2101 L Street, NW Suite 800 Washington, DC

+1 (202) 776-7770 [email protected]

Turkey Letter: 22 August 2016

 

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey vows to cleanse Islamic State from its border after wedding attack kills 54
  • Biden’s Public Backing for Erdogan to Mask Stern Private Message
  • Erdogan to Complain to U.S. Over Gulen Extradition Delay
  • Turkish evidence for Gulen extradition pre-dates coup attempt
  • Justice Department to Dispatch Team to Turkey for Gulen Probe
  • S. Harboring Gulen Is Destroying Turkey Ties, Premier Says
  • Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu talks Syria on phone with US’ Kerry
  • Turkey Plays Down U.S. Suggestions of NATO Exit After Failed Coup
  • Turkish parliament approves Israel deal
  • German Authorities Accuse Mosques of Playing Turkish Politics
  • Turkey and Sweden in Twitter spat over child sexual abuse law

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey Keeps Fitch Investment Grade; Outlook Cut to Negative
  • Turkey’s Simsek Warns Growth to Fall Short of Government Target
  • Turks Moving Savings to Foreign Currencies Impede Lira Rally
  • Turkey seizes assets as post-coup crackdown turns to business
  • The Turkish Bank Shares With 32% Potential And Few Takers

Domestic Politics

  • Syria’s Horrors Visit Turkey Again as Bomber Attacks Kurdish Wedding
  • Turkey to Release Tens of Thousands of Prisoners to Make Room for Coup Suspects
  • Bomb Attacks Targeting Security Forces Kill 12 in Turkey’s East
  • Turkey’s Erdogan links coup suspects, PKK to bomb attacks
  • Turkey arrests novelist for ties to Kurdish militants
  • Turkey suspends 95 police as post-coup crackdown rolls on
  • Turkish PM cools down demands to reinstate death penalty
  • CHP urges lowering of Turkey’s election threshold
  • HDP leader applauds surprising conciliation at Turkish Parliament over omnibus bill
  • Turkey shuts down telecommunication body amid post-coup attempt measures

Domestic Politics

Syria’s Horrors Visit Turkey Again as Bomber Attacks Kurdish Wedding

The devastating bombing of the Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep killed more than 50 people, for which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the Islamic State, the terrorist group that controls a swath of land straddling the frontier between Iraq and Syria.

New York Times, Syria’s Horrors Visit Turkey Again as Bomber Attacks Kurdish Wedding, August 21, 2016


Turkey to Release Tens of Thousands of Prisoners to Make Room for Coup Suspects

Turkey said on August 17 that it would empty its prisons of tens of thousands of criminals to make room for the wave of journalists, teachers, lawyers and judges rounded up in connection with last month’s failed coup.

New York Times, Turkey to Release Tens of Thousands of Prisoners to Make Room for Coup Suspects, August 17, 2016


Bomb Attacks Targeting Security Forces Kill 12 in Turkey’s East

Militants of the Kurdish PKK group have stepped up attacks across Turkey’s east, killing 12 people and injuring hundreds in under 24 hours, according to top officials and state media.

Bloomberg, Bomb Attacks Targeting Security Forces Kill 12 in Turkey’s East, August 18, 2016


Turkey’s Erdogan links coup suspects, PKK to bomb attacks

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused followers of a U.S.-based Islamic cleric he blames for last month’s coup attempt of being complicit in attacks by Kurdish militants in Turkey’s southeast which killed 10 people.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan links coup suspects, PKK to bomb attacks, August 18, 2016


Turkey arrests novelist for ties to Kurdish militants

A Turkish court arrested prize-winning novelist Asli Erdogan on Friday over alleged links to Kurdish militants, the Haberturk newspaper reported, three days after she and two dozen more staff from the pro-Kurdish Ozgur Gundem newspaper were detained.

Reuters, Turkey arrests novelist for ties to Kurdish militants, August 19, 2016


Turkey suspends 95 police as post-coup crackdown rolls on

Turkish authorities suspended 95 Istanbul police officers, including police chiefs, on Monday, broadcaster CNN Turk reported, the latest steps in a sweeping crackdown to target security forces following a failed coup last month. Turkey’s Supreme Military Council, which normally meets just twice a year, was to convene for the second time in a month on Tuesday as part of the government’s plan to overhaul the armed forces and bring it fully under civilian control.

Reuters, Turkey suspends 95 police as post-coup crackdown rolls on, August 22, 2016


Turkish PM cools down demands to reinstate death penalty

There are “deaths worse than death” for the plotters of the July 15 coup attempt compared to death penalty, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, commenting on a controversial debate on reinstating capital punishment.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish PM cools down demands to reinstate death penalty, August 16, 2016


CHP urges lowering of Turkey’s election threshold

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called for lowering the 10 percent threshold in Turkey’s election system, stressing that “democracy must be strengthened” after the July 15 failed coup attempt.

Hurriyet Daily News, CHP urges lowering of Turkey’s election threshold, August 17, 2016


HDP leader applauds surprising conciliation at Turkish Parliament over omnibus bill

The co-chair of Turkey’s Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has praised the surprising recent conciliation at parliament that led to the omitting of two controversial articles from a government-led omnibus bill.

Hurriyet Daily News, HDP leader applauds surprising conciliation at Turkish Parliament over omnibus bill, August 19, 2016


Turkey shuts down telecommunication body amid post-coup attempt measures

Turkey has shut down its Department of Telecommunications and Communication (TİB) as a part of new state of emergency decrees published in the Official Gazette on Aug. 17. The decree hands all authority held by the TİB to the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey shuts down telecommunication body amid post-coup attempt measures, August 17, 2016


Economy & Energy

Turkey Keeps Fitch Investment Grade; Outlook Cut to Negative

Turkey kept its investment grade credit ranking at Fitch Ratings, while the outlook was cut to negative from stable, as a failed coup attempt last month increased the political risks in the country.

Bloomberg, Turkey Keeps Fitch Investment Grade; Outlook Cut to Negative, August 19, 2016


Turkey’s Simsek Warns Growth to Fall Short of Government Target

Turkey’s economy will expand less than the government projected this year as the fallout from an attempted coup weighs on activity and the outlook for global growth deteriorates, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Simsek Warns Growth to Fall Short of Government Target, August 19, 2016


Turks Moving Savings to Foreign Currencies Impede Lira Rally

The rally that made the lira one of the biggest winners of the hunt for higher-yielding assets is coming up against a domestic hurdle: Turks are starting to boost their foreign-currency holdings.

Bloomberg, Turks Moving Savings to Foreign Currencies Impede Lira Rally, August 18, 2016


Turkey seizes assets as post-coup crackdown turns to business

Turkish authorities ordered the detention of nearly 200 people, including leading businessmen, and seized their assets as an investigation into suspects in last month’s failed military rebellion shifted to the private sector.

Reuters, Turkey seizes assets as post-coup crackdown turns to business, August 18, 2016


The Turkish Bank Shares With 32% Potential And Few Takers

Istanbul-based state-run Halkbank has room to rally 32 percent, according to the average 12-month target price of 31 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. While that’s almost double its nearest rival, investors could be concerned the lender may be implicated in a scandal. U.S. prosecutors allege Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab bribed the bank’s former head Suleyman Aslan to allow transactions through Halkbank that violated sanctions on Iran.

Bloomberg, The Turkish Bank Shares With 32% Potential And Few Takers, August 18, 2016


Foreign Policy

Turkey vows to cleanse Islamic State from its border after wedding attack kills 54

Turkey vowed on Monday to “completely cleanse” Islamic State militants from its border region, after a suspected suicide bomber with links to the group killed 54 people, including 22 children, at a Kurdish wedding.

Reuters, Turkey vows to cleanse Islamic State from its border after wedding attack kills 54, August 22, 2016


Biden’s Public Backing for Erdogan to Mask Stern Private Message

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will find himself in a familiar role when he flies to Turkey this week, offering President Recep Tayyip Erdogan effusive support in public while delivering a tougher message behind closed doors.

Bloomberg, Biden’s Public Backing for Erdogan to Mask Stern Private Message, August 22, 2016


Erdogan to Complain to U.S. Over Gulen Extradition Delay

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to complain to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden about the delay in extraditing an Islamic cleric accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding last month’s failed coup.

Bloomberg, Erdogan to Complain to U.S. Over Gulen Extradition Delay, August 21, 2016


Turkish evidence for Gulen extradition pre-dates coup attempt

Turkey’s request for U.S. extradition of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen refers only to his alleged activities before last month’s failed coup attempt, for which the Turks have not yet provided any evidence of his involvement, a senior administration official said.

Washington Post, Turkish evidence for Gulen extradition pre-dates coup attempt, August 19, 2016


Justice Department to Dispatch Team to Turkey for Gulen Probe

The U.S. Justice Department will dispatch a team to Turkey in coming days to pursue allegations by the Turkish government of criminal activity by Fethullah Gulen, an Obama administration official said Friday.

Bloomberg, Justice Department to Dispatch Team to Turkey for Gulen Probe, August 19, 2016


U.S. Harboring Gulen Is Destroying Turkey Ties, Premier Says

U.S. failure to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the Islamic cleric blamed by Turkish authorities for the failed military coup last month, is “destroying” Turkish-American relationships, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in a stern rebuke ahead of a visit by Vice President Joe Biden.

Bloomberg, U.S. Harboring Gulen Is Destroying Turkey Ties, Premier Says, August 20, 2016


Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu talks Syria on phone with US’ Kerry

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has conducted a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, from India where he has been paying an official visit.The call, which touched on the current developments in Syria, was initiated by the Turkish side on Aug. 18.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu talks Syria on phone with US’ Kerry, August 19, 2016


Turkey Plays Down U.S. Suggestions of NATO Exit After Failed Coup

The failed coup in Turkey may have revived a debate in Washington over whether the country should remain in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and a host to U.S. nuclear weapons, but the response in Ankara and some U.S. diplomatic circles is simply puzzlement.

Bloomberg, Turkey Plays Down U.S. Suggestions of NATO Exit After Failed Coup, August 19, 2016


Turkish parliament approves Israel deal

The Turkish parliament approved a deal to normalise ties with Israel after a delay caused by the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. Lawmakers ratified late Aug. 19 the agreement to restore relations between the two former close regional allies after a six-year rift, before parliament was due to go into summer recess.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish parliament approves Israel deal, August 20, 2016


German Authorities Accuse Mosques of Playing Turkish Politics

For years, Germany encouraged Turkey’s state-run religious institution to provide Islamic preachers and teachers for the large Turkish minority here.But Turkey’s upheaval since July’s coup attempt has German authorities worried that the guidance on offer isn’t only spiritual—but also aimed at drumming up support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Wall Street Journal, German Authorities Accuse Mosques of Playing Turkish Politics, August 16, 2016


Turkey and Sweden in Twitter spat over child sexual abuse law

Turkey has held meetings with officials from both Sweden and Austria after a diplomatic row over child sexual abuse laws.

CNN, Turkey and Sweden in Twitter spat over child sexual abuse law, August 16, 2016