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    GOOD MORNING--TURKEY PRESS SCAN ON MAY 16

    Anatolian Agency
    16.05.2008 - 08:58 | Son Güncelleme:

    These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in the Turkish press on May 16, 2008. Hurriyet English does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET

    --BARGAINING METHOD IN TENDERS TO EXPAND

    The public procurement system, which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized as an impediment to investments, will be changed once again.

    Here are some changes under a draft law that was sent to the parliament: "medical equipment purchases will be excluded from the scope and a complaint can not be made about tenders that were already cancelled."

    --INTEREST PARDON TO PREMIUM DEBT

    Turkish Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik said that the government would restructure premium debts of employers due to Social Security Institution (SSK) and Social Security Organization for Artisans and the Self-Employed (Bag-Kur).

    Celik said the government would omit 85 percent of the interest of those who pay their debts in 3-month period, 55 percent of the interest if the debt is paid within one year, and 30 percent in case the debts are paid in 24 months.

    --CHP TO OPEN OFFICE IN EUROPE

    Republican People's Party (CHP) chairman Deniz Baykal will respond to the criticisms of the EU executives that "CHP's ideas are not clear about Turkey's EU membership" by opening offices in Europe, firstly in Brussels.

    The target is to boost CHP'S relations with the EU. The offices will be in cooperation with socialist and socialist democratic parties.

     

    MILLIYET

    --UNANSWERED QUESTIONS IN "PURSUIT"

    Osman Paksut, deputy chief judge of the Constitutional Court, has suspected that a motor vehicle was pursuing his automobile to monitor his discussions. It was revealed that the vehicle belonged to the Security Department, but there are many other questions left unanswered.

    --FOR THE SAKE OF THE QUEEN

    Britain’s HMS Illustrious aircraft carrier was allowed to moor in Istanbul to accompany Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Turkey. The queen hosted a reception aboard the carrier in honor of Turkish President Abdullah Gul. The passage of carriers through the Turkish Straits was banned under the Montreux Convention. The carrier was allowed to come to Istanbul only after leaving its fourteen aircraft in southern Cyprus and disarming its helicopters.

    --CONDEMNATION

    Religious authorities and journalists have strongly reacted to Nuh Gonultas, a columnist of the Bugun daily, said that the waters of the Istanbul Strait should not be polluted with the ashes of Leyla Gencer, the last true diva of the opera world. Istanbul's top religious authority, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Cagrici, said people did not have the right to offend others for their preferences.

     

    SABAH

    --MILIBAND WARNS AGAINST PARTY CLOSURE

    United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband held talks in Ankara. Miliband met chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, and chairman of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli. Referring to the closure case of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Miliband said that closure of the ruling AKP would have devastating results.

    --SUPER OFFER

    English Newcastle soccer club offered Turkey's Galatasaray $16,000,000 to transfer midfielder Arda Turan prior to the beginning of EURO 2008 championship. Sources said that Galatasaray was not willing to release Arda.

     

    VATAN

    --IT TURNED INTO ROBBERY

    Price of a liter of petrol rose to $2.81 with the latest price increase. Turkish people have the record of "buying the most expensive petrol in the world" as the government refuses to end the unjust tax it places on fuel products.

    --NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED EXCEEDS 2.6 MILLION

    Turkish Statistical Institute made public the household labor force statistics in "February 2008" including January-February-March period. The number of unemployed rose by 55,000 over the same period of last year. The rate of inclusion to labor force dropped 45.9 percent. The rate of unemployment rose to 13.4 percent in cities.

     

    CUMHURIYET

    --NO JOBS, NO HOPES

    The unemployment rate in Turkey was 11.6 percent in February. The number of unemployed in Turkey reached 2,642,000. A total of 74.8 percent of all unemployed are male.

    --NEW SECURITY SYSTEM FOR PRISONS

    The Turkish Gendarmerie will no longer be responsible for security in Turkish prisons. According to a new arrangement, the Turkish Ministry of Justice will be responsible for security in prisons. The Justice Ministry will hire 12,000 new personnel and train them as security officers at prisons. The new arrangement goes into effect on January 1, 2009.

     

    RADIKAL

    --"ON TENTERHOOKS"

    After Osman Paksut, deputy chief judge of the Constitutional Court, said that he had been pursued for the last two months following the closure case against the ruling AKP, another member of the Turkey's top court, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they were on tenterhooks. He also said that some newspapers and TV channels published their photographs and showed them as the "jurists who are going to decide on the case."

    --UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASES

    The Turkish Board of Statistics has disclosed results of its survey for the period of January-February-March, and said that unemployment rate increased to 11.6 percent. The number of unemployed Turks reached 2,642,000.

     

    YENI SAFAK

    --EXPLOSION IN FACTORY: 2 DEAD

    Two workers were killed and 7 others were injured when a steam boiler in a dairy products factory exploded in Ankara's Cubuk town.
           
    Relatives of workers rushed to the factory after the incident. Dursun Ipek, a worker, said, "We thought it was an earthquake".

    --QUEEN ELIZABETH TOURS ISTANBUL STRAIT WITH GUL

    Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and her husband Prince Philip visited Kabatas High School and attended an activity held within the scope of a science project carried out by high school students.

    Following their visit to the school, the British Queen and Prince Consort joined Turkish President Abdullah Gul and first lady Hayrunnisa Gul to take a boat trip on the Bogazici (Bosporus), the Istanbul Strait.

    Queen Elizabeth and Hayrunnisa Gul visited the Istanbul Modern Arts Museum and hosted reception in honor of Gul aboard her aircraft carrier. Representatives from business, art, media and sports attended the reception.

     

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