January 27, 2010 / 6:40 AM / 9 years ago

PRESS DIGEST - Turkey - Jan 27

ISTANBUL, Jan 27 (Reuters) - These are the leading stories in the Turkish press on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

MILLIYET

- Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz says he does not know what will happen in talks with the International Monetary Fund on a new stand-by accord. Yilmaz will represent Turkey at the World Economic Forum in Davos while Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and other senior ministers stay away.

- The military General Staff told prosecutors in the so-called Ergenekon probe that alleged evidence of a coup plot that has been dubbed Sledgehammer was a “state secret” when questioned 11 months ago.

- People who used Mehmet Ali Agca, Pope John Paul II’s would-be assassin in 1981, may try to kill him now that he has left prison, says Hayri Kozakcioglu, a retired Istanbul police chief.

- Lender Sekerbank (SKBNK.IS) may prefer to hire non-smokers because employees who smoke lose too much time taking breaks, says Chairman Hasan Basri Goktan.

RADIKAL

- Erdogan agrees to meet with the head of the Turk-Is union after labour groups call for a general strike on Feb. 3 in support of tobacco workers. They began protesting in December against job losses after formerly state-owned Tekel was acquired by British American Tobacco (BATS.L) in 2008.

- A report from the Israeli Foreign Ministry says Erdogan has incited anti-Semitism.

HURRIYET

- Police break up a group of al Qaeda sympathisers that collected $130 per sheep during an Islamic holiday to send to Afghanistan. The group’s leader is thought to be a former columnist at the Islamist Vakit newspaper.

- Yilmaz says recent tax hikes will raise inflation to 6.9 percent this year.

ZAMAN

- Turkey wants guarantees from Armenia that diplomatic protocols agreed by the two governments will not be affected by a ruling from Armenia’s top court.

- The alleged anti-government Sledgehammer conspiracy dominates the political agenda at group meetings in parliament.

BIR GUN

- Forty-eight children in the southern city of Adana who were convicted of crimes including throwing stones at police and spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were sentenced to a combined 203 years in prison last year.

SABAH

- A court in the mainly Kurdish city of Batman sentences a 15-year-old girl to eight years in prison for shouting slogans in support of the PKK.

- State pipeline operator Botas will begin negotiations in Istanbul with Gazprom’s (GAZP.MM) export chief on revising a clause that requires Turkey to pay for Russian gas it doesn’t use.

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