Turkey News

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US President Barack Obama had a telephone conversation with TurkishPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the situation in Egypt, TRTreports on Sunday.The leaders agreed on the importance of observing the legal anddemocratic rights of citizens. They emphasized preventing violence andexpressed hope for stability in the region.

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200 protesters gathered near the Egyptian consulate in Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Turkish news agency Hurriyet reports. "Mubarak must go, oppression must end," "Mubarak, puppet of the United States," the demonstrators chanted. Many waved photographs of Mubarak covered by swastikas or Stars of David and burned an effigy of the Egyptian leader.

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Turkey announced on Sunday it was sending three planes to Egypt to take home its citizens, the Turkish news agency Hurriyet reports.At the request of the prime minister's crisis unit and the Foreign Ministry, Turkish Airlines sent two planes to Alexandria's Borg El Arab and El Nozha airports and one to Cairo on Sunday, Hurriyet cites the Anatolia news agency.

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The current Coordination Center of Azerbaijanis has hosted the firstmeeting of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Association of Germany (TAOG),1news.az reports, quoting the press service of the State Committee forthe Diaspora of Azerbaijan.The primary purpose of the association is to strengthen relationsbetween Azerbaijani and Turkish diasporic communities living inGermany and contribute to the further development of friendly andbrotherly relations between the two nations.

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Tourism, agriculture, shipbuilding and the textile industry arespheres of interest for Turkish investors, Georgian Minister ofEconomy and Stable Development Vera Kobalia said after a recent visitto Turkey, Business Georgia reports.Kobalia informed potential investors about projects. Some expressedinterest in Anaklia, Kobuleti and Mestia and joint realized projects,some wanted to start new businesses.

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The Turkish premier and leader of the ruling Justice and DevelopmentParty Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports switching to a bipartisanparliament system, calling it more efficient, RIA Novosti cites Akshampaper as saying.Turkey has a multi-party system. Only parties with 10% of votes mayenter parliament.Erdogan mentioned the benefits of the US bipartisan system, whichtakes less time to pass bills.The premier's statement was made on the eve of the coming Turkishparliamentary elections in June.

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Turkish President Abdullah Gul gave an interview to the French mediaon the eve of the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Turkey.Gul said that EU membership for Turkey “does not really matter." Healso said that Sarkozy had created an image of Turkey which does notcorrespond to reality, TRT reports.The French president arrives in Turkey in late February. The purposeof his visit, in general, is securing support on the agenda of the BigTwenty, which is currently headed by France.

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Turkey's Erzurum began hosting the 25th World Winter Student Games today.The official opening ceremony will start at 19.30 (local time).President Abdullah Gul, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Mehmet AliSahin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ministers, politicians andhigh-ranking officials and businessmen will be at the openingceremony.Approximately 3,000 athletes from 58 countries will take part in the games.Erzurum will set a record of countries and athletes participating.Most athletes came to Erzurum from Russia.

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The credit rate for construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway maybe reconsidered, Azerbaijani Railways said today, Business Georgiareports.The rate may reach 5%. Azerbaijani Railways said that the governmentmay provide an additional $500 million for the construction. $200million have already been provided from the state oil fund. The credithas a 25-year term with an annual interest rate of 1%.

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World Press on Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus (January 26, 2010)

"Russia fails to come to grips with growing tide of racism", an article with such a headline says in The Guardian. The author begins the article with a story of Egana Gassanova, 45-year old resident of Moscow, born in Azerbaijan. In the last two month she has been experiencing unbearable insults. According to the author the story is not a unique one. Hate crimes are widespread in Russia, 37 people were killed and 368 injured in 2010.

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A visa-free regime between Russia and Turkey could already beintroduced in April 2011, the general director for information of theMinistry for Culture and Tourism of Turkey, Cumhur Guven Tashbashy,has announced, Interfax reports.Cumhur Guven Tashbashy added that, by introducing this procedure,Turkey will lose a substantial fee of $20 from every Russian payingfor entry into Turkey, but he expressed confidence that the amountthey spend in the country will be much more than the cost of the visa.

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The president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and the prime minister ofTurkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a joint declaration on theestablishment of a high-level Strategic Council between Ukraine andthe Republic of Turkey, Trend reports.The document is aimed at formalizing the already existing relationsbetween Ukraine and Turkey to the level of a strategic partnership.A Joint Strategic Planning Unit under the chairmanship of the ForeignMinisters of the parties  will be established in order to discuss key

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A protest was organized at the Armenian government building againstincreased prices for customs clearance of goods imported from Turkeyto Armenia, News Armenia reports.Tens of shuttle traders are protesting against the price, which hasbeen raised from $4 to $8 per kilo of goods from Turkey and demandedthe government to reconsider the decision.A spokesman for the government's office proposed the protestersexpress their demands in written form and send them to theauthorities.

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World Press on Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus (January 25, 2011)

The Guardian has published an article devoted to the relations between Jewish and Muslim individuals. The author tells his readers about various programs launched in order to bring people from the two faiths together. Such programs are supported by at least 10 prominent universities of the UK. The author quotes Ibrahim Khan, a first-year student at Oxford, who says it is important for students not to conflate the political situation with their own relationships.

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Nabucco and the South Stream are incompatible, Italian Minister ofIndustry Paolo Romani said, Trend reports.He said that Germany, Italy and France plan to hold talks on the ITGIpipeline (Turkey-Greece-Italy) in the coming months.Romani said that they need to agree on the financing of the gaspipeline projects, Reuters reports.

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Kazakhstan views the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline as a possible routefor oil supplies for the world market, the head of KazMunayGas,Kaiyrgeldy Kabyldin, told a press-conference in Astana on Monday,Trend reports.He said that the oil pipeline transported 100,000 tons of Kazakh oildaily in 2009, but the prices for pumping oil were raised by theshareholders.

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Armenia will receive $45.2 million for development of democracy in2011, the official website on support by the US government for othercountries says, news.am reports.Armenia spent $9.4 million on peace and stability, $13.2 million ondevelopment of democracy, human rights and management, $5.9 million onhealthcare, $1.9 million on education and social programs, $13.4million on economic development and $1.6 million on humanitarianprograms.

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Nuclear talks with Iran come to nothing

The EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, indicated that the six world powers are 'disappointed' as the two-day nuclear talks with Iran didn't end with any breakthrough. The meeting of the Iran Six in Istanbul saw no progress with Tehran rejecting calls to cease uranium enrichment and allow improved UN monitoring of Iran's nuclear activities

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A protocol on cooperation in exploration and research of mineral resources is due to be signed, following a meeting of the Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz, is quoted by Trend.

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