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September 11, 2009

Deadly flash flooding hits northwestern Turkey

Deadly flash flooding hits northwestern Turkey

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Friday, September 11, 2009

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Marmara Region of Turkey.
Image: Rarelibra.

Heavy overnight rains flooded Istanbul, Turkey, stranding motorists and flooding arterial roads. The floods led to the death of at least 31 people and the cost of damage has been estimated as being in excess of $70 million in northwestern parts of the country.

The flood devastated businesses, swept away cars and swamped houses, roads, and farming land. Fueled by the worst rain in 80 years, waters rose up to six feet (2 meters) high in the city’s İkitelli district, cutting off the route to Istanbul’s main airport and the highway to Greece and Bulgaria on the European side of the sprawling city.

“We are saddened by the loss of lives. There are still some people missing and we are searching for them,” said Mustafa Demir, the Turkish Procurement Minister, as quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

Over 1000 people have been rescued by emergency services, including military helicopters, since the floods began on Tuesday.



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August 16, 2009

Pakistan to Turkey container train service launched

Pakistan to Turkey container train service launched

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has launched Pakistan’s first international container train service from Islamabad to Istanbul via the Iranian capital, Tehran, as a trial project of the Economic Cooperation Organization to boost Pakistan’s trade with Turkey and Iran.

The train is carrying 20 containers on its first journey from Islamabad railway station, delivering 14 to Tehran and 6 to Istanbul and will cover 6,500 kilometres in two weeks.

Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said a successful trial phase of the freight train service would be followed by a passenger train service in an effort to boost tourism in the region.

There are also hopes the route will eventually provide a link to Europe and Central Asia.



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August 26, 2007

Felipe Massa wins 2007 Turkish Grand Prix

Felipe Massa wins 2007 Turkish Grand Prix

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

File photo of Felipe Massa
Image: Dan Smith.

Istanbul Park

Felipe Massa wins the 2007 FIA Formula-1 Petrol Ofisi Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Racing Circuit, Istanbul, Turkey.

The two red Ferrari cars of Massa and Kimi Räikkönen, starting from the clear side of the track, grabbed the lead and maintained a constant distance to each other throughout the race.

McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, starting 2nd, lost his position to Kimi and stayed on his rear wing until his right front tyre suffered a puncture and he lost a couple of positions while heading to the pits.

This incident allowed his teammate Fernando Alonso to take third place on the podium, to which Lewis was heading. Fernando himself had a very poor start, losing two positions to the BMW Saubers. Still, he pushed hard on Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld and, as he mentioned himself on the post-race press conference, the race started for him after the first pit-stop, when he overtook both BMW’s.

Heidfeld got 4th place. Heikki Kovalainen came 6th for Renault, finishing ahead of Williams-Toyota driver, Nico Rosberg. Kubica closed the top eight.

Lewis Hamilton remains leader of the Drivers’ Championship with 84 points, closely followed by the defending World Champion Fernando Alonso, 5 points behind. Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen are 10 and 11 points behind Alonso, respectively. The Constructors’ Championship is now closer, McLaren with 148 points, only 11 ahead of Ferrari.


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December 25, 2005

Armenian Journalists Facing Prison Sentences in Turkey

Armenian Journalists Facing Prison Sentences in Turkey

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

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Hrant Dink, Arat Dink, Serkis Seropyan and Aydın Engin, all employees of Agos, an Armenian newspaper published in İstanbul, have each been charged with “attempting to affect legal proceedings” by the Sisli 2nd First Instance Court for their alleged attempts to tamper with Hrant Dink’s trial earlier this year. The four journalists will be tried under the 288th article of the Turkish Penal Code, and face a possible 6 months to 3 years in jail if found guilty.

In his indictment, the public prosecutor claimed that the defendants attempted to influence the result of Hrant Dink’s earlier trial by way of articles published in Agos, of which Dink is the editor. In response to the indictment, Hrant Dink said, “It is impossible for a man not to be puzzled. I am the defendant at the same time. It is a basic right for a defendant to attempt to affect the legal proceedings. If a defendant is not trying to affect the legal proceedings, then he would do this? We would go, face the court and see the results.”

Hrant Dink was found guilty in October of insulting Turkey’s national identity, a conviction for which he received a suspended sentence of 6 months imprisonment. He claims he will appeal this decision.

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November 10, 2005

EU\’s human rights court endorses Turkish headscarf ban

EU’s human rights court endorses Turkish headscarf ban

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Correction — April 13, 2012
 
The European Court of Human Rights is not an exclusively EU court. Turkey is not, and has never been, an EU member state.
 
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled on a case brought by a Muslim student of Istanbul university. The ruling upholds the law in Turkey that bans the wearing of headscarves in universities and public offices.

Leyla Sahin brought her case to the court in 1998 after being excluded from classes for wearing an Islamic headscarf. She contended that the ban discriminated against her and denied her right to an education.

The court ruled that Turkish law was consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights and with the protection of women’s rights in general.

The ban was reasonable as a measure to help maintain Turkey as secular society, the court ruled. It argued: “When examining the question of the Islamic headscarf in the Turkish context, there had to be borne in mind the impact which wearing such a symbol, which was presented or perceived as a compulsory religious duty, may have on those who chose not to wear it.”

The ruling will impact over 1,000 other similar cases brought by Muslim women in the country.

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March 19, 2005

Europe marks second Iraq invasion anniversary

Europe marks second Iraq invasion anniversary

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Today, Saturday the 19th of March, thousands across Europe marked the second anniversary of the US-led war on Iraq with protest marches and rallies for peace.

Anti-war march in London: In London, UK, police said 45,000 people took part in a march following the traditional route; a Hyde Park start, past the US Embassy and finishing in Trafalgar Square. According to organisers, almost 100,000 people took part. There were no reports of violence or unrest at the rally.

In Istanbul, Turkey, about 15,000 people marched to protest against the continued US presence in Iraq.

Athens, Greece, was brought to a standstill by more than 5000 trade unionists who marched to the US Embassy.

Meanwhile, more than 400 miles away from London, in the Welsh coastal town of Aberystwyth, about two hundred people also took part in a peace rally. The first annual All Wales Peace Festival (Gwl heddwch a chyfianwnder Cymru gyfan) took place on an unseasonably warm and sunny day for mid-March in the coastal town.

Lasting about an hour, the rally made its way around the streets of the town, making its way to the ruined castle that overlooks the town, where the crowd heard speeches by a number of individuals, including Ken Booth, the head of Aberystwyth University’s renowned International Politics department. There was no suggestion of violence at the rally, with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds making up the march.

Police presence at the march was moderately heavy yet restrained, with the police evidently not wishing for a repeat of the scenes two years ago when authorities were taken completely by surprise as protesters brought much of the town to a halt and occupied the council tax offices for two hours.

Attendance at all protests was a mere shadow of that just before the start of the 2003 war, when London saw over a million take to the streets to protest the imminent invasion.

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