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Turkey Letter: July 30 2018

Foreign Policy:
• F-35 transfers to Turkey held back under US defense measure: Report
• A fist bump, then a rancorous call: How Trump’s deal to free an American pastor in Turkey fell apart
• Turkey denies Turkish citizen jailed in Israel was traded for US pastor Brunson’s release
• Turkey says will not tolerate threats after U.S. warns of sanctions
• Turkey slams UN report on Cyprus, urges change in approach
• Turkey’s Erdogan plans state visit to Germany: Bild newspaper
• Turkey, Russia, Iran convene ahead of Astana talks
• Turkey Will Apply International Arbitration if F-35 Jet Sales Blocked, Erdogan Says-Haberturk TV
• Syria talks led by Russia, Iran and Turkey revived in Sochi

Economy and Energy:
• Turkish lira tumbles after central bank keeps interest rates steady
• Economic confidence higher in July
• Erdoğan suggests adding ‘T’ to BRICS
• ¬Turkey’s Fragile Economy Faces New Risk in U.S. Sanctions Threat
• Sliding lira sets off alarms bells for Turkey’s businesses

Domestic Politics:
• Turkey parliament approves new anti-terror law
• Turkish interior ministry reinstates 155,350 passports
• Turkey sees 30 percent rise in number of tourists: Minister
• Turkey’s government vows to cut public spending
• Turkey’s Erdogan says his office will deal directly with big potential investors

Foreign Policy:

F-35 transfers to Turkey held back under US defense measure: Report

Transfers of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey will be barred temporarily under a defense policy measure agreed to on July 23, Bloomberg reported citing House and Senate aides. According to the report, the Turkish receipt of the fighter jets would be held back until the Pentagon submitted an assessment within 90 days of the measure’s enactment on United States-Turkish relations, the impact of Turkey’s planned acquisition of Russia’s advanced S-400 missile defense system, and the ramifications for the U.S. industrial base if Turkey is dropped from the international F-35 program.

Hurriyet Daily News, F-35 transfers to Turkey held back under US defense measure: Report, July 24 2018


A fist bump, then a rancorous call: How Trump’s deal to free an American pastor in Turkey fell apart

Thursday morning, after a rancorous phone call with Erdogan, Trump struck back. The United States “will impose large sanctions” on Turkey, he tweeted. “This innocent man of faith should be released immediately.” Vice President Pence chimed in, saying in a speech at a religious conference that Turkey must free Brunson now “or be prepared to face the consequences.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called his counterpart in Ankara.

Washington Post, A fist bump, then a rancorous call: How Trump’s deal to free an American pastor in Turkey fell apart, July 27 2018


Turkey denies Turkish citizen jailed in Israel was traded for US pastor Brunson’s release

Turkey has denied media reports that a deal was sealed between Turkey and the United States for the release of a Turkish national from an Israeli prison in return for the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson amid threats from Washington that it would impose “large sanctions” on Turkey, a NATO ally, over the house arrest of the pastor.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey denies Turkish citizen jailed in Israel was traded for US pastor Brunson’s release, July 27 2018


Turkey says will not tolerate threats after U.S. warns of sanctions

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday Turkey would never tolerate threats from anybody after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of “large sanctions” unless Ankara freed an American pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Reuters, Turkey says will not tolerate threats after U.S. warns of sanctions, July 26 2018


Turkey slams UN report on Cyprus, urges change in approach

Turkey has slammed a report by the U.N. Security Council on the extension of a peace force in Cyprus, saying the appointment of a new special advisor does not mean “any restart of the negotiation process,” which ended in 2017.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey slams UN report on Cyprus, urges change in approach, July 27 2018


Turkey’s Erdogan plans state visit to Germany: Bild newspaper

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will pay a state visit to Germany, probably around late September, German newspaper Bild reported in Saturday editions, citing government sources in Berlin and Ankara.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan plans state visit to Germany: Bild newspaper, July 27 2018


Syria talks led by Russia, Iran and Turkey revived in Sochi

Delegations from the Syrian government and the political opposition have arrived in the Russian city of Sochi for talks on the war in Syria, which are spearheaded by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Al Jazeera, Syria talks led by Russia, Iran and Turkey revived in Sochi, July 30 2018


Turkey Will Apply International Arbitration if F-35 Jet Sales Blocked, Erdogan Says-Haberturk TV

Turkey will resort to international arbitration if the United States blocks the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by broadcaster Haberturk on Sunday.

The New York Times, Turkey Will Apply International Arbitration if F-35 Jet Sales Blocked, Erdogan Says-Haberturk TV, July 28 2018


Economy and Energy:

Turkish lira tumbles after central bank keeps interest rates steady

The Turkish lira plunged on Tuesday after the central bank kept interest rates on hold despite soaring inflation, exacerbating fears about the country’s economic management following the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Financial Times, Turkish lira tumbles after central bank keeps interest rates steady


Economic confidence higher in July

Economic confidence in Turkey improved in July, rising 2 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported on July 30. The index surged to 92.2 this month, up from 90.4 in June, TÜİK said in a statement, attributing the improvement to a rise in consumer, retail trade, construction and services sector confidence indices.

Hurriyet Daily News, Economic confidence higher in July, July 30 2018


Erdoğan suggests adding ‘T’ to BRICS

­Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the leaders of the five-country block BRICS to let Turkey join the group.“If you take us in the name of the platform would become BRICST, I said,” he told reporters in South Africa’s capital Johannesburg on July 27.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan suggests adding ‘T’ to BRICS, July 29 2018


Turkey’s Fragile Economy Faces New Risk in U.S. Sanctions Threat

Already hit by a run on the currency and a surge in inflation, Turkey’s economy faces a new risk after President Donald Trump threatened to impose “large sanctions” over the detention of an American pastor.

Bloomberg News, Turkey’s Fragile Economy Faces New Risk in U.S. Sanctions Threat, July 26 2018


Sliding lira sets off alarms bells for Turkey’s businesses

Like many Turkish business executives, Albert Saydam is used to a challenging environment. Turbulent politics and bouts of economic turmoil mean that companies have a high tolerance for flux. But the sliding lira is causing fresh headaches for Mr Saydam, who runs a car parts manufacturer and others in a sector that relies on imported materials.

Financial Times, Sliding lira sets off alarms bells for Turkey’s businesses, July 26 2018


Domestic Politics:

Turkey’s Erdogan says his office will deal directly with big potential investors

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey was ready to facilitate conditions for international investors in every way and that his office would start dealing with large potential investors directly.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan says his office will deal directly with big potential investors, July 24 2018


­Turkey’s government vows to cut public spending

The Turkish government has focused on cutting public spending, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has announced, adding that the new economic program would establish a framework to reduce inflation. On July 24, he came together with top businesspeople and representatives of non-governmental business organizations in Istanbul, one day after a meeting with a series of economists.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s government vows to cut public spending, July 24 2018


Turkey parliament approves new anti-terror law

Turkey’s parliament has ratified a tough anti-terrorism bill proposed by the ruling party, six days after the two-year-long state of emergency ended.The new anti-terror law, which was passed on Wednesday, strengthens the authorities’ powers in detaining suspects and imposing public order.

Al Jazeera, Turkey parliament approves new anti-terror law, July 25 2018


Turkish interior ministry reinstates 155,350 passports

Turkey’s interior ministry revoked the cancellation of 155,350 passports following the end of two-year-old state of emergency, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Reuters, Turkish interior ministry reinstates 155,350 passports, July 25 2018


Turkey sees 30 percent rise in number of tourists: Minister

The number of tourists visiting Turkey in the first half of 2018 surged 30 percent year-on-year, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister said on July 27.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey sees 30 percent rise in number of tourists: Minister, July 27 2018