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Turkey Letter: 22 February 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Obama calls Turkey’s Erdogan as allies row over Syrian Kurds
  • Turkish Premier Says Kurdish Militant Carried Out Ankara Attack
  • Turkey’s Shelling of Kurds in Syria Will Continue, Erdogan Says
  • A Direct Turkey-Russia Clash Is Growing Risk on Syria Border
  • Turkish Leader Cancels Europe Migration Meeting

Economy and Energy

  • Koç Holding names Ömer Koç new chairman until next general meeting
  • Turkey to Let Tourist Companies Delay Loan Payments on Slowdown
  • Fridges and flour: Syrian refugees boost Turkish economy
  • Consumer confidence declines for third consecutive month amid geopolitical risks

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish Fight Against Kurdish Insurgency Spreads
  • 14 suspects arrested over Ankara bombing
  • Turkey Faces More Turmoil as Erdogan Seeks to Enhance Powers
  • Three Turkish journalists freed after kidnapping by Kurdish militants: agency

 

Foreign Policy

Obama calls Turkey’s Erdogan as allies row over Syrian Kurds

Turkey’s presidency said U.S. President Barack Obama had shared his concerns over the Syrian conflict and promised his support on Friday, hours after a tense exchange between the two NATO allies over the role of Kurdish militants.

Reuters, Obama calls Turkey’s Erdogan as allies row over Syrian Kurds, February 19, 2016


Turkish Premier Says Kurdish Militant Carried Out Ankara Attack

Turkey escalated its fight with Kurdish militants Thursday, accusing them of carrying out a deadly bombing in Ankara and calling on Washington to sever ties with the group, one of the U.S.’s most vital allies in Syria.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Premier Says Kurdish Militant Carried Out Ankara Attack, February 18, 2016


Turkey’s Shelling of Kurds in Syria Will Continue, Erdogan Says

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that Turkey would continue shelling U.S.-backed Kurdish militants across the border in Syria, despite calls from Washington and other Western capitals to halt the attacks.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Shelling of Kurds in Syria Will Continue, Erdogan Says, February 17, 2016


A Direct Turkey-Russia Clash Is Growing Risk on Syria Border

There’s only one major group of combatants in the Syrian war that’s backed by both Russia and the U.S. — and now Turkey is attacking it.Since the weekend, Turkey has unleashed its 155-millimeter heavy guns across the border with Syria. The targets are Kurdish forces, whose recent advance is a key part of the Russian plan to extend President Bashar al-Assad’s control over Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday refused to stop the shelling and said Turkey was acting in self-defense.

Bloomberg, A Direct Turkey-Russia Clash Is Growing Risk on Syria Border, February 16, 2016


Turkish Leader Cancels Europe Migration Meeting

A meeting of a dozen European leaders and the Turkish Prime Minister was canceled late Wednesday after a bomb exploded in Ankara killing at least 18. Hours after the attack, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu canceled his trip to Brussels, where he was due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and several other EU leaders at a meeting about migration hosted by Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Leader Cancels Europe Migration Meeting, February 17, 2016


Economy and Energy

Koç Holding names Ömer Koç new chairman until next general meeting

Ömer Koç, the vice president of the executive board at Koç Holding, has been named the new chairman of the conglomerate, more than a month after the passing of his brother Mustafa Koç from a sudden heart attack. “Our board of directors has decided to choose vice president of the executive board Ömer Koç as the chairman and our board member Ali Koç as the vice president of the executive board until the first general meeting is held,” Koç Holding said in a statement on Feb. 22.

Hurriyet Daily News, Koç Holding names Ömer Koç new chairman until next general meeting, February 22, 2016


Turkey to Let Tourist Companies Delay Loan Payments on Slowdown

Turkey plans to help tourism companies restructure bank debt after a series of bomb attacks and Russian sanctions curbed the industry’s growth and led to a rise in bad loans.

Bloomberg, Turkey to Let Tourist Companies Delay Loan Payments on Slowdown, February 22, 2016


Fridges and flour: Syrian refugees boost Turkish economy

Turkey’s 2.6 million Syrian refugees may be straining the housing and jobs systems, but they’re also fueling economic growth. The world’s largest refugee population has had a positive impact on Turkish output, economists and government officials say. It may be partly responsible for an unexpected rise in third-quarter growth and stronger forecasts for 2016 output.

Reuters, Fridges and flour: Syrian refugees boost Turkish economy, February 19, 2016


Consumer confidence declines for third consecutive month amid geopolitical risks

Turkey’s consumer confidence index continued to decline in February amid escalating geopolitical risks as the index saw a 7 percent of drop compared to January. The index fell to 66.64 points in February, down 4.98 points, or seven percent, from January, showed data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) on Feb. 19.

Hurriyet Daily News, Consumer confidence declines for third consecutive month amid geopolitical risks, February 19, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkish Fight Against Kurdish Insurgency Spreads

The Turkish government has expanded an offensive against Kurdish separatists in the past week as a car bombing in Ankara killed dozens of soldiers, a jarring illustration of Turkey’s uphill battle to stamp out an insurgency spreading across the region.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Fight Against Kurdish Insurgency Spreads, February 21, 2016


14 suspects arrested over Ankara bombing

A total of 14 suspects were arrested early on Feb. 22 over a deadly car bomb attack in the Turkish capital that killed at least 28 people and left 61 injured on Feb. 17. Some 14 suspects were transferred to court on Feb. 21 with a demand for their arrest while seven others were released after interrogation by a prosecutor.

Hurriyet Daily News, 14 suspects arrested over Ankara bombing, February 22, 2016


Turkey Faces More Turmoil as Erdogan Seeks to Enhance Powers

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to try to push through parliament a new constitution concentrating power in his office after efforts to write a charter agreeable to all political parties collapsed.

Bloomberg, Turkey Faces More Turmoil as Erdogan Seeks to Enhance Powers, February 17, 2016


Three Turkish journalists freed after kidnapping by Kurdish militants: agency

Three journalists from Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency were freed on Sunday after being kidnapped by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the mainly Kurdish southeast, the news agency said.

Reuters, Three Turkish journalists freed after kidnapping by Kurdish militants: agency, February 21, 2016