31 Mart 2011 Perşembe

Turkey To Have Triple Role in Libya Mission

Burak Ege Bekdil & Ümit Enginsoy     Defence News

ANKARA - Despite its earlier skepticism about joining any military action in the Libyan crisis, Turkey has agreed to a triple role in NATO's operations aimed at stopping Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from inflicting casualties on rebel forces.

 "We have agreed to take part in three specific missions as part of the NATO plan," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters here March 28. Those missions are:

* A NATO air base near Izmir on the Aegean coast will be used as a sub-command center to support the overall NATO command center in Naples, in southern Italy.
* Turkey will take over control of the Benghazi Airport in eastern Libya to coordinate international humanitarian aid efforts. Erdogan has said that an accord to that effect has already been signed. Benghazi is the rebels' stronghold.

* A fleet of Turkish warships and one submarine will help carry out a naval blockade off the Libyan coast, as called for in U.N. Resolution 1973.

Iraq and the Kurds: Confronting Withdrawal Fears

International Crisis Group

Iraq’s government was long in the making, but its inclusive nature and the way in which it was formed offer hope that it can make progress in the struggle between Arabs and Kurds. The conflict, which has left a devastating imprint on the country’s twentieth-century history, could cause political paralysis or, worse, precipitate Iraq’s break-up. Coalition partners have a unique opportunity to make headway. Failure to seize it would be inexcusable. Both sides should build on the apparent goodwill generated by efforts to establish a government to lay the foundations for a negotiated and peaceful settlement. In particular, they should immediately resume talks over the status of Kirkuk and other disputed territories. They also should use their January 2011 agreement to export Kurdish oil through the national pipeline as a basis for negotiations over a revenue-sharing law and a comprehensive hydrocarbons law.

26 Mart 2011 Cumartesi

Turkey uses economic clout to gain Balkan foothold


The minarets and Turkish coffeehouses in this southern Serbian town are reminders of the Muslim empire that once shook Europe’s foundations by pushing armies all the way to the gates of Vienna.

Now Turkey — the modern state that replaced the Ottoman Empire — is staging a comeback. Turkey’s fast-growing economic clout is allowing it into Europe through the back door, even as its dream of joining the continent through the path of EU membership founders.

Turkey’s trade with the Balkan countries increased to $17.7 billion in 2008 from about $3 billion in 2000. Turkey’s companies have built the largest university campus in the Balkans, in a suburb of Sarajevo. And its banks provided 85 percent of loans for building a highway through Serbia for Turkish transit of goods to the EU.

On a 2009 trip to Bosnia, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu explicitly linked his nation’s Balkan strategy to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the region between the 14th and early 20th centuries. “The Ottoman centuries of the Balkans were success stories. Now we have to reinvent this.” “Turkey,” he declared triumphantly, “is back.”

Syria unrest presents dilemma for Iran

Dean Reynolds*     CBS News

The demonstrations in Syria are confronting Iran with an exquisite dilemma, one that scrambles the Iranians' strategic game board and all the pieces on it. Among the Arab states, Syria, and to some extent Lebanon, stands alone as an ally of Iran. Anything that happens in Syria is watched closely by Tehran for that reason. Syria has provided entree to the Iranians into a region that is normally suspicious of - if not hostile to - Persians, and Shia Persians at that.

Turkey and France clash over Libya air campaign

Ian Traynor       Guardian 

Tension mounts over military action as Ankara accuses Sarkozy of pursuing French interests over liberation of Libyan people.

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused France of seeing Libya as a source of 'oil, gold mines and underground treasures'

Turkey has launched a bitter attack on French president Nicolas Sarkozy's and France's leadership of the military campaign against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, accusing the French of lacking a conscience in their conduct in the Libyan operations.

The vitriolic criticism, from both the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the president, Abdullah Gül followed attacks from the Turkish government earlier this week and signalled an orchestrated attempt by Ankara to wreck Sarkozy's plans to lead the air campaign against Gaddafi.

With France insisting that Nato should not be put in political charge of the UN-mandated air campaign, Turkey has come out emphatically behind sole Nato control of the operations.

Türkiye'nin Kürt Sorunu Hafızası

Siyaset, Ekonomi ve Toplum Araştırmaları Vakfı uzun bir çalışma sonunda Kürt sorunu konusunda bir başucu kitabı hazırladı.



Siyaset, Ekonomi ve Toplum Araştırmaları (SETA) Vakfı uzun bir çalışma sonunda Kürt sorunu konusunda bir başucu kitabı hazırladı. Dünden bugüne Kürt sorunu hakkında kaleme alınmış tüm belge ve raporların bir araya getirildiği kitap, hem analitik, hem de ansiklopedik bir kaynak niteliğinde. Çalışma, 23 Nisan 1920 TBMM’nin açılışı ile başlayıp, Demokratik Açılım süreciyle son bulan 90 yıllık bir öyküyü belgeler üzerinden ele alıyor.

Gazi Üniversitesi Siyaset Bilimi ve Kamu Yönetimi Bölümü Öğretim Üyesi ve SETA Vakfı uzmanı Hüseyin Yayman tarafından uzun bir çalışmanın sonucunda hazırlanan Türkiye’nin Kürt Sorunu Hafızası isimli kitap, bu konuda yazılmış gizli-açık tüm belgeleri bir araya getiriyor. Çalışma, devletin belgelerinden partilerin çalışmalarına değin tüm literatürü tek tek irdeleyerek bir hafıza tazelemesi yapıyor.

‘Güvenlikçi Yaklaşım’ – ‘Demokratik Yaklaşım’ Mücadelesi
Son dönemde birçok nitelikli çalışmaya imza atan ve Türkiye’nin en önemli düşünce kuruluşlarından biri olan SETA Vakfı tarafından yayımlanan kitap, geçmişi masaya yatırarak yapılması gerekenlere ışık tutuyor. Çalışma, Kürt sorunu hakkında iki temel yaklaşımın olduğunu dile getirirken bunlardan birincisini güvenlikçi yaklaşım, diğerini ise demokratik yaklaşım olarak tanımlıyor. Kitap, 1990’lı yılların Kürt sorununda milat olduğunu ve sorunun hızla toplumsallaşmaya evrildiğini ortaya koyuyor.
Çalışmada devlet adına hareket eden görevlilerin ‘devleti tarih ve toplum önünde ayıplı hale getirdikleri’ belgelerle ortaya konulurken bu yaklaşımın sorunun çözümünü zorlaştırdığı dile getiriliyor. Özellikle tek parti dönemindeki Fevzi Çakmak, İbrahim Tali Öngören, İsmet İnönü ve Şükrü Kaya raporları bu dönem çalışmalarının ana karakteristiğini oluşturuyor.  Yayman, Kürt sorununun zaman içinde geçirdiği metaformofozu belgeler üzerinden ortaya koyarken güvenlikçi yaklaşımı sert biçimde eleştiriyor.  

Libya: Nato to control no-fly zone after France gives way to Turkey

Ian Traynor & Nicholas Watt     The Guardian

Western allies and Turkey have secured a deal to put the entire military campaign against Muammar Gaddafi under Nato command by next week, UK and French sources have told the Guardian.

The US, Britain, France and Turkey agreed to put the three-pronged offensive – a no-fly zone, an arms embargo, and air strikes – under a Nato command umbrella, in a climbdown by France that accommodates strong Turkish complaints about the scope and control of the campaign.

The deal appeared to end days of infighting among western allies, but needed to be blessed by all 28 Nato member states. At the end of a four-day meeting of Nato ambassadors in Brussels, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general, said Nato had agreed to take command of the no-fly zone from the Americans.

Disputes have raged at Nato HQ every day this week. Rasmussen contradicted leading western officials by announcing that Nato's authority was limited to commanding the no-fly zone, but he signalled there was more negotiation to come.

25 Mart 2011 Cuma

Turkey urges Syria to make good on reform promises


Turkey called on Syria on Friday to make good on promises of economic and social reform as soon as possible in the face of growing unrest.

In a statement, Turkey's Foreign Ministry regretted casualties in the violence spreading through its southeast neighbor and called for calm on the part of families that had suffered casualties.

"We welcome the statements of Syrian officials on starting work for reform on social and economic issues to meet the Syrian people's legitimate demands and expectations," the statement said.

"It is of great importance that the necessary work is completed soon and the decisions are implemented without losing time."

Interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran Collide, With the U.S. in the Middle

Helene Cooper & Mark Landler      The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The brutal crackdown in Bahrain poses the greatest Middle East democracy dilemma yet to the Obama administration, deepening a rift with its most important Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, while potentially strengthening the influence of its biggest nemesis, Iran.

Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia have chilled to their coldest since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Saudi officials, still angry that President Obama abandoned President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in the face of demonstrations, ignored American requests not to send troops into Bahrain to help crush Shiite-led protests there. A tense telephone call between Mr. Obama and King Abdullah on Wednesday, Arab officials said, failed to ease the tensions.

“King Abdullah has been clear that Saudi Arabia will never allow Shia rule in Bahrain — never,” an Arab official who was briefed on the talks said. He said King Abdullah’s willingness to listen to the Obama administration had “evaporated” since Mr. Mubarak was forced from office.

The Saudi position is rooted in the royal family’s belief that a Shiite uprising next door in Bahrain could spread and embolden Saudi Arabia’s own minority Shiite population and increase Iranian influence in the kingdom, a fear that American officials share. But where Mr. Obama and King Abdullah have parted ways, administration officials say, is on how to handle the crisis.

The challenge of Libya: Where will it end? The Americans, the Europeans and the Arabs must all hold their nerve

The Economist

THE spectacle of American, British and French missiles pulverising an Arab and Muslim country at the dead of night arouses a sense of foreboding. Such ventures have too often begun with good intentions and naive overconfidence, as oil-rich despots see their armour crumple and burn beneath superior Western technology. Within weeks, though, vainglory turns into a costly and bloody quagmire.

Yet nobody could accuse Barack Obama and his allies, chiefly Britain’s David Cameron and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, of overconfidence in attacking Libya on March 19th. It is hard to think of a military enterprise that has been conceived in so much doubt and anxiety. What if Muammar Qaddafi sits out the raids in his bunker? What if Libya is partitioned? What if, chastened by news footage of dead women and children in a Tripoli market, the coalition starts to fall apart? What if many of the eastern Libyans whom the outside world is protecting turn out to sympathise with al-Qaeda? What if they go on to behave as murderously as the colonel and his paid killers?

Turkey thinks all humanity should contribute to solution of Africa's problems, President


Turkey's president expressed on Wednesday Turkey's belief that all humanity should contribute to solution of Africa's problems.

ACCRA- President Abdullah Gul said Turkey was closely interested in Africa's problems, and believed that the solution of those problems should not only be left to the Africans.

"Turkey believes all humanity should contribute to solution of these problems," Gul said during a formal dinner hosted in his honor by his Ghanian counterpart John Evans Atta Mills in Accra.

Gul is the first Turkish president ever visiting Ghana.

President Gul said Ghana was a source of inspiration to entire Africa as democracy and free market economy worked there.

Gul said Turkey had re-opened its embassy in Ghana, and distance between Turkey and Ghana had shortened as the Turkish Airlines (THY) started to operate flights to this country.

"I believe my visit will open a new page between our two countries," he said.

Nabucco Project Adds Options For Gas Producers And Consumers

Vladimir Socor     Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume: 8, Issue: 56

The Nabucco pipeline consortium is planning an expanded version of this project, within the framework of the EU-backed Southern Gas Corridor to Europe. The added elements include, as distinct possibilities: linking up with Turkmenistan through a trans-Caspian pipeline, to connect with Nabucco via Azerbaijan; inviting Azerbaijan to join the Nabucco consortium; substantially raising the production target for the Shah Deniz field’s Phase Two of development in Azerbaijan; and linking the Nabucco trunkline with the transmission systems of countries in Southeastern and Central Europe, not only along Nabucco’s linear route to Vienna, but also laterally with neighboring countries, thus multiplying the marketing options for Caspian gas in Europe.

Nabucco consortium executives presented some of these planning developments during the annual Turkish Oil & Gas Conference (TUROGE) held on March 17 in Ankara. This process is also ongoing in Baku and, with the European Commission’s assistance, in Ashgabat.

Putin says no threat from Turkey for South Stream pipeline


Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ruled out the possibility that Turkey could hamper the South Stream pipeline project, saying nothing would stop Moscow from implementing it.

"We do not think there is any threat to this project from the side of our Turkish partners," Putin told a joint news conference with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor at Brdo pri Kranju near Ljubljana. "We have a lot of possibilities, nothing can stop us from implementing the project we have agreed with the Turkish side," he stressed.

During a recent visit to Russia, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made minimal public remarks on the South Stream pipeline, saying merely that "joint work is continuing." Russian media reported that Turkey was purposely delaying its approval of the route through its Black Sea waters in order to bargain for lower gas prices.

"We are ready for every possible development. We consider it possible to liquefy gas and carry it to the Bulgarian coast, or it is also possible to liquefy it where it is produced, at the Yamal peninsula, and bring it to the South-eastern European countries and put it in the pipeline there," Putin said. Putin arrived to Slovenia on a two-day visit aimed at strenghthening cooperation between the two states.

21 Mart 2011 Pazartesi

Libya Oil: Relying on Libya

The Economist

Which countries depend most on Libyan oil?
LIBYA produces 1.7m of the world's 88m barrels a day (b/d) of oil. OECD countries import 1.2m b/d, and China another 150,000. Our chart shows which of Libya's main export markets are most dependent on it for their oil. At the top of the list, Ireland only accounts for a tiny fraction of Libya's oil exports. Italy is by far the biggest importer: in 2010 it took 376,000 b/d from its former colony. As oil prices surge amid the continuing unrest in the Arab world, importers will look to Saudi Arabia to make up any shortfall.


19 Mart 2011 Cumartesi

Libya and Turkey: Ankara’s foreign policy goes off key

Howard Eissenstat*           Informed Comment

For a while, at least, Turkey seemed to be riding high as a wave of protests swept from Tunisia to Egypt to a half dozen other states in the Middle East and North Africa. After a few days of uncomfortable silence as protests were met with violence in Egypt, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to heed the will of his people and, using language meant to underline Turkey’s role as a regional leader, spoke in explicitly religious language to do so. The speech met with positive media coverage, both regionally and in the West, and Turkey’s image was burnished. Without giving too much thought about what the “Turkish model” might actually be, a lot of commentators suggested it might be a path for the region to take.

Of course, Erdoğan’s challenge to Mubarak was a relatively easy call. Mubarak was a rival to Erdoğan’s in his attempt to reframe Turkey as a regional powerhouse and the two were at odds over both Iran and Gaza. Moreover, Mubarak’s fall represented further proof that U.S. influence in the region was in decline and that the time was ripe for a more aggressive Turkish regional policy based on both shared values (democratic, Islamic, and anti-imperial) and a shared desire for economic development (preferably with Turkish companies leading the way). As Turkish Foreign Minister’s recent speech at Ahmet Davutoğlu at the al Jazeera Conference in Doha, this is how Turkey hopes to present itself within the region.

Nabucco may start gas shipments in 2015


Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, the planned link to carry natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe, may start commercial shipments in late 2015, Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek said on Thursday in Ankara.

The OMV -led project aims to deliver fuel via Turkey, bypassing Russia as part of the so-called Southern Corridor, supported by the U.S. and European Union. Nabucco is vying with projects backed by Norway’s Statoil and Italy’s Edison for gas from the BP-led Shah Deniz venture in Azerbaijan. Russia has also sought to boost purchases of Azeri gas as it competes for European market share.

16 Mart 2011 Çarşamba

Turkey Sees a Break From Hot-Money Flow

Marc Champion & Joe Parkinson    The Wall Street Journal

ANKARA—Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami could have an unsolicited benefit for emerging markets, reducing massive short-term investment flows they have struggled to absorb, Turkey's central bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz said.

Stressing that any economic impacts fade in importance next to the enormous and still unfolding human suffering in Japan, Mr. Yilmaz also said Tuesday that in the longer term he believed the need for Japan to rebuild "will regenerate the Japanese economy."

Emerging markets around the globe saw a selloff of assets Monday, as appetites for risk fell in the wake of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's warning that the danger from radiation leaks at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant was growing.

Turkey opposes any foreign intervention into Mideast

Today's Zaman

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Sunday opposed any foreign intervention into the countries going through political unrest in the region, saying nations should be able to determine their own future.

Davutoğlu's remarks came amid his calls for more democracy and freedom in Doha, Qatar, where he attended the sixth Al Jazeera forum to discuss recent political developments in the Middle East with other officials, bloggers, journalists, intellectuals and democracy activists.

The Turkish foreign minister delivered a speech with former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at a panel discussion and opposed any foreign intervention into countries whose people face imminent and sometimes violent suppression by their authorities as they demand change and reform.

The foreign minister stressed that Turkey does not want to see divided countries as a result of recent developments in Arab countries, and noted that Turkey wants to see these countries come out of these processes more powerful than before.

“There must not be foreign intervention into these processes. Nations should be able to determine their own future. Foreign intervention will only make things more complicated,” he said.

12 Mart 2011 Cumartesi

TURKEY'S NUCLEAR PLANS: Turkey resolute on nuclear power plants, says energy minister


ANKARA - Turkish government is determined to continue nuclear projects despite radiation fear from a nuclear reactor in Japan that was hit by a massive earthquake on Friday.

"An earthquake occurred 16 km near the largest nuclear power plant of Japan. The system shut down automatically right after the earthquake and it opened when everything turned out normal. I can say Japan has tested itself. Nuclear power plant projects will continue in Turkey," Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Saturday. 

Turkey plans to operate two or three nuclear power plants by 2023. In May 2010, Turkey and Russia signed a $20-bln deal for construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, situated on the Mediterranean coast. Turkey also engaged in nuclear talks with Japan in November 2010 after a failure with South Korea's state nuclear company KEPCO for the construction of the second plant on country's northern coast.

11 Mart 2011 Cuma

Turkish company to provide satellite service for Greek army


The Greek Armed Forces will receive satellite phone service from a Turkish company, Globalstar Avrasya, which also provides service to 30 other countries.
The Globalstar satellite phones are regarded as one of the most secure communication tools as this equipment makes illegal wiretapping almost impossible through its complicated and insurmountable ciphering ability. The satellite phones convert conversations into 3-trillion combinations that would make it almost impossible to decipher. The Turkish-made satellite phones were previously delivering services in only 13 Middle Eastern countries, but recently a number of Eastern European and African countries have requested the use Globalstar Avrasya satellite phones. Greece and Finland have recently signed an agreement with the company to use the satellites phones.

China risk: Alert Oil price shock would hit China hard


China is exposed to oil price fluctuations due to its dependence on oil imports, and a sustained spike in prices a major risk although not our baseline forecast could see manufacturers margins hit and higher inflation. China's fuel-pricing policies create problems for its oil companies, and in the event of a significant spike in oil prices oil-fired power plants could be prevented from passing on the full increase in power prices to consumers, leading to problems in power supply in some areas. Meanwhile, China would experience a major negative impact from higher oil prices through the trade channel, as an oil price spike derailed the recovery in its Western markets.

Price spike
The recent increase in oil prices has reflected turmoil in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, as traders fear that turmoil could spread to countries central to global oil supply, such as Saudi Arabia. Oil prices spiked to over US$100/barrel in February and over US$115/b for Brent crude by March 7th (compared with prices below US$13/b as recently as 1998). Long-term trends are also at play: demand for oil in China, India and other emerging economies, is rising rapidly.

Food Prices Reach Record High

Caroline HENSHAW     The Wall Street Journal

LONDON—World food prices rose 2.2% in February from the previous month to a record peak, the United Nations' food body said Thursday, as it warned that volatility in oil markets could push prices even higher.

The Food and Agriculture Organization price index rose by 2.2%—the eighth consecutive rise since June—to an average of 236 points last month, the highest record in real and nominal terms since the agency started monitoring prices in 1990.

Global cereal supplies are also expected to tighten sharply this year due low stock levels, the FAO said. The body raised its estimate for world cereal production in 2010 by eight million metric tons from its December estimate to 2.2 billion tons but said it expects that to be outpaced by an 18 million-ton increase in world consumption.

But while the world isn't yet facing a food crisis, the secretary of the FAO's Intergovernmental Group on Grains, Abdolreza Abbassian, said the recent rise in Brent oil prices to above $120 a barrel could create the same potent mix of factors that pushed grain prices to record highs three years ago.

Turkish satellite to roll back Israel's turf veil

REUTERS - The Jerusalem Post

GokTurk satellite will sell the finest grain images available of Israel; defense officials to consider canceling "shutter control."

A new Turkish satellite has Israelis eyeing the end of a US-backed blackout on high-resolution commercial photography of their turf from space.

The GokTurk satellite due in orbit by 2013 will sell images of objects more detailed than 2 metres (6 feet) across -- currently the finest grain available when it comes to pictures of Israel, thanks mainly to US legislation from the 1990s.

Turkey's leap into the aerospace market treads on Israeli security sensitivities given the former allies' recently strained ties. Unlike with other nations that have fielded commercial satellites, Israel has little leverage over Ankara.

Turkey sticks to its guns, opposing Libyan intervention

 Dorian Jones       Deutsche Welle

Turkey is swimming against the tide on Libya, arguing strongly against international intervention such as the proposed no-fly zone. For an EU applicant and NATO member, this stance could prove problematic.

The Turkish government remains opposed to no-fly zones or other military intervention in Libya, putting the regime at odds with many of its NATO allies. Despite the increasing numbers of casualties, Turkish leaders say intervention would prove counterproductive, and have accused western countries of eying Libya's oil reserves.

The foreign ministry says that outside intervention would be unwise because it's not yet clear what the people in Libya really want.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said last week that Turkey would enforce all UN sanctions, but not measures imposed by the EU or US.

Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan has described the notion of intervention in Libya as "nonsense," implying that the country's oil reserves are the real motivation for western countries.
As western leaders increasingly advocate some form of intervention in Libya, with an EU summit on the matter scheduled for Friday, Turkey's stance is becoming increasingly problematic for a country which is a member of NATO and a European Union aspirant.

10 Mart 2011 Perşembe

Amerikan istihbaratı: Mücadeleyi Kaddafi kazanacak


Obama'nın baş istihbarat danışmanı James Clapper, Kaddafi'nin iktidar mücadelesini kazanacağını tahmin ettiğini açıkladı.

Clapper, senatoda yaptığı açıklamada Libya liderine bağlı güçlerin silah ve eğitim üstünlüğüne sahip olduğunu ve uzun sürecek bir mücadeleyi kazanmalarının muhtemel olduğunu söyledi.

Clapper, Libya'nın yarı-özerk üç küçük devlet olarak bölünebileceğini öngördüğünü de ekledi.

Amerikan Dışişleri Bakanı Hillary Clinton ise, Kaddafi'ye karşı herhangi bir müdahale için uluslararası mutabakata varılmasının en önemli hedef olduğunu söyledi.

Clinton, Kaddafi'yi devirmenin en iyi yolunun ne olduğunu kimsenin bilmediğini de kabul etti.


9 Mart 2011 Çarşamba

Ankara opposes NATO action in Libya as pressure mounts for intervention

Emine Kart        Today's Zaman  

Despite increasing calls from the international community to intervene in the escalating civil war in Libya, Ankara has stood firm behind its objection against a possible NATO operation in the northern African country, cautioning that the equation which needs to be solved in Libya has multiple variables.
Earlier this week, although noting that NATO has no intention of intervening in Libya, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also stressed the need for UN authorization for a possible intervention.    “I can't imagine that the international community and the United Nations would stand idly by if Muammar Gaddafi and his regime continued to attack their own people,” he said. On Thursday, Brussels will host a meeting of NATO defense ministers where the issue of implementing a no-fly zone over Libya is likely to be addressed.

The 2011 oil shock

 The Economist 

More of a threat to the world economy than investors seem to think

THE price of oil has had an unnerving ability to blow up the world economy, and the Middle East has often provided the spark. The Arab oil embargo of 1973, the Iranian revolution in 1978-79 and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 are all painful reminders of how the region’s combustible mix of geopolitics and geology can wreak havoc. With protests cascading across Arabia, is the world in for another oil shock?

There are good reasons to worry. The Middle East and north Africa produce more than one-third of the world’s oil. Libya’s turmoil shows that a revolution can quickly disrupt oil supply. Even while Muammar Qaddafi hangs on with delusional determination and Western countries debate whether to enforce a no-fly zone (see article), Libya’s oil output has halved, as foreign workers flee and the country fragments. The spread of unrest across the region threatens wider disruption.

The Turko-Persian Tandem

Richard Javad Heydarian*      Foreign Policy in Focus
In a region beset by conflicts, economic insecurity, and intermittent military interventions, two countries have emerged as independent, often assertive, centers of power: Iran and Turkey. Instead of competing for regional dominance – as they did during the Safavid-Ottoman imperial rivalry – these two nation-states are increasingly expanding, and deepening their partnership in multiple dimensions, but mainly in energy investments, trade, and nuclear cooperation.
On a more macro-level, the two indigenous powerhouses represent the new face of 21st century politics, where emerging powers seek to shape the destiny of their region – at the expense of a great power-dominated status quo. A combination of developments in the domestic sphere and not-so-favorable deterioration in the regional security environment has pushed both powers to extend their influence across the Middle East - making Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the most popular men on the Arab Street.

Home to the region’s biggest economies, largest middle classes, and most educated populations, Iran and Turkey represent vibrant societies with huge reservoir of both soft and hard power. Growing cooperation between the two may signal the opening of a new chapter in the Middle Eastern affairs.

One more gas pipeline to be built for Shah Deniz gas transportation

Rufat ABBASOV     News.Az
There is a plan to lay an additional pipeline on par with existing South Caucasus gas corridor. 
Existing or new infrastructure will be used to transport Azerbaijani gas produced within the framework of Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz field development, according to the report of BP-Azerbaijan for 2010.

The report says the company is currently evaluating all existing variants and defining the route meeting all demands of the concerned parties. “A negotiation export group from among the representatives of BP, SOCAR, Statoil and Total was created to negotiate with Turkish and European gas consumers”, the report says.

Earlier, the president of BP-Azerbaijan Rashid Javanshir said there is a need to expand existing transport infrastructure to ensure export of gas within the framework of the second phase of the Shah Deniz field development.

8 Mart 2011 Salı

Oil price shock could re-rank emerging markets

Carolyn Cohn, Reuters - for Commodities Now
If oil prices stay where they are -- or go even higher, depending on events in the Middle East -- current short-term emerging market portfolio realignments could lead to a wholesale reassessment of investor risk. Some clear winners and losers in emerging markets have already been thrown up by the spike in oil prices caused by unrest in the region, which has distracted investors from relative yields and valuations.

Oil-rich Russia, Kazakhstan and Venezuela are all attracting investor interest and strongly increased fund flows, while oil-poor Turkey and Chile are suffering.

"Anyone that's got more oil is looking better at the moment, so oil exporters would benefit, and oil importers would not," said Allan Conway, head of emerging equities at fund manager Schroders. "That's one of the reasons Turkey is going down."

Conflict in Libya and unrest in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have driven oil above $100 a barrel to its highest since the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman in Sept 2008.

"It takes a while for many investors to move...we are due for a further reassessment," said one emerging fixed income fund manager, who declined to be named. BNP Paribas Investment Partners says it is overweight commodity exporters such as Russia in currencies and sovereign bonds, and underweight importers like Turkey.

Will Oil Prices Kill the Recovery?

Daniel INDIVIGLIO*         The Atlantic

In the past six months, gas prices have climbed more than 70 cents, but in the past two weeks alone, they're up 34 cents. As the cost of gasoline rises, more money is drained from the pockets businesses and consumers. That cash could be compensating new hires, buying retail products, or even paying down debt. There are a number of different ways in which increasing oil prices endanger the U.S. recovery, but at what point will we really see the economy begin feel a shock?

The Constant Threat
There are a few ways to look at this question. One is to consider rising oil prices in a straightforward manner: the moment gasoline prices begin to rise, consumers and businesses will have less money to spend on other things. So in that sense, the economy has already begun to endure this change. While it's possible for some Americans to cut back a portion of leisure driving in response to higher gas prices, the millions of Americans who drive each day to work will see their commuting cost rise. And for those who do cut back on non-essential driving, their trips to shops, malls, and restaurants will decline, which will also indirectly impact overall spending.

4 Mart 2011 Cuma

Output, prices and jobs( 03/03/2011)


Türkiye'de Kayıtdışı Ekonomi


Kayıtdışı ekonomi Dünya’da son 30 yıldır, Türkiye’de ise yaklaşık olarak son 15 yıldır akademisyenlerin ve uygulamacıların gündemindedir. Tanımlama ve ölçme yöntemlerinin getirdiği kısıtlamalar ve kargaşa bir tarafa bırakılırsa, kayıtdışılığın sadece Türkiye gibi gelişmekte olan ülkelerde değil, gelişmiş ülkelerde de önemli boyutlara ulaştığı görülmektedir. Ne var ki, kayıtdışılığa yol açan temel nedenlerin ağırlığı ülkeden ülkeye değişmektedir. Gelişmekte olan ülkelerde kayıtdışılıkta “sistemik” nedenlerin ağırlıklı olduğunu söylemek yanıltıcı olmaz.

Hal böyle olunca Türkiye gibi gelişmekte olan ülkelerde kayıtdışılık alanlarının daraltılmasında denetimlerin ve cezaların artırılması gibi rutin mücadele yöntemlerinin etkisi sınırlı olmaktadır. Son yıllarda kayıtdışı ekonomi ile mücadelede atılan somut adımlar şimdiye kadar atılan adımların çok üzerinde olsa bile bu hususta başarı sağlamak için köklü değişikliklere ihtiyaç duyulmaktadır. Başta gelir vergisi reformu olmak üzere vergi yasalarında yapılacak değişikliklerle basitliğin sağlanması, algılanan vergi yükünün düşürülmesi, denetimlerde (denetim oranından çok) etkinliğin artırılması ve kamuda şeffaflığın artırılarak vergi ahlakında düzelmenin sağlanması gerekmektedir. Türkiye’de kayıtdışılığın yaklaşık olarak ekonominin üçte biri büyüklüğünde olduğu tahmin edilmektedir. Ancak, kayıtdışılığın sektörler arasında dağılımı aynı değildir. Bu yüzden kayıtdışılığın yaygın olduğu sektörlere özel çözümlerin geliştirilmesi, kayıtdışılıkla mücadelede sosyal konsensüsün sağlanmasına yardımcı olacaktır.

Libya's Revolution Offers a Second Chance for Clean Energy

Adam WERBACH*      The Atlantic

The oil price spike of 2008 was quickly forgotten in the haze of economic recession, but Libya's revolution could put innovation back on track.

In July 2008 oil prices reached $147 a barrel and suddenly energy prices were on everyone's agenda. Soon, oil prices fell as the economy faltered and people moved on to the more immediate concerns of keeping their jobs and businesses alive. Now, as events in Libya provide a specific scenario for a supply disruption, predictions of oil at $200 a barrel are beginning to proliferate. Investment bank Nomura projects the price of oil could hit $220 a barrel. We're about to return to 2008 prices.

Turkey president meets with Egypt’s political players

Salma SHUKRALLAH     Ahram Online

Gul's visit shows intention to craft special relations with Egypt after January 25 revolution.

In an attempt that seemed to aim at reshaping Turkish Egyptian relations after the January 25 revolution, Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, held a series of meetings on Sunday with a diverse range of Egypt’s political players.

In the morning Gul held a meeting with Egypt’s supreme council of the armed forces, Egypt’s current ruling body. In a statement directed at delegates of the revolution’s youth, which he met later on Sunday evening, he stressed his belief that the military is moving towards constitutional democracy.

Gul also met with opposition figures from the Muslim Brotherhood, Ghad, Wafd, Kifaya and the National Association for Change including Essam El-Erian, Mohamed Morsy, Mohamed Badei, Ayman Nour, El-Saied El-Badawy and George Isaac.

British deputy PM says Turkey valuable example for Mideast


Addressing the latest democratic movements in the Arab Middle East, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Turkey is “a valuable example for other societies.”
Delivering a speech in Brussels on Wednesday titled “Building Open Societies: Transforming Europe’s Partnership with North Africa,” Clegg appraised the “Turkish way” and strongly supported the idea that Turkey could be a model for emergent democracies of the Arab world. It is being hotly debated both in the West and in the Arab world whether Turkey could be a source of inspiration for Muslim societies that want to end decades of dictatorships and live in a democratic system.

Clegg, whose country has consistently supported Turkey’s aspirations for EU membership, said recent events had highlighted Turkey’s importance. “As a Muslim majority country, a NATO member and a country firmly committed to the path to EU membership, and a state with a vibrant multi-party democracy, it provides a valuable example for other societies,” said Clegg.

The Turkish energy minister says new argument needed than oil-indexed natural gas price


The Turkish energy minister said on Friday that a new argument was needed than the oil-indexed natural gas prices.
Turkish Energy & Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız, who is currently in Kazan, the Autonomous Republic of Tatarstan to attend Turkey-Russia Joint Economic Committee meeting, replied to questions of a group of Turkish reporters.

Upon a question on reduction of gas prices with Russia, Yıldız said the increase in oil prices was an important element in discussions over gas prices.

Noting that Turkey desired the oil-indexed natural gas price to leave its place to another argument, Yıldız said talks on the matter continued with Russia.

Bad weekend for EU-Turkey relations


BRUSSELS - Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused German society of "xenophobia" and the German government of "discrimination" ahead of a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The remarks follow an unfriendly encounter with French President Sarkozy.

Speaking to a group of ethnic Turks in Dusseldorf on Sunday (27 February) ahead of his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hannover on Monday, Mr Erdogan said: "We are observing the xenophobia in certain European countries, notably Germany, with great unease ... Islamophobia is a crime against humanity, just as anti-Semtism is."

He urged German politicians not to feed the fear of foreigners, but also called on the 2.5 million ethnic Turks in Germany to try to fit in.

Mr Erdoğan goes to Germany

The Economist

IT IS no secret that Turkey's efforts to join the European Union have not been going well. But a bout of Europe-bashing this week by Turkey’s mildly Islamist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has exposed just how rotten relations have become since the EU formally began membership talks with Turkey in 2004. All the more so because Mr Erdoğan made his comments in Germany, where he was meant to be shoring up Turkey’s case. If anything his visit has had the opposite effect.

Mr Erdoğan's German hosts were outraged by a speech he delivered in Dusseldorf on Sunday before a huge crowd of Turkish immigrants. He accused Germany of seeking to forcibly assimilate its estimated 3m-strong Turkish community. "Nobody will be able to tear us away from our culture…our children must learn German, but they must learn Turkish first," he thundered. Not so, riposted Guido Westerwelle, who said German had to come first.

Japan bank to support Toshiba in Turkish nuclear plant bid


The Japan Bank for International Cooperation, or JBIC, could offer loans to Toshiba, which has exclusive rights to negotiate the building of a nuclear power station in Turkey, according to an official at the state-owned bank.

Toshiba, the biggest Japanese maker of power generation machinery, along with the country’s Trade Ministry, won the right last year to negotiate exclusively with Turkey until March 31 to build a power plant on the Black Sea coast, which may cost as much as $20 billion.

The talks commenced after Turkey failed to conclude negotiations with a group led by Korea Electric because of differences over ownership structure and power pricing.

Japan is pushing companies such as Toshiba and Hitachi to compete with rivals including Korea Electric Power Corp. and Areva for overseas nuclear projects to aid the nation’s economic recovery.
“JBIC’s assistance is part of a long-term government plan to boost the success rate for Japanese firms,” said Daniel Aldrich, a political science professor at Purdue University in Indiana. “France and South Korea certainly want to continue their penetration of foreign markets in nuclear technology.”

1 Mart 2011 Salı

EU raises economic growth forecast for 2011


The European Commission Tuesday raised its economic growth forecast slightly for both the eurozone and the EU in 2011, but said inflation rate in the two blocs would be higher than the November forecast.

According to the interim economic forecast, eurozone economy will grow 1.6% and the EU will expand 1.8% in 2011, both 0.1% point higher than estimated in the autumn forecast. Inflation outlook for the currency bloc has lifted to 2.2% from 1.8% owing to higher energy and commodity prices. EU27 economy is predicted to grow 1.8%, faster than the 1.7% expansion seen in November. Inflation would be at 2.5%.

The report, however, pointed out that growth will be uneven across the member countries, while noting that the outlook in countries like France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK have boosted the projections. These countries together account for as much as 80% of the European Union GDP. The Commission said the overall economic outlook for the region has not returned to normalcy despite the recent relative calm in the financial markets. The report also underlined the need for structural reforms and fiscal prudence. “Ensuring a stronger recovery calls for an agreement on an ambitious agenda of fiscal consolidation and structural reforms”, it said.


Turkey says Nato move on Libya ‘absurd’

Delphine Strauss in Ankara and James Blitz in London         Financial Times

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has hit out at US and UK calls for military intervention in the Libya crisis, warning that would be an “absurdity” for the Nato alliance to intervene in the region.

As the stance of Turkey, a prominent western ally, was bolstered by similar comments from non-Nato member Russia, the US and UK led calls for tougher action to stop the violent crackdown against opposition forces by Muammer Gaddafi, Libya’s leader. Both Washington and London are saying they are looking at the possible establishment of a no-fly zone to prevent air attacks on towns held by rebels.


Libyan crisis: Britain and allies now risk over-reaction

Simon TISDALL     The Guardian

Britain, Italy and the US are talking up possible military action against Muammar Gaddafi

Criticised for reacting too slowly to the Libyan crisis, Britain and its allies now risk a dangerous, ill-thought out over-reaction in raising the prospect of direct western military intervention. If any lesson has been learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, it is that while it is very easy to get into a war in the Middle East, it is difficult to control events once engaged, and harder still to find a way out.

David Cameron's order to British military chiefs to prepare plans for a no-fly zone over Libya, to prevent Colonel Gaddafi's forces attacking opposition groups, may be a calculated attempt to increase the pressure on the Libyan leader to step down. But Cameron's proposal, delivered in the Commons, potentially goes beyond the sort of protective air patrols Britain and France conducted over Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1990s.

"We do not in any way rule out the use of military assets," Cameron said. On the face of it, this is a very bold statement.

A false choice between Iran and the US for Arab states

Tony Karon           The National 

Washington saw the "hand of communism" at work everywhere during the Cold War, whether in the heroic rebellion of young black South Africans against the apartheid regime, Chileans challenging the brutality of their military dictatorship, the pacifist policies of an Australian Labor government or even India pursuing a foreign policy independent of the United States. "Those who are not with us are against us," was the underlying sentiment, reiterated by President George W Bush at the outset of his "global war on terror" - and also in the US-led Cold War against Iran in the Middle East.

No surprise, then, that the democratic tsunami sweeping the Arab world has prompted warnings in Washington that Iran would be the primary strategic beneficiary from the collapse of "moderate" Arab autocracies. Iranian officials, for their own propaganda purposes, claim the same thing: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for example, hailed the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak as an "Islamic revolution" - which earned him a rebuke from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which made clear that it was not leading the revolution, and that it shared the common goal of a democratic political order in Egypt.