TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 8 July 2013
• Davutoğlu and Kerry discussed bugging scandal, Syrian crisis and Palestine-Israel relations
• Turkey calls Morsi’s removal ‘unacceptable coup’
• Turkey reaffirms its ‘open door policy’ in response to HRW’s Syria refugee report
• Parliament extends mandate of Turkish troops in Lebanon
ECONOMY & ENERGY
• Parliament adopts 10th Five-Year Development Plan
• Turkey probes financial markets
• Turkey and Ukraine among most at risk of liquidity squeeze
• Turkey’s exports show surge, but more slowly
• Turkey ranks the first in Europe in agricultural growth
• World Bank President highlights the importance of the protests in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt for development
Davutoğlu and Kerry discussed bugging scandal, Syrian crisis and Palestine-Israel relations
On an hour-long phone call on July 2, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the bugging scandal, Syrian crisis and Palestine-Israel relations. Davutoğlu asked Kerry for an explanation following reports of covert U.S. surveillance of Turkish missions. “Kerry told me that they had limited information on the issue but they will share the data with us after they complete the necessary work,” Davutoğlu told reporters on July 8.
Regarding the Arab Israeli peace process, Davutoğlu said “John Kerry asked for Turkish help, saying Turkey had an important role in the Palestinian peace negotiations.” He added that Turkey would support any peace initiative and establishing a sovereign Palestinian state is a basic condition for real peace. They also voiced their concerns over the Syrian crisis, in consideration of the latest attack on Homs. “The involvement of foreign elements, especially the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, in the Syrian civil war, is worrisome,” Davutoğlu said, adding that they had discussed possible steps to be taken ahead of the Geneva peace conference.
Hürriyet Daily News, July 2, 2013, Turkish FM requests ‘bugging explanation’ from Kerry
Turkey calls Morsi’s removal ‘unacceptable coup’
“The removal of President Mohamed Morsi, who came to power through a democratic election, by the intervention of the Egyptian army is an extremely worrying situation,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters in Istanbul in regards to last week’s military takeover. Turkish officials said the democratically elected leader’s overthrow by the military is “unacceptable” and called for his release from house arrest on July 4. The response by Turkey’s government, which like Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has Islamist roots, appeared to be the strongest foreign reaction so far to Morsi’s overthrow.
As the unrest in Egypt continues post military intervention, Turkey condemned today the Egyptian army’s firing on people during the dawn prayer in Cairo, killing dozens of people who demonstrated against ousting of Morsi. Ankara described the incident as a “massacre,” while Turkish officials called on the U.N. to show a reaction to those behind the coup.
In addition to the U.N., Ankara’s diplomatic campaign led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Davutoğlu, includes the United States, the European Union and prominent Arab countries, such as Qatar. In a bid seeking joint international reaction against the military coup in Egypt, Davutoğlu held 12 phone conversations on July 8 with his international counterparts calling for immediate elections.
Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2013, Turkey’s leadership watches uneasily as Egypt’s brotherhood stumbles
Reuters, July 4, 2013, Turkey calls Mursi’s removal ‘unacceptable coup’
Washington Post, July 4, 2013, Turkey says Egyptian leader’s ouster by military is ‘unacceptable’
Hurriyet Daily News, July 8, 2013, Turkey keeps seeking international reaction against military coup in Egypt
Hurriyet Daily News, July 8, 2013, Ankara in diplomacy to undo Egypt coup
Turkey reaffirms its ‘open door policy’ in response to HRW’s Syria refugee report
Turkey has rebuffed a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that accused countries, including Turkey, of pushing back tens of thousands of people trying to flee the violence in Syria. HRW claimed on July 1 that “Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey have either closed numerous border crossings entirely or allowed only limited numbers of Syrians to cross, leaving tens of thousands stranded in dangerous conditions in Syria’s conflict-ridden border regions.” However, the Turkish Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said it had implemented an “open door policy” from the first day of the crisis, a fact that was included in the reports of U.N. officers who regularly visit the camps. “As of July 1, Turkey is hosting 200,018 Syrians in refugee camps,” the statement said.
Hurriyet Daily News, July 1, 2013, Turkey rebuffs HRW’s Syria refugee report
Parliament extends mandate of Turkish troops in Lebanon
Parliament approved on July 6 a proposal by the Prime Ministry to extend the mandate, for the seventh time, of Turkish troops operating under the banner of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for one year as of Sept. 5, 2013. The Turkish Parliament first agreed to send troops to the war-torn country in 2006, despite widespread opposition and protests, to help monitor a shaky cease-fire between Israel and Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas based in southern Lebanon and has extended its mandate for a year every summer since then.
Today’s Zaman, July 8, 2013, Parliament extends mandate of Turkish troops in Lebanon
ECONOMY & ENERGY
Parliament adopts 10th Five-Year Development Plan
Parliament adopted the 10th Five-Year Development Plan for Turkey on July 2. The plan which is the new economic roadmap to be adhered by Turkey until the end of 2018 forecasts a 5.5 percent growth in the economy annually, a $277 billion export volume and an increase in Turkey’s per capita income to $16,000, pulling down the joblessness rate to 7.2 percent and lowering the inflation rate to 4.5 percent.
Turkish Press Review, July 3, 2013, Parliament adopts 10th Five-Year Development Plan
Turkey probes financial markets
Turkey’s financial markets, hit back-to-back by a global selloff in developing economies and the biggest antigovernment protests in a decade, are in the grip of an investigation that threatens faith in the country’s capital markets just as international investment is most needed.
The Ankara-based Capital Markets Board launched one of the broadest financial probes in Turkey’s history after a massive month long exit from Turkey by foreign investors starting in late May, which pushed stocks into bear territory, raised borrowing costs significantly and sent the lira plummeting to record lows against the dollar.
Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2013, Turkey probes financial markets
Turkey and Ukraine among most at risk of liquidity squeeze
Ukraine and Turkey are among the most vulnerable to an external funding shortfall in emerging markets as investors cut their holdings off the region’s bonds, according to Standard & Poor’s.
“The larger an economy’s dependence on external funding is compared to its own stock of and capacity to generate foreign reserves, the more vulnerable it is to a change in the extraordinarily loose monetary conditions currently prevailing worldwide,” S&P’s analysts Moritz Kraemer in Frankfurt and Frank Gill from London said in an e-mailed report today. Turkey, formerly among the top destinations for developing nation funds, has seen more than $1.4 billion in outflows from its stocks and bonds in June, after protests broke out at the end of May.
BloombergBusinessweek, July 4, 2013, Turkey and Ukraine among most at risk of liquidity squeeze: S&P
Turkey’s exports show surge, but more slowly
Turkey sold products worth $74.66 billion in the first half of this year – a 2.5 percent increase from over a year ago – data from the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) have shown, sending positive signals for year-end goals. At a press conference attended by Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and TİM’s president, Mehmet Büyükekşi, in the southeastern province of Batman on July 1, TİM announced that Turkish exports were growing despite problems and a diminishing demand by major trade partners. Turkey’s exports rose slightly to $11.8 billion in June, a 0.6 percent increase from the same month a year earlier. “Turkey is now $85.3 billion away from its 2013 export target, around $160 billion.” said Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan in a written statement.
Today’s Zaman, July 1, 2013, Turkish H1 exports surge 2.5 percent to $74.7 bln
Hurriyet Daily News, July 2, 2013, Turkey’s exports show surge, but more slowly
Turkey ranks the first in Europe in agricultural growth
Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehdi Eker said that Turkey ranked the first in Europe and seventh in the world among 190 countries in terms of agricultural growth. Eker said that this situation derived from the affirmative policies followed by Turkey in the field of agriculture during the last decade.
Turkish Press Review, July 5, 2013, Turkey ranks the first in Europe in agricultural growth
World Bank President highlights the importance of the protests in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt for development
After last week’s court decision to cancel the Taksim Square redevelopment project, Gezi Park was reopened this weekend for public use with an announcement from Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu. Soon after the opening, small groups of protestors continued to demonstrate.
Meanwhile World Bank President who has been watching the developments in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt closely spoke to Reuters. Massive protests in Brazil, Egypt and Turkey should jolt governments across the globe into ensuring they are providing crucial public services and opportunities to their citizens, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in an interview on July 5.
“These social movements are not going to go away. And in my view they’re simply going to grow.
Every country in the world has to really think hard about whether or not it’s effective or not at delivering services, at whether or not people really do have a chance. Because Twitter and Facebook and social media have become incredibly powerful tools for civil society,” Kim said.
Reuters, July 5, 2013, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey unrest a wake up call: World Bank
BBC, July 6, 2013, Turkey protesters clash with police near Taksim Square
New York Times, July 7, 2013, After Protests, Forums Sprout in Turkey’s Parks
Reuters, July 8, 2013, Turkey reopens Istanbul park at heart of protests
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