Turkey pulls out of EXPO 2015
Turkey is about to pull out of the 2015 Milan EXPO. The news was communicated to the Italian government last week – with the crisis that resulted in the demise of the Letta government in full swing – and came as a complete surprise, as Ankara had already signed the protocol of participation back in 2012. Il Sole 24 Ore, which reported the news today, reconstructed the scenario: Deputy Minister Ali Babacan, who was intercepted for comment, knew nothing of it, nor did Finance Minister Simsek or Vice President of the Turkish Industrial Federation TUSIAD Tayfun Bayazit. “How could this happen?” read the headlines of Hurriyet. “No reason was given for cancelling a contract already signed”, although it did underscore that Italy has supported Dubai’s candidacy for the 2020 EXPO after having initially promised its support for Izmir, Turkey’s top industrial and commercial district that had been in competition with Milan for 2015. Italian diplomacy, here represented by Ambassador Giampalo Scarante, is hoping that Turkey will reconsider. The letter announcing the withdrawal was a brief and terse and offered no explanation, and seems to have been authorised by Premier Tayyep Erdogan without consulting anyone else.
(Il Sole 24 Ore Radiocor)