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Jan 8, 2014

“Earth is gold”: graft probe turns eyes to Turkey building boom

ISTANBUL, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Look closely on a clear day, and
the silhouette of Istanbul’s historic peninsula, its minarets
puncturing the sky, has changed for the first time in centuries.

Three luxury towers, their top-floor apartments selling for
upwards of a million dollars apiece, loom on the horizon,
graceless symbols of Turkey’s rapid modernisation during a
decade of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s rule.

Jan 3, 2014

Turkey’s Gul urges judiciary to stay impartial in graft investigation

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Abdullah Gul urged the judiciary to remain impartial as it pursues a corruption investigation shaking the government, warning on Friday of grave economic consequences if confidence in the country’s institutions is eroded.

In his most exhaustive comments on the graft scandal so far, Gul said the existence of a “state within the state” would not be tolerated, an apparent reference to the movement of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are influential in Turkey’s police and judiciary.

Nov 14, 2013

Turkish decision on China defense deal could take 6 months

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey aims to make an definitive decision in about six months on whether to co-produce an air and missile defense system with a Chinese firm that is under U.S. sanctions, a senior Turkish defense official said on Thursday.

Turkey’s NATO allies voiced concern when it said in September it had chosen China’s FD-2000 missile defense system over rival offers from Franco/Italian Eurosam SAMP/T and U.S.-listed Raytheon Co. It said China offered the most competitive terms and would allow co-production in Turkey.

Nov 8, 2013

Turk PM faces ally’s public rebuke on mixed-sex student housing

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan suffered a public rebuke from a senior minister and long-time ally on Friday over his criticism of mixed-sex student housing, signaling a growing rift in the ruling AK Party ahead of elections next year.

Erdogan suggested this week that regulations be drawn up to stop male and female students living together. His comments caused uproar in Turkey, where critics fear encroachment of Islamic religious influence on the affairs of a secular state.

Oct 17, 2013

Al Qaeda’s rise in northern Syria leaves Turkey with dilemma

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The rise of al Qaeda in parts of Syria’s north has left Turkey facing a new security threat on its already vulnerable border and raised questions about its wholesale support for rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey has long championed more robust backing for Syria’s fractious armed opposition, arguing it would bring a quicker end to Assad’s rule and give moderate forces the authority they needed to keep more radical Islamist elements in check.

Sep 18, 2013

Analysis: Turkey’s ‘worthy solitude’ sidelines Erdogan in Middle East

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Clinging to calls for military action in Syria and wedded to his backing for Egypt’s ousted Islamist president, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan cuts an increasingly lonely figure in a region whose future he still hopes to help shape.

Finding himself in what one adviser calls “worthy solitude”, Erdogan risks alienating some important Gulf investors in Turkey as well as weakening his diplomatic clout with international powers and Egypt’s new military-backed rulers.

Sep 13, 2013

Turkish business dynasties accused of backing ‘post-modern coup’

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A lawyer accused two of Turkey’s corporate dynasties on Friday of backing the 1997 military overthrow of its first Islamist-led government, sending their shares tumbling on fears of a deepening vendetta against the country’s secular business elite.

Shares in family-run conglomerates Dogan Holding and Koc Holding fell nearly 8 percent and more than 3 percent respectively after lawyer Mustafa Polat filed a complaint against them in a trial of alleged plotters.

Aug 30, 2013

Turkish PM says Syria intervention should aim to end Assad rule

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that any international military intervention against Syria should be aimed at bringing an end to the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The comments from Erdogan, long one of Assad’s fiercest critics, came as U.S. President Barack Obama said he was considering a narrow, limited U.S. response to last week’s chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Aug 29, 2013

Tofas CEO sees flat Turkish auto market despite headwinds

ISTANBUL, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Turkish auto sales will reach
around 820,000 vehicles in 2013, almost unchanged from last
year, the chief executive of automaker Tofas said on
Thursday, while the European market will see a more marked
improvement from 2015.

Tofas, which makes light commercial vehicles for Italy’s
Fiat and France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen, is
sticking for now to its 2013 production and export targets of
255,000 and 160,000 vehicles respectively.

Aug 27, 2013

Turkish central bank says won’t defend lira with interest rates

ISTANBUL, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Turkish Central Bank Governor
Erdem Basci said on Tuesday he did not intend to hike interest
rates to defend a sliding lira, which hit record lows on concern
about the outlook for U.S. stimulus and the conflict in
neighbouring Syria.

In an interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency (AA),
Basci said the central bank had $40 billion in reserves which
it could use to shore up the lira and would intervene
defensively as needed to reduce exchange rate volatility.

    • About Nick

      "Based in Lagos since early 2008, responsible for coverage of Africa's most populous nation. Previously based in Senegal for four years, covering West and Central Africa, and before that in Germany and Britain."
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