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Turkey Letter: 16 November 2015

Foreign Policy

  • G-20 Leaders Agree to Fight All Forms of Terrorism, Says Turkey’s President
  • EU Offers Turkey More Accession Talks for Help With Refugees
  • EU Criticizes Turkey for Backsliding on Judicial Independence, Media Freedoms
  • Erdoğan, Putin discuss Syria, Assad’s future in tête-à-tête
  • Turkey cancels $3.4 billion missile defence system tender – official

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey’s short-term external debt stock falls by 8.8 percent
  • Turkey, Japan resolute to boost cooperation
  • Turkish automotive industrialists revise up production, export targets
  • Turkey says it will speed up work on nuclear power plant with Russia

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s Erdogan calls for new constitution as EU frets about rights
  • Freedom of press vital for fight against corruption: Transparency Int’l
  • Residents return to ruined homes after siege in Silvan
  • Three soldiers, 11 Kurdish militants killed in southeast Turkey

Foreign Policy

G-20 Leaders Agree to Fight All Forms of Terrorism, Says Turkey’s President

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that Group of 20 nations agreed to jointly fight all forms of terrorism, three days after the attacks on Paris catapulted terrorist threats to the top of the agenda at the annual leaders’ summit.

Wall Street Journal, G-20 Leaders Agree to Fight All Forms of Terrorism, Says Turkey’s President, November 16, 2015


EU Offers Turkey More Accession Talks for Help With Refugees

The European Union is stepping up its courtship of Turkey, promising to inject fresh momentum into accession talks in return for more help from the government in Ankara to stem the flow of migrants traversing the country.

Bloomberg, EU Offers Turkey More Accession Talks for Help With Refugees, November 16, 2015


EU Criticizes Turkey for Backsliding on Judicial Independence, Media Freedoms

The European Union on Tuesday criticized Turkey’s record on human rights and media freedom but signaled the prospect of significant progress in talks on EU membership despite what it called democratic “backsliding” by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Wall Street Journal, EU Criticizes Turkey for Backsliding on Judicial Independence, Media Freedoms, November 10, 2015


Erdoğan, Putin discuss Syria, Assad’s future in tête-à-tête

The leaders of Turkey and Russia discussed the future of Syria and President Bashar al-Assad’s fate following a Vienna agreement in a tête-à-tête late Nov. 15 on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in the southern resort of Antalya.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan, Putin discuss Syria, Assad’s future in tête-à-tête, November 16, 2015


Turkey cancels $3.4 billion missile defence system tender – official

Turkey has cancelled a $3.4 billion long-range missile defence system tender which was provisionally awarded to China, a move that had stirred U.S. and Western concern, an official at the Turkish prime minister’s office told Reuters on Sunday.

Reuters, Turkey cancels $3.4 billion missile defence system tender – official, November 16, 2015


Economy and Energy

Turkey’s short-term external debt stock falls by 8.8 percent

Turkey’s short-term external debt stock dropped to $121.1 billion at the end of September, marking a decrease of 8.8 percent compared to the end of 2014, the Central Bank stated in a note on Nov. 16.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s short-term external debt stock falls by 8.8 percent, November 16, 2015


Turkey, Japan resolute to boost cooperation

Turkey and Japan reaffirmed Friday political will to boost their cooperation in bilateral relations including economy and trade, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Anadolu Agency, Turkey, Japan resolute to boost cooperation, November 13, 2015


Turkish automotive industrialists revise up production, export targets

With less than two months before the end of the year, Turkey’s Automotive Industrialists Association (OSD) has revised up its 2015 production and export targets. With a sharp increase in research and development (R&D) subsidies, sector investments and the revival in the European market, the association expects to see record high figures by the end of this year and to hit new records in 2016.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish automotive industrialists revise up production, export targets, November 16, 2015


Turkey says it will speed up work on nuclear power plant with Russia

Turkey will speed up work to overcome regulatory hurdles that have delayed its first nuclear power plant project, planned to be built by Russia, Energy Minister Ali Rıza Alaboyun told Reuters on Nov. 16, adding that they still aim for it to become operational by 2022.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey says it will speed up work on nuclear power plant with Russia, November 16, 2015


Domestic Politics

Turkey’s Erdogan calls for new constitution as EU frets about rights

Turkey’s incoming government should prioritise a new constitution, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, reviving calls for an executive presidency even as Europe signalled concern it could concentrate too much power in his hands.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan calls for new constitution as EU frets about rights, November 10, 2015


Freedom of press vital for fight against corruption: Transparency Int’l

Freedom of press and independence of the judiciary are vital for the fight against corruption, stated Transparency International, addressing escalating concerns over detainments of journalism in Turkey.

Hurriyet Daily News, Freedom of press vital for fight against corruption: Transparency Int’l, November 16, 2015


Residents return to ruined homes after siege in Silvan

Residents who fled their homes because of a long curfew in the southeastern district of Silvan have returned to homes and other buildings that were severely damaged during the curfew, news website Radikal has reported.

Hurriyet Daily News, Residents return to ruined homes after siege in Silvan, November 15, 2015


Three soldiers, 11 Kurdish militants killed in southeast Turkey

Three Turkish soldiers were killed on Friday in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country, the latest casualties in a tide of violence engulfing the region since the breakdown of a ceasefire between security forces and militants in July.

Reuters, Three soldiers, 11 Kurdish militants killed in southeast Turkey, November 13, 2015