Turkish Cypriots begin voting for president

19/04/2015 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus begin voting to elect their president, as polls have opened Sunday morning. Turkish Cypriots will exercise their voting rights in the country’s seventh presidential election, in which seven candidates, including five independents are running.Among the seven candidates is incumbent Dervis Eroglu, who is supported by the National Unity Party and Democratic Party-National Forces.Independent Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay, Republican Turkish Party-United Forces candidate and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Speaker Sibel Siber, Cyprus Socialist party candidate Mustafa Onurer and independent candidates, Mustafa Ulas, Mustafa Akinci and Arif Salih Kirdag are the other contenders.Polls will close close at 6 p.m. local time (1500 GMT) and unofficial results are expected to be announced by 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT). Some 176,912 voters are expected to cast their votes in 693 ballot boxes throughout the country. Three trained attendants and observers from political parties will stand by each ballot box in the country..



Bank Asya delivers shareholder info to BDDK, pretext for seizure vanishes

Bank Asya delivers shareholder info to BDDK, pretext for seizure vanishesTurkey’s largest Islamic lender, Bank Asya, announced on Thursday evening that it has sent documents regarding a total of 152 shareholders to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).The banking watchdog had previously taken management control of the majority of the bank’s privileged shares, citing the absence of shareholder information.In a statement to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on Thursday night, Bank Asya said the documents were delivered by its shareholders to the bank and then sent to the BDDK.The BDDK should have given up control of the bank when 51 percent of the shareholders submitted the documents, Sami Karahan, a professor of commercial and banking law, told Today’s Zaman. With Thursday’s announcement, Karahan said the bank’s interim board has passed the buck to the BDDK because it knows that it would be held responsible for the illegitimate management of the bank. He added that the matter could be taken to international courts if not resolved.



Airplane’s engine explodes on runway at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport

DHA Photo10/04/2015 (Hurriyet – Turkey): An engine of an Iranian airway’s airplane exploded and caught fire while on the runway of Istanbul’s AtatürkAirport early April 10. There were no injuries reported in the incident, which saw parts of the airplane’s engine scattered on the ramp.The right engine of the Qeshm Air airplane en route to Tehran exploded as it was accelerating on the runway for take-off around 4:30 a.m., April 10. The airplane, which had finalized its departure, was in the take-off lane when the engine exploded and caught fire. The pilot managed to stop the airplane without causing any injuries. Fire fighters and ambulances were dispatched to the scene, while the passengers were taken to the terminal. The passengers were later able to travel to Tehran on another airplane…



Exciting start for Souq Waqif Celebrations

Exciting start for Souq Waqif Celebrations10/04/2015 (Gulf Times – Qatar): A gentleman in a tuxedo emerged from the rooftop of one of the posh hotels along the Souq Waqif alley, breaking the monotonous pace of passers-by along the street below. He waved to them before taking that first crucial step on the tightrope.The crowd broke into cheers, signalling the opening of the 10-day Souq Waqif Celebrations 2015, as they watched in awe while the ropewalker slowly made his way from the building’s concrete balusters to the safety of an adjacent penthouse.There was a brief lull after the ropewalker’s appearance, and people went about their business; families and other guests, whose al fresco dining was briefly interrupted, resumed their meals.
But the humdrum was again broken when a group of stilt walkers invaded the streets. This time a larger crowd gathered to meet them and was up-close and personal with the performers, who were dressed like harlequins. Aside from the stilt walkers, five other harlequins playing funky jazz tunes spiced up their performance.
A myriad of festivities await visitors until April 18 in select locations around the Souq Waqif, from 4pm to 9pm.
Throughout the event, board game aficionados could catch the Al Dama Championship from 4pm to 9pm at the Majilis Al Dama…



Ottoman architect Sinan exhibition opens in Istanbul

10/04/2015 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): An exhibition on Turkey’s first star architect Mimar Sinan, who shaped Ottoman Empire architecture in the 16th century, opened on Friday in Istanbul to mark the 427th anniversary of his death.Organized by the Istanbul-based Mimar Sinan Research Center and the Allevents company, the exhibition at Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center, tells the story of the architect and his works with 3-D animation techniques and digital maps.Mimar Sinan, who worked as a chief architect and civil engineer of the Ottoman Empire, is described as “the greatest architect of the classical period of Ottoman architecture.”  During his lifetime, he built over 350 masterpieces including mosques, masjids (places of worship), water canals, bridges, palaces and Turkish baths. His creations can be found outside of Turkey, in cities like Sarajevo, Mecca and Medina. The eight-section exhibition showcases pictures of his works, his building models and drawings with the focus on Sinan’s masterpieces and his architectural style.”Our aim is to make people better understand him through this exhibition and to make them visit his real works in Istanbul,” professor Demet Kiran, head of the Faculty of Architecture in the Istanbul-based Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, told press members…



Egypt calls on anti-IS coalition to intervene in Libya

.10/04/2015 (Al Ahram Online – Turkey): An aide to Egypt’s foreign minister has called on the US-led international coalition against Islamic State (IS) to intervene against the militant group in Libya, as it has previously done in Syria and Iraq.Ambassador Abdel-Rahman Salah said that “terrorism should be dealt with comprehensively wherever it exists”, according to a foreign ministry statement issued on Thursday.Salah, who took part in a meeting with the anti-IS alliance in Jordan on Wednesday, said that any military action against the militant group should aim to crush it, not merely force it to move its base of operations.Since last summer, the anti-IS alliance have launched airstrikes against IS in Syria and Iraq, but not in Libya.Over the last months, IS has emerged as a participant in the Libyan conflict, as two rival governments – one internationally recognised in Al-Bayda, the other Islamist in Tripoli – and their allied militias continue to fight for control of the country…



Iran’s President Congratulates Regional States on Nowruz

حسن روحانی رئیس‌جمهور/ ریاست جمهوری/ رئیس جمهور/ رییس جمهور04/04/2015 (Tasnim News Agency – Iran): TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday sent separate congratulatory messages to the heads of nine regional countries on the occasion of Nowruz, stressing the need for stronger bonds of friendship in light of the commonalities.On Saturday morning and after beginning of the new Iranian year concurrent with the ancient festivities of Nowruz, President Rouhani felicitated Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey on the ancient and globally renowned event.In his congratulatory message, Rouhani hailed Nowruz as an “ancient heritage” that Iran and the regional states share in their civilization and cultures.Describing the bonds and commonalities between Iran and the regional countries as an honor, President Rouhani emphasized the need for strengthening of of friendly ties to shape a bright future with cooperation and friendship.In 2010, the UN General Assembly established March 21 as the International Day of Nowruz. The UN also celebrates the International Day of Happiness…



Turkey welcomes Iran’s nuclear deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu04/04/2015 (KUNA – Kuwait): ANKARA, April 4 (KUNA) — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has welcomed a framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group, describing the deal as a “good step.” Turkey hopes Iran will show more concrete steps before reaching the final comprehensive agreement on June 30, Anadolu news agency quoted Cavusoglu as saying from the Lithuanian capital.”Turkey is happy that negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group ended with a political understanding,” he said.Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said the framework agreement was the first step towards lifting the sanctions on Iran.Speaking to the NTV, Simsek said the agreement would help boost Turkish exports to neighboring Iran and reduce oil prices.Foreign Ministers of the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany reached the framework agreement with Iran at the end of marathon negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday…



Mersin International Music Festival announces program

04/04/2015 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The 14th Mersin International Music Festival will run this year from April 30 to May 24 with a new program announced on April 4. According to the festival committee, the event will host many artists and orchestras from Turkey and the world. The opening concert will be given by the Mersin Festival Orchestra, which was formed this year. The orchestra will perform Fazıl Say’s “Istanbul Symphony” under the baton of conductor İbrahim Yazıcı.On May 2, Viennese Die Wiener Strauss Company will take the stage with works by Mozart and Strauss. The band Paganini will be on the stage on May 3. The festival will continue with Le Div4s, which features four Italian sopranos and will take the stage with the Mersin Festival Orchestra on May 10. Famous Turkish tenor Hakan Aysev, who performs well-known operas with his own interpretation, will be the guest of the festival on May 9 and 10, accompanied by the Mersin Metropolitan Municipality City Orchestra. St. Paul Museum will host a concert on May 12, featuring local music from the world by renowned virtuosos. Famous harpist Bahar Göksu and her band will sing Refik Fersan and Faize Ergin songs. Also, ballet lovers will be able to see ballet stars from Tokyo, Moscow, Holland and Portugal on May 14…