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Turkey Letter: 21 November 2016

Foreign Politics

  • Turkish businesses concerned over EU row: TÜSİAD
  • Turkey’s disillusionment with the U.S.
  • Turkey’s Populists See an Unlikely Ally
  • Turkey eyes reset with U.S. under Trump, but honeymoon may be brief
  • Turkey Cheered by Words of Michael Flynn, Trump’s Security Adviser
  • Turkey says it’s tired of ‘two-faced’ EU attitude
  • Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc
  • US liaison officer in Ankara to coordinate between Turkey, US over ops in Syria, Iraq
  • Some Turkish Officers Seeking Asylum in Allied Countries, NATO Says
  • Turkey names new ambassador to Israel in reciprocal move
  • Turkish soldier killed in Islamic State attack in northern Syria
  • Turkish Official Asked U.S. Attorney General to Release Reza Zarrab

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey’s Crackdown Sweeps Through Business and Finance, Imperiling the Economy
  • Investors Doubting Turkish Central Bank Action Worsen Lira Slide
  • Turkey to take ‘all measures’ to support economy: Economic Coordination Board
  • Turkey runs $3.7 billion budget deficit in first 10 months of year

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s Erdogan could govern until 2029 under plans to change constitution
  • Erdogan Relies on Nationalist Kingmaker for Presidential System
  • AKP’s constitution proposal will divide Turkey: CHP
  • More academics, mayors detained as Turkish purges enter fifth month
  • Turkey’s Free Press Withers as Erdogan Jails 120 Journalists
  • Turkish government to revise child abuse draft after facing uproar

Foreign Politics

Turkish businesses concerned over EU row: TÜSİAD

Companies in Turkey are concerned about rising tensions between the Turkish government and the European Union, according to Cansen Başaran-Symes, chair of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD).

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish businesses concerned over EU row: TÜSİAD, November 18, 2016


Turkey’s disillusionment with the U.S.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey speaks with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft about tensions and anti-Americanism in his country, a NATO ally vital to projecting U.S. military power.

CBS, Turkey’s disillusionment with the U.S., November 20, 2016


Turkey’s Populists See an Unlikely Ally

The election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States came as an unpleasant shock to much of the world. But in Turkey, my country, it was applauded — not by everyone, for sure, but by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his enthusiastic supporters.

New York Times, Turkey’s Populists See an Unlikely Ally, November 16, 2016


Turkey eyes reset with U.S. under Trump, but honeymoon may be brief

In the hours after Donald Trump secured the U.S. presidency, supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan triumphantly took to social media, hailing the election of a man who had threatened to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

Reuters, Turkey eyes reset with U.S. under Trump, but honeymoon may be brief, November 15, 2016


Turkey Cheered by Words of Michael Flynn, Trump’s Security Adviser

Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser for the incoming Trump administration, once wrote on Twitter that it was “rational” to fear Muslims, but that does not seem likely to cause him any grief with Turkey’s government, even though it is led by a religiously conservative Muslim, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

New York Times, Turkey Cheered by Words of Michael Flynn, Trump’s Security Adviser, November 19, 2016


Turkey says it’s tired of ‘two-faced’ EU attitude

Turkey is “fed up” with European Union condescension in talks over its application to join the bloc, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, reflecting Ankara’s exasperation with EU criticism over human rights.

Reuters, Turkey says it’s tired of ‘two-faced’ EU attitude, November 15, 2016


Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc

President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that Turkey did not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and could instead become part of a security bloc dominated by China, Russia and Central Asian nations.

Reuters, Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc, November 20, 2016


US liaison officer in Ankara to coordinate between Turkey, US over ops in Syria, Iraq

A U.S. official, appointed to coordinate between Turkey and the U.S. for their operations in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has come to Ankara for an official visit, private broadcaster CNN Türk reported on Nov. 20.

Hurriyet Daily News, US liaison officer in Ankara to coordinate between Turkey, US over ops in Syria, Iraq, November 21, 2016


Some Turkish Officers Seeking Asylum in Allied Countries, NATO Says

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Friday that Turkish officers serving in NATO posts have asked for asylum in allied countries amid a post-coup-attempt crackdown in their country.

Wall Street Journal, Some Turkish Officers Seeking Asylum in Allied Countries, NATO Says, November 18, 2016


Turkey names new ambassador to Israel in reciprocal move

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan named a new ambassador to Israel on Wednesday, reciprocating a move by the Israelis a day earlier – steps towards restoring diplomatic ties between the once-close allies that broke down in 2010.

Reuters, Turkey names new ambassador to Israel in reciprocal move, November 16, 2016


Turkish soldier killed in Islamic State attack in northern Syria

A Turkish soldier was killed and two others wounded in a bomb attack by Islamic State militants near the northern Syrian city of al-Bab, Turkish security sources said on Sunday.

Reuters, Turkish soldier killed in Islamic State attack in northern Syria, November 20, 2016


Turkish Official Asked U.S. Attorney General to Release Reza Zarrab

A top Turkish government official recently met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and told her the prosecution of Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab was “based on no evidence,” according to a court filing unsealed Tuesday, a sign that tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have escalated over Mr. Zarrab’s arrest.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Official Asked U.S. Attorney General to Release Reza Zarrab, November 16, 2016 


Economy & Energy

Turkey’s Crackdown Sweeps Through Business and Finance, Imperiling the Economy

Investors who saw Turkey as a free-market beacon fear its president’s focus on rooting out internal enemies endangers financial institutions and trust in its economic stewardship.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Crackdown Sweeps Through Business and Finance, Imperiling the Economy, November 18, 2016


Investors Doubting Turkish Central Bank Action Worsen Lira Slide

The widespread assumption that Turkey’s central bank won’t raise interest rates is piling pressure on the currency, exposing the lira to a speculative attack as a global rout across emerging markets deepens.

Bloomberg, Investors Doubting Turkish Central Bank Action Worsen Lira Slide, November 18, 2016


Turkey to take ‘all measures’ to support economy: Economic Coordination Board

Market developments will be closely monitored by the Turkish Central Bank and necessary measures will continue to be taken to support financial stability, said Turkey’s Economic Coordination Board late on Nov. 18, according to a source close to the meeting, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey to take ‘all measures’ to support economy: Economic Coordination Board, November 20, 2016


Turkey runs $3.7 billion budget deficit in first 10 months of year

The Turkish government ran a budget deficit of 104 million Turkish Liras ($32 million) in October and 12.1 billion liras ($3.7 billion) in January-October, the Finance Ministry announced on Nov. 15.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey runs $3.7 billion budget deficit in first 10 months of year, November 15, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey’s Erdogan could govern until 2029 under plans to change constitution

President Tayyip Erdogan could govern Turkey until 2029 with expanded executive powers under proposals the ruling AK Party hopes will go to a referendum next spring, officials who have seen the latest draft told Reuters on Wednesday.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan could govern until 2029 under plans to change constitution, November 16, 2016


Erdogan Relies on Nationalist Kingmaker for Presidential System

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to concentrate powers in his office depend on formal talks that were to begin Monday between the ruling AK Party and a nationalist opposition party, which is leaning toward referring the controversial issue to a popular referendum.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Relies on Nationalist Kingmaker for Presidential System, November 21, 2016


AKP’s constitution proposal will divide Turkey: CHP

The government’s constitutional amendment proposal will lead to a federal system and the division of Turkey, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Haluk Koç has said, adding that the draft foresees “a one-man regime” controlling the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

Hurriyet Daily News, AKP’s constitution proposal will divide Turkey: CHP, November 17, 2016


More academics, mayors detained as Turkish purges enter fifth month

Turkish police detained more than 70 academics at an Istanbul university, NATO said Turkish soldiers had sought asylum and more pro-Kurdish mayors were arrested on Friday as a crackdown after July’s failed coup entered its fifth month.

Reuters, More academics, mayors detained as Turkish purges enter fifth month, November 18, 2016


Turkey’s Free Press Withers as Erdogan Jails 120 Journalists

Turkey now has handily outstripped China as the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, according to figures compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

New York Times, Turkey’s Free Press Withers as Erdogan Jails 120 Journalists, November 17, 2016


Turkish government to revise child abuse draft after facing uproar

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) members of parliament are working on a revision of a controversial child abuse draft presented to the legislative body last week, after the motion drew harsh criticism from various parts of society.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish government to revise child abuse draft after facing uproar, November 21, 2016