MEETING ON CONSTITUTION AT PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
President Abdullah Gul, who took action regarding constitutional amendment package, hosted a group of lawyers and politicians at Cankaya Palace. Gul discussed with his guests the constitutional reform and criticisms about the package.
TURKISH ECONOMY AT EU'S FIRST LEAGUE
Turkey, which is the 17th biggest economy of the world, is also pushing for the summit of the EU. Turkey's gross domestic product reached 869 billion USD. Thus, Turkey has been ranked the seventh in the 27-member EU.
GREECE SINKS, TURKEY RISES
One of the world's prestigious economy magazines, Business Week, compared the economies of two neighbors --Turkey and Greece. Accordingly, Greece is collapsing, while Turkey turned crisis into an opportunity.
MGY AUTOMOTIVE & DFM-ZNA SIGN AGREEMENT FOR AUTOMOTIVE INVESTMENTS
Distributor of Chinese Dong Feng Motors (DFM) in Turkey, MGY Automotive Corporation signed on Monday an agreement with DFM-ZNA for automotive investments. MGY plans to manufacture at least 50,000 vehicles per year in Turkey. Among the provinces considered for auto production are western province of Izmir, central Anatolian province of Konya and south-eastern province of Gaziantep.
INTERNET USERS IN TURKEY SPEND 8 HOURS SURFING ON NET PER WEEK
Director General of Google Marketing for Turkey, the Middle East and Africa, Mustafa Icil, said Monday internet users in Turkey spent an average of eight hours surfing on the net per week. Speaking at a seminar titled "Discovering internet with Google" at the Association of Economy Journalists (EGD) in Istanbul, Mustafa Icil said that companies in Turkey had defeated their fear of the internet. Internet facilitated opportunities for new sources of income for businesses, Icil said. Companies need to utilize the internet in order to update information regarding their entities for internet users, Icil indicated. According to Icil, 400,000 small and medium scale businesses in Turkey have web sites. There are around 2,000,000 small and medium scale businesses in Turkey. Around 10,000 small and medium scale businesses sell goods in Turkey via the internet, Icil stressed.
FORMULA OF GENERALS TO HIGH TRIBUNE
Senior Justice and Development (AK) Party officials who have been working for the past two days on the constitutional amendment bill made surprising changes. A new arrangement was added to the article allowing trial of military personnel.
A new arrangement paving the way for trial of chief of staff and force commanders at the high tribune was included in the bill. The current constitution makes no reference to how and where commanders are supposed to be tried.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel who argued that the rules of the game in the EU changed after 1960, insisted on the "privileged partnership" offer.
Merkel who rejected the demand of Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan for opening of Turkish schools in Germany, changed her stance in Ankara. Merkel who gave the green light to Turkish schools said, "Turkey may have schools in Germany but this should not be a pretext for not learning German."
THEY ALSO DISCUSS AMBASSADOR TAN
Spokesman for the United States Department of State, Philip Crowley, said that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton discussed by phone the possibility of Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan's return back to Washington, D.C. According to Crowley, Davutoglu and Clinton talked on the Minsk Group process, the solution of the Upper Karabakh problem, Turkey-Armenia relations, Clinton's recent visit to Russia and the developments in the Middle East.
BUSINESS WEEK COMMENTS ON TURKEY
Economic periodical 'Business Week' said that the destiny of two tough competitors in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and Greece, got separated with the latest global economic crisis. While Greece has entered a period of serious crisis, the Turkish economy has been on the rise, Business Week said. The periodical drew attention to the fact that, for the first time in history, Greece's debt risk grew more than that of Turkey.
SOLDIERS TO BE TRIED IN HIGH TRIBUNE
Justice and Development (AK) Party which worked till late night to give the final shape to the constitutional amendment bill, put an arrangement in the bill paving the way for trial of the chief of general staff, force commanders and gendarmerie commander. Constitution scholar Prof. Ulku Azrak said the arrangement was a challenge and threat against the Turkish Armed Forces.
OPEN ENDED PROCESS SHOULD CONTINUE
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the solution of the Cyprus issue was key for progress in Turkey's accession talks with the EU. Merkel said the most important issue was the implementation of the Ankara protocol.
Merkel said they suggested the "privileged partnership" as a special relation with the EU noting however that the suggestion was not welcomed. Merkel who emphasized that the negotiation process was open ended, said they needed to carry on this process.
HIGH TRIBUNAL WAY OPENED FOR COMMANDERS
A surprising arrangement was added in the last minute in the constitutional amendment package which is planned to be presented to Parliament Speaker's Office by the ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party today. According to the new arrangement, the court, which will try the chief of the General Staff and force commanders, will be the High Tribunal. The package also paves the way for trial of parliament speaker in High Tribunal.
TOWARDS COLLAPSE WITH YEREVAN
For the first time, an Armenian official said they would withdraw from the (normalization) process in the middle of April. The official said that if the protocols (signed by Turkey and Armenia for normalization of relations) collapsed, then the relations between Turkey and Armenia would be much worse. The official also said that the only way out was Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal for postponement of the protocols.
THEY AGREED ON TURKISH HIGH SCHOOLS IN GERMANY
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Turkish capital of Ankara on Monday. In a tete-a-tete meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Merkel, the two leaders agreed on the opening of Turkish high schools in Germany. "Turkey may have schools in Germany. However, this should not be an excuse not to learn the German language," Merkel told Erdogan.
TURKISH WINE JOINS PARIS TASTE TEST
Turkey's Kavaklidere wines were tasted in Paris along with 70 wine brands of France on Monday. A global expert on wines, Stephane Derenoncourt, said that Turks need not fear about the quality of their grapes. Wine consumers love Turkish wine in France, Derenoncourt said.
CONSENSUS ON TWO LANGUAGES AND ONE SCHOOL
The issue of a Turkish school in Germany, which turned into a crisis, was partially solved during the meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Ankara. Erdogan and Merkel reached a decision in principle on opening of a high school in Germany. The school will not give education completely in Turkish. It will be a high school where both Turkish and German students study, and it will give Turkish education besides German. Regarding Turkey's EU membership, Merkel indirectly repeated her view of "privileged partnership".
WE WILL PRESENT IT TO REFERENDUM IN COMPACT SHAPE
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the proposal of the opposition as "articles of the Constitutional amendment package shall be voted one by one" was against the logic of referendum. Erdogan said, "parliamentarians are already voting this one by one. Then they asses it, and present it in a compact shape like a pill."
TRIAL AT HIGH TRIBUNE TIED TO SPECIAL PERMISSION
Justice and Development (AK) Party officials put a special article to the constitutional amendment bill paving the way for trial of the chief of general staff and force commanders at the high tribune.
Senior AK Party officials, who made the last touch ups on the constitutional amendment bill last night discussed ways for trial of the chief of general staff and force commanders. Later decided on an arrangement allowing trial of commanders at the high tribune. Trial of the chief of staff will be tied to special permission of the premier or the president.
Senior AK Party officials also gave an end to the uncertainty about trial of the parliament speaker. The bill suggests trial of parliament speakers at the high tribune.
GERMANY SAYS YES TO TURKISH SCHOOLS
German Chancellor Angela Merkel who met with Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara said, "Turkey can open schools abroad, we agreed over a common stance," said Merkel. Regarding the EU accession talks with Turkey Merkel said they reiterated the importance of the pacta sunt servanda principle.