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Turkey Letter: June 25, 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • The congressional fight over F-35s for Turkey isn’t over
  • Turkey says 35 Kurd leaders killed in airstrikes in Iraq
  • Turkish air strikes kill 26 militants in southeast Turkey, Iraq
  • Turkey detains 14 suspected IS militants in raids
  • No breakthrough in Turkey-Iran-Russia talks on Syria constitution

Economy and Energy:

  • Turkey hits U.S. with tariffs on $1.8 billion of goods
  • Turkey sees 22 percent yearly decline in FDI, data shows
  • As dollar rises, Turkey’s tourism income suffers
  • Turkish Treasury borrows over $1.4B through auctions
  • Turkish firm to make country’s first metro car export
  • Property sales increase slightly in Turkey, mortgage sales decline

Domestic Politics:

  • Turkey’s Erdogan victorious in election that grants him unprecedented power
  • Turkey’s top business group calls for ‘urgent’ reforms after election
  • People’s Alliance wins majority at parliament
  • HDP passes electoral threshold, keeps seats in parliament
  • Turkish elections were healthy, electoral board says
  • 2 OSCE observers refused entry into Turkey

  

Foreign Policy:

 

The congressional fight over F-35s for Turkey isn’t over

A US Defense Department official told Al-Monitor that Turkey won’t be able to take the jets home for a considerable period of time, requiring American support to run the F-35’s computerized logistics system and navigate security protocols. That in turn could give lawmakers leverage to deny the use of crucial technology needed for Turkey to operate the aircraft if relations with the NATO ally continue to deteriorate.

Al-Monitor, The congressional fight over F-35s for Turkey isn’t over, June 20, 2018


Turkey says 35 Kurd leaders killed in airstrikes in Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again asserted that Turkish jets have dealt a heavy blow on the outlawed Kurdish rebels’ leadership in Iraq, saying some 35 high-level militants were killed. Addressing crowds during a campaign rally on, Erdogan said Turkish warplanes recently struck Iraq’s Qandil mountain while a group of 35 senior militants were holding a meeting. He did not provide details.

Washington Post, Turkey says 35 Kurd leaders killed in airstrikes in Iraq, June 21, 2018


Turkish air strikes kill 26 militants in southeast Turkey, Iraq

Turkish air strikes killed 26 militants and destroyed their gun positions, shelters and ammunition stores in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq this week, according to the Turkish military. The strikes were carried out on Sunday and Monday in Diyarbakir and Sirnak provinces and an area of northern Iraq where the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has bases, the military said in a statement on Twitter.

Reuters, Turkish air strikes kill 26 militants in southeast Turkey, Iraq, June 19, 2018


Turkey detains 14 suspected IS militants in raids

Turkey’s state-run news agency says police have rounded up 14 suspected Islamic State militants in simultaneous raids in the capital, Ankara. Anadolu Agency says Friday the suspects were allegedly preparing to carry out attacks ahead of Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Washington Post, Turkey detains 14 suspected IS militants in raids, June 22, 2018


No breakthrough in Turkey-Iran-Russia talks on Syria constitution

A tripartite meeting between Russia, Iran, and Turkey to discuss the formation of an all-inclusive committee tasked with drafting a new Syrian constitution had ended without a major breakthrough, and a plan to reconvene in a few weeks-time. The officials of the three nations acting as guarantors of a ceasefire in the war-torn country met on Tuesday in the Swiss city of Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations.

Al Jazeera, No breakthrough in Turkey-Iran-Russia talks on Syria constitution, June 19, 2018


Economy and Energy:

 

Turkey hits U.S. with tariffs on $1.8 billion of goods

The Turkish government imposed tariffs of $266.5 million on $1.8 billion worth of U.S. goods Thursday in retaliation for President Trump’s levies on steel and aluminum imports. We cannot and will not allow Turkey to be wrongly blamed for America’s economic challenges,” Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said.

Bloomberg, Turkey hits U.S. with tariffs on $1.8 billion of goods, June 21, 2018


Turkey sees 22 percent yearly decline in FDI, data shows

Turkey attracted some $3.1 billion in net international direct investment from January to April, a 22 percent year-on-year decline, the Economy Ministry announced on June 21. In the first four months of 2018, the sum of net foreign direct investment (FDI) recorded a 21.9 percent yearly decline from some $3.9 billion in the same period of 2017, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey sees 22 percent yearly decline in FDI, data shows, June 22, 2018


As dollar rises, Turkey’s tourism income suffers

Turkey’s tourism operators can’t cope with the situation of high-dollar parity and low revenue. Bahattin Yucel, a former tourism minister and former president of Travel Agencies Union of Turkey (TURSAB), warned that new bankruptcies could be in the offing for the end of this year. “Turkey is becoming cheaper for foreigners earning foreign currency,” he said.

Al-Monitor, As dollar rises, Turkey’s tourism income suffers, June 18, 2018


Turkish Treasury borrows over $1.4B through auctions

The Turkish Treasury borrowed a total of 6.72 billion Turkish liras ($1.42 billion) from domestic markets on June 18, according to an official statement. The Treasury Undersecretariat reported that 3.29 billion Turkish liras ($697.74 million) in five-year fixed coupon government bonds (semiannually, first issue) were sold in an auction.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish Treasury borrows over $1.4B through auctions, June 19, 2018


Turkish firm to make country’s first metro car export

Bozankaya, a leading public transport vehicle builder in Turkey, is set to make the country’s first-ever metro car export, as part of a consortium with Siemens Mobility, the company said on June 19.

Bozankaya will provide 22 sets of four-car trains for Bangkok’s metro line for $46.1 million, the largest export Turkey will ever make to the Southeast Asian country.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish firm to make country’s first metro car export, June 19, 2018


Property sales increase slightly in Turkey, mortgage sales decline

Nearly 120,000 homes were sold in Turkey in May, marking a 2.7 percent increase over the same period last year, the country’s statistics agency has announced. This was the first yearly increase in sales in the last four months. However, mortgaged home sales continued to decline and 36,865 mortgaged units were sold in May by an 11.7 percent year-on-year decrease, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on June 20.

Hurriyet Daily News, Property sales increase slightly in Turkey, mortgage sales decline, June 20, 2018


Domestic Politics:

 

Turkey’s Erdogan victorious in election that grants him unprecedented power

With 97.7% of the votes counted, Sadi Guven, chief of Turkey’s Supreme Election Board, said Erdogan had won an absolute majority, avoiding a runoff against his principal challenger, Muharrem Ince. State media put Erdogan on 52.5%, well ahead of Ince on 31%. “The winners of the June 24 elections are Turkey, the Turkish nation, sufferers of our region and all oppressed (people) in the world,” Erdogan said in a victory address from a balcony at the AKP’s offices in the capital Ankara in the early hours of Monday morning

CNN, Turkey’s Erdogan victorious in election that grants him unprecedented power, June 25, 2018 


TUSIAD calls for urgent reforms after election

On June 25, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) said in a statement that the parliament and president elected on June 24 must now facilitate a series of reforms. The reforms mentioned by TÜSİAD include the institution of rule of law and freedoms at a level consistent with advanced democracies, gender equality in all areas, an independent Central Bank, and several other reforms to help advance Turkish society.

TUSIAD US, Turkey’s top business group calls for ‘urgent’ reforms after election, June 25, 2018 


People’s Alliance wins majority at parliament

Initial results from Turkey’s presidential election showed incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with a commanding lead, paving the way him to govern under a new constitution which grants the president new powers. His ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to win majority of the 600 parliamentary seats, while the “People’s Alliance,” formed by the AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was projected to win 342 seats.

Hurriyet Daily News, People’s Alliance wins majority at parliament, June 24, 2018


 HDP passes electoral threshold, keeps seats in parliament

The Kurdish-issue focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) managed to get more than 10 percent of the votes in Turkey’s June 24 elections, passing the national election threshold. The HDP may take more than 60 seats in parliament, according to the unofficial preliminary results announced by the state-run Anadolu Agency on June 24.

Hurriyet Daily News, HDP passes electoral threshold, keeps seats in parliament, June 24, 2018


 Turkish elections were healthy, electoral board says

Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday were healthy, the head of the High Electoral Board (YSK) said on Monday, after unofficial results showed President Tayyip Erdogan and the alliance of his ruling AK Party winning both votes.

Reuters, Turkish elections were healthy, electoral board says, June 25, 2018 


2 OSCE observers refused entry into Turkey

A European security and rights group says it “deplores” the denial by Turkey of two members of its observer mission for the upcoming Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly says Andrej Hunko, of Germany’s Left Party, and Jabar Amin, of Sweden’s small Environment Party, were denied entry “based on their publicly expressed political opinion.”

AP News, 2 OSCE observers refused entry into Turkey, June 22, 2018