Business as usual in Turkey as economy “unaffected” by coup
Turkey’s economy has remained unaffected by July’s coup attempt, according to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Yildrim announced that the amount of cash flowing into the country since the July 15 event had surpassed the amount that had exited during the same period by USD$1 billion.
“The coup attempt did not have even a shadow of effect on the economy,” the prime minister said.
He added that employment had reached an all-time high, demonstrating the economy’s buoyancy. “Our economy is now even stronger than it was before July 15.”
Cash reserves have also increased in this period, jumping from $120 billion to $126 billion, he said.
The government has improved conditions to attract outside investment, and there are also reforms in customs and company taxes on the way, he said.
“Life goes on. Trade and businesses continue, so we will keep shopping, we will keep trading.”
Historic Istanbul district set for new look
The square will be called Mimar Sinan Square, and will have an underground multi storey carpark, mall cafes and an exhibition hall as well as the existing Ottoman buildings and mosques, which will have pride of place on the square.
A fountain built in 1728 by Sultan Ahmed III, the Ottoman Sultan of the time, will also be part of the project.
The large bus terminal in the district, at Harem, will be moved and the terminal will become a recreational space.
The project is due to be completed in 2018.
Record takeoffs and landings for Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport
Istanbul Ataturk Airport set a new air traffic record on September 4 with 1454 takeoffs and landings.
The high level of activity breaks the previous record of 1443 takeoffs and landings was set on July 10, according to the airport authority.
A total of 141,269 people also entered and checked out from the airport on the same day, officials said.
Authorities say the airport is expected to top this record during the Eid al-Adha holiday, when thousands of Turks traditionally travel to their hometowns to see their families.
Russians set to return to Antalya
The first Russian charter plane taking tourists to Turkey since Moscow lifted travel restrictions has landed in Antalya.
Last month, Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev signed a decree lifting the charter flight ban.
The 309 passengers, who travelled from Moscow, touched down on September 2.
Russian tourist numbers plummeted following the ban, which was put in place after Ankara shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border last November. The loss in Russian tourists affected Turkey’s tourism sector, particularly in the Antalya region.
In June, President Erdogan wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin expressing his regret over the incident, which smoothed relations between the two countries and paved the way for the lifting of the ban.
Cetin Gurcun, secretary-general of the Turkish Travel Agencies Association, said the return of holidaymakers from Russia was a "major market." Up to 600,000 Russian tourists were expected this year - far cry from 2014 when 4.5 million Russians visited Turkey, he said.
Thanks to the lifting of the ban it’s expected that Turkey will receive as many as five million Russian tourists next year, Gurcun said.
500 bird rest platforms built in Istanbul
Around 500 bird rest platforms have been placed on power lines on Istanbul’s European side to help protect birds and cut down the number of collision-related power cuts.
Bedas, who distribute power to 4.7 million people on the European side, say that around a quarter of power breakdowns in autumn are due to bird collisions, so in a bid to protect the birds and prevent power cuts, the company spent $250,000 on building “bird rest facilities” on 500 transmission towers.
There are more than 70 million kilometres of powerlines on the planet, which cause tens of millions of birds to die each year after collisions.
During spring and autumn months, millions of birds pass over Istanbul, including 400,000 storks and 200,000 raptors. During the spring they move quickly, using a narrow air corridor. However, during the autumn they move slower, stopping regularly, which causes more collisions.
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