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2015 Turkey’s parliamentary elections - Türkiye Millet Vekili Seçimi

All political parties entering Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 7 submitted their candidate lists to the Supreme Election Board (YSK Yüksek Seçim Kurulu) on April 7.

Turkey is a parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system. Major parties are defined as political parties that received more than 10% of the votes in the latest general election and/or represented in parliament. Minor parties are defined as political parties that have fulfilled the requirements of the Supreme Election Committee (Yüksek Seçim Kurulu in Turkish, abbreviated as YSK)

 The main Turkish Political Parties are:

Justice and Development Party
Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi AKP

Ahmet Davutoğlu

 Republican People's Party
Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi CHP

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Nationalist Movement Party
Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi MHP

Devlet Bahçeli

Peoples' Democratic Party
Halkların Demokratik Partisi HDP

Selahattin Demirtaş
Figen Yüksekdağ

 Here is an article by MURAT YETKİN, the writer of Hurriyet, Turkish Daily news:

1.            Preparing those lists was a tough job for all parties. There are a few indicators that suggest this:
 The Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). HDP has submitted its candidates under its own banner. This is a change from having independent candidates join together under parliament’s roof after being elected, in order to overcome the unfair 10 percent election threshold, as the HDP’s predecessor parties used to do. Challenging the threshold was something promised months ago by HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş.

 If they manage to do so, even if other opposition parties are not able to increase their votes, it would be practically impossible for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) alone to secure the majority needed to vote on a new constitution based on a strong presidential model with weak checks-and-balances, as President Tayyip Erdoğan desires. This factor is actually the most exciting part of the Turkish elections, since it is about a systemic change in the country. The HDP is targeting votes from socialist and liberal Turks who used to vote for minor parties, as well as conservative Kurds who vote for the AK Parti.

2- The social democratic main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has carried out the most transparent candidate listing method of all parties. Its leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, decided to take hold primary elections - a practice that has been forgotten by all parties in Turkey for a number of years - for some two-thirds of the CHP’s candidates. The rest were determined by Kılıçdaroğlu himself through consultations with the CHP party assembly, which left some executive committee members and MPs out of the candidate list, (the renewal rate seems to be just over 60 percent). There are interesting names among the new names, such as Selina Uzunöz Doğan, an Armenian-Turk, as the joint candidate of the non-Muslim minorities’ foundation for their properties. The CHP has also allocated all number one positions in key big cities to female candidates, as a positive-discrimination act, in order to have as many women MPs as possible in the next term. The CHP is aiming to increase its votes from 25-26 percent to 30 percent.

3- The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) seemed to have the most opaque and conservative method among all parties in determining its candidates. Its leader, Devlet Bahçeli, has kept all 15 executive committee members as candidates in key places. The MHP has some surprise names in its list for the June 7 elections, such as Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the former Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) and also the candidate supported by the MHP in the 2014 presidential elections, together with the CHP. Durmuş Yılmaz, the ex-Central Bank governor and the economic advisor of former president Abdullah Gül, is also on the MHP list. With such center-right names on its list, the MHP aims to regain some of its grassroots taken by the AK Parti, as well as by using reactions against the government’s ongoing peace process dialogue with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The MHP will be happy to maintain around 15 percent of the votes.

4- The candidate-determining process within the AK Parti was so problematic and secretive that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reportedly asked all members of the committee to take an oath to tell anybody about their work. The reason for this were the media reports about who had more influence on the list: Davutoğlu as the chairman of the party, or Erdoğan as the natural leader of it, despite constitutional restrictions. It seems that the party is going to renew nearly half of its MPs in parliament. Erdoğan has demanded a landslide win for the AK Parti in order to secure his super-presidency model through a constitutional change after the elections. There is little doubt the AK Parti is going to be the winning party in the June 7 elections, but it will be very difficult for AK Parti to secure a constitutional majority, especially if the HDP gets into parliament. The AK Parti’s reign as a single-party government will only be in jeopardy if the HDP exceeds the 10 percent hurdle and the CHP and the MHP are able to significantly increase their votes.

The parties are expected to start their election campaigns by the end of this week. April/08/2015

 Istanbul Stock Exchange last year’s best instrument             January/02/2013 

The Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) gained 52.55 percent in 2012, surpassing other investment tools in a year when the Turkish Lira also appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB), which recently became “Borsa Istanbul” after a recent change in the law, was crowned as the most lucrative investment instrument with the 52.55 percent rise that leveraged 1530 at the end of the year liras for investors’ initial 1000 liras.

Compared to the end point of 2011, which was 51,266.62, the bourse reached its record high by closing 2012 at 78,208.44, representing one the largest yearly increases in the world.

The main sources of the rise were the spill-over of the global excess liquidity and Fitch’s decision to upgrade Turkey to investment grade, which is likely to boost the Turkish economy.

Bonds also gain

Treasury bonds gaining 11.48 percent followed the bourse, while the deposit premium remained at a 10 percent average. Since gold’s returns were not as spectacular as in the past few years and remained steady, investors lost against inflation. However, in global markets gold bounced to $1,660 per ounce, a gain of more than 6 percent. Because the dollar depreciated against the lira, the gram price of gold stayed almost unchanged at 95.1 liras compared to the beginning of the year.

Foreign exchange investors were also disappointed this year. The U.S. dollar fell below 1.79 liras with a 5.4 percent loss, while the euro dropped 4 percent to 2.35 liras.

Meanwhile, the size of the Turkish financial sector has almost tripled in five years, rising to 2.148 trillion liras in 2012, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency has revealed. During the period, the size of Turkish banks grew by around 2.5 times to reach 1.308 billion liras, while U.S and European banks grew only slightly.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

 

Turkey's Antalya one of world's top five destinations

The top five destinations in the world are Paris, London, New York, Mediterranean resort Antalya, Turkey, and Singapore, the United Nations World Tourism Organization said.

While the United States and France remain the two largest destinations for world travel, experts say much of the explosive growth in tourism has been to countries such as Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and the Ivory Coast, which were off the world tourism map a decade ago.

A record 1 billion people will travel across an international border as a tourist in 2012, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

 That means that one in seven people on the planet will participate in world traveling this year, an activity that just a few decades ago was exclusively for the wealthy. The reasons for the upswing range from prosperity in developing countries like China to a perception of a more peaceful world.

The London-based council, whose members include executives of travel companies, compiles global travel data including international airport traffic and visa records. It calculates that the 1 billionth tourist will cross an international boundary on Dec. 13.

 "This is an astounding milestone," David Scowsill, president of the council, said in a telephone interview. "There is an inexorable growth in the number of people who want to travel around the world."

While evidence of leisure travel can be traced to ancient Babylon, it began to grow swiftly after World War Two. For the U.S. middle class, it became routine after airline deregulation began in the late 1970s when airlines were forced to compete on prices, said David Bojanic, a professor of tourism studies at the University of Texas San Antonio.

The inflation-adjusted cost of a plane ticket from New York to London today is about one-fourth what it was in 1960, he said.

Several factors are responsible for the boom in world travel, including prosperity that has lifted tens of millions of people in Asia from poverty into the middle class, whetting their desire to use their new wealth to travel.

The number of people traveling internationally from China, for instance, has jumped from 58 million in 2010 to 72 million this year, Scowsill said.

 Another factor is the perception that the world is a more peaceful place, even though many regional conflicts continue, said David Cortright, director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame.

December/07/2012

Source: Hurriyetdailynews –

Turks spend more on lottery games                 November/26/2012

Turks spent 1.13 billion Turkish Liras on lottery tickets in the first nine months of the year, a 6.5 percent increase from the same period in 2011. Nearly 570 million liras of this sum were distributed as lottery prizes.

State-run lotteries (It’s called Milli Piyango İdaresi” provided 479 million liras toward public finances, according to official data gathered by Anatolia news agency. This accounted for 201.8 million liras for the Treasury in value added taxes. The rest was shared by a group of state bodies involved in the defense industry, tourism and child welfare, as well as the Olympic Games bid committee.

The largest financial increase was seen in a scratch-card game, the tickets of which are very cheap and the prizes granted immediately. Revenues from this particular game increased 71.9 percent to over 115.17 million liras in the first nine months.

These figures do not include “iddaa,” the sole legal sports gambling game.
Around 50 new gambling points were opened in Bulgaria, attracting tourists from a group of countries including Turkey, according to data provided by the neighboring country’s gambling commission. There are 844 locations where people gamble or play lucky-draws in the country of 7.5 million people. Only 26 of these are casinos; others are mostly gambling saloons.

Source: Hurriyetdailynews –

Milli Piyango Bilet Loto şans oyunları haskkında

 

No. 1 Turkey Holiday Specialist Reveals Top 5 Turkey Holiday Things to Do List

Source: PRWeb –(PRWEB) October 29, 2012

Turkey holidays are reknowned for more than just sun, sea and sand. Whilst most holidaymakers are happy to spend the majority of their time on Turkey holidays soaking up endless amounts of sun by the pool or on the beach.
Others may wish to get out and about and sample the endless of choice of activities that Turkey has to offer.

With this in mind the No.1 Turkey holiday specialist has compiled a quick fire list of top 5 things to do whilst holidaying in Turkey.

Have a Turkish bath

A ‘Turkish bath’ is a method of cleansing and relaxation that became popular during the Victorian era. The process involves taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna, but it is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.

A person taking a Turkish bath first relaxes in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely.

Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.

A Turkish bath is a great way to relax and unwind whilst on holiday in Turkey.

Walk on a magic carpet

No trip to Turkey would be complete without without some serious magic carpet action.

Shops and bazaars sell some of the most beautiful carpets that come in all shapes, sizes and designs. Get ready to barter with the sellers and drink endless cups of Turkish tea whilst negotiating on an agreed price for your carpet.

Buying a carpet is a very interesting experience as it offers an opportunity to observe the real workmanship of the work that goes into producing the carpets which have a deep cultural and historical connection with the Middle East.

Shopping in bazaars

A trip to a Turkish bazaar offers a feast and colours and bags of bargains. Turkey is well known as the land of genuine fakes and presents ample opportunities to shop for leather goods and other designer clothing.

Bazaars are set up in almost every district on different days of the week. In addition to fresh vegetables and fruit, clothing, decorative accessories, antiques, stationery and many other things are sold at very reasonable prices.

The bazaars are open from 09:00 until dark. Recently, many stands have started to offer credit card facilities, so there is no excuse for visitors not to buy!

Take a boat cruise

Sampling Turkey by sea is real adventure and a chance to sample an array of breathtakingly beautiful bays and coves.

A boat cruise in Turkey also offers lots of fun, lovely scenery, opportunities to swim, snorkel and sun bathe.

Holidays in Marmaris provide ample opportunities to the sample boat cruises that sail around the legendary five bay of Marmaris.

Boat tours also serve up a hearty lunch and refreshments throughout the day. They also stop off for swimming and fish feeding breaks.

Holidays in Oludeniz also provide a wide choice of boat trips to the famous Blue Lagoon and also to sample the beauty of Butterfly Valley nestled in the heart of Faralaya.

Discovered by hippies in 1990s when their much beloved Blue Lagoon was lost to mass tourism, this 250 metres to 1 km canyon itself is following the steps of the Lagoon nowadays with much more day-trippers than it was a decade ago. Its name comes from a large swarm of endemic butterflies, the habitat of which is near the waterfalls on the canyon wall furthest from the sea.

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Stuart Kerr
Holidaymate - US