2101 L Street, NW Suite 800 Washington, DC

+1 (202) 776-7770 [email protected]

Turkey Letter: 15 August 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Biden to visit Turkey amid coup attempt dispute
  • US must keep its promise on Manbij: Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu
  • Turkey’s Erdogan Patches Up Relations With Putin
  • NATO Says Turkey Is ‘Valued Ally’ After Erdogan Visit to Russia
  • Give us EU visa freedom in October or abandon migrant deal, Turkey says
  • Turkey says no compromise with Washington on cleric’s extradition
  • Turkey’s Hunt for Alleged Coup Participants Extends Overseas
  • Islamic State says bus blast killed 50 fighters at Syria-Turkey crossing
  • Turkey summons Austria charge d’affaires over “indecent” report

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey Rolls Back Babacan-Era Curbs on Lending Amid Growth Fears
  • Turkey Steps Up Support for Lenders After Failed Coup
  • Erdogan Warns Bank Resistance to Interest Cuts Could Be Treason
  • Turkish Banks Obey Erdogan’s Calls as Mortgage Rates Slashed
  • Turkey runs budget surplus $440 mln to August
  • Turkey to announce tourism-boosting steps in coming days

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan’s Approval Rating Soars in Turkey Following Coup Attempt
  • After Turkey’s Failed Coup, a State-Owned TV Station Tilts
  • Inter-parliamentary panel on charter reform to resume work
  • Turkey Blames Kurdish Rebels for Joint Attacks
  • ‘AKP, I can no longer act like we did before coup attempt,’ Erdoğan says

Foreign Policy

Biden to visit Turkey amid coup attempt dispute

Vice President Joe Biden will visit Turkey on August 24, the White House announced on Saturday. He’ll be the highest level American visitor to the country since a coup there failed in July.

CNN, Biden to visit Turkey amid coup attempt dispute, August 13, 2016


US must keep its promise on Manbij: Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has stated that he expects Kurdish forces to pull back from the east of the Euphrates River upon the completion of the Manbij operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). While speaking to reporters, Çavuşoğlu also issued statements concerning the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the Islamic preacher it accuses of orchestrating a failed coup from the United States.

Hurriyet Daily News, US must keep its promise on Manbij: Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu, August 15, 2016


Turkey’s Erdogan Patches Up Relations With Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan mended fences in a high-profile meeting Tuesday, bolstering their governments’ ties as both face strained relations with the West.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Erdogan Patches Up Relations With Putin, August 9, 2016


NATO Says Turkey Is ‘Valued Ally’ After Erdogan Visit to Russia

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization called Turkey a “valued ally” a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Russia in his first trip abroad since last month’s failed coup.

Bloomberg, NATO Says Turkey Is ‘Valued Ally’ After Erdogan Visit to Russia, August 10, 2016


Give us EU visa freedom in October or abandon migrant deal, Turkey says

Turkey could walk away from its promise to stem the flow of illegal migrants to Europe if the European Union fails to grant Turks visa-free travel to the bloc in October, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a German newspaper.

Reuters, Give us EU visa freedom in October or abandon migrant deal, Turkey says, August 15, 2016


Turkey says no compromise with Washington on cleric’s extradition

Turkey will not compromise with Washington over the extradition of the Islamic cleric it accuses of orchestrating a failed coup, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday, warning of rising anti-Americanism if the United States fails to extradite.

Reuters, Turkey says no compromise with Washington on cleric’s extradition, August 13, 2016


Turkey’s Hunt for Alleged Coup Participants Extends Overseas

Turkey’s government is seeking several overseas military officers and diplomatic staff who fled their posts in the wake of the failed coup and could be seeking asylum, potentially raising new political headaches for Turkey and its Western allies.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Hunt for Alleged Coup Participants Extends Overseas, August 11, 2016


Islamic State says bus blast killed 50 fighters at Syria-Turkey crossing

Islamic State claimed a suicide bombing on a bus in Syria near the Atmeh border crossing with Turkey late on Sunday that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said killed at least 32 people. The bus was carrying fighters from foreign-backed rebel factions, local rebel sources said.

Reuters, Islamic State says bus blast killed 50 fighters at Syria-Turkey crossing, August 15, 2016


Turkey summons Austria charge d’affaires over “indecent” report

Turkey summoned Austria’s charge d’affaires in Ankara over what it said was “indecent report” about Turkey on a news ticker at Vienna airport, a foreign ministry official said on Sunday.

Reuters, Turkey summons Austria charge d’affaires over “indecent” report, August 14, 2016


Economy & Energy

Turkey Rolls Back Babacan-Era Curbs on Lending Amid Growth Fears

Turkey’s government is taking the brakes off consumer borrowing, as fears grow that depressed lending will lead to a slowdown in the region’s biggest economy following an attempted coup last month. Measures planned by the regulator include extending the repayment period on consumer loans to four years from three, and raising the number of installments for credit card purchases, Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said on Wednesday. Officials are also looking to reduce mortgage rates and ease curbs on borrowing to import goods such as mobile phones.

Bloomberg, Turkey Rolls Back Babacan-Era Curbs on Lending Amid Growth Fears, August 10, 2016


Turkey Steps Up Support for Lenders After Failed Coup

The central bank cut the amount of cash it forces commercial banks to keep locked up with the regulator, reducing the so-called lira reserve requirement ratio by half a percentage point. It also allowed banks to use a smaller amount of foreign-exchange or gold as required reserves for lira liabilities, according to a statement on its website. The bank said Tuesday’s action will add around 1.1 billion liras ($369 million) and $600 million to liquidity, assuming lenders utilize the reserve option system at the same rate.

Bloomberg, Turkey Steps Up Support for Lenders After Failed Coup, August 9, 2016


Erdogan Warns Bank Resistance to Interest Cuts Could Be Treason

Erdogan has demanded that lenders cut mortgage rates to an annual rate of about 9 percent from the market average of around 13.7 percent as he seeks to shore up the economy following the failed coup last month.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Warns Bank Resistance to Interest Cuts Could Be Treason, August 10, 2016


Turkish Banks Obey Erdogan’s Calls as Mortgage Rates Slashed

By Thursday at 7 p.m. in Istanbul, at least 14 lenders in the country announced they’d slashed interest charges on mortgage loans since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that resistance to lower borrowing costs could be “treason.”

Bloomberg, Turkish Banks Obey Erdogan’s Calls as Mortgage Rates Slashed, August 11, 2016


Turkey runs budget surplus $440 mln to August

Turkey’s government ran a budget deficit of 129 million Turkish Liras ($44 million) in July, but it ran a surplus of 1.3 billion liras ($440 million) between January and July, Turkish Finance Minister Naci Ağbal said Aug. 15.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey runs budget surplus $440 mln to August, August 15, 2016


Turkey to announce tourism-boosting steps in coming days

Tourism revenue in Turkey dropped 35.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, its sharpest fall in 17 years, amid increased security fears following a series of bomb attacks. The failed coup in mid-July, which saw 240 people killed, further increases pressure on the country’s tourism sector, which contributes around 4.5 percent to Turkish gross domestic product.

Reuters, Turkey to announce tourism-boosting steps in coming days, August 12, 2016


Domestic Politics

Erdogan’s Approval Rating Soars in Turkey Following Coup Attempt

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s approval rating rose to the highest level since he became Turkey’s president two years ago as his administration deals with the aftermath of a failed military coup last month. Just over two thirds of Turks approve of the way Erdogan is handling his duties, according to a survey by Ankara-based MetroPOLL conducted about two weeks after the July 15 putsch.

Bloomberg, Erdogan’s Approval Rating Soars in Turkey Following Coup Attempt, August 11, 2016


After Turkey’s Failed Coup, a State-Owned TV Station Tilts

Amid Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s purge, unhappy staffers say TRT World has muted criticism of the government while blasting the opposition Gulen movement.

Wall Street Journal, After Turkey’s Failed Coup, a State-Owned TV Station Tilts, August 12, 2016


Inter-parliamentary panel on charter reform to resume work

An inter-parliamentary panel composed of one deputy each from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will begin work on a new constitution on Aug. 16.

Hurriyet Daily News, Inter-parliamentary panel on charter reform to resume work, August 15, 2016


Turkey Blames Kurdish Rebels for Joint Attacks

Kurdish insurgents killed at least eight people and wounded dozens of others in coordinated attacks in two southeastern Turkish cities on Wednesday, government officials said, marking an upsurge of violence amid heightened insecurity in the country.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Blames Kurdish Rebels for Joint Attacks, August 10, 2016


‘AKP, I can no longer act like we did before coup attempt,’ Erdoğan says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said nobody, including himself and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), can act as they did before the failed July 15 coup attempt, the day Turkey faced the “most despicable threat in its history.” “We can no longer act like we did before July 15. None of us can, including me as the president,” he said in a video message aired at an event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the AKP’s foundation at the party headquarters in Ankara on Aug. 14.

Hurriyet Daily News, ‘AKP, I can no longer act like we did before coup attempt’, Erdoğan says, August 15, 2016