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Turkey Letter: 14 June 2016

Foreign Policy

  • EU Envoy to Turkey Resigns as Tensions Threaten to Derail Migration Deal
  • US warns against “chilling effect” of Turkey’s immunity bill
  • Turkish PM, president congratulate Russian counterparts for National Day
  • Britain’s ‘Brexit’ Debate Inflamed by Worries That Turkey Will Join E.U.
  • EU, Turkey admit delay in visa-free travel
  • Putin Signals He Won’t Block Move to Fix Israel-Turkey Ties
  • After Threats, Security Concerns for German MPs With Turkish Roots
  • Cyprus Unification Deal May Happen in 2016, Government Says

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey Growth Beats Estimates as Household Spending Surges
  • Turkey’s Current-Account Deficit Shrinks in April on Energy
  • Turkey absorbs almost half of global private infrastructure investment in 2015: World Bank
  • Looser Turkish Interest Rates Finally Reaching Intended Audience
  • Turkey Names Halkbank Executive as Central Bank Deputy Governor

Domestic Politics

  • Kurdish Militant Group T.A.K. Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Bombing
  • Turkish Police Forces Hit by Second Car Bombing in Two Days
  • Car bomb in eastern Turkey wounds nine people
  • Turkey’s Erdoğan signs bill lifting 152 lawmakers’ immunity, paves way for 799 cases
  • A Year on, Turkey’s Kurdish Opposition Fights for Survival in Parliament
  • Turkish jets kill 13 Kurdish PKK militants in southeast Turkey: military sources

 

Foreign Policy

EU Envoy to Turkey Resigns as Tensions Threaten to Derail Migration Deal

The European Union’s top envoy to Turkey resigned, EU officials said Tuesday, ending a short-lived, rocky ride in Ankara as European and Turkish officials grapple with myriad challenges threatening a deal credited for curbing the refugee influx to Europe.

Wall Street Journal, EU Envoy to Turkey Resigns as Tensions Threaten to Derail Migration Deal, June 14, 2016


US warns against “chilling effect” of Turkey’s immunity bill

The United States has warned about the “chilling effects” of a controversial Turkish bill – recently approved by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – that lifts the parliamentary immunities of scores of lawmakers.

Hurriyet Daily News, US warns against “chilling effect” of Turkey’s immunity bill, June 10, 2016


Turkish PM, president congratulate Russian counterparts for National Day

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan passed along greetings to Russian counterparts Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin on the occasion of National Day in Russia on June 12 despite ongoing tension between the two countries, CNN Türk has reported.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish PM, president congratulate Russian counterparts for National Day, June 14, 2016


Britain’s ‘Brexit’ Debate Inflamed by Worries That Turkey Will Join E.U.

With nine days left before Britain votes on whether to remain in the European Union, the possibility of Turkey’s becoming a member of the bloc has inflamed the debate, injecting divisive issues of race, religion and tolerance openly into the campaign.

New York Times, Britain’s ‘Brexit’ Debate Inflamed by Worries That Turkey Will Join E.U., June 13, 2016


EU, Turkey admit delay in visa-free travel

Turkey’s EU minister has admitted there is no chance of completing a deal on visa-free travel to the European Union by a July 1 deadline, as the EU’s interior ministers demanded once more during a June 10 meeting in Luxembourg that Turkey change its anti-terror law.

Hurriyet Daily News, EU, Turkey admit delay in visa-free travel, June 12, 2016


Putin Signals He Won’t Block Move to Fix Israel-Turkey Ties

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there’s a “decent chance” Israel can reach a deal to repair its relations with Turkey, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his own country’s strained ties with Ankara wouldn’t be an impediment to ending a six-year diplomatic rift.

Bloomberg, Putin Signals He Won’t Block Move to Fix Israel-Turkey Ties, June 7, 2016


After Threats, Security Concerns for German MPs With Turkish Roots

German lawmakers of Turkish origin who have been threatened after parliament declared the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide have been warned not to travel to Turkey and will get increased police protection, media reported on Saturday.

Reuters, After Threats, Security Concerns for German MPs With Turkish Roots, June 11, 2016


Cyprus Unification Deal May Happen in 2016, Government Says

After more than 40 years of division, the government of Cyprus is pushing for the island to be reunified in the next six months.

Bloomberg, Cyprus Unification Deal May Happen in 2016, Government Says, June 8, 2016


Economy & Energy

Turkey Growth Beats Estimates as Household Spending Surges

Turkey’s economy expanded more than forecast in the first quarter on household consumption, which grew by the most in five years following a 30 percent increase to the official minimum wage.

Bloomberg, Turkey Growth Beats Estimates as Household Spending Surges, June 10, 2016


Turkey’s Current-Account Deficit Shrinks in April on Energy

Turkey’s current-account deficit narrowed for a ninth month in April as the cost of imported energy fell.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Current-Account Deficit Shrinks in April on Energy, June 10, 2016


Turkey absorbs almost half of global private infrastructure investment in 2015: World Bank

As global private infrastructure investment in 2015 mostly remained steady at $111.6 billion, Turkey raised the bar with the financial closure of seven projects for a record $44.7 billion, said the World Bank in a news release on June 13.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey absorbs almost half of global private infrastructure investment in 2015: World Bank, June 14, 2016


Looser Turkish Interest Rates Finally Reaching Intended Audience

A move by Turkey’s central bank to simplify how it manages money supply to the nation’s lenders may have finally had the desired effect of driving down borrowing costs for the real economy.

Bloomberg, Looser Turkish Interest Rates Finally Reaching Intended Audience, June 8, 2016


Turkey Names Halkbank Executive as Central Bank Deputy Governor

Turkey named Murat Uysal, a deputy general manager at the country’s biggest listed state lender, Halkbank, as a central bank deputy governor, according to an official decree published on June 9.

Bloomberg, Turkey Names Halkbank Executive as Central Bank Deputy Governor, June 9, 2016


Domestic Politics

Kurdish Militant Group T.A.K. Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Bombing

A Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility on Friday for a car bombing this week that killed 11 people and wounded dozens near a central tourist district in Istanbul.

New York Times, Kurdish Militant Group T.A.K. Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Bombing, June 11, 2016


Turkish Police Forces Hit by Second Car Bombing in Two Days

A massive explosion blew the front off a five-story police headquarters in eastern Turkey, killing at least five people, a day after a car bomb targeting security personnel left 11 dead people in Istanbul.

Bloomberg, Turkish Police Forces Hit by Second Car Bombing in Two Days, June 8, 2016


Car bomb in eastern Turkey wounds nine people

A car bomb wounded nine people in the eastern Turkish province of Tunceli on Monday near a housing block for civil servants working at a local courthouse, security sources said.

Reuters, Car bomb in eastern Turkey wounds nine people, June 13, 2016


Turkey’s Erdoğan signs bill lifting 152 lawmakers’ immunity, paves way for 799 cases

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved a bill late June 7 that will lift lawmakers’ immunity from prosecution, paving the way to have the immunities of a score of lawmakers lifted.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Erdoğan signs bill lifting 152 lawmakers’ immunity, paves way for 799 cases, June 9, 2016


A Year on, Turkey’s Kurdish Opposition Fights for Survival in Parliament

A year after Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition entered parliament as a party for the first time, to great fanfare about a maturing of Turkish democracy, its embattled leader is struggling to save it from banishment to the political wilderness.

Reuters, A Year on, Turkey’s Kurdish Opposition Fights for Survival in Parliament, June 8, 2016


Turkish jets kill 13 Kurdish PKK militants in southeast Turkey: military sources

Turkish warplanes killed 13 suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants on June 11 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, military sources said on June 11.

Reuters, Turkish jets kill 13 Kurdish PKK militants in southeast Turkey: military sources, June 11, 2016