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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 11 March 2013

THIS WEEK:
FOREIGN POLICY
•  CIA seizes Bin Laden’s son-in-law in Jordan after deportation by Turkey
•  Turkey, Germany arrest Iranians in nuclear smuggling scheme
•  Turkey says EU arms embargo on Syrian rebels skews conflict
•  Turkey accredits ambassador to “Palestinian state”
ECONOMY / ENERGY
•  Turkey’s unemployment falls below Eurozone
•  Investment grade prospects fading for Turkey?
•  France steps into ring to build Turkey’s second nuclear plant 

 

FOREIGN POLICY

CIA seizes Bin Laden’s son-in-law in Jordan after deportation by Turkey

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was seized by CIA agents and taken to the United States. Abu Ghaith, the former spokesman of the Al-Qaeda network, was seized last month at a luxury hotel in Ankara after a tip-off from CIA and was held there by the police despite a U.S. request for his extradition. Turkish authorities deported Abu Ghaith to Jordan on March 1 to be sent back to Kuwait but he was seized by CIA agents in Jordan and taken to the United States. Abu Ghaith’s trial will mark one of the first prosecutions of senior al-Qaida leaders on U.S. soil.
~~~
Business Insider, 7 March 2013, CIA seizes Bin Laden’s son-in-law in Jordan and takes him to America
Huffington Post, 7 March 2013, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama Bin Laden’s spokesman and son-in-law, captured by CIA

Turkey, Germany arrest Iranians in nuclear smuggling scheme

German and Turkish security officials have caught smugglers suspected of transporting nuclear materials from India to the Iranian city of Arak. Security officials conducted a simultaneous raid in Germany and in Istanbul, leading to several arrests.
~~~
Washington Times, 11 March 2013, Turkey, Germany arrest Iranians in nuclear smuggling scheme

Turkey says EU arms embargo on Syrian rebels skews conflict

Turkey said on March 8 anti-government fighters in Syria were at a disadvantage because they weren’t properly armed, and stopped just short of calling for a European Union arms embargo to be lifted. In some of his strongest comments on the subject so far, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said he had discussed the embargo barring delivery of all arms to Syria with Britain and Germany. “If there was international support … or a common stance against certain war crimes, I don’t think there would be a need for arming the rebels,” Davutoğlu told reporters during a visit to Britain, saying he thought such pressure would topple Assad.
~~~
Reuters, 8 March 2013, Turkey says EU arms embargo on Syrian rebels skews conflict

Turkey accredits ambassador to “Palestinian state”

The title of Turkey’s consul-general in Jerusalem has been upgraded to “ambassador” in an apparent reflection of Palestine’s new, non-member state status in the United Nations. Turkey’s consul-general in Jerusalem, Şakir Özkan Torunlar, will present credentials to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 6 March 2013, Turkey accredits ambassador to “Palestinian state”

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Turkey’s unemployment falls below Eurozone

Turkey’s jobless rate fell to 9.2 percent in 2012, according to TUIK, the state-run statistics institute. The figures were lowest since 2005. In contrast, the unemployment rate in the eurozone has reached 11.8 percent. The unemployment rate in Turkey was lower than 10 out of 17 eurozone states.

However, according to United Nations Gender Thematic Group Chair in Turkey and United Nations Population Fund representative for Turkey, Zahidul Huque, the labor force participation rate for women, which was 40 percent in 2000, decreased to 27 percent in 2012 and in early 2013 has been less than 30 percent. The 10 percent decrease may be a result of a lack of child care facilities and an inability to engage women in the labor force, particularly in the upper class, non-agricultural sectors, according to Huque.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 6 March 2013, Turkey’s unemployment falls below Europeans’
Hurriyet Daily News, 8 March 2013, Fewer women employed in Turkey: UN official

Investment grade prospects fading for Turkey?

In recent weeks, confidence over ratings upgrades in Turkey has been replaced by uncertainty. After Fitch Ratings awarded Turkey its first investment grade credit rating for nearly two decades, expectations were high for others to follow. However, as Turkey’s economy has picked up since January following a sharp slowdown last year, ratings firms have again highlighted the resurgent risk of Turkey’s key economic weakness: an expanding current-account deficit. Fitch Ratings said on Thursday that although economic developments in Turkey have been favorable since they awarded Ankara an upgrade, the economy would remain “volatile” and “vulnerable to shocks.”

In the meantime, the lira’s drop over the past month is fueling speculation the Central Bank will revert to focusing on inflation instead of the currency, reducing chances of an interest-rate cut that would support bonds.
~~~
Bloomberg, 6 March 2013, Lira sliding to rescue shifts Başçı’s rates focus: Turkey credit
Bloomberg, 7 March 2013,
Wall Street Journal, 11 March 2013, Investment grade prospects fading for Turkey?

France steps into ring to build Turkey’s second nuclear plant

French company GDF Suez has officially placed a joint bid with Japanese companies Itochu and Mitsubishi to construct Turkey’s second nuclear power plant, which is expected to cost around $25 billion and is slated to be built in the Black Sea

province of Sinop.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 5 March 2013, France steps into ring to build Turkey’s second nuclear plant

 

These news items are compiled by TUSIAD Washington Representative Office (TUSIAD-US) from major news publications. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of TUSIAD. To subscribe or unsubscribe from this electronic publication, please send an e-mail to [email protected] These materials may be reproduced and/or distributed, in whole or in part, provided that its source is properly indicated as “TUSIAD-US Web site: www.tusiad.us”.