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Turkey Letter: 24 April 2017

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey’s Erdogan to meet U.S. President Trump on May 16-17
  • Turkey to engage in a new foreign policy bid by May
  • Trump will do what Obama failed to do about Gülen: Erdoğan
  • Turkey says EU ties could be revived if migrant deal implemented
  • Turkey must investigate referendum doubts: European Commission
  • Putin congratulates Erdoğan over referendum win
  • Turkey at ‘final stage’ with Russia over S-400 missile system: Defense minister

Economy & Energy

  • Turkish lira, bonds firm after Erdogan victory
  • Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul hits second highest close ever
  • Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Says Worst Is Over for Economy
  • Turkey Seeks to Restructure Taxes Again to Boost Economy, Budget
  • IMF Cuts Turkey’s 2017 Growth Forecast as Politics Cloud Outlook
  • Global Yatirim Hires Banks for Turkey’s First London Listing

Domestic Politics

  • Concerns over referendum vote damage election reliability: TÜSİAD head
  • Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum
  • Turkey Arrests Dozens Over Referendum Protests
  • Turkey’s Erdogan to apply to rejoin ruling AK Party after final vote results: spokesman
  • Erdoğan commemorates victims of 1915 Armenian killings

Foreign Policy

Turkey’s Erdogan to meet U.S. President Trump on May 16-17

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he would meet his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Washington on May 16-17, in their first meeting since Trump took office in January.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan to meet U.S. President Trump on May 16-17, April 20, 2017


Turkey to engage in a new foreign policy bid by May

Turkey will launch a foreign policy move through presidential visits to critical countries in May in an attempt to reshape the country’s relationships with the international community after months of domestic political tension fractured Turkey’s bonds with its traditional allies. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s itinerary in May includes a visit to Washington D.C. for his first in-person meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump after the latter’s election and to Sochi for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey to engage in a new foreign policy bid by May, April 21, 2017


Trump will do what Obama failed to do about Gülen: Erdoğan

U.S. President Donald Trump will do what former President Barack Obama failed to do regarding the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said April 20.

Hurriyet Daily News, Trump will do what Obama failed to do about Gülen: Erdoğan, April 20, 2017


Council of Europe body to vote on Turkey status April 25

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is scheduled to meet on April 25 to discuss whether to degrade Turkey’s status and reopen a monitoring process against the country, in what has been decried as a politically motivated move by Ankara.

Hurriyet Daily News, Council of Europe body to vote on Turkey status April 25, April 24, 2017


Turkey says EU ties could be revived if migrant deal implemented

Turkey has received only 790 million euros ($857 million) of a 3 billion euro package promised by the European Union under a deal to limit the flow of migrants from Turkey into the bloc, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on April 24. Kalin said that relations between Ankara and Brussels could be put back on track if the European Union implemented the terms of the migrant deal.

Reuters, Turkey says EU ties could be revived if migrant deal implemented, April 24, 2017


Turkey must investigate referendum doubts: European Commission

The European Commission called on Turkey on Tuesday to investigate alleged irregularities in the referendum boosting the powers of President Tayyip Erdogan and urged him to show restraint after his narrow victory. Declining to congratulate the Turkish president, the EU executive’s second official response since the vote instead focused on observer findings that the vote was skewed in Erdogan’s favour without a proper legal framework and with late changes in ballot counting.

Reuters, Turkey must investigate referendum doubts: European Commission, April 18, 2017


Putin congratulates Erdoğan over referendum win

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 18 for winning the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, the Kremlin and Turkish state media said.

Hurriyet Daily News, Putin congratulates Erdoğan over referendum win, April 19, 2017


Turkey at ‘final stage’ with Russia over S-400 missile system: Defense minister

Turkey’s talks with Russia about the purchase of the S-400 air missile defense system have reached a “final stage”, although this does not mean a deal will be signed immediately, Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on April 21.

Reuters, Turkey at ‘final stage’ with Russia over S-400 missile system: Defense minister, April 21, 2017


Economy & Energy

Turkish lira, bonds firm after Erdogan victory

The Turkish lira firmed and sovereign dollar bond prices rose on April 18 after President Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in a referendum that handed him sweeping powers, while emerging equities fell as geopolitical tensions dampened risk appetite.

Reuters, EMERGING MARKETS-Turkish lira, bonds firm after Erdogan victory, April 18, 2017


Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul hits second highest close ever

Turkey’s benchmark index closed the week with a 384.55-point hike to reach 92,423.93 points on April 21, marking it the second highest close of all time.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul hits second highest close ever, April 23, 2017


Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Says Worst Is Over for Economy

Turkey’s government plans to restructure nearly $20 billion in unpaid taxes, the second such move in a year, as it seeks to boost revenue and stimulate growth.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Says Worst Is Over for Economy, April 20, 2017


Turkey Seeks to Restructure Taxes Again to Boost Economy, Budget

The Turkish government ran a budget deficit of 19.5 billion Turkish Liras ($5.32 billion) in March and 14.9 billion liras ($3.7 billion) in the first quarter, mainly due to temporary measures and tax cuts to boost the economy, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal stated on April 17.

Bloomberg, Turkey Seeks to Restructure Taxes Again to Boost Economy, Budget, April 19, 2017


IMF Cuts Turkey’s 2017 Growth Forecast as Politics Cloud Outlook

The International Monetary Fund cut its 2017 growth forecast for Turkey to 2.5% from 2.9%. “The outlook is clouded by heightened political uncertainty, security concerns, and the rising burden of foreign-exchange-denominated debt caused by the lira depreciation,” the IMF said in its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook report on April 18.

Wall Street Journal, IMF Cuts Turkey’s 2017 Growth Forecast as Politics Cloud Outlook, April 18, 2017


Global Yatirim Hires Banks for Turkey’s First London Listing

Global Yatirim Holding AS, a conglomerate with interests spanning tourism and energy, hired Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage the first ever London listing by a Turkish issuer.

Bloomberg, Global Yatirim Hires Banks for Turkey’s First London Listing, April 19, 2017


Domestic Politics

Concerns over referendum vote damage election reliability: TÜSİAD head

Suspicion of irregularities in the April 16 referendum vote have damaged Turkey’s election security and reliability, said Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Chair Erol Bilecik, adding that measures need to be immediately taken to ensure judicial independence and neutrality.

Hurriyet Daily News, Concerns over referendum vote damage election reliability: TÜSİAD head, April 21, 2017


Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum

Turkey’s electoral board on Wednesday rejected petitions by opposition parties to annul the outcome of the weekend’s referendum on expanding presidential powers because of voting irregularities. Washington Post, Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum, April 19, 2017


Turkey Arrests Dozens Over Referendum Protests

Dozens of members of Turkey’s political opposition were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday, as a crackdown began on those questioning the legitimacy of a referendum on April 19 to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

New York Times, Turkey Arrests Dozens Over Referendum Protests, April 19, 2017


Turkey’s Erdogan to apply to rejoin ruling AK Party after final vote results: spokesman

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan will apply to rejoin the ruling AK Party after final results are declared from the April 16 referendum to expand the president’s powers, his spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on April 24.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan to apply to rejoin ruling AK Party after final vote results: spokesman April 24, 2017


Erdoğan commemorates victims of 1915 Armenian killings

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a message to a religious ceremony held in the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul on April 24 to commemorate the victims of the 1915 killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule, addressing Patriarch Aram Ateşyan, general vicar of the Armenian patriarch of Turkey, and citizens of Armenian origin.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan commemorates victims of 1915 Armenian killings, April 24, 2017