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World - Turkey`s Erdogan trumpets high-speed rail link as election looms


By Daren Butler ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated a $4 billion high-speed train link between Istanbul and Ankara on Friday, the latest in a series of `mega projects` he hopes will help him win a presidential election in a few weeks time. Turkey`s economic development - driven partly by major infrastructure projects - has been the foundation of Erdogan`s popularity despite deepening discontent among his opponents at what they see as growing authoritarianism. The launch - which comes just over three weeks ahead of the presidential election but a year before the line will be fully operational as it currently runs only to the outskirts of Istanbul - was delayed by a few months due to what officials described as sabotage and a test train crash on July 3.


Friday, July 25, 2014  16:33

Yahoo

World - Iraqi chaos seen slowing, not scuppering Turkish export drive


By Nevzat Devranoglu ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The chaos in Iraq could cost Turkey some $2-2.5 billion in lost trade this year, slowing efforts to boost exports and rebalance the economy, but the long-term impact will be negligible unless the situation deteriorates sharply, economists said. Exports to Iraq, Turkey`s second largest foreign market, fell 19.3 percent to $745 million in June, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute showed on Friday, a sharp decline but broadly in line with expectations. A lightning advance by the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State, which swept through north and west Iraq last month, raised fears of a collapse in demand for Turkish goods and a sharp rise in Turkey`s energy import bill, with Iraq its biggest crude oil supplier. Oil is now trading back below $108 a barrel, easing Turkey`s fears.


Friday, July 25, 2014  15:35

Yahoo

World - High speed rail opens between main Turkish cities


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey is inaugurating a high-speed rail service linking the capital Ankara to Istanbul which will cut travel time between the country`s main two cities by half.


Friday, July 25, 2014  14:41

Yahoo

World - Turkey hatching plan to clear Syrian beggars off Istanbul streets


By Dasha Afanasieva and Seda Sezer ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Authorities in Istanbul are working on plans to clear the streets of Syrian beggars and house them in camps like those on the border, as Turkey struggles with an influx of over a million refugees and the hospitality of locals starts to wear thin. Beggars have become increasingly visible in Istanbul, many of them Syrians displaced by their country`s three-year war, including women and young children, passports in outstretched hands, tapping on car windows in the city`s dense traffic. They represent a tiny fraction of the Syrians sheltering in Turkey, some housed in well-equipped camps along the border, others living with friends or family or in modest rented accommodation in cities in the southeast, Ankara or Istanbul. If they don`t give up begging we will take an administrative decision and send them to a camp,` the city`s governor, Huseyin Avni Mutlu, told Reuters.


Monday, July 21, 2014  14:37

Yahoo

World - Turkey arrests more than 50 senior police officers


Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested 55 senior police officers in a criminal probe over alleged corruption and abuse of office, the latest apparent crackdown on opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of presidential polls. Forty serving and former top police officers were arrested in Istanbul, including the former head of the anti-terrorism unit of Istanbul police, Omer Kose, television reports said. Fifteen others were arrested elsewhere, in what the reports said was a new sweep against the movement of Erdogan`s former ally Fethullah Gulen in the wake of a vast corruption scandal implicating the prime minister and his inner circle. In the huge operation conducted in the early morning, police in Istanbul alone raided almost 200 addresses.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014  09:00

Yahoo

World - Israel cuts diplomatic presence in Turkey amid protests


By Can Sezer and Dan Williams ISTANBUL/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Friday it was reducing its diplomatic presence in Turkey after protesters angered by its ground offensive into Gaza pelted its consulate in Istanbul with stones and draped Palestinian flags on the ambassador`s residence in Ankara. The Israeli foreign ministry accused Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of `incitement`, saying it was ordering the return of diplomats` families and trimming staffing to a minimum. `(Israel) has always been oppressive, and continues to oppress. Hence, as Turkey, I cannot think of positive developments with Israel as long as I hold this duty,` Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, shortly before he was due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


Friday, July 18, 2014  15:13

Yahoo

World - Dozens of Turkish police detained for alleged spying on government


By Daren Butler ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Dozens of police including high-ranking officers were detained in Turkey on Tuesday, accused of spying and illegal wire-tapping of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle in what the chief prosecutor said was a concocted probe of an alleged terrorist group. The former Istanbul anti-terror police chief, himself among those detained and led away in handcuffs, said the incident was entirely political, coming just a few weeks ahead of a presidential election in which Erdogan is standing. Police conducted raids in 22 provinces, and officers involved in a separate government corruption probe which emerged in December and led to the departure of four ministers were among those detained, Turkish media reported. The officers were accused of making up an investigation into an alleged terrorist group named `selam-tevhid` as a pretence to tap the phones of Erdogan, ministers and the head of the national intelligence agency.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014  11:26

Yahoo

World - Turkey arrests more than 50 police officers in graft probe: TV


Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested 55 senior police officers in a criminal probe over alleged corruption and abuse of office, the latest apparent crackdown on opponents of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of presidential polls, television reports said. Forty serving and former top police officers were arrested in Istanbul, including the former head of the anti-terror unit of Istanbul police, Omer Kose.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014  08:47

Yahoo

World - Israel advises citizens to avoid Turkey amid Gaza protests


Israel advised its citizens on Saturday not to travel to Turkey, citing `the public mood` after heated protests there against Israel`s ground offensive into Gaza. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Israelis should `avoid non-essential visits` to Turkey - once Israel`s closest regional ally - or be especially vigilant and steer clear of anti-Israel demonstrations. The travel advisory could affect commercial air connections between Tel Aviv and Istanbul, expanded in recent years as the two countries sought to rebuild relations. Israel said on Friday it would pare back already an reduced staff at its embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul, scenes of furious street protests at Israel`s escalation of its Gaza offensive into a ground invasion.


Saturday, July 19, 2014  08:12

Yahoo

World - Israel reduces diplomatic presence in Turkey amid protests


By Can Sezer and Dan Williams ISTANBUL/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Friday it was reducing its diplomatic presence in Turkey after protesters angered by its ground offensive into Gaza pelted its consulate in Istanbul with stones and draped Palestinian flags on the ambassador`s residence in Ankara. The Israeli foreign ministry accused the Turkish authorities of `grossly violating` diplomatic regulations during the demonstrations and said it was ordering the return of diplomats` families and trimming staffing to a minimum. `I`m warning Israel once again that there will be much more serious consequences if it does not stop its aggressiveness and the escalation of incidents,` Turkish President Abdullah Gul told reporters before a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


Friday, July 18, 2014  13:20

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