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Turkey Letter: 14 September 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Coalition air forces bomb ISIL on Turkey-Syria border
  • Turkey Threatens Major Iraq Incursion as Airplanes Hit PKK Bases
  • Shiite Militia Releases Video of Turkish Workers Kidnapped in Iraq
  • Kerry Calls Turkish FM for talks on terror, region
  • US Embassy Urges Turkish Citizens to engage only in ‘peaceful’ protests
  • Clinton: I spent years urging Israel to apologize to Turkey

Economy and Energy

  • Turkish Lira Falls to Record Low as Fed Decision Looms
  • Turkey Faces Economic Fallout Without Decisive Vote
  • Turkey’s current account gap at $3.15 billion, below forecasts
  • Turkish Economy Expands Briskly Despite Turmoil
  • Turkish Stream first line launch postponed due to political crisis in Turkey: Gazprom
  • Turkish unions, associations to hold rally against ‘terror’
  • Turkish economy ministers send mixed signals

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s PKK Conflict Takes Toll on Kurdish City
  • In shadow of Erdogan, Turkey’s AKP re-elects leader
  • Turkey on brink of civil war, warns leading Kurdish politician
  • Turkey’s Kurds: Many dead in Cizre violence as MPs’ march blocked
  • Clashes, militant bombing kill nine in south east Turkey
  • AKP set for major overhaul in party’s decision body and candidate list for Nov 1
  • Turkish magazine raided, copies seized for mock Erdogan selfie

Foreign Policy

Coalition air forces bomb ISIL on Turkey-Syria border

Coalition forces have launched an air operation on targets of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) across the border from Turkey’s Kilis province in Syria.

Hurriyet Daily News, Coalition air forces bomb ISIL on Turkey-Syria border, September 14, 2015


Turkey Threatens Major Iraq Incursion as Airplanes Hit PKK Bases

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a major ground offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq is possible as Turkish warplanes struck rebel bases across the border for a second day.

Bloomberg, Turkey Threatens Major Iraq Incursion as Airplanes Hit PKK Bases, September 10, 2015


Shiite Militia Releases Video of Turkish Workers Kidnapped in Iraq

previously unknown Shiite militia released a video Friday that shows more than a dozen Turkish construction workers who were kidnapped in Baghdad recently and demands that Turkey stop the flow of jihadists into Iraq and lift a siege of several Shiite-dominated villages in Syria.

New York Times, Shiite Militia Releases Video of Turkish Workers Kidnapped in Iraq, September 11, 2015


Kerry Calls Turkish FM for talks on terror, region

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu, have discussed bilateral and regional affairs during a telephone conversation.

Hurriyet Daily News, Kerry Calls Turkish FM for talks on terror, region, September 13, 2015


US Embassy Urges Turkish Citizens to engage only in ‘peaceful’ protests

The United States Embassy to Turkey has expressed its concerns over violent demonstrations in Turkey and condemned attacks against political parties and ethnic groups.
Hurriyet Daily News, US Embassy Urges Turkish Citizens to engage only in ‘peaceful’ protests, September 9, 2015


Clinton: I spent years urging Israel to apologize to Turkey

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Sept. 9 that she has spent years trying to convince Israeli to apologize to Turkey for a deadly attack on an aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010.

Hurriyet Daily News, Clinton: I spent years urging Israel to apologize to Turkey, September 10, 2015


 

Economy and Energy

Turkish Lira Falls to Record Low as Fed Decision Looms

Turkey’s lira sank further against the dollar Monday, as the currency remains one of the most vulnerable assets to a first increase in U.S. interest rates in nearly a decade.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Lira Falls to Record Low as Fed Decision Looms, September 14, 2015


Turkey Faces Economic Fallout Without Decisive Vote

Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek warned of further economic fallout if elections scheduled for Nov. 1 fail to produce a strong government and put an end to months of political turmoil.

Bloomberg, Turkey Faces Economic Fallout Without Decisive Vote, September 9, 2015


Turkey’s current account gap at $3.15 billion, below forecasts

Turkey’s current account deficit totaled $3.15 billion in July, below forecasts, data from the Central Bank revealed Sept. 10. The 12-month deficit was announced at $45.03 billion.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s current account gap at $3.15 billion, below forecasts, September 10, 2015


Turkish Economy Expands Briskly Despite Turmoil

Turkey’s economic growth rose sharply in the second quarter of this year, data showed Thursday, highlighting the underlying resilience of a major emerging market pressured by political uncertainty, security threats and global financial turmoil.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Economy Expands Briskly Despite Turmoil, September 10, 2015


Turkish Stream first line launch postponed due to political crisis in Turkey: Gazprom

The launch date of the first line of the Turkish Stream project has been postponed due to the political crisis in Turkey, Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said on Sept. 14, as quoted by Russia’s TASS News Agency.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish Stream first line launch postponed due to political crisis in Turkey: Gazprom, September 14, 2015


Turkish unions, associations to hold rally against ‘terror’

A group of business associations, unions and professional chambers have decided to hold a mass rally in the Turkish capital city of Ankara on Sept. 17 in a show of condemnation of “terror.”

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish unions, associations to hold rally against ‘terror’, September 14, 2015


Turkish economy ministers send mixed signals

Leading ministers from the economy administration have voiced differing comments amid the rising political uncertainties and security concerns just ahead of an expected rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed), which has already hit many emerging economies, including Turkey.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish economy ministers send mixed signals, September 14, 2015

Domestic Politics

Turkey’s PKK Conflict Takes Toll on Kurdish City

Thousands of Kurds flooded a square surrounded by dusty hilltops in this southeastern city for a mass funeral as Turkish forces offered a short respite Sunday from their longest crackdown on separatist militants since an insurgency reignited in July.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s PKK Conflict Takes Toll on Kurdish City, September 13, 2015


In shadow of Erdogan, Turkey’s AKP re-elects leader

Turkey’s ruling AK Party re-elected Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as its chairman at a congress on Saturday where the longest shadow was cast by a politician who, officially at least, is no longer a member: President Tayyip Erdogan.

Reuters, In shadow of Erdogan, Turkey’s AKP re-elects leader, September 12, 2015


Turkey on brink of civil war, warns leading Kurdish politician

The leader of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish political party warned that the country was on the verge of full-blown civil war between state forces and militant Kurdish separatists. The remarks made by Selahattin Demirtas, co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, followed a worrying night of violence and firebombing in Turkey, with hundreds of reported attacks by nationalist mobs on offices belonging to Demirtas’s party, known by the Turkish abbreviation HDP, as well as on ordinary Kurds.

Washington Post, Turkey on brink of civil war, warns leading Kurdish politician, September 10, 2015


Turkey’s Kurds: Many dead in Cizre violence as MPs’ march blocked

At least 30 people have died in clashes in the Turkish town of Cizre since a military operation began there last week, Turkey’s interior ministry says.

BBC, Turkey’s Kurds: Many dead in Cizre violence as MPs’ march blocked, September 10, 2015


Clashes, militant bombing kill nine in south east Turkey

Kurdish militants killed two police officers in a car bomb attack on a checkpoint in southeast Turkey on Sunday, as authorities imposed a curfew in the region’s largest city Diyarbakir where clashes broke out, security sources said.

Reuters, Clashes, militant bombing kill nine in south east Turkey, September 13, 2015


AKP set for major overhaul in party’s decision body and candidate list for Nov 1

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is busy working on its upcoming congress during which its highest decision-making body, the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), is expected to be overhauled. The party is also in the process of drafting its candidate list for the Nov. 1 snap election.

Hurriyet Daily News, AKP set for major overhaul in party’s decision body and candidate list for Nov 1, September 9, 2015


Turkish magazine raided, copies seized for mock Erdogan selfie

Turkish police raided a magazine on Monday over a mocked-up “selfie” of a smiling President Tayyip Erdogan with the coffin of a soldier – an allusion to comments that families of soldiers killed by Kurdish rebels could be happy about their martyrdom.

Reuters, Turkish magazine raided, copies seized for mock Erdogan selfie, September 14, 2015