

Gürdal T., the leader of Gülenist terror group (FETÖ)-linked officers embedded in the ranks of Turkish Air Forces, was detained in Ankara late Thursday, police sources said.

FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, orchestrated the July 15 failed coup attempt and infiltrated Turkish state institutions, especially the military, police apparatus and judiciary, with the ultimate aim of creating a parallel state.

The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy. A total of 250 people, consisting of mostly civilians, were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured.

In the wake of the deadly coup attempt, tens of thousands of public sector personnel, including civil servants, teachers, police, judges and prosecutors have been removed from their jobs.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Energy Ministry plans to start construction at Akkuyu nuclear power plant by year’s end

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Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is expected to be operational in 2023 with four reactors which will have a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is expected to be operational in 2023 with four reactors which will have a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

Turkish and Russian officials have indicated strong intentions to speed up bureaucratic procedures to launch the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu before the end of this year, as was emphasized in a meeting between Energy Minister Albayrak and Rosatom Director Likhachev

The Akkuyu nuclear power plant, a crucial component of Turkish-Russian cooperation, could see the launch of construction by the end of the year. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak held a meeting with Russian state-owned atomic energy company Rosatom Director-General Alexey Likhachev one day before Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Ankara in late September. According to a report in Turkey’s Habertürk newspaper, the meeting resulted in an agreement to speed up bureaucratic procedures and start construction at Akkuyu in the southern province of Mersin.

Energy Ministry plans to start construction at Akkuyu nuclear power plant by year's end

Albayrak said that no bureaucratic hurdles stand in the way of the Akkuyu project, adding that construction should begin before the end of this year after the necessary procedures have been accelerated.

Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş., 49 percent of which belongs to the Turkish consortium CKK and 51 percent to Rosatom, has begun to lay the groundwork for the first unit, which has a capacity of 200 megawatts (MWs).

Last week, Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. received a limited construction permit (LCP) from the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK), marking the first step in efforts to obtain a construction license.

The LCP allows for the launching of construction and installation works at all of the nuclear power plant’s facilities with the exception of buildings and structures important for nuclear safety.

“The obtainment of the limited construction permit is a significant step forward for the implementation of the Akkuyu project. We are actually moving from the preparatory stage to the construction stage at the site,” Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. CEO Yuriy Galanchuk said.

The officers of TAEK’s Nuclear Safety Department will proceed with evaluations and the inspection of work progress at the site before compiling a report which evaluates the construction license application. If the examination is deemed positive, TAEK will issue a construction license to Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş. which will allow for the construction of all buildings of the nuclear power plant and installation of all systems without any restrictions.

The first agreement for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant was signed with Russia in 2010, when it was decided that Rosatom would build the facility. Dependent on imports for nearly all of its energy, Turkey has embarked on an ambitious nuclear program, commissioning Rosatom in 2013 to build the four 1,200-MW reactors in Akkuyu.

The plant will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually once completed, and have a service life of 60 years. As Minister Albayrak previously announced, construction of the plant will be fully completed in 2023, marking the centennial of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.

The project has repeatedly run into delays, including being briefly halted after Turkey downed a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November 2015. Ties have since normalized between the two countries and work on the plant has resumed.

Turkey’s second nuclear power plant will be built by a French-Japanese consortium in Sinop, near the Black Sea, and talks for a third nuclear power plant continue with Chinese officials, as announced during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to China in May. The Sinop nuclear power plant will have a 4,480-MW capacity with four of equal generation.

With Turkey’s energy imports amounting to roughly $55 billion annually and its energy demand among the fastest growing in Europe, Ankara aims for at least 5 percent of its electricity generation to come from nuclear energy in less than a decade, cutting dependency on natural gas largely bought from Russia.

According to data provided by the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, by January 2017, 449 nuclear reactors will be operating in 31 countries. A total of 60 nuclear reactors are under construction in 16 countries. These reactors account for 11 percent of the global electricity supply. On a country-by-country basis, France supplies about 76 percent of its electricity demand through nuclear power plants, compared to Ukraine which supplies 56 percent, Belgium 37 percent, Sweden 34 percent, South Korea 30 percent, EU member states with 30 percent and the U.S. with 20 percent.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Housing sales to foreigners in Turkey see 75 pct rise in September

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Turkish real estate sector representatives foresee housing sales to foreigners exceeding 20,000 by the end of the year.

Turkish real estate sector representatives foresee housing sales to foreigners exceeding 20,000 by the end of the year.

The 75.2 percent increase in the number of residential properties sold to foreigners in Sept. demonstrates the effecitveness of tax reductions and prove confidence in the Turkish real estate sector, sector representatives say

The number of residential properties sold to foreigners jumped by 75.2 percent year-on-year in September, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said Tuesday.

Of the total sales, 2,236 houses were sold to foreigners, with approximately 35.6 percent (or 797 units) of them in Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population.

Following Istanbul, the Mediterranean holiday resort city of Antalya came second with sales of 520 properties, while the Aegean province of Aydın, the northwestern province of Bursa and the Black Sea coast province of Trabzon shared third place with sales of 119 properties.

Official data showed that Iraqis topped the list of buyers in September with 383 properties. Saudi Arabians followed with 344 units, Kuwaitis 160, Russians 129 and British 103.

The large increase in residential properties sold to foreigners is cherished by sector representatives who reckon that the jump indicates confidence in the Turkish real estate sector. Sector representatives also stressed that government incentives such as value-added tax reductions for foreigners in accordance with the reciprocity law and granting citizenship have also stimulated foreigners to buy houses in Turkey.

İnanç Kabadayı, the chairman of Ege Yapı, said the number of residents bought by foreigners gives a positive picture. “The demand of domestic investors and residents in the local market and the keen interest of foreigners in the Turkish real estate sector continue their upward trend,” Kabadayı said, and expressed his belief that this year will end with record numbers in housing sales.

With the September figures, the domestic real estate sector will reach its goal to sell houses to 20,000 foreigners and 1.5 million residential properties, as around 1 million residences have been sold in the first nine months of the year.

Commenting on the September figures, the head of the Istanbul Constructors’ Association (INDER), Nazmi Durbakayım, said the upward trend in house sales had continued even in the more stagnant period of the year in summer, and jumped in September with the effects of housing campaigns.

“We can close the year with total sales of 1.5 million via the continuation of campaigns and the launching of new projects along with an expectation of a reduction in interest rates [on home loans],” Durbakayım said.

He also cited the sector’s expectation to reach 20,000 housing sales to foreigners. The tax exemption and easier procedures to obtain residence permits have boosted housing sales to foreigners, Durbakayım said.

“The increase in house sales to foreigners show confidence in Turkey. It has increased and discounts in value-added tax for foreigners as well as granting citizenship to foreigners who buy real estate in Turkey worth a minimum $1 million had a positive effect on house sales,” said Melih Tavukçuoğlu, the head of the Istanbul Anatolian Side Contractors’ Association.

The chairman of the Association of Housing Developers and Investors, Ziya Altan Elmas, also said that property sales to foreigners had increased steadily.

“House sales to foreigners will continue in [last] three months of the year,” Elmas added.

İhsan Yapı Chairman İhsan Çulhalık said the government’s support for the real estate sector will sustain the growing interest from locals and foreigners.

The number of residential properties sold in Turkey also soared by 28.8 percent annually in September, the TurkStat data revealed.

A total of 140,298 houses changed hands in September, up by 16.7 percent compared to a month earlier.

Istanbul topped the list with 23,471 sold properties in the city. Following Istanbul, Ankara came second with 13,945 residential properties and İzmir ranked third with 7,575 properties.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Turkish Justice Ministry delegation cancels US prisons visit

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US Embassy in Ankara (EPA Photo)

US Embassy in Ankara (EPA Photo)

A delegation from the Justice Ministry, who were on their way to the United States to visit American prisons for examinations, canceled their plan due to the visa crisis between the two countries.

Turkish officials planned to pay visits to prisons in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Omaha, Nebraska.

“Due to the recent visa crisis between the two countries, the visit was cancelled by our Ministry,” the Justice Ministry said in a statement Tuesday, adding that there were no visa applications to be rejected.

The delegation included Aytekin Sakarya, General Director of Penal Affairs, Mehmet Çekmen, Deputy Manager of Directorate General of Laws, Orhan Cuni, Investigation Judge of Directorate of Penal Affairs, Merve Özcan, Investigation Judge and Prof. Dr. Mustafa Serdar Özbek from the Faculty of Law of Başkent University.

The U.S. embassy in Ankara said on October 8 that all non-immigrant visa services in its diplomatic facilities in Turkey were suspended after the arrest of one of its employees over the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) ties.

Hours after the U.S. decision, Turkey said it was also halting visa applications from the U.S. The move, announced online by the Turkish embassy in Washington, applies to visas in passports, electronic visas and visas at the borders.

Metin Topuz, the Turkish employee in question, was working in the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul and arrested on charges of espionage and over his links to FETÖ, the group blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 249 people in Turkey.

Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant on October 9 for another personnel working for the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, whose wife and son were then interrogated by the police.

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that the suspect, identified by his initials N.M.C. and who does not hold diplomatic immunity, was called for testimony.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

FETÖ is also accused of behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

150th Sri Lankan Tea Party celebrated in Ankara

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150th Sri Lankan Tea Party celebrated in Ankara

Sri Lanka’s traditional Ceylon Tea Party was celebrated in Ankara as Sri Lankan ambassador to Turkey Pakeer Mohideen Amza received Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz, foreign mission chiefs in Turkey, journalists and students.

The 150th Ceylon Tea Party was celebrated in Ankara and across the world. Amza said he was very happy to see ambassadors from around the world and Turkish guests at the reception.

Yılmaz said that all around the world the word tea reminds people of Sri Lanka, something he called “a concrete success” for the country.

“There are some countries in the world that are associated with certain things. Football comes to mind when one says Brazil. Diamonds come to mind when one says South Africa and Sri Lanka comes to mind when one says tea. It is indeed a great success,” Yılmaz said.

Yılmaz said Turkey is among the leading tea importers of the Sri Lankan product, adding that Turkey is a significant market for Sri Lanka.

Amza stressed that 90 percent of the tea Turkey imports comes from Sri Lanka. He also thanked the Turkish people for choosing Sri Lankan tea.

After China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, Turkey is third in tea consumption in the world.

Based on data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the average annual tea consumption per person worldwide is less than 1 kilogram, but in Turkey, each person consumes an average of more than 3 kilograms of tea annually.

China remains at the top of the list of producers worldwide, with almost 2 million tons of tea produced, followed by India, Sri Lanka and Kenya .


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Istanbul celebrates mobility week with public transportation discount

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Istanbul celebrates mobility week with public transportation discount

Public transportation in Istanbul will be 50 percent off tomorrow between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to celebrate European Mobility Week.

According to the written statement released from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Istanbul is to host a number of events to mark European Mobility Week, celebrated since 2002.

The events aim to raise awareness for environmental and sustainable transportation solutions. Apart from the discount on public transportation fees, the road parallel to the Bostancı Coast will be closed off to traffic for exclusive use by pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation vehicles.

A total of 2,310 cities from 48 different countries in Europe celebrate European Mobility Week Sept. 16-22. Throughout the week, the participating countries aim to limit traffic and encourage people to use public transportation and be more active.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

PKK hideouts, arsenals in northern Iraq destroyed by Turkish jets

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Turkish jets have destroyed weapon depots and hideouts used by PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, the military said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the statement issued by Turkish General Staff, the warplanes carried out an airstrike in the Gara region Saturday and destroyed arms and ammunition depots used by terrorists.

The statement said that the air raids were part of ongoing operations targeting the terrorist organization in northern Iraq.

Airstrikes on PKK targets in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, where the terror group has its main base in the Qandil region near the Iranian border, have been carried out regularly since July 2015, when the PKK resumed its armed campaign.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.


Source  :  Daily Sabah