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Turkey Letter: 19 October 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Merkel Links Turkey’s E.U. Hopes to Stemming Flow of Refugees
  • Turkey downs drone near Syrian border; Russia denies aircraft lost
  • Turkey Expresses Concern to U.S. and Russia Over Help for Syrian Kurds
  • Obama, Erdoğan vow to step up ISIL fight
  • Turkey starts delivering water to Cyprus’ breakaway north

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey’s current account gap sees 6-year lows
  • Turkey Stocks, Bonds Rise to Two-Month Highs on Merkel Backing
  • Investors hope Turkey’s election will give economic reformers more clout
  • Turkey to raise gas storage capacity by 4 bcm: Minister

Domestic Politics

  • Business group ‘running out of patience for economic reforms’
  • CHP to be open to criticisms when in rule: Kılıçdaroğlu
  • Accusing PM of ‘power vacuum’ upon Ankara massacre, CHP-HDP leaders insist on dialogue
  • 93 ballot boxes moved in southeastern district despite YSK decision
  • Media ban on Ankara blasts widely criticized
  • Three soldiers, 28 Kurdish militants killed in Turkish southeast

 

Foreign Policy

Merkel Links Turkey’s E.U. Hopes to Stemming Flow of Refugees

Desperately seeking help to contain Europe’s migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Sunday explicitly linked accelerating Turkey’s effort to join the European Union to Turkish cooperation in clamping down on the flow of refugees from Turkey to Europe.

New York Times, Merkel Links Turkey’s E.U. Hopes to Stemming Flow of Refugees, October 18, 2015


Turkey downs drone near Syrian border; Russia denies aircraft lost

Turkey said its warplanes shot down a drone Friday near its border with Syria, underscoring heightened hostility in the region’s increasingly crowded airspace. The aircraft was warned three times to turn back before being fired on by Turkish jets patrolling the border, the Turkish military said in a statement.

Washington Post, Turkey downs drone near Syrian border; Russia denies aircraft lost, October 16, 2015


Turkey Expresses Concern to U.S. and Russia Over Help for Syrian Kurds

The latest American plan to aid Syrian fighters battling the Islamic State hit a bump on Wednesday, as Turkish officials summoned the American ambassador to express concern that the United States was providing new support to Kurdish militants in Syria that Turkey considers a primary enemy.

New York Times, Turkey Expresses Concern to U.S. and Russia Over Help for Syrian Kurds, October 14, 2015


Obama, Erdoğan vow to step up ISIL fight

US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 15 vowed to step up the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and strengthen Syria’s moderate opposition.

Hurriyet Daily News, Obama, Erdoğan vow to step up ISIL fight, October 16, 2015


Turkey starts delivering water to Cyprus’ breakaway north

Turkey’s president expressed hope Saturday that an undersea pipeline carrying fresh water from Turkey to the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of ethnically split Cyprus could help reunify the island amid Greek Cypriot protests that the project is a Turkish ploy to cement its grip on the island.

Washington Post, Turkey starts delivering water to Cyprus’ breakaway north, October 17, 2015


Economy and Energy

Turkey’s current account gap sees 6-year lows

Turkey’s current account deficit narrowed to the lowest level of the last six years in August to $163 million amid a slowing down in the economy and a sharp decrease in the foreign trade gap.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s current account gap sees 6-year lows, October 14, 2015


Turkey Stocks, Bonds Rise to Two-Month Highs on Merkel Backing

Turkish stocks were poised for the highest close in two months and bonds advanced after German Chancellor Angela Merkel argued in favor for extending billions of euros to Turkey to help cope with an influx of Syrian refugees.

Bloomberg, Turkey Stocks, Bonds Rise to Two-Month Highs on Merkel Backing, October 19, 2015


Investors hope Turkey’s election will give economic reformers more clout

Turkey’s two main parties may be campaigning for parliamentary polls on populist platforms such as higher wages and pensions, but investors hope whoever wins will instead revive the once-admired pace of growth and economic reform.

Reuters, Investors hope Turkey’s election will give economic reformers more clout, 19 October


Turkey to raise gas storage capacity by 4 bcm: Minister

Turkey is planning to increase its annual natural gas storage capacity by four billion cubic meters (bcm) through a Turkish and foreign partnership, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Oct. 15.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey to raise gas storage capacity by 4 bcm: Minister, October 16, 2015


Domestic Politics

Business group ‘running out of patience for economic reforms’

The head of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), the country’s leading business group, has said delicate domestic and global conditions mean that there is no time to waste in passing urgent economic reforms.

Hurriyet Daily News, Business group ‘running out of patience for economic reforms’, October 15, 2015


CHP to be open to criticisms when in rule: Kılıçdaroğlu

“I will extend the public right to criticize the CHP when the CHP assumes power,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in Istanbul on Oct. 15 at a meeting titled “Meetings with Political Party Leaders,” which was organized by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), Turkey’s top business organization.

Hurriyet Daily News, CHP to be open to criticisms when in rule: Kılıçdaroğlu, October 15, 2015


Accusing PM of ‘power vacuum’ upon Ankara massacre, CHP-HDP leaders insist on dialogue

The heads of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have both continued their criticism of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu following the deadly Oct. 10 Ankara suicide bombings, saying Turkey is currently in a dangerous power vacuum.

Hurriyet Daily News, Accusing PM of ‘power vacuum’ upon Ankara massacre, CHP-HDP leaders insist on dialogue, October 16, 2015


93 ballot boxes moved in southeastern district despite YSK decision

A total of 93 ballot boxes have been moved in Turkey’s southeastern Şırnak province despite a previous decision by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) rejecting the relocation of polling stations for security reasons ahead of the upcoming Nov. 1 snap elections.

Hurriyet Daily News, 93 ballot boxes moved in southeastern district despite YSK decision, October 19, 2015


Media ban on Ankara blasts widely criticized

A media ban on the investigation into the twin bombings in Ankara on Oct. 10 has been criticized by politicians from the three opposition parties and jurists, while the Ankara Bar Association took legal action against the ban.

Hurriyet Daily News, Media ban on Ankara blasts widely criticized, October 16, 2015


Three soldiers, 28 Kurdish militants killed in Turkish southeast

Three soldiers and 28 Kurdish militants have been killed in air strikes and clashes over the past two days in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, the military said on Saturday, two weeks before an election.

Reuters, Three soldiers, 28 Kurdish militants killed in Turkish southeast, October 17, 2015