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ISTANBUL

President Arif Alvi attends as Turkey’s Erdogan opens new Istanbul airport

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday opened Istanbul's new international airport, which his government says will eventually become the world's largest. "The new airport will be the pride of our country and an example to the world," Erdogan said at a lavish opening ceremony featuring several heads of state including president of Pakistan Arif Alvi. President Arif Alvi is in Turkey on three-day official visit on the invitation of Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At the inauguration…

Saudi Arabia admits critic Khashoggi killed in Istanbul consulate

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia on Saturday admitted that critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed during a "brawl" inside its Istanbul consulate, an explanation that President Donald Trump said he found credible but failed to convince top US lawmakers. The kingdom announced the arrest of 18 Saudis in connection with their probe and the sacking of two top officials linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has faced mounting pressure over the journalist's disappearance. Khashoggi, a critic of the Islamic petro-state's powerful…

Ten years jail sought for taxi driver over ‘fraud’ ride

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday requested a prison sentence of up to 10 years for an Istanbul taxi driver who needlessly took a passenger from one side of the city to the other, causing the tourist to miss a flight. The Istanbul driver is accused of deliberately taking the Saudi tourist from the Asian side of the city to the European side and back again rather than directly to Istanbul's second international airport, state broadcaster TRT Haber said. Both the Kadikoy district, where the passenger was picked…

Istanbul’s back alleys and high streets teem with cats

ISTANBUL: In Istanbul’s narrow backstreets, cats perch on rooftops and window sills, crouch on doorsteps and rest on nearly every corner. Whether lounging in sunlight, grooming themselves or scampering into shops in search of food, cats have become an inseparable part of neighborhood life in Europe’s biggest city. They are so ubiquitous that no one bats an eye at a cat padding across the lobby of a high-rise office building, or when one curls up to sleep on a nearby barstool. Shop owners and locals often know their…

Istanbul tightens New Year security, dozens arrested ahead of attack anniversary

ISTANBUL: Turkey will more than double the number of police officers on duty in Istanbul to 37,000 and ban public celebrations in key districts on New Year’s Eve for security reasons, a year after a gunman killed 39 people in a nightclub, officials said. State media said police had also detained dozens of people for suspected membership of Islamic State (IS) though the arrests were not linked to New Year security preparations. On New Year’s Eve a year ago, a man with an assault rifle shot dead Turks and visitors from…

Istanbul changes street names ‘to remove Gulen links’

ISTANBUL: Turkey's largest city Istanbul has resolved to change the names of almost 200 streets in a mass renaming campaign, largely to remove any association with the alleged mastermind of the 2016 failed coup Fethullah Gulen, a report said on Thursday. The move was agreed by the city's municipal council, the state-run Anadolu news agency said. Turkey accuses Gulen of plotting the failed coup in July 2016 aimed at unseating President Tayyip Erdogan. Gulen, an Islamic preacher based in the United States, denies the…

Palestinian president in Cairo, Istanbul to rally region over Jerusalem

CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday intensified efforts to rally Middle Eastern countries against US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, setting up talks with Arab leaders beginning in Cairo. Abbas will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, which has been a key broker in past peace talks with Israel and between fighting Palestinian factions, before heading for Istanbul to give a speech, his office said. Arab states condemned US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision last week,…

Turkish ‘Microangelo’ tells Istanbul’s tale on miniature objects

ANKARA: Following his morning stroll around Istanbul’s medieval Galata tower, Hasan Kale walks into a bulk food market to examine the goods that will make up his next canvas. “These are the ones I was looking for,” Kale says excitedly, as he scoops up a handful of pumpkin seeds. The 57-year-old’s morning routine may not stand out at first glance, but his motive does. At home, once Kale pours his freshly bought pumpkin seeds on his table, the adventure begins. Read More: Turkish ice cream vendor trolls Aamir Khan…

Abbasi urges D-8 countries to focus on development, prosperity of people

ISTANBUL: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has urged the D-8 countries to focus on development, progress and prosperity of the people of the member countries. PM Abbasi was addressing the ninth summit of the organization at Istanbul in Turkey on Friday. He expressed the confidence that the group would continue its journey along the path of more robust mutual economic cooperation. He also expressed Pakistan's desire that the member countries should have stronger voice at international level. He appreciated the…