Latest News from Turkey

No surprise in initial reactions

The first reactions upon the nomination of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu by opposition parties Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) did not surprise me.

The ultranationalist wing of the CHP is reacting naturally. If you were to ask me if they would prefer a candidate who is bound to lose the election in advance, I guess they would.

AKP, CHP in war of words over hostages

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on June 17 engaged in war of words over the 80 Turkish citizen hostages taken by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq.

Europe urges Turkey for better dialogue, progress

EU Commissioner Stefan Füle has called on Turkey to be in closer dialogue with the European Commission to ‘provide positive substance that will set the tone of the next progress report’ The EU commissioner urged Ankara to consult further with the commission in making legislation more compatible with EU’s acquis.

Turkish interior minister tells US about ‘parallel state’

As Turkey is spending efforts to become a more transparent state, a so-called parallel structure has attempted to topple the government, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has said at a U.S. conference. Ala’s remarks were referring to the Gülen movement under the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania in self-exile.

Turkish cartoonist wins first prize at Aydın Doğan Cartoon Contest

The Aydın Doğan Cartoon Competition announces its winners. Turkish cartoonist Kürşat Zaman, who was awarded with the third prize in the competition in 2010, won the first prize this year A Turkish cartoonist has come out on top at the 31st Aydın Doğan Cartoon Contest, which kicked off in Bodrum on June 17 with a day-long session where judges got together to select the winner.

ECHR finds Turkey guilty in two free speech cases

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey in two cases, it announced on June 17, upholding complaints brought against the country on the grounds that free speech was violated.

Turkey evacuates its consulate in Basra in southern Iraq over security concerns

Turkey’s consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra has been evacuated due to security concerns, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced June 17. The 18 consulate staff members, including the consul general were were taken to Kuwait, Davutoğlu wrote via his Twitter account.

Gezi’s guerrilla pianist Martello returns to Turkey for concerts in memory of Soma victims

German pianist and composer Davide Martello, who became known for his guerrilla concert in Istanbul’s Taksim Square at the height of last year’s Gezi protests, has taken his piano back to the streets of Turkey, this time in memory of the 301 workers who were killed in the mining disaster in Soma last month.

Turkey’s celebrity preachers to earn fortune this Ramadan

A handful of Islamic preachers in Turkey will earn more than a million Turkish Liras with their special shows on Turkish TV screens throughout Ramadan this year, which will start on June 28.

Top of the list is Islamic scholar Nihat Hatipoğlu, who has clinched a contract worth 600,000 liras with ATV for 30 episodes of his trademark Ramadan program, according to daily Vatan.

Bulgaria's Business Environment Ranks 46th Worldwide

Bulgaria ranks 46th in the world in terms of business environment for the period 2014-2018, surpassing Romania and Italy, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Bulgaria has moved one spot ahead compared to the previous ranking for the period 2009-2013, BGNES reports.

China, Turkey, Czech Republic Among Top Small Arms Exporters

China, Turkey and the Czech Republic have joined the list of the world's top exporters of small arms, which is led by the United States, according to the latest UN figures.

The UN statistics for 2011 from the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database released Monday show that Italy joined the list of the top importers of small arms, which is also topped by the United States.

Top student risks award with Gezi-supporting speech

The valedictorian of a high school in the western Turkish province of Kocaeli has risked his award with his acceptance speech commemorating the young victims of the Gezi Park protests, the school principal said June 17.

Large Amount of Undeclared Cash Seized At Bulgarian-Turkish Border

Bulgarian customs officers have seized undeclared EUR 57,080 or some BGN 111 thousand at checkpoint Lesovo from a truck with Turkish registration, the Customs agency informed.

The truck was traveling from Bulgaria to Turkey, the driver – a Turkish citizen claimed there was nothing to declare, however the customs inspection found over EUR 57 thousand hidden inside the vehicle.