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Turkey Letter: 29 April 2019

Foreign Policy:

  • Trump, Erdogan discuss working group on Russian S-400 missile system
  • Turkey pushes EU for membership decision
  • Turkey indicts third U.S. Consulate worker in Istanbul on terrorism charges
  • Turkey says trying to convince U.S. to allow Iranian oil imports
  • S. and Turkey negotiate plan for their troops to jointly patrol safe zone in Syria

Economy & Energy:

  • Cornered by Iran sanctions, Turkey eyes Iraqi oil, sources say
  • Turkey banks said to plan boosting deposit rates this week
  • Turkish central bank holds rates, drops reference to possible further tightening
  • The Lira’s resilience to rising oil prices is baffling analysts

Domestic Politics:

  • CHP awaits election board’s decision on Istanbul
  • Turkey’s Erdogan vows to confront opponents inside party after vote loss
  • Erdogan’s party is deeply divided by push to redo Istanbul election

Foreign Policy

Trump, Erdogan discuss working group on Russian S-400 missile system
U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Monday discussed a Turkish proposal to create a joint working group on its planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, the Turkish Presidency said.
Reuters, Trump, Erdogan discuss working group on Russian S-400 missile system, 29 April 2019


Turkey indicts third U.S. Consulate worker in Istanbul on terrorism charges
Turkey has indicted a third U.S. Consulate employee and his wife and daughter on charges of membership of a terrorist group, according to a copy of the indictment seen by Reuters, a move likely to further strain ties between Ankara and Washington.
Reuters, Turkey indicts third U.S. Consulate worker in Istanbul on terrorism charges, 26 April 2019


Turkey says trying to convince U.S. to allow Iranian oil imports
Turkey is trying to convince the United States to allow refiner Tupras, its biggest oil importer, to continue buying crude oil from Iran free of sanctions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Friday.
Reuters, Turkey says trying to convince U.S. to allow Iranian oil imports, 26 April 2019


U.S. and Turkey negotiate plan for their troops to jointly patrol safe zone in Syria
The United States and Turkey are negotiating a plan for their troops to jointly patrol a safe zone about 20 miles wide along Syria’s northeastern border with Turkey, according to officials from both countries.
Washington Post, U.S. and Turkey negotiate plan for their troops to jointly patrol safe zone in Syria, 25 April 2019


Economy & Energy

Cornered by Iran sanctions, Turkey eyes Iraqi oil, sources say
Turkey is seeking ways to buy more oil from Iraq, already a major supplier of crude to the Middle East’s biggest economy, as the U.S. looks to squeeze exports from Iran, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg, Cornered by Iran sanctions, Turkey eyes Iraqi oil, sources say, 29 April 2019


Turkey banks said to plan boosting deposit rates this week
Several of Turkey’s largest private banks will boost the interest rates they pay on customer deposits this week, according to people with direct knowledge of their plans.At least six banks are looking to begin raising their deposit rates gradually from Monday, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal business strategy. Managers are taking action now because they see a lower probability that they’ll face a backlash from authorities, they said.
Bloomberg, Turkey banks said to plan boosting deposit rates this week, 26 April 2019


Turkish central bank holds rates, drops reference to possible further tightening
Turkey’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday as expected and dropped a previous reference to its readiness to tighten policy further as needed to address inflation.
Reuters, Turkish central bank holds rates, drops reference to possible further tightening, 25 April 2019


The Lira’s resilience to rising oil prices is baffling analysts
Analysts are having a hard time explaining the lira’s resilience to rising oil prices. The worst-performing currency in emerging markets this month fell just 0.2 percent as of 3:02 p.m. in London even as Brent crude nears $75 a barrel. The U.S. decision to end oil waivers granted to Iran’s customers is a setback for Turkey, a neighbor that’s more reliant on Iranian oil than any other country.
Bloomberg, The Lira’s resilience to rising oil prices is baffling analysts, 23 April 2019


Domestic Politics

CHP awaits election board’s decision on Istanbul
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the Supreme Election Board (YSK) not to bow to pressure from the national government to redo the Istanbul municipal elections.
Hurriyet, CHP awaits election board’s decision on Istanbul, 29 April 2019


Turkey’s Erdogan vows to confront opponents inside party after vote loss
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Saturday to confront opponents inside his own party weeks after he suffered shock election defeats in the capital Ankara and commercial hub Istanbul.
Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan vows to confront opponents inside party after vote loss, 27 April 2019


 Erdogan’s party is deeply divided by push to redo Istanbul election
A last-ditch effort by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing party to annul the election for mayor of Istanbul has opened wide divisions in the party’s rank and file and with its nationalist allies, as even the president has come under unusual attack.
New York Times, Erdogan’s party is deeply divided by push to redo Istanbul election, 25 April 2019