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Turkey Letter: 2 November 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice
  • U.S. approves sale of ‘smart bomb’ kits to Turkey
  • Turkey Confirms Strikes Against Kurdish Militias in Syria
  • US, Turkey, Turkmen begin joint anti-Daesh ops in Syria
  • US: Relationship with Turkey, YPG complicates Daesh fight

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey outperforms subdued emerging markets after election result
  • Turkey’s Election Only Answers One Question for Investors
  • Turkey Central Bank raises inflation forecasts
  • Turkey’s foreign trade gap drops 46 pct amid oil plunge
  • Ease of doing business in Turkey only improves for construction: World Bank

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan’s Party in Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority
  • TÜSİAD Statement Following the General Elections of November 1, 2015
  • Turkish polls hindered by security environment, violence, media restrictions: Observers
  • Two anti-Islamic State campaigners shot, beheaded in Turkey: activist

Foreign Policy

Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice

A European Commission report on Turkey, held back until after next Sunday’s election to avoid antagonizing President Tayyip Erdogan, accuses Ankara of backsliding on the rule of law, freedom of expression and judicial independence.

Reuters, Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice, October 28, 2015


U.S. approves sale of ‘smart bomb’ kits to Turkey

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of precision bomb kits valued at $70 million to Turkey, a member of NATO and a key part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Reuters, U.S. approves sale of ‘smart bomb’ kits to Turkey, October 29, 2015


Turkey Confirms Strikes Against Kurdish Militias in Syria

Turkey has confirmed that it struck positions in Syria held by Kurdish militias that over the last year have become the most important allies within Syria of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State.

New York Times, Turkey Confirms Strikes Against Kurdish Militias in Syria, October 27, 2015


US, Turkey, Turkmen begin joint anti-Daesh ops in Syria

Turkey and the U.S., supported by local Turkmen forces, have begun staging ground assaults and airstrikes against positions held by Daesh terrorist group near the Syrian-Turkish border.

Anadolu Agency, US, Turkey, Turkmen begin joint anti-Daesh ops in Syria, November 1, 2015


US: Relationship with Turkey, YPG complicates Daesh fight

Maintaining support for Kurdish YPG forces in Syria while cooperating with Turkey is one of the most complex challenges facing the U.S., President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the anti-Daesh coalition said Wednesday.

Anadolu Agency, US: Relationship with Turkey, YPG complicates Daesh fight, October 29, 2015


Economy and Energy

Turkey outperforms subdued emerging markets after election result

An outright election win for Turkey’s ruling AK Party helped Turkish assets score sharp gains on Monday, outperforming other emerging markets where moves were subdued amid persistent worries over China’s economy.

Reuters, Turkey outperforms subdued emerging markets after election result, November 2, 2015


Turkey’s Election Only Answers One Question for Investors

An unexpectedly decisive victory for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in Sunday’s elections has handed investors a windfall. A decline in political uncertainty is clearly welcome, but plenty of questions remain for Turkey.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Election Only Answers One Question for Investors, November 2, 2015


Turkey Central Bank raises inflation forecasts

Turkey’s Central Bank raised its inflation forecasts for this year and signaled it could hike rates once the U.S. Federal Reserve begins to tighten, in what could be a boost for the long-suffering Turkish currency. In its quarterly report on inflation, the bank forecasted an inflation mid-point of 7.9 percent at the end of 2015, up from 6.9 percent in its previous report.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey Central Bank raises inflation forecasts, October 28, 2015


Turkey’s foreign trade gap drops 46 pct amid oil plunge

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit declined by 46.6 percent to $3.7 billion in September compared to the same month of 2014 due to a dramatic decline in the country’s energy imports and a slowdown in the economy ahead of the elections, according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Agency (TÜİK) on Oct. 30 in cooperation with the Customs and Trade Ministry.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s foreign trade gap drops 46 pct amid oil plunge, October 30, 2015


Ease of doing business in Turkey only improves for construction: World Bank

Ease of doing business in Turkey has only improved over the past year in terms of acquiring construction permits, the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 has revealed, noting that the ease of doing business has otherwise fallen across the board.

Hurriyet Daily News, Ease of doing business in Turkey only improves for construction: World Bank, October 29, 2015


Domestic Politics

Erdogan’s Party in Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority

In a stunning electoral comeback, the Islamist party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regained its majority in Parliament on Sunday, ensuring Mr. Erdogan’s continued dominance of Turkish politics after months of political turmoil and violence.

New York Times, Erdogan’s Party in Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority, November 1, 2015


TÜSİAD Statement Following the General Elections of November 1, 2015

The Board of Directors of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) issued a statement following the General Elections of November 1, 2015.

TÜSİAD Statement Following the General Elections of November 1, 2015, November 2, 2015


Turkish polls hindered by security environment, violence, media restrictions: Observers

Turkey’s Nov. 1 elections offered voters choices but the challenging security environment and violence against party members, party buildings and campaign staff hindered candidates’ ability to campaign freely, international observers said Nov. 2.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish polls hindered by security environment, violence, media restrictions: Observers, November 2, 2015


Turkish Police Seize Two TV Stations of Government Critics

Turkish authorities seized control of two television stations that have been critical of the government before the election Sunday, as officials expanded a probe of what they allege is a coup plot against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Police Seize Two TV Stations of Government Critics, October 28, 2015


Two anti-Islamic State campaigners shot, beheaded in Turkey: activist

Two activists who campaigned against Islamic State in Syria have been shot in the head and beheaded in the southeastern Turkish town of Sanliurfa, the founder of the group they worked for said.

Reuters, Two anti-Islamic State campaigners shot, beheaded in Turkey: activist, October 30, 2015