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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 22-29 October 2012

THIS WEEK: 

FOREIGN POLICY
• No Syria-related US military presence in Turkey: Turkish army
• Turkish PM successful in fighting PKK, US army chief says
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey gives $1.2 billion in

aid
• Turkey fails to appeal to investors
• Turkey raises inflation forecast
• Banks issue bonds on upgrade hopes
DOMESTIC POLITICS
• Turkish police use tear gas and water cannons against illegal pro-secular demonstration
• Turkish government asks Kurdish prisoners to end hunger strike 

FOREIGN POLICY

No Syria-related US military presence in Turkey: Turkish army

The United States has not deployed any military personnel or units in Turkey in connection with the crisis in Syria, the Turkish army said in a statement Saturday. The headquarters of the Turkish armed forces denied press reports that US military personnel had been sent to the country following increasing tension along its border with Syria. “There are neither military personnel nor units deployed in Turkey beyond those at the base at Incirlik (in the southern province of Adana) and those at Kurecik (in the southeastern province of Malatya, home to a NATO radar installation) and those at the American embassy in Ankara,” the statement said.
~~~
AFP, 28 October 2012, No Syria-related US military presence in Turkey: Turkish army 

Turkish PM successful in fighting PKK, US army chief says

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is doing a good job in fighting terrorism, US Chief of General Staff Martin Dempsey told reporters during a recent Pentagon press conference, daily Hürriyet reported. “This is Prime Minister Erdoğan’s country. I cannot judge his approach. And he is doing his job well,” the general reportedly said.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 26 October 2012, Turkish PM successful in fighting PKK, US army chief says

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Turkey gives $1.2 billion in aid

The official amount of assistance Turkey extended to underdeveloped and developing countries reached $1.2 billion in 2011, an increase of 31.6 percent when compared to 2010.  In 2011, 46.6 percent of the assistance was extended to Central and South Asia, 23.9 percent to the Middle East, 22 percent to Africa and 6.3 percent to Balkan countries.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 29 October 2012, Turkey gives $1.2 billion in aid

Turkey fails to appeal to investors

Turkey ranks number 71 out of 185 in ease of doing business, according to a World Bank report. Turkey even lags behind Azerbaijan and Trinidad.  “Doing Business 2013 Smarter Regulation for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises” report, the same position it was in last year.   “Turkey managed to maintain its ranking from the year before given that

all the other countries in the sampling were able to make as many economic reforms as Turkey.”
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 26 October 2012, Turkey fails to appeal to investors
International Finance Corporation, Doing Business 2013: Turkey

Turkey raises inflation forecast

On October 24, Turkey’s central bank raised its inflation forecasts for this year and next, the result of tax increases and higher domestic energy prices, but said it expects inflation to fall again by the end of 2013 even as it tries to reinvigorate the economy. Central bank governor Erdem Başçı lifted the bank’s end-2012 inflation forecast to 7.4% from 6.2%, and its end-2013 inflation forecast to 5.3% from 5.1%. The bank raised its end-2012 oil price forecast to $112.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 24 October 2012, Turkey raises inflation forecast 

Banks issue bonds on upgrade hopes

Turkish banks are on track to issue more than double the amount of foreign bonds this year compared to last year. The surge is likely to continue in 2013, as the country’s expected upgrade to investment status lures investors. Lenders including Akbank and İşbank have sold some $5.9 billion in foreign currency-denominated bonds so far this year as they look to lengthen their debt maturities and diversify their sources of financing at low cost.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 25 October 2012, Banks issue bonds on upgrade hopes

DOMESTIC POLITICS

Turkish police use tear gas and water cannons against illegal pro-secular demonstration

Police used tear gas and water cannons against a demonstration by tens of thousands of pro-secular protesters, but the march on October 29 to mark the 89th year of the founding of the Turkish republic went on in defiance of a government ban.

The Ankara governor’s office last week denied authorization for the march, citing security reasons, and declared the gathering illegal. Challenging the ban, tens of thousands of people assembled in the old part of Ankara, near the building housing Turkey’s first parliament, to march to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
~~~
Washington Post, 29 October 2012, Turkish police use tear gas and water cannons against illegal pro-secular demonstration

Turkish government asks Kurdish prisoners to end hunger strike

Turkey’s government made an emotional plea to hundreds of hunger-striking Kurdish prisoners—some who haven’t eaten in more than a month—to end their protest. Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin made the televised appeal October 21 during a visit to Sincan prison in the Turkish capital. “I am telling the prisoners and detainees who are on this action: On the eve of this holiday, for the sake of your own body, your own health, the people who love you and whom you love, stop this action,” the minister said.

Gönül Sonbahar, a member of the Human Rights Association’s Prison Commission, told CNN the hunger-striking prisoners were determined to continue their protest, even if it results in illness or worse.  She stated that the protesters had three main demands: the release of imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan, the right to Kurdish language education and the use of Kurdish in Turkish courts.
~~~
CNN, 28 October 2012, Turkish government asks Kurdish prisoners to end hunger strike

 

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”.