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Turkey Letter 12 August 2019

Foreign Policy: 

  • U.S. delegation in southern Turkey for work on center to oversee Syria safe zone: officials 
  • Turkey criticizes US freeze on Venezuela assets 
  • Turkey says deal with US for safe zone in Syria a good start 
  • Second Turkish ship begins gas drilling off Cyprus 

Economy & Energy: 

  • Turkish lira weakens over decreased global risk appetite 
  • Lira Swaps to Wean Banks Off Foreign Funding, Official Says 
  • Turkish industrial production seen contracting 1.01% in June: Reuters poll 
  • Turkey Central Bank Removes Chief Economist, Key Officials 

Domestic Politics: 

  • Turkish court lifts block on foreign-backed monitoring group website 
  • Magnitude 6 quake shakes western Turkey; more than 20 hurt 
  • ‘Don’t come if you like gold’: Turks march against planned gold mine 

Foreign Policy  

U.S. delegation in southern Turkey for work on center to oversee Syria safe zone: officials 

A U.S. delegation has arrived in Turkey’s southern province of Sanliurfa to start work on the establishment of a joint operations center to coordinate a planned safe zone in neighboring Syria, Turkish authorities said on Monday. 

Reuters, U.S. delegation in southern Turkey for work on center to oversee Syria safe zone: officials, 12 August 2019 


Turkey criticizes US freeze on Venezuela assets 

Turkey has voiced its disapproval of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, saying the move will make matters worse for ordinary Venezuelans who have suffered years of economic hardship. 

Washington Post, Turkey criticizes US freeze on Venezuela assets, 12 August 2019 


Turkey says deal with US for safe zone in Syria a good start 

Turkey said Thursday the deal it has reached with Washington to set up a so-called safe zone in northeastern Syria is a good start but warned against delays in implementation. 

AP News, Turkey says deal with US for safe zone in Syria a good start, 8 August 2019 


Second Turkish ship begins gas drilling off Cyprus 

Turkey’s state-run news agency says a second Turkish ship has started drilling for gas off ethnically divided Cyprus, in an area where the Cypriot government says it has exclusive economic rights. 

AP News, Second Turkish ship begins gas drilling off Cyprus, 7 August 2019 


Economy & Energy 

Turkish lira weakens over decreased global risk appetite 

Turkey’s lira weakened more than 1% on Monday, losing ground after firming to a four-month high last week as investors took a more cautious approach to emerging markets currencies. 

Reuters, Turkish lira weakens over decreased global risk appetite, 12 August 2019 


Lira Swaps to Wean Banks Off Foreign Funding, Official Says 

A Turkish central-bank swap facility launched this week is designed to reduce the banking system’s reliance on foreign markets, according to a senior official with direct knowledge of the matter. 

Bloomberg, Lira Swaps to Wean Banks Off Foreign Funding, Official Says, 9 August 2019 


Turkish industrial production seen contracting 1.01% in June: Reuters poll 

Turkey’s industrial production is expected to register a 1.01% annual contraction in June, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, as the economy struggles to leave behind the damage of last year’s currency crisis. 

Reuters, Turkish industrial production seen contracting 1.01% in June: Reuters poll, 9 August 2019 


Turkey Central Bank Removes Chief Economist, Key Officials 

Turkey’s central bank made the biggest overhaul to its senior management in recent years, a month after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unexpectedly fired the bank’s governor. 

Bloomberg, Turkey Central Bank Removes Chief Economist, Key Officials, 8 August 2019 


Domestic Politics 

Turkish court lifts block on foreign-backed monitoring group website 

A Turkish human rights news website discovered it had been removed from a list of 136 web sites and social media accounts banned by a court, the website’s lawyer said on Thursday. 

Reuters, Turkish court lifts block on foreign-backed monitoring group website, 8 August 2019 


Magnitude 6 quake shakes western Turkey; more than 20 hurt 

A strong earthquake hit western Turkey on Thursday, damaging homes, causing residents to run into the streets in panic and injuring over 20 people. The quake was centered on the town of Bozkurt, in Denizli province, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, AFAD. It said the quake struck at 2:25 p.m. (1125 GMT) with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0. The town is 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of Istanbul. 

AP, Magnitude 6 quake shakes western Turkey; more than 20 hurt, 8 August 2019 


‘Don’t come if you like gold’: Turks march against planned gold mine 

Thousands of Turks including opposition lawmakers staged a peaceful and unusually large protest on the outskirts of a small western town on Monday against what they say will be pollution from a foreign-owned gold mine project. 

Reuters, ‘Don’t come if you like gold’: Turks march against planned gold mine, 6 August 2019