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Turkey Letter: 22 April 2019

Foreign Policy:

  • Turkey criticizes U.S. decision to end waivers on Iran oil sanctions
  • Turkey arrests two people suspected of spying for UAE
  • Turkey seeks Trump’s support to defuse Russian missile dispute

Economy & Energy:

  • TÜSİAD Delegation Visits Silicon Valley
  • Turkish Central Bank data puzzles traders and sends lira falling
  • Why is everyone worried about Turkey’s foreign reserves?
  • Disputed vote hangs over Turkey while lira resumes its decline
  • Turkey looking at new trade mechanisms with Iran to avoid U.S. sanctions

Domestic Politics:

  • Erdogan faces rare rebellion within his party as economy weakens
  • Nine detained over attack on opposition leader at funeral
  • Turkish opposition takes control of Istanbul, re-run appeal still pending
  • Erdogan’s AK Party calls for rerun of Istanbul elections

Foreign Policy

Turkey criticizes U.S. decision to end waivers on Iran oil sanctions
Turkey slammed the U.S. decision to end waivers on Iranian oil sanctions, saying it would not serve regional peace and stability, its foreign minister tweeted on Monday.
Reuters, Turkey criticizes U.S. decision to end waivers on Iran oil sanctions, 22 April 2019


Turkey arrests two people suspected of spying for UAE
Turkish authorities on Friday formally arrested two men on charges of spying for the United Arab Emirates, Turkey’s state-run news agency said. Authorities were also investigating the possibility that the men could have been involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year, a security official told The Associated Press.
AP, Turkey arrests two people suspected of spying for UAE, 19 April 2019


Turkey seeks Trump’s support to defuse Russian missile dispute
Turkey has taken its case for buying a Russian air-defense system directly to President Donald Trump, in a last-ditch effort to defuse tensions between the NATO allies. “We delivered our message and received quite positive feedback,” Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak told reporters on Monday, after he explained to the U.S. president why Turkey needs missiles that have raised questions about its alliance with the West. It’s likely to use the advanced system to defend Istanbul, the country’s commercial center, and its capital, Ankara, according to Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
Bloomberg, Turkey seeks Trump’s support to defuse Russian missile dispute, 16 April 2019


Economy & Energy

TÜSİAD Delegation Visits Silicon Valley
On April 11-12, 2019, the TÜSİAD Board of Directors and TÜSİAD members held several meetings in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The delegation, led by TÜSİAD President Simone Kaslowski, met with members of the TÜSİAD Silicon Valley Network. The Network, formed in October 2017, consists of 250 Turkish-American investors, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and professionals across the tech sector.
TUSIAD-US, TÜSİAD Delegation Visits Silicon Valley, 22 April 2019


Turkish Central Bank data puzzles traders and sends lira falling
The Turkish lira weakened after the central bank struggled to explain moves in foreign-currency reserves, fueling concern about the state of the nation’s finances amid the looming prospect of more political upheaval.
Bloomberg, Turkish Central Bank data puzzles traders and sends lira falling, 18 April 2019


Why is everyone worried about Turkey’s foreign reserves?
Turkey’s central bank won’t explain what’s behind the recent moves in its foreign currency reserves — and that’s making investors nervous. The lira weakened more than any other currency on Thursday amid speculation that the central bank was using money borrowed from commercial banks in short-term swaps to inflate its foreign reserve figures. It sank nearly 2 percent on growing concerns before paring some of those losses.
Bloomberg, Why is everyone worried about Turkey’s foreign reserves?, 18 April 2019


Disputed vote hangs over Turkey while lira resumes its decline
Turkish authorities are expected to rule next week on the governing party’s claim of fraud in a local election, as the lira resumed its decline on concern about the state of the nation’s finances and the prospect of more political upheaval.
Bloomberg, Disputed vote hangs over Turkey while lira resumes its decline, 18 April 2019


Turkey looking at new trade mechanisms with Iran to avoid U.S. sanctions
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday Turkey is looking into establishing new trade mechanisms with Iran, like the INSTEX system set up by European countries to avoid U.S. sanctions reimposed last year on exports of Iranian oil.
Reuters, Turkey looking at new trade mechanisms with Iran to avoid U.S. sanctions, 17 April 2019


Domestic Politics

Erdogan faces rare rebellion within his party as economy weakens
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was confronted with a rare sign of rebellion within the governing party as former allies attacked his leadership following a sharp deterioration in the economy and stinging losses in local elections last month.
Bloomberg, Erdogan faces rare rebellion within his party as economy weakens, 22 April 2019


Nine detained over attack on opposition leader at funeral
Nine people have been detained in the assault of Turkey’s main opposition party leader during a soldier’s funeral, said Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 22. Several protesters threw punches at Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at the funeral in Çubuk district of Ankara on April 21.  After the attack, the CHP chief was taken to a nearby house for security reasons and then taken away in an armored vehicle.
Hurriyet, Nine detained over attack on opposition leader at funeral, 22 April 2019


Turkish opposition takes control of Istanbul, re-run appeal still pending
Turkey’s main opposition candidate took office as Istanbul mayor on Wednesday after a stunning victory over President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, but the new head of the country’s largest city still faces an appeal for the vote to be re-run.
Reuters, Turkish opposition takes control of Istanbul, re-run appeal still pending, 17 April 2019


Erdogan’s AK Party calls for rerun of Istanbul elections
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party formally requested on Tuesday an annulment and rerun of Istanbul’s municipal elections over what it said were irregularities, prompting the main opposition to accuse it of damaging democracy.
Reuters, Erdogan’s AK Party calls for rerun of Istanbul elections, 16 April 2019