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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-04-30
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 82/12 28-30.4.12
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Efforts by Turkey to raise tension in the MediterraneanUnder the title "Move which will anger the Greek Cypriots in the Mediterranean", Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (28.04.12) reports that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), which recently took the first (illegal) step in its oil explorations in the occupied area of Cyprus by launching land drilling, has acquired license for explorations in the largest field of the area. A decision by the Turkish Council of Ministers gave TPAO license to carry out explorations and production of oil in Turkey's all so-called exclusive economic zones.
According to the paper, with this decision, which was published in its official gazette on 27 April, 2012, Turkey challenges the alliance between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel which "had made a move for oil" in the Mediterranean. Sabah writes that maps were also published in the above-mentioned issue of the official gazette and that the fields of the so-called Turkish exclusive economic zone coincide with parcels 1,4,5,6, and 7 of the Republic of Cyprus. Sabah publishes a map, which shows that this area coincides with seven parcels of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus.
The paper argues that the new licenses were also a reply given to Greece, "which claims rights to carry out explorations for oil in the Mediterranean because of its small islands of 12 square meters". TPAO announced that it has licenses to carry out explorations in an area in the Mediterranean reaching until the island of Rhodes, to the middle of Egyptian border and the south west of Cyprus. Noting that they will launch seismic studies in the entire Mediterranean, TPAO officials estimated that foreign companies might be interested in the tenders for searching for oil.
 Eroglu alleges that neither Downer nor Ban Ki-moon can accuse the Turkish side because it has shown flexibilityTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (30.04.12) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that neither the UN Secretary-General nor his Special Adviser Alexander Downer can accuse the Turkish Cypriot side because it has allegedly shown flexibility in the Cyprus talks. Addressing yesterday the 26th General Assembly of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, Eroglu argued that if they had not shown flexibility the UN could have accused them, but it could not do so because they showed flexibility in all six chapters discussed in the negotiations.
He reiterated the allegation that the Greek Cypriot side is intransigent and does not want to abandon the Republic of Cyprus, and added that during his recent meeting with Downer, he told him that they should see whether the sides agree on what should be done now. "I told him that Christofias wants to continue with the same method without changing anything, but we want negotiations which will give results in a short period of time, we do not want to waste time", he noted.
Eroglu recalled that he had sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General telling him that he could show flexibility in case a five-party conference was convened. He claimed that this is the reason why the Secretary-General has not gave up from inviting a multilateral conference and that Downer said so during his press conference the day before yesterday.
Eroglu argued that no agreement could be reached at the negotiations unless there is a give and take and claimed that the Greek Cypriot side wants only to take. Eroglu said that no agreement was achieved in the negotiations before he came on duty and pointed out that convergence and agreement are two different things.
Eroglu said that he told Downer that the Turkish Cypriot side was ready to discuss with the UN Secretary-General the method by which the solution in Cyprus could be possible and that the UN could carry out shuttle diplomacy between the sides on this method. He added that the day before yesterday, Downer said that the UN would do this. Eroglu argued that the Turkish side was ready to discuss confidence building measures while the UN was carrying out contacts with the two sides.
Referring to the territory, Eroglu said that they have not discussed this issue in the negotiations. He noted that they have submitted criteria on this issue, but they wanted to discuss the map and the numbers only when an international conference was announced. He argued that the UN Secretary-General also accepted this, but the Greek Cypriot side was saying that if the Turkish side did not return occupied Morfou together with its villages and occupied Karpass peninsula to its legal owners, "it means that we are negotiating in vain".
Meanwhile, according to Gunes (30.04.12), speaking at "Artichoke Festival" at occupied Limnia village, Eroglu alleged that the problem they experience is due to the "double standards" and the so-called embargoes allegedly implemented against them by the world. He said he hopes that the world would stop implementing these" embargoes" one day and added that "the situation of the TRNC will be much better especially when the transportation embargo is lifted".
He added: "We live in peace and security in our own country. You should not be distressed by whether there is an agreement or not".
 Ozersay: "Downer's words should be read out correctly"Illegal Bayrak television (28.04.12) reports that Kudret Ozersay, the special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, stated that the United Nations will carry out shuttle diplomacy for two weeks to assess the course of the negotiations process.
"During the shuttle diplomacy, the UN will decide on whether the two sides are able to reach a compromise on how to continue the negotiations", Ozersay said.
Speaking to the Bayrak Haber, Ozersay stressed that the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer's words, at his press conference "should be read out correctly". He also alleged that "it is out of question for the negotiations process to continue in the same way".
 Yorgancioglu: Eroglu aims at carrying the negotiations outside the UN parametersTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (29.04.12) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has accused Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu of aiming at carrying the Cyprus talks outside the UN parameters. Yorgancioglu visited Istanbul heading a delegation of his party which participated in a conference under the title "Changing Seasons: the Arab Peoples' March for Democracy and Freedom". The delegation held a meeting with Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of the Turkish main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Yorgancioglu told Kilicdaroglu that the Cyprus negotiations have come to the point of stopping and added that the responsibility for this belongs to the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, who exerts efforts to carry the negotiations outside the UN parameters. He pointed out that a solution to the Cyprus problem is possible with a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the political equality of the two communities. He noted that any efforts outside this are in vain and will not be accepted by the world nor they will benefit the Turkish Cypriots.
Yorgancioglu argued that the Turkish Cypriot side acquired many benefits to the policy of "being one step forward" and added that these benefits are being lost one by one.
In his statements Kilicdaroglu said that the CHP has a very broad network of international relations and added that in every platform they insistently support the lifting of the so-called isolations allegedly implemented on the Turkish Cypriots. He noted that especially his party's office in Brussels, exerts great efforts in this direction at the EU institutions. He argued that they are ready to offer any support on every issue that would contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Meanwhile, according to Yeni Duzen (29.04.12) in statements elsewhere, Yorgancioglu noted that Eroglu had taken over the negotiations at a point very close to the solution and brought them to the point of being interrupted. Referring to the recent statement by Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Cyprus, Yorgancioglu pointed out that Downer has clearly said that progress in the negotiations was prevented by the deadlock on the issues of property and election of the executive power. He said that Downer noted that Eroglu was not accepting the agreement reached between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat on the election of the executive power and that afterwards he changed his stance by putting forward the precondition of convening a multilateral conference in order to accept this agreement.
Yorgancioglu referred also to the method followed in the negotiations and said, inter alia, the following: "?The ground for the negotiations exists. In case there is political will, the negotiating method which is currently followed has no problem or deficiency. In case there is no political will, it is obvious from now that the efforts for changing the current method will give no results?"
 Bagis stated that Turkey will not open new chapter during the Republic of Cyprus' EU term presidency ?Fule to visit Ankara on May 17Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.04.12) reports that Turkey's EU Minister Egemen Bagis said that a new chapter would not be opened in Turkey's membership negotiations with the EU while the Republic of Cyprus would be holding the rotating presidency of the EU. Bagis made these statements speaking to private NTV channel on Saturday.
Bagis said that the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus will not change Turkey's stance. "Our relations with the commission, parliament and EU member states will continue similarly", he said.
"But, we will not establish a relation with the Republic of Cyprus just because some countries call it EU president", Bagis alleged.
"If Greek Cypriot administration calls on us to open a new chapter, we will give a date after the presidency of Greek Cypriots", said Bagis.
He added that EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule would visit Ankara on May 17.
 Babacan stated that Turkey will not attend meetings to be chaired by the Republic of Cyprus in the EUAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.04.12) reports that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey would not attend the meetings which would be chaired by the Republic of Cyprus in the EU.
"As Turkey does not recognize Greek Cypriot administration as a country, it will not attend the political meetings which will be chaired by it in the EU", said Babacan who spoke at a conference in Boston on Friday.
"However, we will pursue our cooperation with the EU institutions on technical level", Babacan said and added: "We will suspend our interaction on political level only for six months".
 Ertugruloglu will participate in Crans Montana Forum in BakuTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (29.04.12) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, leader of the Democracy and Trust Party (DGP), will participate in Crans Montana Forum, which will be held in the Azeri capital of Baku between 28 June and 1 July, 2012. According to a statement issued by the party, Ertugruloglu was invited as "official guest" by the administrators of the Forum and the Azeri authorities. The Forum is described as one of the most important economic forums of the world.
 The occupancy of the small hotels in occupied Cyprus reached 90% in 2011Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (30.04.12) reports that self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the breakaway regime, Unal Ustel has said that in 2011 the occupancy rate of the small hotels in the occupied area of Cyprus reached 90% for the first time since 1974. Addressing a festival for "tourism and culture" held in occupied Keryneia during the weekend, Ustel said that except increasing the number of tourists, the occupancy rate and the number of those who stay overnight at the hotels, they also aim at taking market share from various markets. He noted that they have prepared a plan for this and in 2011they achieved raising the numbers in the sector to their highest level.
Ustel noted that they brought tourists from 14 European countries to the occupied part of the island in 2011 and added that this year their target is to increase the number of these countries to 19. He noted that they launched charted flights in February 2012 and they plan to continue these flights in 2013 as well.
 The occupation regime has become "a crime paradise"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (29.04.12) reports that the lack of inspection at the illegal ports and airports in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, the irresponsibility of the so-called officials, and the out of control increase of the population, had as a result the levels of crime to be increased in the breakaway regime.
The paper writes that while the "officials" were saying that they wanted to transform the breakaway regime into a "tourism paradise", the area has been transformed into a "crime and fear paradise", due to the robberies, the cheatings, the drug trafficking and the rapes which are taking place.
 "Turkey blocks EU from NATO summit unless OIC also attends"Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (30.04.12) reports the following:
"Ankara says it will block EU participation in an upcoming NATO summit unless the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is also allowed to be present.
EU member states had proposed participation by some of the top EU bureaucrats, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, who are now unsure whether they will be able to attend the summit taking in Chicago on May 20-21 as representatives of the union due to the objections from Turkey, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday. Raising the EU's commitment to a NATO peace mission in Afghanistan, EU member countries including France had argued that the EU should be represented, while Turkey is maintaining that there should only be member state participation in the summit, the WSJ claimed.
'If non-NATO members will also participate, the OIC should be represented [in the Chicago summit] first and foremost,' Turkish diplomatic sources said in explaining Ankara's position, speaking to Today's Zaman on Sunday. The sources claimed that the OIC's commitment exceeded the EU contribution in the Afghanistan peace mission.
The EU has exerted efforts for the reconstruction and democratization of Afghanistan in preparation for the post-NATO-mission period in the country. The EU launched a rule of law mission (EUPOL) under the banner of the European Security and Defence Program (ESDP) in June 2007. The union has also initiated a program for justice reform and is helping to fund civilian projects in NATO-run Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs).
Meanwhile, the OIC, a bloc of 56 countries, is also taking a growing interest in the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and in 2010 it accepted a proposal by member states Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to appoint an OIC permanent representative for Afghanistan.
The US administration has joined the push for greater OIC involvement in Afghanistan for the last couple of years, which would bring benefits in efforts towards reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The Turkish diplomatic sources also noted that the different proposals coming from NATO members on who will participate, are still being discussed and there is not an ultimate decision yet. They added that there are also objections from other non-EU NATO members to the proposed EU participation in the Chicago summit.
The background to Turkey's objection to EU participation in NATO activities involves a more long-standing dispute. Greek Cyprus, representing the entire island as a full member of the EU, blocks Turkish participation in European defence institutions such as the European Defence Agency (EDA). Turkey, a NATO member, has responded by obstructing the EU's integration in NATO activities.
Turkey has also blocked Israel's participation in the summit, in a sign of Turkey's determination to prevent its new foe from cooperating with the alliance following a deadly ship raid.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said during a NATO meeting in Brussels on April that Turkey will not allow Israel, a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program including seven non-NATO nations, to take part in the alliance's new 'Partnership Cooperation Menu (PCM).
Turkish-Israeli relations worsened in May 2010 and have remained strained since then after Israeli naval commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara, a ship carrying humanitarian aid to breach Israel's Gaza blockade, killing nine Turkish civilians.
Turkey insists that NATO-Israel relations cannot be restored until Turkey-Israel relations are normalized."
 "Young diplomats from 77 countries convene for training in Turkey"Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (30.04.12) reports that seventy-seven young diplomats from 77 countries have been staying in Turkey for a month as part of the International Young Diplomats Training Program sponsored by the Foreign Ministry.
This is the 18th time that the program is held and the paper writes that while it attracted limited participation in previous years, it has become an extensive one this year "due to the rise of Turkish foreign policy on the international stage", the paper alleged. The young diplomats have become familiar with Turkish foreign policy and Turkish culture and also visited various Turkish cities.
According to the paper, participation from African and Latin American countries, as well as from the Middle East and Central Asia, has been particularly huge. The purpose of the program is to inform diplomats about Turkish foreign policy, history, culture and society, and to promote Turkey's image through an impressive experience. To this end, the Turkish foreign ministry seeks to make sure that the diplomats become acquainted with Turkey and have a positive image of it, so they can serve as the elements of Turkey's soft power in the long run.
Today's Zaman, further reports: "The program will be of extreme help, in the long term, both for Turkey and the participants. The alumni will remain in contact with the ministry, which will send them messages on their special occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries and promotions, to remind them of Turkey's friendship. These young diplomats, who have become familiar with Turkey's policies and culture, will act as friends of Turkey in the world. In a sense, they will serve as the voluntary envoys of Turkey in 77 countries."
 Turkey to support Bosnia's NATO membershipAnkara Anatolia news agency (27.04.12) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Turkey would continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina's bid to join NATO.
Ministry spokesperson Selcuk Unal said Turkey would continue to exert efforts for inclusion of Bosnia and Herzegovina in NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP), ahead of and during NATO's Chicago Summit.
"A meeting took place in Brussels, on the sidelines of NATO foreign and defence ministers meeting (April 18-19, 2012), with participation of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as well as foreign ministers of Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and Norway and representatives of the United States, Italy and Greece upon Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov's invitation in order to support Bosnia and Herzegovina's NATO membership," Unal told AA correspondent.
Unal said participants reaffirmed support to Bosnia and Herzegovina's NATO membership during the meeting.
"Participants wished that Bosnia and Herzegovina's MAP process would actually begin this September and agreed to exert efforts to support the membership ahead of and during NATO Chicago Summit due in May," Unal also said.
 "The 2007 Military Memorandum expected to be 'Next Step' in coup probes"Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (26.04.12) published the following article regarding the next wave of arrest in Turkey on the 2007 Military Memorandum".
"Turkey, which is now confronting the coups and coup attempts of its recent history, has the April 27, 2007 military memorandum next to face up to, which many say was a "direct intervention in politics" and hence its masterminds should clearly be brought to trial.
Friday (TR. NOTE: The 27th of April) marks the fifth anniversary of the release of this memorandum, popularly known as the "midnight memorandum" or "e-memo," against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) at the culmination of a power crisis between the government and the military over the election of the country's new president in 2007.
Published online at www.tsk.tr close to midnight on the 27th, the statement said the military was following the debate over secularism in the presidential election with "concern" and would "openly display its position and attitude when it becomes necessary.
The April 27 statement came amid a political crisis over the election of the country's president in 2007 as the Republican People's Party (CHP) threatened to walk out of Parliament if the AK Party presidential nominee's spouse, continued to wear the Islamic headscarf.
In late April 2007, the AK Party announced that then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, whose wife wears a headscarf, was its presidential nominee. Shortly after that a former prosecutor put forward an idea to the media based on his interpretation of the Constitution, claiming the parliamentary quorum for a presidential election was 367. The AK Party held 361 seats in Parliament and Gul received 361 votes from his party's deputies in the first round of voting.
The CHP appealed the vote's result at the Constitutional Court, which cancelled the first round of the vote. But on April 27 at 11:17 p.m., before the court had even announced its decision, the e-memorandum was posted on the General Staff's website.
Adnan Tanriverdi, president of the Advocates of Justice Association (ASDER), told Today's Zaman that the April 27 memorandum was an open military intervention in politics to deadlock the presidential election process in 2007, hence the actors behind it have to be prosecuted.
He said that if the government had not stood firm against the memorandum, many things might be different in Turkey today.
In its response on April 28, the government stressed that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were an institution at the command of the government. "It is regrettable that there were utterly incorrect statements about the relationship between the government and the General Staff. All of our state institutions should be more sensitive and careful," the government said.
"In addition to the government's stance against the memorandum, the start of the trial of coup plotters following the 2007 general elections became the first steps taken to eliminate military tutelage system in Turkey, which is gradually allowing civilian authorities to take the control of state institutions," he said.
The AK Party received 47 percent of the vote in the 2007 general election, which were called early to resolve the deadlock over the election of the new president. Gul was elected president by Parliament following the same election.
According to Tanriverdi, the masterminds of the April 27 statements will sooner or later be brought to trial, and if this does not turn out to be the case, prosecutors will not have fulfilled their duties.
"It should not be forgotten that the TSK is a side in this debate and a staunch defender of secularism," the statement said. "The Turkish Armed Forces are against those debates ... and will display their position and attitudes when it becomes necessary. No one should doubt that."
The General Staff's statement cited as examples a series of events, such as an attempt in Ankara to hold a Quran reading competition on April 23, National Sovereignty and Children's Day. Undeterred, the AK Party government gave an equally has she response to the statement.
In February, the Ankara Specially Authorized Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the April 27 memorandum upon receiving dozens of criminal complaints about the notorious statement from throughout Turkey. The office compiled all the complaints in Ankara. The prosecutor overseeing the probe is Specially Authorized Prosecutor Kemal Cetin, who is also conducting an ongoing investigation into the Sept. 12, 1980 coup d'etat, the two surviving leaders of which were brought to trial in early April in a landmark move.
The prosecutor is expected soon to summon then-Chief of General Staff retired Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, who admitted in 2009 to having written the e-memorandum, and other force commanders, in charge at the time, to testify as part of the investigation. Cetin is also expected to investigate the background of the release of the e-memo as well as the masterminds behind the statement.
According to retired military judge Umit Kardas, the April 27 memorandum was a clear and direct intervention in politics which prevented the election of the president, so it should definitely be investigated to prevent similar military attempts in the future.
"Buyukanit already admitted having written the memorandum. So, an investigation needs to be launched against him. Just as coups and coup attempts since 1980 are being investigated, those behind the April 27 memorandum will also be investigated," he said.
In addition to the investigation of the 1980 military coup, Turkish prosecutors are currently investigating the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military intervention, widely known as a "postmodern coup," when the military forced a coalition government led by the now-defunct conservative Welfare Party (RP) to resign on the grounds that there was rising religious fundamentalism in the country. Major actors of the coup, including retired generals and active-duty military officers, have been put behind bars over the past several weeks for their role in the coup.
When asked about the remarks of the prime minister, who last year said he does not accept that the April 27 statement was a memorandum, Kardas said he does not agree with the prime minister. "If it wasn't a memorandum, why did the government call for elections then?" he asked.
In a statement last June, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "I don't accept the statement as a memorandum. I just see it as the approach of the General Staff at the time. If you want to take it as a military memo, then by all means do so, but we did respond correctly and in the right way the following day, and we were done with it. This shows how much politics has transformed in Turkey, and that is what makes the AK Party special."
Retired Supreme Court of Appeals Public Prosecutor Ahmet Gundel said he believes the April 27 memorandum should definitely be prosecuted but added that people should not expect its prosecution to be similar to the Sept. 12 or Feb. 28 coup investigations.
"April 27 was a memorandum released by then-Chief of General Staff and a group of other commanders. No armed force was used or there was no planning behind it, contrary to the cases in the Sept. 12 and Feb. 28 coups. So, there is no need for police searches or arrests like have been done in other coup investigations," Gundel said, adding that the masterminds of the statement could be tried in accordance with the military penal code for abuse of power and expressing a political opinion.
In a landmark move, the statement was removed from the General Staff's website last August after remaining on the website for years despite long being a target of criticism by many in Turkey."
 Turkish town bans alcohol for "public good"Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.04.12) reports that the inner Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar has banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places, citing the interests of the "public good".
The ban, the first of its kind in Turkey, followed a statement by the Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag on fighting against alcohol as well as smoking.
The ban forbids the sale and consumption alcohol in public places, including parks, picnic areas, gardens, bus stations, streets, gravesites, bridges, places of worship, cultural and historical sites and abandoned buildings.
Drinking alcohol in all kinds of vehicles, including public transportation, is also banned.
Explaining the reason for the decision, the Afyonkarahisar Governor's Office said the ban was designed to "ensure peace and security within the city's borders and prevent crimes."
"Alcohol consumers frequently occupy a number of places in the city, causing unrest in these areas and traffic accidents," the governor's office said. "This regulation was formed to keep the public order intact within the city and to prevent traffic accidents from occurring."
Those who violate the ordinance can be assessed a fine of 82 Turkish Liras.
 European Bank Signs Second Major Wind Power Deal Worth 135 Million EuroTurkish daily Hurriyet News (28.04.12) published the following article":
"The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which has lent 1.6 billion Euros to Turkey, has just signed a new deal with Sabanci Holding and Verbund International's Enerjisa for a major wind energy project .
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a second major wind power deal in Turkey for 135 million Euros on April 26 with Sabanci Holding and Verbund International's Enerjisa.
The vice president for operational policies at the EBRD, Jan Fischer, spoke to the Hurriyet Daily News in an interview during his two-day visit to Turkey on April 24-25 for the "Gender and Employment Conference" in Istanbul, which was hosted by the EBRD. "The initial wind farm project was very successful," Fischer said in the interview.
The EBRD's first project in Turkey was a 45 million euro loan for a wind farm project in the southern province of Osmaniye in 2009. The success of this prompted the EBRD to consider a second similar project. The second wind farm, to be constructed in the western province of Balikesir, will consist of 52 wind turbines and will have a generation capacity of 142.5 megawatts. Upon its completion, expected in the second half of 2012, the Enerjisa wind farm will become Turkey's largest wind farm to date, increasing Turkey's current installed wind generation capacity of around 1.8 GW by approximately 8 percent.
Promoting energy efficiency and developing sustainable energy is part of the EBRD's new strategy for Turkey, which was signed one week ago. Other key areas of the strategy include the development of micro and small to medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a particular emphasis on agri-businesses, and companies operating in Turkey's developing regions.
The EBRD will also continue to promote market approaches towards investment in municipal infrastructure and support the banking sector through credit lines for on-lending to MSMES. Within this framework, however, Fischer stressed the EBRD's commitment to gender issues. In particular, he explained that the EBRD was committed to two goals: fostering the participation of women in the workforce and protecting women from violence.
With this in mind, the EBRD has lent $150 million towards the privatization of IDO, Istanbul's ferry firm that also operates to other provinces. "With this project we plan to ensure that more females are employed at IDO, which has traditionally been more of a boys' club," said Sevki Acuner, Deputy Director of the EBRD office in Turkey. The EBRD is also working with Turkey's Garanti Bank on gender-equality projects, Acuner explained.
The EBRD has loaned 1.6 billion Euros to Turkey in the past three years, and invested 890 million Euros in 2011 alone, Fischer said. Turkey, Russia and the Ukraine are among the EBRD's most significant targets. It is also branching out to invest in the Arab Spring countries of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan, and will be using its experiences in Turkey as a benchmark, added Fischer.
The EBRD will open its second office in Turkey's capital city of Ankara on May 30 to facilitate its activities here, as part of the new country strategy. The current EBRD office, established three years ago, is located in Istanbul. "As part of the EBRD's commitment to the country, we plan to hold our 2013 annual May meeting in Turkey," said Fischer.
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