Turkey is at a turning point with new presidential system: Erdoğan

Turkey is at a turning point with new presidential system: Erdoğan29/04/2018 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Turkey is at a “turning point” with the adoption of an executive presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 29.  “This milestone will be a point for Turkey’s breakthrough,” Erdoğan said in an address to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members at a provincial meeting. In the same speech he praised the Turkish military’s “determined” operations in the ongoing offensive in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin and in parts of northern Iraq. “We are continuing our fight in [northern Iraq’s] Gabar, Cudi, Tendurek, Qandil and Bestler Creek [areas]. Currently, the number of terrorists neutralized in Afrin [northwestern Syria] has reached 4,500, while over 300 terrorists have been neutralized in northern Iraq,” Erdoğan said…



Iraq sentences 19 Russian women to life for joining IS

Russians(Gulf Times – Qatar): 29/04/2018 Iraq on Sunday sentenced 19 Russian women to life in prison for joining the Islamic State group, the latest in a series of heavy verdicts against foreign women linked to the jihadists. The head of Baghdad’s Central Criminal Court, which deals with terrorism cases, said the women were found guilty of “joining and supporting IS”, according to an AFP journalist at the hearing.  Six women from Azerbaijan and four from Tajikistan were also condemned to life in prison Sunday on the same charge. The women, who have the right to appeal against the sentences, entered the court one-by-one dressed in black headscarves and pink blouses, most of them accompanied by their children.  They addressed the court through a translator, a Russian-language professor at Baghdad University hired by their embassy for the trial…

Multi-lane tunnel to open in Dubai on Thursday

29/04/2018 (Emirates 24/7 -UAE): A tunnel on both sides of Sheikh Rashid Street (Al Garhoud and Mina Rashid) comprising four lanes in each direction is set to open in Dubai Thursday, May 3rd, according to Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Improving the traffic flow on Sheikh Rashid Street, this tunnel is part of the Improvement of Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Streets Intersection Project. Early February this year, RTA opened two major bridges, one on Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Street comprising two lanes in each direction, and the other was a one-lane bridge stretching from Zabeel Street to the direction of Sheikh Rashid Street. The opening of the two bridges had eased the traffic heading to Al Karama, and the World Trade Center junction in the direction of Sheikh Zayed Road…



Over 60 pct Syrian children attend school in Turkey

Over 60 pct Syrian children attend school in Turkey29/04/2018 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): More than 60 percent Syrian children in Turkey are attending school, an education ministry official said on Sunday. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Nezir Gul, director general of Lifelong Learning in the National Education Ministry said: “We have been able to send 62 percent of 975,000 school-aged Syrian children to school. This figure was around 20-30 percent earlier.” There are approximately 3.5 million Syrians in Turkey, who have fled civil war in their country. “We’ve taken every kind of measure to prevent Syrian children from missing out on their right to education,” Gul said. “Our goal is to send all school-aged [Syrian] children to school, following what our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] says.” The official said they wanted to make all Syrian children receive education in schools instead of temporary education centers…



Iraq: Not a functioning state, but we think it is!

29/04/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Adnan Hussein*): “Do we have a state in the first place?” I concluded a column earlier this week with this question that has been asked for 15 years, and it seems it is going to be asked for perhaps another 15 years. Political Islam groups have governed Iraq for all this time and despite their failure, they’ve been clinging on to authority. Yes, we do not have a state in Iraq but it just looks like a state to us. There is no country in the world, even an underdeveloped one, which does not, for example, have a traffic law. It is in our “state” that you do not see any sign of traffic laws on the streets, squares and highways. Car drivers, motorcycle riders and pedestrians do not abide by the traffic law. The traffic police also does not abide by it or work to impose it. Even the traffic lights lack a functional system!…


*Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists.


Saudi Arabia launches multi-billion dollar entertainment resort

Saudi Arabia29/04/2018 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended the ground-breaking ceremony on Saturday of a vast entertainment resort that is at the heart of an ambitious strategy to open the economy and ease social restrictions. Qiddiya, about an hour’s drive from Riyadh, is being built on a 334 sq km (8,400-acre) site, making it 2-1/2 times the size of Disney World. It will include a Six Flags theme park, water parks, motor sports, cultural events, and vacation homes. A spokesman said Qiddiya expects to attract 1.5 million visitors annually when the first phase opens in 2022. Local media have reported the cost of the infrastructure alone would reach up to 30 billion riyals ($8 bln) and the project would eventually be worth tens of billions of riyals…



Graphic Design Days in Istanbul

Graphic Design Days in Istanbul07/04/2018 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The Grafist 22: Istanbul Graphic Design Days, organized by the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s graphic design department, will take place from April 11 to May 11 at the university’s campus in the Fındıklı neighborhood of Istanbul. The event aims to bring together graphic designers and students during seminars, workshops and exhibitions and to provide an opportunity for them to exchange ideas. This year the workshops and seminars will be given by Pınar Akkurt, William Easton, Jan Boelen, Björn Kusoffsky, Johanna Siebein – Binger Lauke Sieben and Ruben Pater. Two exhibitions, titled “Starting from Zero” and “Variable Constants: Multilayered Archive Exhibition,” will also be open as part of the event…



Egypt authorities prepare for Easter and Sham el-Nessim celebrations

07/04/2018 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): The Egyptian government has intensified its preparations to secure the celebrations of Easter and Sham el-Nessim. Egypt’s Coptic Christians celebrate Easter this Sunday, and all Egyptians celebrate Sham el-Nessim on Monday, which is a national holiday, during which people take to parks and streets. Security services strengthened the deployment of their forces in the vicinity of gardens, parks and churches to face any cases of breaking the law and launched campaigns to control food and corrupt goods. Local Development Minister Abu Bakr al-Gendy ordered the formation of emergency teams in governorates to repair facilities and services, and follow-up the preparations for recreation places, public parks and tourist places, as well as organizing campaigns to control corrupt goods and follow up the operation of bakeries and butane gas cylinders storehouses…