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Turkey Letter: 14 March 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Turkish warplanes strike northern Iraq after Ankara bombing blamed on Kurdish militants
  • International community condemns Ankara attack
  • EU wrestles with rights, Cyprus to seal Turkey migrant deal
  • EU Interior Ministers Meet on Deal With Turkey Seen as Key to Stemming Crisis

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey Bonds Extend Rally With Terrorism No Deterrent So Far
  • Turkish Stocks Cap Best Streak Since 2012 as Risk Appetite Grows
  • Turkey’s current account gap falls to $2.2 billion amid oil plunge
  • Turkish industrial production rises above estimates
  • Fitch expects more near-term growth for Turkey
  • Iraq halts pumping of Kirkuk oil into Turkey pipeline

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey Suspects Kurdish Separatists Behind Deadly Car Bombing in Ankara
  • Turkey’s Erdogan warns top court after ruling on detained journalists
  • Turkey’s bid to lift immunity of pro-Kurdish MPs gathers pace
  • CHP leader vows to stand firm on first four articles of constitution
  • Seven Kurdish militants killed in clash in southeast

 

Foreign Policy

Turkish warplanes strike northern Iraq after Ankara bombing blamed on Kurdish militants

Turkish warplanes struck against Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq on Monday after 37 people were killed in an Ankara car bombing that security officials said involved a female fighter of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Reuters, Turkish warplanes strike northern Iraq after Ankara bombing blamed on Kurdish militants, March 14, 2016


International community condemns Ankara attack

Members of the international community, including world powers like the United States and Russia and inter-governmental organizations like the United Nations, have stood beside Turkey and condemned the third major terrorist attack to hit the country’s capital over the past six months. U.S. State Department Spokesman John Kirby conveyed condolences to the families of those killed on March 13 and wished a quick recovery to the wounded. “We reaffirm our strong partnership with our NATO ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism,” he said.

Hurriyet Daily News, International community condemns Ankara attack, March 14, 2016


EU wrestles with rights, Cyprus to seal Turkey migrant deal

EU officials are racing to overcome legal concerns on human rights and tensions between Turkey and Cyprus in order to complete a deal they hope can stem the migrant crisis when leaders meet later this week. At a summit a week ago, EU leaders gave broad assent to an accord sprung on them by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel whereby all migrants reaching Greece would be deported back to Turkey in return for places for Syrian refugees in Europe and for EU financial help for Ankara.

Reuters, EU wrestles with rights, Cyprus to seal Turkey migrant deal, March 14, 2016


EU Interior Ministers Meet on Deal With Turkey Seen as Key to Stemming Crisis

European Union interior ministers on March 10 raised legal and practical questions about a deal with Turkey pitched as crucial to stemming the bloc’s migrant crisis. The draft deal obliging Turkey to take back all migrants crossing illegally into Greece, including Syria refugees, agreed to on Monday, still needs final approval by the bloc’s leaders at an upcoming summit.

Wall Street Journal, EU Interior Ministers Meet on Deal With Turkey Seen as Key to Stemming Crisis, March 10, 2016


Economy and Energy

Turkey Bonds Extend Rally With Terrorism No Deterrent So Far

Turkey’s deepening confrontation with terrorism has done nothing to deter the hot money that has driven a market rally the past month. Even after a car bomb exploded Sunday night 200 meters from the prime minister’s office in Ankara, killing at least 37 people, Turkish bonds gained for a fifth day on Monday.

Bloomberg, Turkey Bonds Extend Rally With Terrorism No Deterrent So Far, March 14, 2016


Turkish Stocks Cap Best Streak Since 2012 as Risk Appetite Grows

Turkey’s stocks posted the longest rally in almost four years as a suicide bombing in Ankara did little to deter investors betting the country stands to gain from renewed appetite for emerging-market assets. The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index climbed 0.9 percent at the close, extending its winning streak to 11 days. That last happened in June 2012, and the gauge has only once risen 12 straight days, in 1993. The yield on 10-year government bonds dropped a fifth day to 10.12 percent, the lowest since December.

Bloomberg, Turkish Stocks Cap Best Streak Since 2012 as Risk Appetite Grows, March 14, 2016


Turkey’s current account gap falls to $2.2 billion amid oil plunge

Turkey’s current account deficit fell to $2.22 billion in January, a drop of $216 million compared to the same month last year, the Central Bank stated on March 10. The 12-month rolling deficit fell to $31.9 billion in the month from $42.9 billion in January of last year.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s current account gap falls to $2.2 billion amid oil plunge, March 10, 2016


Turkish industrial production rises above estimates

Turkish industrial production numbers have beaten expectations after an increase of 5.6 percent in January compared with the same month last year, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on March 8.Seasonally and calendar adjusted industrial production increased by 1 percent year-on-year in January, according to the data.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish industrial production rises above estimates, March 8, 2016


Fitch expects more near-term growth for Turkey

Year-end growth estimations for Turkey have been upgraded to 3.5 percent from 3 percent in December last year due to a better-than-expected economic performance, according to a chief economist at Fitch ratings agency.

Hurriyet Daily News, Fitch expects more near-term growth for Turkey, March 11, 2016


Iraq halts pumping of Kirkuk oil into Turkey pipeline

Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company has stopped pumping crude produced at fields it operates in the Kirkuk area through a pipeline to Turkey, three sources said on Monday.

Reuters, Iraq halts pumping of Kirkuk oil into Turkey pipeline, March 14, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey Suspects Kurdish Separatists Behind Deadly Car Bombing in Ankara

Turkish investigators suspect Kurdish separatists carried out a deadly car bombing in Ankara that killed at least 37 people in an attack that raised new fears that the country is heading into a destabilizing war.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Suspects Kurdish Separatists Behind Deadly Car Bombing in Ankara, March 14, 2016


Turkey’s Erdogan warns top court after ruling on detained journalists

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday a constitutional court ruling that led to the release of two detained newspaper editors was a step against the country and warned the court that repeating such actions could bring its very existence into question.The constitutional court ruled last month that the detention of Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, editor-in-chief and Ankara bureau chief of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, was “unlawful” and had violated their individual freedom and safety.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan warns top court after ruling on detained journalists, March 11, 2016


Turkey’s bid to lift immunity of pro-Kurdish MPs gathers pace

Turkey’s prime minister applied to parliament on Wednesday to lift the immunity of senior pro-Kurdish opposition deputies to prosecute them on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group. Such a step could further inflame tensions in the mainly Kurdish southeast which has been hit by the worst violence in two decades since a two-year Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ceasefire collapsed in July.

Reuters, Turkey’s bid to lift immunity of pro-Kurdish MPs gathers pace, March 9, 2016


CHP leader vows to stand firm on first four articles of constitution

Turkey’s main opposition party leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has reiterated his firm stance on the preservation of the Turkish constitution’s first four articles while commenting on efforts for a new charter. The first three articles of the Turkish constitution marks the principles of the Turkish state while the fourth one says the first three cannot be changed.

Hurriyet Daily News, CHP leader vows to stand firm on first four articles of constitution, March 8, 2016


Seven Kurdish militants killed in clash in southeast

Seven Kurdish militants were killed in a gun battle in southeast Turkey’s largest city Diyarbakir on Thursday, security sources said, a day after security forces declared an end to operations there.

Reuters, Seven Kurdish militants killed in clash in southeast, March 10, 2016