News on Turkey

 With the start of the New Year, Public banks in Turkey announced some good news regarding buying properties in Turkey by applying the latest interest rate cut of the year.  Ziraat Bank, VakıfBank and Halkbank announced last week that they will offer housing loans up to TL 500,000 (approximately $93,700) with a monthly interest rate of 0.98 percent and a maturity period of up to 120 months.

The private banks are also expected to take part in the special discount spearheaded by three public banks, the housing companies pledged support for the campaign right after the banks. Companies such as Nef and Sur Yapı began to take part in the campaign where Real Estate companies working with the banks will assume a part of the cost as a contribution margin.

The arrival of the long-awaited news revived the activities in sales offices and increased the interest in properties in turkey. Having left behind a tough year, the housing sector hopes the interest rate cuts will boost the residential sales. The officials indicated that this year, the housing sector will exceed 2017's sales figure of 1.4 million units. In October, housing sales amounted to about 1.1 million units.

Turkey has reduced required limits for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship to encourage investment, according to new regulations published in the country's Official Gazette .

The lower limit of fixed capital investments to acquire Turkish citizenship for foreigners is reduced to $500,000 from $2 million.

Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum $250,000, instead of $1 million, can avail Turkish citizenship.

The deposit requirement of minimum $3 million in Turkish banks is also lowered to $500,000.

The regulation also covers foreigners who deposit a minimum of $3 million in Turkish banks. A similar regulation applies to those foreign investors who hold government-issued bonds worth at least $500 million which are not diversified for three years.

Foreigners who generate jobs for minimum 50 people, -- previous requirement was 100 people -- also will be able to take Turkish citizenship, the gazette said.

The Turkish economy grew 5.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, the country's statistical authority announced Monday.

The Q2 growth rate puts it at the top of the list of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) members and second among European countries who have announced their annual growth performances for the second quarter.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) noted that gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices totaled 884 billion Turkish liras ($204.3 billion) in the April-June period, a 20.4 percent increase year-on-year.

Second quarter GDP expanded a seasonally and calendar-adjusted 0.9 percent from the previous quarter, TurkStat data showed.

The total value added of the industrial sector increased 4.3 percent year-on-year and construction sector rose 0.8 percent. The added value of the services sector – which is comprised of trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities – increased by 8.0 percent. The total value added of the agricultural sector fell 1.5 percent in the second quarter year-on-year.

Household consumption expenditures increased by 6.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018.

The final consumption expenditures of the state rose 7.2 percent, while gross fixed capital formation increased by 3.9 percent.

Exports of goods and services increased by 4.5 percent year-on-year and imports rose 0.3 percent in the second quarter.

Workforce payments increased by 19.4 percent year-on-year, while net operating margin rose by 19.4 percent.

The share of labor force payment in the gross added value decreased to 36.0 percent from 36.5 percent the previous year. Net operating margin share dropped to 46.1 percent from 46.8 percent.

Official data showed that the Turkish economy's growth rates were 11.5 percent in the third quarter last year, 7.3 percent in the last quarter of 2017, and 7.3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Turkey's economy has recorded seven consecutive quarters of growth, since a quarter of decline following the failed coup attempt of July 2016.

Last Friday, the EU's statistical office Eurostat announced that the EU economy grew by 2.1 percent year-on-year in the April-June period.

Malta (5.7 percent), Poland (5 percent) and Hungary (4.6 percent) showed the top growth performances in the second quarter.

In the same period, Denmark recorded the lowest figure with 0.6 percent annual growth, while Italy and the U.K. saw 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent growth in their economies, respectively.

On Monday, TurkStat also announced that Turkey's independent annual GDP increased by 7.4 percent in 2017.

TurkStat stated that GDP by production approach rose by 19.1 percent year-on-year in 2017, and reached 3.1 trillion Turkish liras at current prices -- approximately $850 billion.

"In 2017, the manufacturing industry had the largest share [in GDP] with 17.6 percent," it said. "Manufacturing industry was followed by wholesale and retail trade and construction industry with 11.9 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively."

The institute noted that services of households as employers had the lowest share in GDP.

"The GDP per capita in 2017 was 38,680 Turkish liras and $10,602 at current prices," TurkStat added.

According to the Turkish Central Bank, the average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was 3.65 last year.

The unflinching Turkish economy seems to have continued to grow with the support of foreign trade in the second quarter of the year, as well. Recent data show that national exports kept climbing whereas imports went down in a sharp manner in this period. This trend, in return, delivers an outlook in which net exports boost the GDP growth while putting a brake on the famous current account deficit in the economy.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey exported 116 percent more road vehicles in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2013, the Turkish Automotive Manufacturers’ Association said on Monday.

The company exported more than 61,000 vehicles from its Turkey-based factory during the first half of the year, which made Toyota the third largest car exporter in the country, the association said in a statement.

After seeing 9.7 percent in March, Turkey’s unemployment has fallen to 9 percent in April, official figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) show.

The number of people out of work in Turkey has fallen by 168,000 in April to 2.57 million, the same level as at the end of last year. The figures come as inflation was recorded to have fallen to 9.16 percent in June.

Turkey will make nearly $10 billion from privatization of state sales if all of the most recent privatizations, including the national lottery sale for an over the top price, were approved by the government.

Turkey’s income from privatizations since the beginning of the year has exceeded expectations, approaching $10 billion with the recent privatization of a 10-year national lottery license that dazzled market by bringing in $2.76 billion for the state.

The 8th WIEF Roundtable took place in İstanbul in May 2014 and explored the challenges faced by Turkey in its pursuit to promote a more dynamic Islamic finance industry in the country. It also addressed key priority development areas for market players to methodically expand and deepen the Islamic finance sector’s ecosystem for a more sustainable industry. The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) was established in 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the objective of facilitating business amongst the Muslim world, promoting and encouraging profits that would eventually flow down to much neglected peoples.

Turkish Airlines was named “Europe’s Best Airline Company” for the fourth consecutive year on Tuesday, according to Skytrax’s 2014 passenger evaluations. The airline, which offers “Flying Chef ” luxury meals to business class passengers on long flights, was described as having the “World’s Best Business Class Airline Catering” and the “World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge Dining” in 2014. The awards were announced at the Farnborough Airshow, in Hampshire, southern England.

An official from the Undersecretariat of Treasury has been assigned as an executive director.

This is the first time Turkey won a place on the executive board of the International Monetary Fund.

In order to diversify its energy sources, Turkey aims to build three nuclear power plants.

On Tuesday, head of Turkish parliament’s Energy Sub-commission Halil Mazicioglu said the total cost of Turkey’s nuclear power plant projects will exceed $70 billion by 2023.

On Friday Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the high-speed train link between Ankara and Istanbul, his latest ambitious grand project to scale the country’s infrastructure up to European standards. The project has been repeatedly postponed because of sabotages but on Friday, Erdoğan traveled on the first train from Ankara to Istanbul with the line open to the general public from Saturday. “We made a promise. We worked hard. We crossed the mountains, and passed over rivers!” Erdoğan said at Eskisehir, one of several stops of the train. “Despite all sabotage attempts, blockade, and slowdown, we completed the line and opened it for service today.”

Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev said: “Prolonged progress towards EU membership has shifted Turkey’s economic interest, and it is now looking for closer cooperation with Russia’s Customs Union”.

Ulyukayev discussed the plan with Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci at the G20 trade ministers meeting in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend.

Turkish markets rose on Monday as investors shrugged off escalating geopolitical risks and focused their attention on second-quarter corporate results, with Turk Telekom up on strong profit growth.

Shares in the telecoms firm climbed %0.9 to 6.33 lira after reporting a %185 year-on-year surge in net profit in the second quarter.

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit fell for the sixth-straight month, according to figures released Friday by the Turkish Statistical Institute. June’s deficit dropped to $7.8 billion (TL 16.3 billion) in June of this year from $8.6 billion in the same month last year, a fall of 8.8 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute reported. The downward trend started in January and gained momentum after the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) introduced drastic interest rate hikes in response to the U.S. dollar’s rise against the Turkish lira in mid-January. Turkey’s Banking Authority imposed new measures to restrict private consumption and ease the current account deficit.

Mark Lewis has been the IMF’s senior representative in Turkey since September 2010; however, his term in office recently ended. “I witnessed very important developments in Turkey during my duty here. Despite huge breakages in the global economy, Turkey’s economy proved its resistance to hits. In other words, it proved its adequacy. The economy displayed a good performance. I think Turkey’s economic policies are quite accurate, and the public finance and banking sectors are strong,” said Lewis who is leaving Turkey today. Lewis described his experience in Turkey as “exciting”.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines (THY) Hamdi Topçu said that they are aiming to increase the number of passengers to 60 million.

Speaking to an AA reporter, Topçu said that the Turkish aviation industry has taken a leap in the last few years. In 2002, 26 airports were used in civil aviation and in 2014, this number increased to 52. “Passengers do not want to use their cars or buses for travels that will last longer than four hours. They want comfort. Flight tickets are sometimes even cheaper than bus tickets and our citizens try to benefit from this advantage as much as they possibly can” said Topçu.

Turkey has commenced studies to introduce easier work permit application and granting procedures for qualified foreign workers and investors to enhance the country’s investment appeal.

The Turkish government is considering easing work permit requirements for foreigners with a new program that is aimed to attract more foreign investors and qualified workers to the country.

Turkish Airlines’ (THY) passenger count for the January-July period increased by 15.2 percent, to 31 million.

THY’s number of passengers for 2014 January-July period has been increased by 15.2 reaching 31 million. According to 2014 January-July of THY’s traffic data published by Public Disclosure Platform; number of passengers at 2013 January-July period, which was 26.9 million, increased by 15.2 percent to 31 million for the same period of 2014. Number of passengers for domestic lines increased by 17.4 percent, international lines increased by 13.8 percent.

Unemployment rate in Turkey, which decreased by 0.2 percent in May, regressing the lowest amount in 10 months by
8.8 percent. Number of unemployed people, which was 2,570,000, regressed to 2,551,000. According to data published
by Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), unemployment rate stripped of seasonal impacts increased by 0.3 percent
reaching 9.5 percent.

Economists agreed that the Turkish exporters can expand their businesses in Russian market thanks to Russia’s countersanctions against West.

Economısts of international finance institutions agreed that the Russian economy will suffer the most due to the import restrictions placed on food products form the EU and U.S. in response to their sanctions. It is predicted that Turkey’s exports will benefit from such restrictions “in a limited fashion.”

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan announced the three-year road map for the Turkish economy. Those in charge of the Turkish economy, who revised their targets for the 2015 to 2017 period, decided to continue with tight monetary policies. The Deputy PM stressed the main priority will be to fight inflation. Other goals will be decreasing the current account deficit, implementing structural reforms and continuing with the current growth strategy. Babacan stated that the current growth target is 3.3 percent for this year with a slight improvement of 4 percent expected next year. The government hopes growth will be consistent at 5 percent for 2016 and 2017.

Delivering a statement about the national E1000 Type Electric Locomotive Project, Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Fikri Işık stated that Turkey’s State Railways (TCDD) has developed a one-megawatt-power electric locomotive to meet its shunting and short-haul load-carrying needs and that it will be fully operational in November.

“We estimate that the general state budgetary deficit will be 0.8 percent, which is 0.3 point less than targeted,” Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said, adding, “With this proportion, Turkey’s budget performed better than 25 out of 28 EU countries.”

First Microchip Factory of Turkey will be Founded in Ankara

ASELSAN and Bilkent University will lay the foundation of Turkey’s first microchip production facility in Ankara on December 24, 2014. At the foundation Thin and durable electronic materials for the defence, communication and energy sectors will be produced.

Turkey’s tourism revenue hit 34.4 billion USD in 2014, up by 6.2 percent over the preceding year.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute’s (TurkStat) recently released data, the country attracted some 41.4 million visitors during the last year, which spent an average of 828 USD per capita. The number of foreign visitors also registered an increase of 5.6 percent over a year earlier.

The General Directorate of the State Airports Authority of Turkey (DHİM) aims to increase the number of passengers, which was nearly 166 million last year, to 223 million in 2017 – a 34 percent rise. Also, it aims to increase flight traffic, which was 1.67 million last year, to 2.10 million – a 25 percent rise – in the same period. According to information complied by an Anadolu Agency reporter from a DHİM report, the total number of the passengers including transit flights increased by 12.4 percent from 166 million last year to 187 million this year. This figure is expected to increase by 9.8 percent to 205 million next year. The highest increase in 2017 will be in the number of domestic flights compared to last year.

Credit card payments will be available in cabs and minibuses in Istanbul. With a project to be initiated by İSPARK, the parking operator company owned by the Istanbul municipality, it would become possible to make payments by credit cards in cabs and mini buses in Istanbul. İSPARK’s project will include credit card payments into the electronic payment network of public transportation along with Istanbul Kart, and 18,000 cabs and 6,334 minibuses are included within the scope of the project.

The first Turkish-made seismic-survey vessel, named Turkuaz, has been launched from Istanbul on Saturday. Turkuaz, produced in a shipyard in Tuzla, Istanbul, for the Mineral Research and Exploration General Directorate at a cost of TL 300 million ($115 million) and launched on Saturday, will carry out climate change and ecological research as well as comprehensive underwater search activities using a remote-control system. Turkuaz, which began to be built in 2011, will serve for at least 30 years with a crew of 50 and has the capacity to operate uninterrupted for 35 days away from land.

Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2.6 percent in the final quarter of 2014, resulting in 2.9 percent full-year growth, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said in a statement released yesterday. Turkish economy succeeded in growing continuously for 21 quarters, and the announced growth rate for 2014 was above market expectations, which was around 2.7 percent average.

The Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), (Turkish: Trans-Anadolu Doğalgaz Boru Hattı) is a natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. It will be a central part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which will connect the giant Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to Europe through the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), TANAP and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

According to the Tourism Support Package Report of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, Turkey hosted 38.6 million tourists last year, and steps are currently being taken to recover the loss of visitors from the Commonwealth of Independent States, mainly Russia, and Iran due to economic troubles in these countries. These 13 countries mean an income of $8 to $9 million for Turkey and over 10 million tourists.

Turkey’s national carrier; Turkish Airlines increases the number of routes in its network by adding new ones from Istanbul’s second airport; Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. As of Monday, April 27, 2015 the carrier launches three new routes in Germany and Italy.

Sales revenue stood at 5.5 billion TRY.

Turkish Airlines’ first quarter 2015 consolidated financial statements were reported to Borsa Istanbul. Compared to the first quarter of 2014, Turkish Airlines sales revenue increased by 6,4 percent, reaching a total of 5 billion 456 million TRY. Turkish Airlines disclosed an adjusted operating loss of 48 million TRY, outperforming the first quarter of 2014 by 75 percent and recorded 373 million TRY net profit during the lowest season of the aviation industry. Active risk management strategies and a balanced debt composition had an impact on these outstanding results.

Istanbul was picked as the city with most development in the world in last 5 years. According to research “The Business of Cities 2015″ by Jones Lang LaSalle, who provides financial and professional services on real estate, Istanbul, because of its performance since 2010, took first place as the city with most development.

A huge underground road tunnel being built underneath the sea in Istanbul is meters from being completed.

Istanbulites are hoping the enormous 14.6-kilometer (9 mile) Eurasia Tunnel Project linking Kazlıçesme on Istanbul’s European side and Göztepe in Asia will reduce the city’s notorious traffic levels.

The project, also known as the Istanbul Strait, could be completed ahead of schedule, Turkey’s deputy minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication, Yahya Baş, has said.

Speaking at the tunnel’s construction site, Baş said: “The construction period is continuing very successfully. As we are counting the last meters, we will complete the project sooner than expected.”

The project, aiming to reduce congestion and relieve traffic density on the huge suspension bridges which cross the Bosphorus strait, is set to open in 2016.

Cars will pass through the tunnel in 15 minutes and the passage fare will be $4 for each vehicle.

“There are only 780 meters left to dig and complete the tunnel section under the sea” said project engineer Emin Karaman.

According to Karaman, approximately 2.5 km of the 3.4 km section of the tunnel under the sea is finished. “We have finished the land tunnels. The section of the tunnel under the sea is about to be completed.

A recent report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) and the World Bank have praised Turkey’s remarkable progress in education.

The “Universal Basic Skills” report stated that the education system in Turkey has shown remarkable improvement since 2003 in terms of better student performance and reduced inequality. Reducing the number of students per class and per teacher, providing free books and assigning guidance counselors for students have helped achieve greater academic success according to the report.

House sales increased 6.5 percent in August compared to the same month of the previous year, and 112,463 were sold within the month. While Istanbul had the highest share as usual with 16.8 percent of house sales, most house sales were made to Iraqi citizens when looking at the nationality of the buyer. Ankara followed with 11.7 percent, totaling 13,139 house sales, and İzmir with 5.8 percent, totaling 6,490 house sales.

The High Tech Port by the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD) Qatar Fair, which is bringing together leading institutions from the Turkish and Qatari defense industries, and the 19th International Business Forum has started at the Qatar National Fair and Exhibition Center.

The fair is expected to create a trade volume of around $5 billion and has been marked by the success of Turkish engineering. With Turkuvaz Media Group as press sponsor, various recent local projects including the Atak helicopter, Altay tank, National Ship (MİLGEM), Göktürk-2 satellite, Kirpi, national infantry rifle and drones have been introduced in the fair.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül underlined the efforts of both Qatar and Turkey in ensuring peace, stability and security in the region. Also saying that this is the first time the fair is being held outside Turkey, Gönül deemed it a sign of the strong ties between the two countries. The fair supports investments to advanced technological products and brings consumers and investors together. With 57 firms with strategic abilities attending the fair, Gönül said it is a great opportunity to work together and that the activities of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) in Qatar is one of the best examples of exhibitions in high technology.

Deeming Qatar one of the most crucial players in the Middle East, Gönül praised the country’s efforts to ensure peace and stability in the region along with Turkey. “These two countries share historical and cultural similarities and have adopted similar principles regarding global peace. Qatar and Turkey are two countries that strive to ensure security and safety in the region,” Gönül added.

Domestic and international flight passengers in Turkey have grown 9.2 percent to reach 140.6 million flights within the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, official figures reveal.

Production of Turkish automotive industries broke the all time high record in September and reached 974,000 vehicles, according to the monthly report of Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD) released on Wednesday. This figure was achieved despite a large scale strike in the automotive sector in May, and it was also the highest since the global crisis of 2008.

The proportion of foreigners to buy in the forefront of the Arabs of housing in Turkey, or 19.5 percent between January and October of this year, compared with the same period of last year, to reach 18 thousand and 10,983 houses.

According to data issued from the Turkish Statistics, half of those houses sold to citizens from Iraq, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia.

The Turkish citizenship ” Yilmaz convert pips fruits of walnuts, to the artifacts and memorabilia great, using their skills in decision-making, antiques and gifts. Says Yilmaz, it thought to take advantage of the nut shells – which are usually used as fuel fireplace .In decision-making anything of value, can achieve income, instead of burning down. It says that it used many things before making the masterpieces and souvenirs, and other sea, but it is the first time that used the nut shells the which works since 17 years.

The Commission decided to the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Turkey to maintain the key interest rates unchanged for the eighth month respectively, following its meeting today Wednesday, under the chairmanship of ardam Bashji, President of the Central Bank.

Declared the World Conference of Islamic banks, in its twenty-second session, the victory of the bank “Finacne katelım Bankasi any.s”, won the prize of the best performance of the Islamic bank in Turkey.

The three banks a Turkish Islamic had nominated to win prizes of the Conference, the Bank of Asia, the National Bank of Kuwait to leave the participant, and finacne katelım Bankasi.

The strategic partnership between Turkey, as the most important country in the region, and Qatar, will help fill the void left by Russian sanctions, which in the end will hurt Russia the most economically, and benefit Doha’s regional interests
On Dec. 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani signed a series of agreements in various fields from energy to defense. These agreements will play a crucial role in Turkey’s response to the vitriolic statements made by Russian authorities following Turkey downing a Russian military jet that had violate Turkish airspace despite being warned several times to exit it.

Turkey ceremony of the first place worldwide, in eye surgery, foreign patients coming from abroad, through the holding of 40 thousand a surgical operation during one year.

Tops British patients, the list of arrivals to Turkey for eye surgery in Germany came second, tracing, countries in the region of the Middle East.

Local sources said Turkish, was signed on the outline for the establishment of the Cable Car line along ten kilometers, along the Bosphorus Strait, and between the continents of Asia and Europe.

The sources said that the establishment of the Cable Car line, who will reach the area between mecidiyekoy in the European side, camlica in the Asian side of Istanbul, will start next year, after the ratified the Istanbul municipality on the project plan within its budget for next year.

assumed the Cappadocia desk, located in the state of “nushehir” in the center of Turkey, in a white, after heavy snowfall which replaced the guest in the recent days.

Infused snowfalls over the highlights of the famous Cappadocia, such as “Fairy Chimneys tempting sirens”, churches and monuments, carved in the rocks, another beautiful city.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality will implement a number of new initiatives to develog the city’s taxis to a better stage through a central control mechanism, making journeys safer and less exhausting
Municipal officials of Istanbul are in the process of initiating a major push for reform in the country’s transportation sector to ensure that tourists and visitors to Turkey get a positive first impression of the country. Mindful of the fact that taxi drivers are usually the first people that foreign nationals encounter after landing at Turkey’s airports – and considering the nightmarish experiences expressed by travelers in travel blogs and books from across the globe – officials have decided that taxi services will be upgraded for locals and foreigners in 2016.

The success of Turkish Airlines, the country’s national flag carrier, has become a case study at Harvard Business School (HBS), one of the world’s most prestigious institutions.

The case study called “Turkish Airlines: Widen Your World” explored the company’s transformation from a regional actor to a global powerhouse in the international aviation industry and discussed its fast and profitable growth in the sector.

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish defense companies are chasing contracts worth several billion dollars in Saudi Arabia, according to Turkish procurement officials.

The officials said that one Turkish armored vehicles maker, FNSS, is looking to win a contract that may be worth up to $10 billion to supply scores of armored vehicles.

An Arabic book fair opened here on Friday, meeting an urgent demand of Syrian refugees being sheltered in Turkey.

“With this international fair, we aim to embrace Syrian refugees who found refuge in Turkey and grant them the Arabic publications that they have long needed,” said Cezmi Akgul, manager of Turkey’s Semerkand publishing house and organizer of the fair.

Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın on Friday said that Turkey’s national security cannot be a matter of negotiations, underscoring that Turkey will adopt all legitimate measures to ensure its security.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, Kalın said that Turkey is ready to negotiate all issues with its allies, but will never negotiate its national security and will respond to any threats in line with its rules of engagement.

Turkey’s exports have increased slightly in February compared with the same period last year after 14 months of decline due to EUR/USD parity, the Exporters’ Assembly of Turkey (TIM) reported on Tuesday.

Foreign trade deficit decreased by 13.4 percent from $4.3 to $3.8 billion in January 2016 when compared to January 2015, according to data released jointly by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) and the Ministry of Customs and Trade. Thus, in January, exports were $9.6 billion with a 22 percent decrease, and imports were $13.4 billion with a 19.7 percent decrease compared to January 2015. Exports coverage imports were at 71.8 percent in January compared to 73.9 percent the same month of last year.

According to consolidated financial statements Borsa Istanbul received from Turkish Airlines (THY), the profits of Europe’s leading carrier exceeded $1 billion for the first time in 2015, and net profit was declared at $1.069 billion. Operating profits were $895 million. When assessed in Turkish lira, net profits increased more than 65 percent compared to 2014, to reach TL 2.9 billion ($984.27 million). Operating profits rose more than 72 percent to reach TL 2.5 billion. Sales revenue in 2015 increased 19 percent to TL 28.8 billion.

Arban Çitak, the head of French rail transport vehicle producer Alstom’s Turkish unit, said that the company will bid in a tender that Turkey is scheduled to hold in the middle of this year with the purpose of purchasing 80 high-speed trains. The company plans to invest 100 million euros in a facility where it will produce the high-speed vehicles if it wins the tender.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th International Railway and Light Rail Systems, Infrastructure and Logistics Fair in Istanbul about the planned route of Kanal Istanbul, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım said: “We are currently working on five routes for Kanal Istanbul. In the next few months, all the planning work will be completed, and we will announce the final route of the channel.”

In his closing speech at the 13th Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Summit Conference on Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Muslims should be able to solve their own problems without resorting to outside assistance. “Why are we expecting others to solve the problems of Muslims? We should be able to solve our own problems. The OIC shall be there for eventual purpose.”

The last bridge deck for the İzmit Bay Bridge, which has become the fourth longest suspension bridge with the largest central span in the world, was installed Thursday in a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım and Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık.