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Turkey\'s Pamukbank is put up for sale

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Turkey on Wednesday put up for sale Pamukbank, the country\'s seventh largest bank, three days after resolving a dispute with its former owner that had threatened the country\'s $16bn funding agreement with the International Monetary Fund. The deal ending the dispute has also been criticised by the IMF for being too soft on the Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, the bank\'s former owner. But some financial analysts argued that the deal was probably the best of a bad job.
The deal with the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) gave Mr Karamehmet 15 years to repay $6.2bn owed to Pamukbank, which was confiscated from him eight months ago, and to Yapi Kredi, Pamukbank\'s bigger sister bank which becomes solvent with the accord rescheduling group loans.
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Turkey\'s Erdogan steels MPs for looming Iraq war

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BusinessANKARA, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday braced deputies for what could be an unpalatable vote this week to open bases to U.S. forces, saying cooperation now could give Turkey a say in the make-up of any post-war Iraq.
NATO ally Turkey\'s close ties with Washington, which could provide cash to Turkey to offset any losses, make permission likely for U.S. troops to forge a northern front against Iraq from Turkey, despite fears of a fallout at home from any war.
Public opinion against an attack on a fellow Muslim nation is running strong, with surveys showing four out of five Turks opposed to strikes.
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Turkish Businessmen Make Business Connection Worth Of Usd 200-250 Million In Syria

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BusinessDAMASCUS - Turkish businessmen, who accompany State Minister Kursad Tuzmen in his visit to Syria, made business connections worth of 200-250 million U.S. dollars in Syria.
About 300 Turkish businessmen continued to hold bilateral talks with Syrian businessmen on Sunday. Turkish businessmen explained their demands and problems during meetings with some Syrian ministers.
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Syria and Turkey to boost trade

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BusinessDAMASCUS: Syria and Turkey agreed yesterday to boost bilateral trade in 2003 and discussed plans for a free trade zone, during a visit by Turkey\'s state minister for foreign trade Kursat Tuzmen. \"Investment opportunities in Syria are promising and numerous,\" Syrian Economy Minister Ghassan Rifai told a gathering of 300 Syrian and Turkish businessmen.
\"I invite you to invest and work in Syria where the constitution guarantees your work,\" he added. The two countries aim to boost trade exchanges in 2003 to $1.5 billion, up from the $800 million traded in 2001, Syrian businessmen said.

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Yakis: Turkey Targets To Finish Preparations For Fulfillment Of Copenhagen Criteria At The End Of 2003

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BusinessANKARA - Turkey-the European Union (EU) Troika meeting started at Ankara\'s State Guest House on Friday.
Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis; Foreign Minister George Papandreou of Greece, the current term president of the EU; Prime Minister Franco Frattini of Italy, the next term president of the EU; EU Commissioner Guenter Verheugen and high-level diplomats are attending the meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, Foreign Minister Yakis said, \'\'Turkey targets to complete preparations for fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria at the end of 2003 instead of 2004.\'\' The EU Troika convenes at the ministerial level in Turkey for the first time. Under the relations between Turkey and the EU, Turkey\'s reform process and the EU\'s financial assistance to Turkey will be taken up at the meeting. During the meeting, a joint mechanism is planned to be established to follow the reform process in Turkey.
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Pak-Turkish Cooperation In Railways

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BusinessISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Feb 01 (PNS) - Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan, Hasan Kemal Gur called on Minister for Railways, Ghous Bux Khan Mehar here on Friday and discussed further promotion of Pak- Turkish cooperation in various fields particularly in Railways sector. The Minister, said the government desires to strengthen relations with Muslim countries.
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Turkey Repays Usd 589.54 Million In Foreign

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BusinessANKARA - Turkey repaid a total of 589.54 million U.S. dollars in external debt between January 1-29, 2003.
The Central Bank data show that the Treasury repaid 469.90 million U.S. dollars; the Central Bank repaid 19.60 million U.S. dollars; and the administrations with general and consolidated budget paid the remaining 38.47 million U.S. dollars.
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Turkey To Raise \'03 Budget Surplus Target Above IMF Level

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BusinessISTANBUL (Dow Jones)--Turkey will raise its 2003 primary budget surplus target above the International Monetary Fund\'s goal of 6.5% of gross national product, deputy prime minister Abdullatif Sener said late Tuesday. The IMF set an annual 6.5% surplus target, which is a key fiscal prudence indicator, for Turkey in 2002 and 2003. However, Turkey failed to achieve this target in 2002, and analysts and the IMF are skeptical whether it can be achieved in 2003.
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Soros: Turkey Is A Very Attractive Country To Make Investments

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BusinessDAVOS - Famous speculator George Soros said on Tuesday that in his opinion, Turkey was a country progressing on the road to European Union (EU) membership and a very attractive country to make investments. Soros, who is in Davos for World Economic Forum, told A.A correspondent that he was following developments regarding Turkish economy closely. The government was on the right track, Soros said.
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Turkish trade deficit up 39.6%

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BusinessANKARA Turkey, which is emerging from recession, saw its trade deficit increase by 39.6% in the first 11 months of last year, the state statistics institute said on Tuesday. The trade gap widened to $12.963-billion from $9.284-billion in the same period in 2001, the institute said. Imports rose by 17.9% to $44.756-billion, while exports climbed by 10.9% to $31.792-billion in the same period, the institute said.
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