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Turkey Letter: 15 October 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • US pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey after being detained for 2 years
  • Trump thanks Turkey for American pastor’s release, denies cutting deal
  • Trump says he expects improved Turkey relations after pastor’s release
  • Erdogan pledges to crush U.S.-backed Kurdish militants in Syria
  • Turkey says recordings are evidence of Saudi journalist’s killing
  • Turkey, African countries sign trade pacts in Istanbul

Economy and Energy:

  • Lira swings, Turkish bonds gain after court frees U.S. pastor
  • Turkey attracts $7 bln direct investment in 8 months: Agency chief
  • Turkey’s current account posts surplus for first time in last 3 years
  • Erdoğan announces Turkey’s new investment program
  • Turkey puts import quotas on steel: WTO filing

Domestic Politics:

  • At least 22 migrants killed in truck crash in Turkey
  • Turkish gov’t to introduce tighter controls, fines for steep price hikes
  • Turkish gov’t launches plan against surging inflation

FOREIGN POLICY:

US pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey after being detained for 2 years
American pastor Andrew Brunson flew out of Turkey late Friday after a Turkish court convicted him of aiding terrorism but sentenced him only to time served. His release came one day after U.S. officials said a deal had been reached with Turkey’s government to secure his freedom.
The Washington Post, US pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey after being detained for 2 years, 12 October 2018


Trump thanks Turkey for American pastor’s release, denies cutting deal
President Donald Trump thanked Turkey on Saturday for freeing U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson after two years in custody and said it would help improve strained relations, but he denied cutting a deal with Ankara.
CNBC, Trump thanks Turkey for American pastor’s release, denies cutting deal, 13 October 2018


Trump says he expects improved Turkey relations after pastor’s release
President Donald Trump said he looks forward to improved U.S.-Turkish relations, hours after U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson arrived back in the country to a White House welcome following his release from captivity in Turkey.
Bloomberg, Trump says he expects improved Turkey relations after pastor’s release, 13 October 2018


Erdogan pledges to crush U.S.-backed Kurdish militants in Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday pledged to order a military campaign against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces who now control most of Syria’s northeast.
Bloomberg, Erdogan pledges to crush U.S.-backed Kurdish militias in Syria, 12 October 2018


Turkey says recordings are evidence of Saudi journalist’s killing
The Turkish government has what it describes as audio and video recordings purporting to show that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and has shared the evidence with U.S. officials, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Wall Street Journal, Turkey says recordings are evidence of Saudi journalist’s killing, 11 October 2018


Turkey, African countries sign trade pacts in Istanbul
A Turkish-African business meeting in Istanbul bore fruit on Oct. 10 in the form of three new pacts with both private and public concerns.
Hurriyet, Turkey, African countries sign trade pacts in Istanbul, 10 October 2018


ECONOMY AND ENERGY:

Lira swings, Turkish bonds gain after court frees U.S. pastor
The lira swung between gains and losses after a Turkish court freed a U.S. pastor after a two-year-long detention, paving the way for a thaw in ties with Washington. Bonds and stocks gained.
Bloomberg, Lira swings, Turkish bonds gain after court frees U.S. pastor, 12 October 2018  


Turkey attracts $7 bln direct investment in 8 months: Agency chief
Turkey attracted nearly $7 billion in direct investment in the first eight months of 2018, the head of the country’s presidential investment office has said.
Hurriyet, Turkey attracts $7 bln direct investment in 8 months: Agency chief, 12 October 2018


Turkey’s current account posts surplus for first time in last 3 years
Turkey’s current account balance showed a surplus in August, for the first time over the past three years, the Turkish Central Bank (CBRT) announced on Oct. 11.
Hurriyet, Turkey’s current account posts surplus for first time in last 3 years, 11 October 2018


Erdoğan announces Turkey’s new investment program
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s public mandate on “Investment Program Preparations for 2019-2021 Period,” which prioritizes to preserve price stability while reducing inflation and to further strengthen fiscal discipline, was published in the Official Gazette on Oct. 11.
Hurriyet, Erdoğan announces Turkey’s new investment program, 11 October 2018


Turkey puts import quotas on steel: WTO filing
Turkey will introduce quotas on the amount of steel it imports from Oct. 17, with an additional 25 percent duty levied on any imports above the quotas, it said in a filing published by the World Trade Organization on Monday, blaming a surge in imports.
Reuters, Turkey puts import quotas on steel: WTO filing, 8 October 2018


DOMESTIC POLITICS:

At least 22 migrants killed in bus crash in Izmir
A truck carrying migrants crashed in the western province of Izmir in Turkey on Sunday, killing at least 22 people, including children, and injuring at least 13 others, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported.
The New York Times, At least 22 migrants killed in bus crash in Izmir, 14 October 2018


Turkish gov’t to introduce tighter controls, fines for steep price hikes
The Turkish government has ordered governors across the country to impose tighter controls and fines on those carrying out steep price hikes due to economic developments, the Interior Ministry said on Oct. 11.
Hurriyet, Turkish gov’t to introduce tighter controls, fines for steep price hikes, 11 October 2018


Turkish gov’t launches plan against surging inflation
Unveiling a new set of measures to fight inflation, Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak vowed an “all-out war” on inflation with the support of the private sector on Oct. 9.
Hurriyet, Turkish gov’t launches plan against surging inflation, 9 October 2018