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Turkey Letter 24 June 2019

Domestic Politics:  

  • For Turkey’s Erdogan, a challenge in former stronghold  
  • Opposition’s win in Istanbul’s do-over race for mayor hands Erdogan a decisive defeat 
  • Turkey jails 151 for life for roles in failed 2016 coup 

Foreign Policy:  

  • Turkey stands by S-400s, says F-35 partners disapprove of U.S.  
  • The EU threatens sanctions amid Turkey-Cyprus drilling spat 
  • Turkey to take delivery of Russian missile systems in July  
  • Distrust of U.S. propels Turkey’s Russian missile purchase 

Economy & Energy:  

  • For Erdogan, the bill for Turkey’s debt-fueled growth comes due 
  • Turkish lira rises as opposition wins Istanbul mayoral election 
  • Turkey launches new gas drillship amid tensions with Cyprus  
  • Turkish lira weakens on possible U.S. sanctions report  

 

Domestic Politics 

For Turkey’s Erdogan, a challenge in former stronghold  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hasn’t lost many elections since the conservative party he co-founded took control of the government in 2002. But the party’s rare defeat in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, was a political and personal setback for the country’s leader. 

Washington Post, For Turkey’s Erdogan, a challenge in former stronghold, 24 June 2019  


Opposition’s win in Istanbul’s do-over race for mayor hands Erdogan a decisive defeat 

Opposition party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won the revote for Istanbul mayor by a wide margin Sunday, handing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a stunning political defeat, according to preliminary results. 

Washington Post, Opposition’s win in Istanbul’s do-over race for mayor hands Erdogan a decisive defeat, 23 June 2019 


Turkey jails 151 for life for roles in failed 2016 coup 

A terrorism court in Turkey sentenced 151 people to life in prison Thursday in one of the most important trials arising from the failed 2016 military coup.  

The New York Times, Turkey jails 151 for life for roles in failed 2016 coup, 20 June 2019 


Foreign Policy

Turkey stands by S-400s, says F-35 partners disapprove of U.S. 

Turkey has purchased Russian missile defenses and is discussing a delivery date irrespective of any U.S. sanctions, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday, adding the United States is isolated as it also squeezes Turkey on F-35 jets. 

Reuters, Turkey stands by S-400s, says F-35 partners disapprove of U.S., 24 June 2019 


The EU threatens sanctions amid Turkey-Cyprus drilling spat 

European Union leaders threatened sanctions against Turkey as a fight escalated over offshore energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. The unprecedented EU move Thursday came as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan already faced the imminent threat of U.S. sanctions over Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile-defense system. 

The Wall Street Journal, The EU threatens sanctions amid Turkey-Cyprus drilling spat, 20 June 2019 


Turkey to take delivery of Russian missile systems in July  

Turkey is standing firm against U.S. opposition and expects to take delivery of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems next month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday. Speaking to a group of foreign journalists, Erdogan reiterated that the deal with Russia was sealed and there would be no turning back despite vociferous U.S. opposition. 

AP, Turkey to take delivery of Russian missile systems in July, 20 June 2019  


 Distrust of U.S. propels Turkey’s Russian missile purchase 

Turkey has dug in on buying a Russian missile-defense system in defiance of threatened U.S. sanctions because trust in Washington has broken down, three Turkish officials said.  

Bloomberg, Distrust of U.S. propels Turkey’s Russian missile purchase, 18 June 2019 


Economy & Energy 

For Erdogan, the bill for Turkey’s debt-fueled growth comes due 

The shocking rebuke of Turkey’s governing party in Sunday’s mayoral election in Istanbul resonated as more than a yearning for new leadership in the nation’s largest city. It signaled mounting despair over the economic disaster that has befallen the nation under the strongman rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  

The New York Times, For Erdogan, the bill for Turkey’s debt-fueled growth comes due, 24 June 2019 


Turkish lira rises as opposition wins Istanbul mayoral election 

Turkey’s currency strengthened on Monday after the country’s opposition secured a resounding victory in the rerun of Istanbul’s mayoral election.  

Financial Times, Turkish lira rises as opposition wins Istanbul mayoral election, 24 June 2019  


Turkey launches new gas drillship amid tensions with Cyprus  

Turkey has launched a second drillship that will drill for gas off neighboring Cyprus’ east coast despite the European Union’s decision to prepare possible sanctions to make sure Ankara refrains from such illegal actions. 

AP, Turkey launches new gas drillship amid tensions with Cyprus, 20 June 2019 


Turkish lira weakens on possible U.S. sanctions report  

The Turkish lira weakened some 1 percent on Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that the United States is weighing three sanctions packages to punish Turkey over its purchases of the Russian S-400 defence system. 

Reuters, Turkish lira weakens on possible U.S. sanctions report, 19 June 2019