BRITISH NEWSPAPER APOLOGIZES
British Daily Telegraph newspaper, which claimed that Justice & Development (AK) Party received 25 million USD of election assistance from Iran, wrote, "we admit that we were briefed wrong and our allegation was not accurate. Neither Erdogan nor his political party (AK Party) reached any agreement with Iran and accepted donations from Iran."
GUL AND ERDOGAN HELP CARRYING ERBAKAN'S COFFIN
High-level officials of the state did not leave former prime minister and chairman of Felicity Party Necmettin Erbakan alone in his final journey. President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many ministers were present in the funeral prayer of Erbakan. Gul and Erdogan carried the coffin of Erbakan. They barely escaped from being trapped in the crowd while carrying the coffin.
MILLIONS BID FAREWELL
Former prime minister Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the National Vision who had a seal on Turkish political history, was laid to rest with prays. State and nation paid a respect for Erbakan at the Fatih Mosque. Erbakan passed away on Sunday at an Ankara hospital where he was having treatment.
HIGHER COURT UPHOLDS BALYOZ ARRESTS
The 11th Heavy Criminal Court overturned the objections of 163 Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case suspects, including retired general Cetin Dogan, to their arrest. The court upheld the verdict of the lower court.
POSSIBILITY OF BANK PUNISHMENT HITS STOCK EXCHANGE
The Competition Board asked Akbank, Denizbank, Finansbank, Garanti Bankasi, Halk Bankasi, Is Bankasi, Vakiflar Bankasi and Yapi Kredi Bankasi to make their verbal defense on charges that they agreed among themselves regarding promotions they have offered for salary and wage payments of public institutions or private companies. The Competition Board will fine banks if it finds them guilty. When bank managers testified, the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) lost 4.2 percent in value. The stock exchange closed at 58,709 points, the lowest level in six months. One USD reached 1.61 Turkish liras (TL) and Euro closed the day at 2.225 TL.
FORMER PREMIER LAID TO ETERNAL REST
Necmettin Erbakan, a former prime minister and leader of the Felicity Party, was laid to eternal rest in a ceremony in Istanbul, attended by hundreds of thousands of people. Over a million people crowded the Fatih Mosque where Erbakan's funeral prayer was observed. Muslim leaders from 67 different countries also attended Erbakan's funeral.
TURKISH MINISTER, GERMAN CHANCELLOR OPEN CeBIT FAIR
Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday inaugurated the CeBIT International Fair in Hannover, Germany. Yildirim said nearly 90 companies from Turkey were displaying their products and services in the fair. Turkey is participating in the fair as a partner country. Turkish companies including Turk Telekom, Turkcell, Vodafone Turkiye, Koc Sistem, Vestel, Turksat, Karel, Istanbul Teknopark, ODTU (METU) and ITU Ari Teknokent attended the CeBIT 2011.
LAST DUTY TO ERBAKAN
Everybody from President Abdullah Gul to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, from party leaders to ministers and army officials said farewell to former prime minister, chairman of Felicity Party and leader of National Vision Necmettin Erbakan. Following the noon prayer and funeral prayer performed for Erbakan in Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, head of Religious Affairs Mehmet Gormez asked for the blessings of people for three times. Erbakan's son Fatih Erbakan said, "he even thought well about people who acted unjustly towards him." Gul and Erdogan also helped carrying Erbakan's coffin.
GIVE ME A HINT
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu met with Ed Miliband, 41-year old leader of Labor Party, in London yesterday. Miliband told Kilicdaroglu, "you are rising in public opinion polls. I would like to have a hint from you in this issue."
BALBAY AND OZKAN KEPT IN SINGLE CELLS
Suspects of the Ergenekon case were transferred to the Silivri Prison No:1 from Silivri Prison No: 4 and 5. Journalists Mustafa Balbay and Tuncay Ozkan, who used to stay at the same room, were imprisoned in single rooms. Lawyers defined the decision as "torture", whereas Balbay and Ozkan sent a petition to the Parliament in which they said they did not have life security. Balbay and Ozkan said, "we were taken by force to our wards at 3 a.m. in the morning under an instruction from Ankara. Mustafa Balbay was taken to F-3 and Tuncay Ozkan to B-3. Is this practice made on February 28 an oppression or a revenge? Which law permits imprisonment of two prisoners, who have not even got a discipline punishment, in single cells without showing any reason?"
FAREWELL TO ERBAKAN
Felicity Party (SP) leader Necmettin Erbakan's body was brought to Istanbul after a funeral at Ankara's Haci Bayrami Veli Mosque on Tuesday morning. Erbakan was laid to rest at a family cemetery in Merkez Efendi after a funeral at Istanbul's Fatih Mosque. Necmettin Erbakan's son Fatih Erbakan said his father intended to "establish an Islam union."
FUNERAL OF FEBRUARY 28
Necmettin Erbakan, a former Turkish premier who was forced to step down in what is publicly known in Turkey as the February 28 process, a military-backed campaign to put him of power in 1997, was buried in a massive funeral ceremony in Istanbul crowded by hundreds of thousands of people. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) showed a high profile in the ceremony with First Army Commander Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu, cousing of retired Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the former chief of the military staff back in 1997, who had said, "the February 28 process would last a thousand years."
TURKISH COMPANY BUYS GERMAN AUTOMOTIVE SIGNAL LIGHTS MANUFACTURER
Turkey's Bayraktar Group has acquired German automotive signal lights manufacturer Odelo, which controls 25 percent of the European market. Odelo is expected to merge with Bayraktar's Farba automotive lighting company. Odelo had in 2010 a turnover of 163 million euros. It has four plants in Germany and another one in Slovenia.
FAREWELL ON SHOULDERS
Former prime minister and Felicity Party's chairman Necmettin Erbakan was laid to rest at Merkezefendi Cemetery after a funeral ceremony in Istanbul which was participated by hundreds of thousands of people yesterday. First funeral prayer for Erbakan was performed in Haci Bayram-i Veli Mosque in Ankara yesterday morning. His demise was then carried to Esenboga Airport by an ambulance with slogans of people saying "Mujahid Erbakan". Erbakan's funeral was brought to Fatih Mosque in Istanbul by a private airplane. Second funeral prayer for Erbakan was performed in Fatih Mosque in Istanbul at noon yesterday. High-level officials of the state barely got over the danger of being trapped in the crowd. First Army Commander Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu and several officers attended the ceremony. The demise of Erbakan was hardly carried to the cemetery in 2.5 hours with a giant cortege.
ERDOGAN: HE WAS A CHARISMATIC LEADER
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who returned from Germany to attend the funeral ceremony, said, "Mr. Erbakan was not only a party chairman but in fact a leader. He both had a career and a charisma. We have learned much from him as a scientist as well as a politician."
FAREWELL TO ERBAKAN
A huge throng bade farewell to the Hodja (former prime minister Necmettin Erbakan). The body of Felicity Party (SP) leader Necmettin Erbakan was brought from Fatih Mosque to the cemetery in two and a half hours although the mosque and cemetery were only five kilometers away from each other. Erbakan was laid to rest with one of the most crowded funerals in the history of Turkey. There were many dignitaries in the funeral from President Abdullah Gul to Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, from former prime minister Tansu Ciller to former Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, from First Army Commander to foreign representatives.
THREE INTERPRETATIONS OF HOUSE ARREST
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin responded to the Peace & Democracy Party's (BDP) proposal to "keep head terrorist Abdullah Ocalan at house arrest", saying, "the society is not ready." BDP lawmaker Ufuk Uras laid down the proposal to Ergin, and said, "Ocalan can be taken to a place other than Imrali. He could also be house arrested." Uras said he could allocate his own plot for this. Ergin said, "the conjuncture is not appropriate right now, and we do not welcome it. People are not ready." A surprise remark came from Cetin Soysal of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) as he visited the southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Soysal said, "we should refrain from discussions, and nobody's nose should bleed from now on." Journalists asked CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu to comment on this remark. Kilicdaroglu said, "if a trial is made, that practice should be maintained. I do not know under which circumstances Soysal made those remarks."
MERKEL AND SELOCAN EMBRACED EACH OTHER
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the inauguration of Turkey stand at the Cebit International 2011 in Hannover, Germany. 92 Turkish companies joined the fair which was also attended by 4,200 companies from 68 countries. Merkel said, "I am glad about establishment of a bridge of informatics between Turkey and Germany." Merkel hailed with "Selocan", the mascot of Turkish GSM operator Turkcell.
THOUSANDS ATTEND FUNERAL OF FORMER PREMIER
Necmettin Erbakan, a former Turkish prime minister and leader of the Felicity Party, was laid to eternal rest on Tuesday after a funeral ceremony in Istanbul attended by thousands of people. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, cabinet members, politicians as well as high ranking military officials, bureaucrats and businesspeople also attended the ceremony. Erbakan's partners in two separate coalition governments, Tansu Ciller and Deniz Baykal were also among those who bid farewell to the former premier.
NUMBER OF JOBLESS DOWN
Fast economic growth rate and increase in exports in Turkey gave in 2010 a fresh boost to employment in the country. The number of the employed was up by 1,317 thousand to reach 22.6 million. The number of the jobless dropped by 425 thousand down to 3,046 thousand marking a 2.1 points of decrease over the previous year. Unemployment rate was calculated as 11.9 percent for 2010. The figure was 14 percent in 2009.