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Turkey Letter: 14 November 2016

Foreign Politics

  • Turkish president invites Donald Trump to Turkey
  • Ankara rebuffs EU’s harsh progress report
  • EU Considers Freezing Membership Talks With Turkey
  • Turkey-backed Syria rebels poised to attack IS-held city
  • Turkey Turns Tables With Warning U.S. May Be Unsafe for Tourists

Economy & Energy

  • July’s Coup Attempt Still Weighing on Turkey Industrial Output
  • S. Charges Four Turkish, Iranian Nationals With Evading Sanctions
  • Erdogan Purge Creates $10 Billion Bazaar for Would-Be Oligarchs
  • Turkey expects first unit of Akkuyu nuclear plant to be online by end 2023
  • Turkey’s Central Bank to simplify interest rate policy

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan Hopes Tough Talk Will Win New Fans
  • Turkey’s nationalist opposition hints at support for constitutional change
  • Bomb blast wounds three at governor’s office in southeast Turkey
  • Turkish Prisoners Claim Post-Coup Abuses
  • Turkey detains chairman of opposition Cumhuriyet daily, paper says
  • Turkey halts activities of 370 groups as purge widens

Foreign Politics

Turkish president invites Donald Trump to Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invited newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump to Turkey on Nov. 12, daily Hürriyet has reported.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish president invites Donald Trump to Turkey, November 13, 2016


Ankara rebuffs EU’s harsh progress report

Ankara reacted angrily on Nov. 9 to a harsh progress report by the European Commission on Turkey, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urging the European Union to make up its mind on Turkey’s accession bid immediately.

Hurriyet Daily News, Ankara rebuffs EU’s harsh progress report, November 9, 2016


EU Considers Freezing Membership Talks With Turkey

The European Union is considering freezing negotiations over Turkey’s decades long bid to join the bloc as tensions flare over the measures the government has taken in the wake of July’s failed coup attempt.

Wall Street Journal, EU Considers Freezing Membership Talks With Turkey, November 8, 2016


Turkey-backed Syria rebels poised to attack IS-held city

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey were poised to begin an assault to try to drive Islamic State from the Syrian city of al-Bab, two of their commanders said on Monday, a battle that could also prompt new fighting with Kurdish groups that are competing for the area.

Reuters, Turkey-backed Syria rebels poised to attack IS-held city, November 14, 2016


Turkey Turns Tables With Warning U.S. May Be Unsafe for Tourists

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for the United States, citing dangers linked to protests and possible assaults by racists following the election of Donald Trump.

Bloomberg, Turkey Turns Tables With Warning U.S. May Be Unsafe for Tourists, November 14, 2016


Economy & Energy

July’s Coup Attempt Still Weighing on Turkey Industrial Output

Turkey’s industrial output unexpectedly shrank in September, providing more evidence that the economy has yet to overcome the fallout from an attempted coup earlier this year.

Bloomberg, July’s Coup Attempt Still Weighing on Turkey Industrial Output, November 8, 2016


U.S. Charges Four Turkish, Iranian Nationals With Evading Sanctions

Prosecutors in New York charged four people with conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran through a scheme they say caused U.S. banks to conduct at least $100 million in funds transfers to aid the Iranian steel and copper industries.

Wall Street Journal, U.S. Charges Four Turkish, Iranian Nationals With Evading Sanctions, November 10, 2016


Erdogan Purge Creates $10 Billion Bazaar for Would-Be Oligarchs

Don’t be put off by his conviction for inciting murder, Turkish bus baron Galip Ozturk says. That was just how the secret society that tried to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once punished people who refused to pay up.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Purge Creates $10 Billion Bazaar for Would-Be Oligarchs, November 13, 2016


Turkey expects first unit of Akkuyu nuclear plant to be online by end 2023

Turkey expects the first unit of its planned $20 billion Akkuyu nuclear power plant, being built in collaboration with Russia, to be online by the end of 2023.

Reuters, Turkey expects first unit of Akkuyu nuclear plant to be online by end 2023, November 8, 2016


Turkey’s Central Bank to simplify interest rate policy

The Central Bank will switch to a single interest rate policy from the current “interest rate corridor” and will reduce its number of Monetary Policy Committee meetings from 12 to eight per year, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has told state-run Anadolu Agency.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Central Bank to simplify interest rate policy, November 14, 2016


Domestic Politics

Erdogan Hopes Tough Talk Will Win New Fans

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started talking about Turkey’s borders, hinting they should be shifted outwards a bit. In Syria and Iraq, his army is involved in wars over territory once ruled from Istanbul. Maps of a Greater Turkey have circulated.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Hopes Tough Talk Will Win New Fans, November 7, 2016


Turkey’s nationalist opposition hints at support for constitutional change

The leader of Turkey’s nationalist opposition indicated on Thursday that his party might support constitutional changes that could give President Tayyip Erdogan more power.

Reuters, Turkey’s nationalist opposition hints at support for constitutional change, November 10, 2016


Bomb blast wounds three at governor’s office in southeast Turkey

A bomb exploded outside the district governor’s office in the southeastern Turkish province of Mardin on Thursday and wounded three people including the governor, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement.

Reuters, Bomb blast wounds three at governor’s office in southeast Turkey, November 10, 2016


Turkish Prisoners Claim Post-Coup Abuses

Eight Turkish political prisoners were attacked by guards, some of them beaten unconscious, within hours of their transfer to a facility in Izmir on Aug. 4, the men wrote days later in a letter that rights groups say illustrates a new wave of abuse in Turkey’s crowded jails.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Prisoners Claim Post-Coup Abuses, November 8, 2016


Turkey detains chairman of opposition Cumhuriyet daily, paper says

Turkish police detained the chairman of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet at Istanbul’s main airport on Friday, less than a week after nine of its executives and journalists were formally arrested, the paper said.

Reuters, Turkey detains chairman of opposition Cumhuriyet daily, paper says, November 11, 2016


Turkey halts activities of 370 groups as purge widens

Turkey has halted the activities of 370 non-governmental groups including human rights and children’s organizations over their alleged terrorist links, the government said as it widens purges following a failed coup in July.

Reuters, Turkey halts activities of 370 groups as purge widens, November 12, 2016