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Turkey Letter: 26 October 2015

Foreign Policy

  • US, Russia, Saudi, Turkey Mull New Syria Transition Ideas
  • 9 killed in raid on IS militants in Turkey
  • Turkey: progress made on EU migrant plan but issues remain
  • US Air Force deploys 12 A-10 attack aircraft in Turkey’s south

Economy and Energy

  • Deepening Customs Union with EU will ‘create new narrative for Turkish economy’
  • Turkish Bonds Decline as Central Bank Keeps Rates Unchanged
  • Turkey Rout Ends After Traders Get Over Fear of Hung Parliament
  • Turkish consumer confidence perks up, election key to outlook
  • EBRD supports Turkey’s Tofaş to build two new models with 200 mln-euro loan

Domestic Politics

  • Security Threats Drive Deep Polarization in Turkey Ahead of Election
  • Most Turks believe necessary security measures not taken before Ankara blasts: Survey
  • Press Freedom Under Fire in Turkey
  • Turkish PM claims Oslo documents leaked by Gülen movement
  • Turkish court convicts 244 protesters over Gezi Park protests

 

Foreign Policy

US, Russia, Saudi, Turkey Mull New Syria Transition Ideas

The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey put forward new ideas Friday to revive a failed push for a political transition in Syria that could end the country’s civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday. But they remained deeply divided over the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Associated Press, US, Russia, Saudi, Turkey Mull New Syria Transition Ideas, October 23, 2015


9 killed in raid on IS militants in Turkey

Turkey claimed it struck a major blow against an Islamic State group cell in a raid Monday in which seven militants reportedly were killed. Two police officers also died in the clash in southeastern Turkey, police said.

Washington Post, 9 killed in raid on IS militants in Turkey, October 26, 2015


Turkey: progress made on EU migrant plan but issues remain

Turkey and the European Union have made progress on a plan that aims to stem the mass movement of migrants across Europe’s borders, but several issues are still under discussion, Turkey’s prime minister said Sunday following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Associated Press, Turkey: progress made on EU migrant plan but issues remain, October 18, 2015


US Air Force deploys 12 A-10 attack aircraft in Turkey’s south

U.S. Air Force has deployed 12 A-10 attack aircraft in Turkey’s south to support the coalition’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Department of Defense (DoD) confirmed on Oct. 22.

Hurriyet Daily News, US Air Force deploys 12 A-10 attack aircraft in Turkey’s south, October 22, 2015


Economy and Energy

Deepening Customs Union with EU will ‘create new narrative for Turkish economy’

Deepening the current Customs Union deal between Turkey and the EU will enable the country to develop a new economic narrative, according to Sinan Ülgen, the founder of Istanbul Economics and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels at a Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) event.

Hurriyet Daily News, Deepening Customs Union with EU will ‘create new narrative for Turkish economy’, October 21, 2015


Turkish Bonds Decline as Central Bank Keeps Rates Unchanged

Turkey’s bonds fell, trimming a monthly rally, as policymakers left borrowing rates unchanged in the final interest-rate decision before parliamentary elections next month. The yield on two-year government notes jumped 17 basis points to 10.34 percent at 3:58 p.m. in Istanbul, after falling 34 basis points . The rate has dropped 121 basis points this month amid a broader rally in developing nations, reducing the need for Turkey’s central bank to act to relieve pressure on this year’s second-worst performing currency in emerging markets. The lira weakened after the decision.

Bloomberg, Turkish Bonds Decline as Central Bank Keeps Rates Unchanged, October 21, 2015


Turkey Rout Ends After Traders Get Over Fear of Hung Parliament

The country’s two-year notes have performed better than any others in emerging markets since the start of this month, while the cost of insuring against a debt default has fallen the most after Russia. The rally coincided with renewed demand for riskier assets on bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero in 2015.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey Rout Ends After Traders Get Over Fear of Hung Parliament, October 22, 2015


Turkish consumer confidence perks up, election key to outlook

Turkey’s limp consumer confidence picked up from a six-year low in October, data showed on Oct. 22, but ratings agencies highlighted risks to economic growth from a Nov. 1 election that may produce no outright winner.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish consumer confidence perks up, election key to outlook, October 22, 2015


EBRD supports Turkey’s Tofaş to build two new models with 200 mln-euro loan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting car development in Turkey with a 200 million euros syndicated loan to leading Turkish automaker Tofaş, it said in a written statement Oct. 22.

Hurriyet Daily News, EBRD supports Turkey’s Tofaş to build two new models with 200 mln-euro loan, October 23, 2015


Turkey 16th in global automobile production

Turkey ranked 16th in global automobile production, according to a report from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) released on Oct. 26.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey 16th in global automobile production, October 26, 2015


Domestic Politics

Security Threats Drive Deep Polarization in Turkey Ahead of Election

In squares and shopping malls across Istanbul, rival parties have set up election stalls to try to lure in undecided voters as Turks prepare to go to the polls November 1 for their second election in six months.

Voice of America, Security Threats Drive Deep Polarization in Turkey Ahead of Election, October 24, 2015


Most Turks believe necessary security measures not taken before Ankara blasts: Survey

More than half of Turkish voters think the Turkish government did not take necessary and pre-emptive security measures at the site of a peace rally, where deadly Ankara blasts killed at least 102 civilians and wounded hundreds of others on Oct. 10, a recent survey of public opinion on politics shows.

Hurriyet Daily News, Most Turks believe necessary security measures not taken before Ankara blasts: Survey, October 21, 2015


Press Freedom Under Fire in Turkey

Freedom of the press in Turkey is under serious threat, according to a coalition of global media rights groups who have completed an urgent mission to the country ahead crucial parliamentary election next month.

Voice of America, Press Freedom Under Fire in Turkey, October 21, 2015


Turkish PM claims Oslo documents leaked by Gülen movement

The Oslo documents, revealing negotiations between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), were made public by sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has claimed.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish PM claims Oslo documents leaked by Gülen movement, October 23, 2015


Turkish court convicts 244 protesters over Gezi Park protests

A local court in Istanbul has sentenced 244 participants in the 2013 Gezi protests to jail time for a range of crimes, including “polluting a mosque.” The 55th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul on Oct. 23 sentenced 244 of 255 defendants to between two months, 15 days and one year, two-months 16 days’ imprisonment. Only four of the defendants were acquitted, while charges against four suspects were separated from the case file.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish court convicts 244 protesters over Gezi Park protests, October 23, 2015