SHE SLIGHTLY OPENS VISA DOOR
German Chancellor Angela Merkel shed green light for removal of visa requirements. She said, "Turkey should ensure border security. It should prevent passage of migrants" and noted that Germany could give long term visa for businessmen, students and artists.
"This is in the interest of all of us," she said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "a period is underway when the East and the West become friends" adding that visa should be liberalized.
Erdogan said, "I know German Consulate General building very well. I waited long in visa queues."
UNEMPLOYMENT DISCUSSED IN "SUMMIT OF BOSSES"
Leading organizations of the business world, TUSIAD, TIM, TESK, and MUSIAD, convened under the leadership of TOBB.
The bosses worked on the action plan that aims to lessen unemployment.
TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said unemployment was at the same time a social problem. He said, "reforms in the business world will strengthen our hand."
SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO COME TOGETHER TO BOOST TRADE VOLUME
South-eastern European countries will come together to boost the trade volume among themselves. After developing commercial ties with its neighboring countries to fight against the global financial crisis, Turkey is beginning a new process in South-eastern Europe. Trade ministers of South-eastern European countries met with each other in Istanbul on Tuesday and decided to triple the current trade volume of 53 billion USD in the next five years.
DOGUS AUTOMOTIVE COMPANY SUCCESSFUL IN 2009
Despite the global financial crisis, Turkey's Dogus Automotive Company closed the year 2009 with sales worth more than two billion liras. The company sells around 80 models of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Scania, Krone and Meiller in Turkey.
ANGELA, LET'S LIBERALIZE VISA
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought up the visa issue, which was not discussed in formal meetings, during dinner hosted in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, by saying, "let's lift this visa." According to sources, Merkel was surprised at Erdogan's proposal during the dinner at the Prime Ministry Residence in Ankara. Merkel did not close the doors totally to the proposal, and told in a diplomatic manner to take up the issue later. Merkel said long-term visa could be granted to students and businessmen.
USA COULD NOT SOLVE PROBLEM, WE DID
President Abdullah Gul, who is visiting Pakistan, underlined Turkey's influence over the region. Touching on U.S. efforts to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan together, Gul said, "they brought them together, however there was not even any handshaking. Then the two countries asked us to bring them together, and we did. And, they are now working together."
1982 CONSTITUTION DOES NOT SUIT US, IT SHOULD BE CHANGED
Umit Boyner, chairperson of the Turkish Industrialists' & Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), supported the judicial reform. Boyner said, "a judicial system that leaves even the presence of a political party that is ruling the country on its own, to words that will be uttered by a judicial executive, does not suit Turkey." Boyner said that they thought the system should totally be changed when commenting on the 1982 Constitution.
GOOD NEWS ON VISAS FROM GERMANY
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany might soon provide visas for longer durations for Turkish businesspeople, students and artists. Merkel's comments came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned that mutual visa requirements between Turkey and Russia might end in May, 2010. Merkel said that easier visa procedures would benefit all.
EXECUTIVES EARNING SALARY OF 28,000 TL
Certain Turkish public officials are actually earning more than the prime minister. There is a huge gap between the salaries of some executives and workers. While the secretary general of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) was earning 27,780 TL in 2007, the minimum wage for workers was only 403 TL. While the salary of the secretary general of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) is 25,990 TL, the salary of a parliamentarian is 8,200 TL. At a time when the Turkish prime minister was earning 8,490 TL and the president was earning 15,247 TL, the monthly salary of the secretary general of the Izmir Chamber of Commerce was 14,953 TL.
LONG-TERM VISA ON TABLE
German Chancellor Angela Merkel who paid a formal visit to Turkey delivered a speech at Turkish-German Economy Forum. Merkel said that Germany might ease visa procedures for Turkish citizens and issue long-term visas especially for businesspeople, students and artists. Merkel said they would solve double taxation problem within one year at latest. Merkel also gave a signal that her country could make new investments in the areas of energy and transportation.
NATIONAL STRATEGY TO UNEMPLOYMENT
Leading nongovernmental organizations gathered to prepare a joint action plan to solve unemployment problem. 17 nongovernmental organizations including TUSIAD, TIM, TESK, TISK and MUSIAD had a meeting and decided that there is need for "national employment strategy" to solve unemployment issue. 3 million people got jobs in the private sector in the last six years so the current unemployment problem could be solved, NGOs said.
337 LONE DEPUTIES!
There is no support to the government's constitutional amendment bill. The bill has been submitted to the parliament. The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are decisive, whereas the Peace & Democracy Party (BDP), with 20 deputies, says it would not vote in favor of the bill for its current shape. The ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party has to make the amendments on its own.
Deniz Baykal, chairman of CHP with 97 deputies, and Devlet Bahceli, chairman of MHP with 69 deputies, once more reiterated that they were against the bill.
The BDP, which asked the government to "change the initial articles and reduce the electoral threshold to 3 from 10 percent," said it would not support the bill for its current shape. The Democratic Left Party (DSP) said, "first of all the electoral threshold should be dropped, then it will debate the bill" whereas 11 independent deputies seem to be distant to the bill.
The AK Party has 337 parliamentarians, i.e. enough to pass the threshold (330) to pass the bill from the parliament on condition that it will be put to referendum. Some say that the ruling party would have problems in securing 330 votes, however government executives are not concerned and say, "we will not waste any votes."
"LONG-TERM VISA" PROMISE FROM MERKEL
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Hagia Sophia Museum, Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, German Protestant Church, and German High School in Istanbul on Tuesday. Merkel later participated in Turkish-German Business Forum. Upon Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's request that "visa should be liberalized", Merkel said, "these are issues that we have to speed up in practice. We may grant long-term visas to businessmen, students and artists."
SUNDAY: GOOD NEWS, YOU ARE A FATHER, MONDAY: BAD NEWS, YOU HAVE A MARTYR
Three sergeants died in a mine blast in the southeastern province of Hakkari the previous night. Nuri Aydin Sagir, one of the sergeants, had learned that he became a father a day before he died.
SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH ISTANBUL WHERE SHE VISITS AS TOURIST
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Hagia Sophia Museum and Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque in Istanbul on Tuesday. She also visited the German High School. Merkel stopped often, and took photographs as a tourist, and chatted with tradesmen. Merkel listened to a concert together with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The concert was given to mark the election of this Turkish city and German city of Essen as the 2010 European Capital of Culture. Merkel departed from Turkey on Tuesday evening.
"SHE CALMED DOWN WILD MAN OF THE STRAIT"
German Bild newspaper said, "she calmed down the wild man of the strait" while commenting on the German chancellor's bringing peace pigeon to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Writing on the Ankara summit, German media said, "relations are positive in general but there are differences of view on issues like Turkey's EU membership and opening of Turkish school in Germany."
Meanwhile Erdogan and Merkel, who proceeded to Istanbul on Tuesday, watched a concert together at Germany's Consulate General.
Erdogan was applauded when he said, "I very well know this building. I stood long in visa queues."
TRIAL WITHOUT ANY AUTHORITY AND RANK DISCRIMINATION
An arrangement envisaging trial of chief of general staff and force commanders in the supreme court has been included in the constitutional amendment bill submitted by the Justice & Development (AK) Party to the Parliament on Tuesday.
However, the proposal underlined that "everybody, without any difference of authority and rank, will be tried in courts of justice in cases of crimes like military coup attempt or alike."
The 29-article package to a great extent preserved the arrangements related to Constitutional Court and Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors.
27-article package which was submitted to Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin with 215 signatures foresees changes in structure of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and Constitutional Court. The package also paves the way for trial of parliament speaker, chief of general staff, and senior commanders by the High Tribunal on charges of crimes they commit regarding their posts.
PRESENT FROM ERDOGAN TO MERKEL
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel Mevlana Jalal al-Din Rumi's work "Mesnevi" in German. Erdogan and Merkel discussed economic relations within the scope of Turkish-German Business Forum meeting before she left Turkey. Merkel visited touristic attractions of Istanbul including Ayasofya Museum (Hagia Sophia) and Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque.