Turkey News

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The Interior Minister of Turkey, Beshir Atalay, received on Tuesday a delegation headed by Arzu Rahimov, the head of the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan, Trend reports, with reference to the Turkish newspaper Zaman.The meeting focused on abolishing the visa regime between the two countries and cooperation in the field of migration. Both Atalay and  Rahimov expressed their satisfaction with the meeting.

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A strong earthquake was registered today in eastern Turkish province of Mush. Earth tremors were observed three times - at 5.1 on the Richter scale at 10:14 am local time, 3.7 points at 11:08 and 4.5 points at 11:16, 1news.az reports, quoting Turkish media.The tremors caused panic among the residents of Mush. The consequences of the earthquake have been particularly severe in rural areas, where the buildings are made of clay bricks.

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Sochi will host a trilateral meeting of the Russian, Azerbaijani andArmenian presidents on March 5. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan andTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have a meeting inRussia. Russia and the USA are expected to be more active in settlingArmenian-Turkish ties.Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin recently visitedYerevan and met with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister FirudinSinirlioglu. Turkish political observer Togrul Ismail talked about theregional situation with Vestnik Kavkaza.

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Turkish defense contractor Aselsan and the International Golden Group(United Arab Emirates) plan to open a joint venture in Kazakhstan inthe first half of 2011. Aselsan will have a 49% share, IGG - 51%,KazTAG reports.The enterprise will operate to fulfill the demands of the UAE andother countries of the Persian Gulf.

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An Azerbaijani delegation headed by Chairman of the Association of World Turkic Youth Akram Abdullayev is visiting Turkey, 1news.az reports. The press service of the National Council of Youth Organizations of Azerbaijan said the purpose of the meeting is to develop and strengthen the close ties between the two countries, and to discuss the plans of future cooperation between the young generation of Turkey and Azerbaijan. The visit will last until February, 25, 2011

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The spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, Tigran Balayan, commenting on recent media reports about the mediation of Moscow in the diplomatic talks between Armenia and Turkey said that there was no need in normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, ANS reports. According to the spokesperson of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Armenia, Armenia and Turkey have signed protocols which need to be ratified and implemented without any preconditions in order to normalize Turkish-Armenian relations.

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BP has doubled the evaluation of prices for the Nabucco gas pipelineto 14 billion euros, due to rising prices for raw constructionmaterials, especially iron ore, RIA Novosti cites The Guardian.The Nabucco project is aimed at transporting natural gas from theCaspian region to European states, by-passing Russia throughAzerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria.

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The Turkish authorities announced on Saturday that the country was flying hundreds of its citizens out of Libya, expressing alarm at the violent turn of events there, where dozens have been killed in three days of anti-regime protests, Turkish Hurriyet reports. "In total it is planned to repatriate 670 of our fellow citizens during the day," the government's crisis centre said. It has also promised that the Turkish community in Benghazi will be provided with food and other necesseties.

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Russian-Turkish Public Forum in Istanbul

The first session of the Russian-Turkish Public Forum took place in Istanbul yesterday. The forum is co-chaired by Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the committee in charge of international relations of the Russian parliament's lower house, and Sarik Tara, a Turkish businessman and honorary chairman of the ENKA construction company.

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The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has called Francis Joseph Ricciardone, the US’s new ambassador to Turkey, a ‘rookie’ after his remarks on press freedom in Turkey. The Turkish Premier said, that “he does not know Turkey has no idea which laws there are.”

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World Press on Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus (February 18, 2011)

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article headlined "Democracy by Internet". This topic has been widely discussed by the public after the recent revolution in Egypt, in which the Internet played a major role. "After the revolution in Egypt, it has become a truism that the Internet can foster dissent and political freedom," the author writes. According to him, this was understood by the US administration, and that is why Secretary of State Clinton delivered a speech in which she pointed out the major role of the Internet in the struggle for freedom throughout the world.

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A blast has occurred at a gas field near the Turkish city of Batman.Preliminary reports say three people died, TRT reports.The explosion was caused by a high gas concentration on the GunesSelmo platform of the Turk Petrollari (TPAO) gas company.

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Some 250 children of junior classes at four Turkish schools inDiyarbakir were hospitalized with suspected food poisoning, Anadolureports.The outbreak started after lunch at the school canteens. 917 pupils had lunches.Governor of Diyarbakir Mustafa Toprak said that the children are in asatisfactory condition. The school principals were ordered to checkthe condition of children that have not requested medical aid.

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The European Union has proposed uniting the Nabucco and Interconnecter (Turkey-Greece-Italy ITGI)pipeline projects  to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe

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World Press on Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus (February 15-16, 2011)

Yesterday The Los Angeles Times published President Obama's address to the presidents of Middle Eastern states. President Obama, in a news conference that also focuses on his proposed budget, sayd he has told his counterparts in other countries that they ignore grass-roots democratic movements at their own peril. He stressed that autocratic governments won't survive in the Middle East unless they heed calls for change and meet the demands of protesters who are massing in the streets to demand more freedoms.

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The president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, is continuing his visit to Iran, TRT reports. On the third day of his trip, Gul visited Isfahan. The president also visited the palace of 40 columns and one of the biggest squares in the world Nahsh-e Jahan. Today is the last day of his trip to Iran. Gul will visit historical sights of Tebriz and this evening return to Turkey.

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Negotiations on Turkey joining the EU as a full member have hit a dead-end, the foreign ministry of Turkey stated, RIA Novosti reports. Turkey is dissatisfied with the fact that the country changes its laws to make them coincide with the EU standards, but in reality has seen no progress in is EU bid. Talks started in October 2005. Some leaders of European countries, including Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy, are against Turkish membership in the EU.

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Armenia has officially refused to support the Turkish candidate forsecretary general of the OSCE, News Armenia cites the press secretaryof the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Tigran Balayan.Turkish President Abdullah Gul said at the OSCE summit in Astana onDecember 1-2, 2010, that the republic has a candidate for chairmanshipof the organization.

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Turkish President Abdullah Gul is planning to write a letter to hisArmenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan, requesting Armenia to supportthe candidate from Turkey for the post of Secretary General of theOSCE. Ambassador Ersin Ercin, the candidate for the post, willpersonally deliver the letter to Sargsyan, ANS reports.Ercin, whose visit to Armenia is expected in March, said that theletter from Gul "will be a gesture of goodwill towards Armenia."Besides Ercin, 3 other candidates will be considered for the post of

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Iran and Turkey have signed an agreement on economic cooperation.According to the agreement, trade turnover between the two countrieswill triple by 2015, from the current $10 billion to $30 billion ayear, according to Iranian news agency IRNA.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a joint press conference inTehran with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, that the partiesare financing a number of joint projects in various fields, includingthe field of electric power and energy.

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