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Turkey Letter: July 16, 2018

Foreign Policy

  • NATO protects 30 percent of Turkish airspace, we need S-400s: Turkey’s top diplomat
  • Turkey committed to more missions in NATO
  • Greece, Turkey agree to focus on reducing Aegean tensions: Greek PM
  • Turkish FM urges US senators over F-35 fighter jets
  • Turkish attack helicopter deal with Pakistan worth around $1.5 billion: sources
  • Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan Discuss Syrian Crisis: Kremlin
  • Israel Frees Turk After Charging Her With Aiding Hamas
  • Erdogan, Trump Emphasise Importance of Manbij Roadmap-Turkish Presidency
  • Turkey says reports of Kurdish militia withdrawal from Manbij ‘exaggerated’

Economy and Energy

  • Fitch Downgrades Turkey to ‘BB’; Outlook Negative
  • Moody’s highlights concern about Turkey central bank independence
  • Turkey to expand Central Bank’s operational range, Albayrak vows
  • Turkish lira hits record low after Erdogan interest rate comments

Domestic Politics:

  • Erdogan names son-in-law Turkish finance minister
  • Erdogan’s first presidential decrees restructure Turkish administrative system
  • Turkey’s new top soldier appointed by first presidential decree
  • Turkish Court Sentences 72 Defendants to Life in Coup Bridge Trial
  • Turkey: Ex-PM made parliament speaker after office abolished
  • Turkey marks 2nd anniversary of thwarting violent coup

 

Foreign Policy:

 

NATO protects 30 percent of Turkish airspace, we need S-400s: Turkey’s top diplomat                                     Western allies should no longer question Turkey’s procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense systems, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, reiterating that the first batch of batteries will be deployed to Turkey by Moscow at the end of 2019. He also stressed that the current NATO anti-ballistic system can only cover 30 percent of Turkish airspace, which is why Turkey needs Russian made batteries.

 Hurriyet Daily News, NATO protects 30 percent of Turkish airspace, we need S-400s: Turkey’s top diplomat, July 11, 2018 


Turkey committed to more missions in NATO                                                                                                                       President Erdogan attended a crucial summit of NATO leaders in Brussels on July 11-12, where Ankara proposed to the alliance further contribution to upcoming missions and a new command structure. Refuting claims that Turkey is dragging itself away from the alliance, NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy Tacan İldem said Ankara is actually increasing its contributions to the bloc.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey committed to more missions in NATO, July 12, 2018


Greece, Turkey agree to focus on reducing Aegean tensions: Greek PM         

Greece and Turkey have agreed to focus efforts on easing tensions in the Aegean, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday after meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of a NATO summit.                                                                                                                                                                   Reuters, Greece, Turkey agree to focus on reducing Aegean tensions: Greek PM, July 12, 2018 


Turkish FM urges US senators over F-35 fighter jets                                                                                    Blocking the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over its procurement of the Russian-made the S-400 air defense system would bring about consequences, said Turkey’s foreign minister in a meeting with two senior U.S. senators on the margins of the NATO Summit.                                                                                                                                                                           Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish FM urges US senators over F-35 fighter jets, July 13, 2018


Turkish attack helicopter deal with Pakistan worth around $1.5 billion: sources

Turkey’s deal with Pakistan to sell 30 Turkish T129 attack helicopters is worth around $1.5 billion, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday. The helicopters will be delivered gradually over five years, the sources also said. The deal is the biggest export deal of Turkey’s defense industry, the country’s defense industry directorate said earlier.

Reuters, Turkish attack helicopter deal with Pakistan worth around $1.5 billion: sources, July 13, 2018


Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan Discuss Syrian Crisis: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, in a phone call on Saturday, have discussed joint efforts aimed at solving the Syrian crisis, the Kremlin said in a statement. Putin also congratulated Erdogan on winning this month’s presidential election in Turkey.

Reuters, Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan Discuss Syrian Crisis: Kremlin, July 14, 2018


Israel Frees Turk After Charging Her With Aiding Hamas

Israel has released a Turkish woman who had been arrested while visiting on a tourist visa and accused of helping the Palestinian militant group Hamas, in a case that angered Ankara, Israel and her lawyer said on Monday. Turkey threatened retaliation after Ebru Ozkan’s detention last month. The ex-allies have long been at loggerheads over Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and Jerusalem’s status.

Reuters, Israel Frees Turk After Charging Her With Aiding Hamas, July 16, 2018


Erdogan, Trump Emphasise Importance of Manbij Roadmap: Turkish Presidency

Under a deal reached between the United States and Turkey last month, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia would withdraw from Manbij and Turkish and U.S. forces would maintain security and stability around the town. Under a deal reached between the United States and Turkey last month, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia would withdraw from Manbij and Turkish and U.S. forces would maintain security and stability around the town.

Reuters, Erdogan, Trump Emphasise Importance of Manbij Roadmap: Turkish Presidency, July 16, 2018


Turkey says reports of Kurdish militia withdrawal from Manbij ‘exaggerated’

A source at Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Monday dismissed a militia report that Kurdish YPG fighters had completely left Syria’s Manbij region as exaggerated, saying their withdrawal was still under way. Turkey and the United States reached a deal last month over Manbij, a town in northern Syria, after months of disagreement. Under the deal, the YPG would withdraw from Manbij and Turkish and U.S. forces would maintain security and stability around the town.

Reuters, Turkey says reports of Kurdish militia withdrawal from Manbij ‘exaggerated’, July 16, 2018


Economic and Energy

 

Fitch Downgrades Turkey to ‘BB’; Outlook Negative

The ratings agency Fitch late on July 13 downgraded Turkish sovereign debt a notch to ‘BB’ with a negative outlook, citing inflation and widening current account deficit. The decision followed S&P’s move in May to cut the country debt ratings, likewise amid concerns about Ankara’s worsening finances and weakening currency.

Hurriyet Daily News, Fitch Downgrades Turkey to ‘BB’; Outlook Negative, July 14, 2018


Moody’s highlights concern about Turkey central bank independence

Ratings agency Moody’s highlighted concern about the independence of the Turkish central bank on Thursday, saying that further challenges to its effectiveness would be negative for Turkey’s sovereign rating. In a note to clients, Moody’s said changes to the governance of the central bank suggested its resolve to tighten monetary policy could weaken in the coming months. This week President Tayyip Erdogan appointed his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as treasury and finance minister, hours after being sworn in to a newly strengthened executive presidency.

Reuters, Moody’s highlights concern about Turkey central bank independence, July 12, 2018


Turkey to expand Central Bank’s operational range, Albayrak vows

Turkey’s new treasury and finance minister has sought to reassure financial markets worried by his appointment and concerned over the independence of the Central Bank by saying it was unacceptable that its independence is “subjected to speculation,” while vowing the Bank would be “more effective than ever” in the new era.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey to expand Central Bank’s operational range, Albayrak vows, July 12, 2018


Turkish lira hits record low after Erdogan interest rate comments

Turkey’s lira weakened to a record low of 4.9767 against the dollar in overnight Asian trade before trimming losses on Thursday, hit by worries about economic management and monetary policy under Tayyip Erdogan’s stronger executive presidency.

Reuters, Turkish lira hits record low after Erdogan interest rate comments, July 12, 2018


Domestic Politics:

 

Erdogan names son-in-law Turkish finance minister

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan named his son-in-law as Treasury and Finance minister in the new cabinet on Monday, sending the lira currency lower and likely deepening concern about central bank independence.

Reuters, Erdogan names son-in-law Turkish finance minister, July 9, 2018


Erdogan’s first presidential decrees restructure Turkish administrative system

Turkey’s state structure has been rebuilt after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued the first presidential decrees on July 10. Presidential offices, policy councils and directorates, which will work directly under the president, were introduced, while ministries, their organization and duties have been reorganized.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdogan’s first presidential decrees restructure Turkish administrative system, July 10, 2018


Turkey’s new top soldier appointed by first presidential decree

Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Yaşar Güler was appointed Chief of General Staff under the first presidential decree published in the official gazette early July 10, hours after Turkey officialy switched to an executive presidential system. Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was appointed as Minister of Defense with the same decree, which was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 9.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s new top soldier appointed by first presidential decree, July 10, 2018


Turkish Court Sentences 72 Defendants to Life in Coup Bridge Trial

A Turkish court sentenced 72 defendants to life in prison on Thursday for their role in killing 34 people when rogue soldiers seized control of a suspension bridge in Istanbul two years ago during an attempted coup, state media said.

Reuters, Turkish Court Sentences 72 Defendants to Life in Coup Bridge Trial, July 12, 2018


Turkey: Ex-PM made parliament speaker after office abolished

Turkey’s Parliament has elected former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as its speaker. Legislators in the 600-seat assembly elected 62-year-old Yildirim with 335 votes in a third round of balloting on Thursday.

AP News, Turkey: Ex-PM made parliament speaker after office abolished, July 12, 2018


Turkey Letter: July 9, 2018 Turkey marks 2nd anniversary of thwarting violent coup

With prayers and other events, Turkey on Sunday commemorated the second anniversary of thwarting a coup against the Turkish president and the government that left nearly 290 people dead and hundreds wounded.

ABC News, Turkey marks 2nd anniversary of thwarting violent coup, July 15,2018