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Turkey Letter: 10 December 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • Khashoggi murder: Saudis refuse Turkey extradition request
  • Iranian president seeks deeper ties with Ankara
  • Turkey’s top spy in U.S. to meet senators, intelligence officials: sources
  • Turkey, U.S. commit to accelerated progress on roadmap regarding Syria’s Manbij
  • S. prosecutor drops appeal to extend Turkish banker’s sentence: Anadolu
  • Trump told Erdogan he doesn’t want issues in sales of F-35 jets to Turkey: Turkish minister

Economy & Energy:

  • TÜSİAD President Erol Bilecik Reiterates Calls for Reforms
  • Erdogan’s growth pledge on the line as Turkish economy stumbles
  • Turkish Parliament kicks off budget discussions
  • Turkey’s 2018 budget deficit will be 72 billion Lira – minister
  • Erdogan says Turkey will hold Kanal Istanbul tender next year

Domestic Politics:

  • Turkey seeks 15-year prison sentence for prominent journalists
  • Over 250,000 irregular migrants held in Turkey in 2018: Minister
  • Main opposition CHP reveals names of mayoral candidates for 16 provinces
  • Turkish authorities seek arrest of journalist Dundar over 2013 protests

Foreign Policy

Khahoggi murder: Saudis refuse Turkey extradition request
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has ruled out extraditing to Turkey suspects in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Adel al-Jubeir said: “We do not extradite our citizens.” Just over a week ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded the extradition and on Wednesday a Turkish court issued arrest warrants.
BBC News, Khashoggi murder: Saudis refuse Turkey extradition request, 9 December 2018


Iranian president seeks deeper ties with Ankara
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Dec. 8 that they wanted to improve further relations with Turkey and the joint agreement by Ankara and Tehran to collaborate in numerous fields including banking and energy topics should be implemented faster.
Hurriyet, Iranian president seeks deeper ties with Ankara, 9 December 2018


Turkey’s top spy in U.S. to meet senators, intelligence officials: sources
Turkey’s head of intelligence has traveled to Washington to meet with U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials, sources said, in an apparent bid to improve ties with the Americans after a breakdown in the NATO allies’ relationship last summer.
Reuters, Turkey’s top spy in U.S. to meet senators, intelligence officials: sources, 7 December 2018


Turkey, U.S. commit to accelerated progress on roadmap regarding Syria’s Manbij
Turkey and the United States have agreed to speed up efforts to put in place an agreement on Syria’s Manbij by the end of the year, a working committee between the NATO allies said on Friday.
Reuters, Turkey, U.S. commit to accelerated progress on roadmap regarding Syria’s Manbij, 7 December 2018


U.S. prosecutor drops appeal to extend Turkish banker’s sentence: Anadolu
New York prosecutors have withdrawn an appeal to extend the sentence of a former executive at Turkey’s state-owned lender Halkbank, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
Reuters, U.S. prosecutor drops appeal to extend Turkish banker’s sentence: Anadolu, 6 December 2018


Trump told Erdogan he doesn’t want issues in sales of F-35 jets to Turkey: Turkish minister
U.S. President Donald Trump told Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan that he didn’t want any problems with the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
Reuters, Trump told Erdogan he doesn’t want issues in sales of F-35 jets to Turkey: Turkish minister, 5 December 2018


Economy & Energy

TÜSİAD President Erol Bilecik Reiterates Calls for Reforms
The President of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Erol Bilecik delivered opening remarks at the High Advisory Council meeting, which convened this morning in Ankara. The High Advisory Council is a biannual deliberative conference where the business world takes stock of domestic and global political and economic developments and offers suggestions to policy makers from a business perspective. The Minister of Education was also in attendance.
TÜSİAD-US, TÜSİAD President Erol Bilecik Reiterates Calls for Reforms, 7 December 2018


Erdogan’s growth pledge on the line as Turkish economy stumbles
The Turkish economy slowed sharply this fall and looks set to contract this winter, presenting an immense political challenge for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has overseen a debt-fueled boom that had made Turkey one of the world’s fastest-growing countries.
The Wall Street Journal, Erdogan’s growth pledge on the line as Turkish economy stumbles, 10 December 2018


Turkish Parliament kicks off budget discussions
The first parliamentary session on Turkey’s 2019 budget started on Dec. 10. “The 2019 budget will be the major supporter of a stabilization period under the new economic program,” Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said during his budget presentation.
Hurriyet, Turkish Parliament kicks off budget discussions, 10 December 2018


Turkey’s 2018 budget deficit will be 72 billion Lira – minister
Turkey will have a budget deficit this year of 72.1 billion lira (10.7 billion pounds), or 1.9 percent of GDP, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Monday.
Reuters, Turkey’s 2018 budget deficit will be 72 billion Lira – minister, 10 December 2018


Erdogan says Turkey will hold Kanal Istanbul tender next year
Turkey will hold a tender for the construction of a 45-km shipping canal running parallel to the Bosphorus, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, despite a government freeze on new investments as it reins in spending.
Reuters, Erdogan says Turkey will hold Kanal Istanbul tender next year, 6 December 2018


Domestic Politics

Turkey seeks 15-year prison sentence for prominent journalists
Turkey’s state-run news agency says prosecutors are seeking maximum 15-year prison terms for five journalists of an opposition newspaper, intensifying concerns over authorities’ crackdown on news coverage critical of the government.
AP News, Turkey seeks 15-year prison sentence for prominent journalists, 10 December 2018


Over 250,000 irregular migrants held in 2018 in Turkey: Minister
Turkish security forces have held some 251,794 irregular migrants so far this year, the country’s interior minister said on Dec. 10. Speaking at the Intergovernmental Conference on Global Compact for Migration in Morocco, Süleyman Soylu said: “There is an increase of 56 percent compared to the figures of the first 11 months of last year.”
Hurriyet, Over 250,000 irregular migrants held in 2018 in Turkey: Minister, 10 December 2018


Main opposition CHP reveals names of mayoral candidates for 16 provinces
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has revealed the names of its mayoral candidates for 16 provinces. The party picked the currently serving mayors of eight cities to re-run, six of whom will run for metropolitan municipalities, which have bigger budgets.
Hurriyet, Main opposition CHP reveals names of mayoral candidates for 16 provinces, 6 December 2018


Turkish authorities seek arrest of journalist Dundar over 2013 protests
Turkish authorities have issued an arrest warrant for journalist Can Dundar as part of an investigation into protests in Istanbul in 2013 against President Tayyip Erdogan’s rule, state-run Anadolu agency said on Wednesday.
Reuters, Turkish authorities seek arrest of journalist Dundar over 2013 protests, 5 December 2018