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Turkey Letter: 11 July 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Erdoğan pushes for support against terrorism at NATO summit
  • Russians Are Eager to Embrace Turkey Again
  • NATO Prepares for Its Next Summits in Brussels and Istanbul
  • Migration to Greece by the Aegean Sea Has Plummeted, U.N. Says
  • German MPs say troops must return if Turkey refuses Incirlik visit
  • 50 Turkish aid trucks reach Gaza: Palestinian official
  • Turkey blocks investigations into southeast killings

Economy & Energy

  • Reconciliation with Russia to create $10 bln value for Turkish economy in two years: Report
  • As Brexit Splits Europe, One Divided Island Edges Toward Unity
  • Turkey gives working permits to 38,000 foreigners in six months
  • European bank provides new funds for Turkish renewable energy projects via Akbank

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s bold new plan for Syrian refugees: Make them citizens
  • Turkey jails seven more suspects in Istanbul airport attack
  • Turkey appears to be in vanguard of ‘throttling’ social media after attacks
  • Seven killed in military helicopter crash in northern Turkey, army says
  • Reports leading PKK militant killed in Syria not confirmed
  • Brawl erupts between Bahçeli supporters, MHP dissidents
  • Turkish jets hit PKK in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, kill 12:

Foreign Policy

Erdoğan pushes for support against terrorism at NATO summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he pushed for more support for the fight against terrorism at the NATO leaders’ summit in the Polish capital on July 8-9.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan pushes for support against terrorism at NATO summit, July 11, 2016


Russians Are Eager to Embrace Turkey Again

In the few days since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree allowing travel agencies to sell trips to Turkey again, Turkey regained its status as Russians’ favorite holiday destination. The speed of the turnaround has astonished some nationalists in Russia and showed that public reactions to Putin’s foreign-policy somersaults are only skin deep.

Bloomberg, Russians Are Eager to Embrace Turkey Again, July 5, 2016


NATO Prepares for Its Next Summits in Brussels and Istanbul

The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization can get ready for Brussels…and Istanbul. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced in Warsaw that the next alliance summit would take place in 2017 in Brussels, to inaugurate the new headquarters building.

Wall Street Journal, NATO Prepares for Its Next Summits in Brussels and Istanbul, July 10, 2016


Migration to Greece by the Aegean Sea Has Plummeted, U.N. Says

The number of migrants risking the perilous voyage from Turkey to Greece via the Aegean Sea has plummeted, according to new figures released by the United Nations, a sign that a deal brokered by the European Union in March to ease the migration crisis has shown some success.

New York Times, Migration to Greece by the Aegean Sea Has Plummeted, U.N. Says, July 8, 2016


German MPs say troops must return if Turkey refuses Incirlik visit

Several German lawmakers said on Sunday the country’s soldiers working at Turkey’s Incirlik airbase should be brought home if Ankara continued to prevent parliamentarians from visiting the station.

Reuters, German MPs say troops must return if Turkey refuses Incirlik visit, July 10, 2016


50 Turkish aid trucks reach Gaza: Palestinian official

Around 50 trucks carrying Turkish humanitarian aid arrived in the Gaza Strip on July 7 via Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing, according to a Palestinian border official.

Hurriyet Daily News, 50 Turkish aid trucks reach Gaza: Palestinian official, July 8, 2016


Turkey blocks investigations into southeast killings

Turkey’s government is blocking access to independent investigations into alleged mass abuses against civilians in southeast Turkey, where security forces are fighting Kurdish militants, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

Reuters, Turkey blocks investigations into southeast killings, July 11, 2016


Economy & Energy

Reconciliation with Russia to create $10 bln value for Turkish economy in two years: Report

Recent moves to normalize relations between Turkey and Russia after months of strained ties will make an additional contribution of around $10 billion to the Turkish economy over the next two years, according to a new report by Ata Investment analysts.

Hurriyet Daily News, Reconciliation with Russia to create $10 bln value for Turkish economy in two years: Report, July 11, 2016


As Brexit Splits Europe, One Divided Island Edges Toward Unity

The reunification of Cyprus — split between north and south since Turkey’s invasion in 1974, a little more than a dozen years after independence from Britain — is a tale of false dawns, but the feeling in Nicosia is that the stars in the eastern Mediterranean just might be aligning. In the background is the prospect of turning Cyprus into a lucrative energy conduit that would give Turkey and Europe access to gas deposits discovered in the region off the coast of Israel, Egypt and Cyprus itself. Political risk consultants Eurasia Group puts the chance of reunification at 60 percent and makes it its base-case scenario for 2016.

Bloomberg, As Brexit Splits Europe, One Divided Island Edges Toward Unity, July 5, 2016


Turkey gives working permits to 38,000 foreigners in six months

Turkey issued nearly 38,000 working permits to foreigners between January and June 2016, Anadolu Agency reported on July 8. Some 38,261 foreigners out of 45,375 applicants were given permission to work in Turkey by the Labor and Social Security Ministry.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey gives working permits to 38,000 foreigners in six months, July 8, 2016


European bank provides new funds for Turkish renewable energy projects via Akbank

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said that in response to growing demand it has been providing $110 million in new funds to Akbank to finance private companies investing in renewable energy and resource efficiency projects in Turkey in a written statement on June 30.

Hurriyet Daily News, European bank provides new funds for Turkish renewable energy projects via Akbank, July 3, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey’s bold new plan for Syrian refugees: Make them citizens

Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured a southern province close to the Syrian border and announced a new plan to cope with the huge population of Syrian refugees in the country.

Washington Post, Turkey’s bold new plan for Syrian refugees: Make them citizens, July 9, 2016.


Turkey jails seven more suspects in Istanbul airport attack

A Turkish court has jailed seven suspects pending trial on terrorism charges over last month’s triple suicide bombing at Istanbul’s main airport, bringing the number in custody to 37, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Reuters, Turkey jails seven more suspects in Istanbul airport attack, July 11, 2016


Turkey appears to be in vanguard of ‘throttling’ social media after attacks

After suicide bombers killed 45 people at Istanbul’s main airport last week, the Turkish government appeared to take a step that has become increasingly common around the world in moments of political uncertainty: restricting access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Reuters, Turkey appears to be in vanguard of ‘throttling’ social media after attacks, July 6, 2016


Seven killed in military helicopter crash in northern Turkey, army says

Seven people were killed and eight injured when a helicopter carrying Turkish military personnel, their wives and children crashed in the Black Sea region of northeast Turkey on Tuesday, the Turkish armed forces said.

Reuters, Seven killed in military helicopter crash in northern Turkey, army says, July 6, 2016


Reports leading PKK militant killed in Syria not confirmed

Turkey has not been able to confirm reports that a senior Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) commander had been killed in Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday, in what would be a major blow to Kurdish militants.

Reuters, Reports leading PKK militant killed in Syria not confirmed, July 11, 2016


Brawl erupts between Bahçeli supporters, MHP dissidents

A fight erupted between the supporters of Meral Akşener, a dissident member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the supporters of party leader Devlet Bahçeli during an event organized by the former in Ankara on July 6. The fight erupted during a celebratory event organized by Akşener in a hotel to mark Eid al-Fitr, as Bahçeli supporters gathered in front of the hotel and chanted slogans.

Hurriyet Daily News, Brawl erupts between Bahçeli supporters, MHP dissidents, July 9, 2016


Turkish jets hit PKK in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, kill 12: sources           

Turkish fighter jets struck Kurdish militant targets in rural areas of Turkey’s southeastern Hakkari province and northern Iraq on Friday, killing 12 militants, security sources said.

Reuters, Turkish jets hit PKK in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, kill 12: sources, July 8, 2016