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Turkey Letter 10 April 2016

Foreign Politics

  • Allies seek strategy after US hit on Syria
  • Turkey calls for Assad’s ouster, says supports U.S. missile strike
  • Tillerson, Turkish FM, Discuss Assad’s Future
  • Turkey says Russia must stop insisting on Assad’s leadership in Syria
  • Syrian pilot whose plane crashed in Turkey arrested
  • Glum EU braces for Turkey vote on Erdogan’s powers
  • Germany demands Turkey release jailed reporter in ‘big test’ for ties
  • Tusk says EU stands firm on keeping Balkan migrant routes closed
  • Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Iraqi Kurds to lower Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Economy & Energy

  • Turkish lira weakens after US strike in Syria
  • Moody’s revises up growth forecast for Turkey, highlights strong need for reform
  • Turkey’s referendum unlikely to kickstart long-stalled reforms
  • Turkey’s industrial production rises in February year on year but down from January
  • Turkey’s Central Bank Pushes Rates to the Max Before Referendum
  • Russia Warns Airlines of Possible Halt to Turkey Charter Flights

Domestic Politics

  • West is openly campaigning for ‘No’ in charter referendum: Erdoğan
  • ‘Yes’ vote will politicize army, courts and mosques: Main opposition CHP
  • Turkey’s Erdogan courts nationalists, Kurds alike with hard line on PKK
  • Turkish prosecutors accuse newspaper of ‘asymmetric war’ on Erdogan
  • Red Crescent doesn’t expect fresh wave of Syrian refugees into Turkey

Foreign Politics

Allies seek strategy after US hit on Syria

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven, including Turkey, and other allies in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) will meet in Italy on April 11 to design a joint common strategy after Washignton directly engaged Syrian government forces for the first time during the latter’s six-year civil war.

Hurriyet Daily News, Allies seek strategy after US hit on Syria, April 10, 2017


Turkey calls for Assad’s ouster, says supports U.S. missile strike

Turkey called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s immediate ouster on Friday, voicing support for a U.S. missile strike on one of his air bases and saying the creation of safe zones to protect civilians was now more important than ever.

Reuters, Turkey calls for Assad’s ouster, says supports U.S. missile strike, April 7, 2017


Tillerson, Turkish FM, Discuss Assad’s Future

A Turkish official says the country’s foreign minister has held a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during which the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad was discussed.

Associated Press, Tillerson, Turkish FM, Discuss Assad’s Future, April 10, 2017


Turkey says Russia must stop insisting on Assad’s leadership in Syria

Turkey remains committed to a ceasefire in Syria, but Russia must stop insisting that Bashar al-Assad should remain as leader of the country, Ankara’s foreign minister said on April 9.

Reuters, Turkey says Russia must stop insisting on Assad’s leadership in Syria, April 9, 2017


Syrian pilot whose plane crashed in Turkey arrested

A Syrian air force pilot who bailed out as his warplane crashed in Turkish territory last month has been arrested for allegedly engaging in “border violation” and “spying activities,” following his treatment at a hospital in the border province of Hatay, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 7.

Hurriyet Daily News, Syrian pilot whose plane crashed in Turkey arrested, April 7, 2017


Glum EU braces for Turkey vote on Erdogan’s powers

A referendum in Turkey on granting President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers is unlikely to ease strained relations with the EU and risks killing off Ankara’s stalled bid for membership of the bloc, officials in Brussels say.

Reuters, Glum EU braces for Turkey vote on Erdogan’s powers, April 10, 2017


Germany demands Turkey release jailed reporter in ‘big test’ for ties

Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist whose arrest in Turkey has jolted relations between Ankara and Berlin, is doing well in prison but Germany is pushing for his release, German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth said after consular officials visited him.

Reuters, Germany demands Turkey release jailed reporter in ‘big test’ for ties, April 4, 2017


Tusk says EU stands firm on keeping Balkan migrant routes closed

The European Union is determined to stick to a deal with Turkey to stem the flow of undocumented migrants into the bloc, European Council President Donald Tusk said on April 4.

Reuters, Tusk says EU stands firm on keeping Balkan migrant routes closed, April 4, 2017


Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Iraqi Kurds to lower Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on Iraqi Kurds to lower the Kurdish flag in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, warning that failure to do so would damage their relations with Turkey.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Iraqi Kurds to lower Kurdish flag in Kirkuk, April 4, 2017


Economy & Energy

Turkish lira weakens after US strike in Syria

Emerging assets to feel the heat of the U.S. missile strike in Syria included the Turkish lira, which weakened 0.3 percent, and Turkish stocks, which fell 0.2 percent.

Reuters, EMERGING MARKETS, April 7, 2017


Moody’s revises up growth forecast for Turkey, highlights strong need for reform

Moody’s has revised up its 2017 and 2018 growth forecasts for Turkey following a stronger-than-expected 2016 growth data, but added that Turkey’s economic rebound would unlikely last without the realization of key structural reforms.

Hurriyet Daily News, Moody’s revises up growth forecast for Turkey, highlights strong need for reform, April 10, 2017


Turkey’s referendum unlikely to kickstart long-stalled reforms

Turkey’s government says the passage of constitutional reforms on April 16 would make it easier to deliver on long-promised market reforms. But investors aren’t so sure, seeing the possibility of more policy gridlock and further elections.

Reuters, Turkey’s referendum unlikely to kickstart long-stalled reforms, April 10, 2017


Turkey’s industrial production rises in February year on year but down from January

Turkey’s calendar-adjusted industrial production rose one percent in February 2017 compared to the same month last year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced on April 10. However, industrial production was slightly less compared to the same figure for January 2017, falling by 0.4 percent.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s industrial production rises in February year on year but down from January, April 10, 2017


Turkey’s Central Bank Pushes Rates to the Max Before Referendum

With less than a week to go before a referendum that could remodel Turkey’s political landscape, the central bank has pushed interest rates to the upper reaches of its monetary framework and depleted its policy tool of choice: flexibility.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Central Bank Pushes Rates to the Max Before Referendum, April 5, 2017


Russia Warns Airlines of Possible Halt to Turkey Charter Flights

Russia has warned airlines it may again halt charter flights to Turkey, a Russian travel industry lobby group said, as tensions between the two countries intensified over events in Syria.

Bloomberg, Russia Warns Airlines of Possible Halt to Turkey Charter Flights, April 10, 2017


Domestic Politics

West is openly campaigning for ‘No’ in charter referendum: Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed the entire Western bloc and particularly some prominent European countries for openly pursuing the “no” campaign ahead of the April 16 referendum by using all means, including terror organizations.

Hurriyet Daily News, West is openly campaigning for ‘No’ in charter referendum: Erdoğan, April 10, 2017


‘Yes’ vote will politicize army, courts and mosques: Main opposition CHP

A “yes” vote in the upcoming referendum on constitutional changes will result in the politicization of the military, judiciary and religious institutions, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, ‘Yes’ vote will politicize army, courts and mosques: Main opposition CHP, April 1, 2017


Turkey’s Erdogan courts nationalists, Kurds alike with hard line on PKK

In rallies from the Kurdish southeast to the northern Black Sea coast, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has seemed to attempt the impossible: win over both nationalists and Kurds with threats to make spring a “black winter” for Kurdish militants.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan courts nationalists, Kurds alike with hard line on PKK, April 8, 2017


Turkish prosecutors accuse newspaper of ‘asymmetric war’ on Erdogan

Turkish prosecutors are seeking up to 43 years in jail for journalists from a leading opposition newspaper on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and targeting President Tayyip Erdogan through “asymmetric war methods”.

Reuters, Turkish prosecutors accuse newspaper of ‘asymmetric war’ on Erdogan, April 5, 2017


Red Crescent doesn’t expect fresh wave of Syrian refugees into Turkey

The Turkish Red Crescent does not expect a fresh wave of Syrian refugees to head for Turkey after the chemical attack in the northwestern province of Idlib earlier this week, the humanitarian organization’s head said on April 8.

Reuters, Red Crescent doesn’t expect fresh wave of Syrian refugees into Turkey, April 8, 2017