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Turkey Letter 27 July 2015

Foreign Policy

  • U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria
  • Turkish raids on ISIL, PKK ‘changed the regional game:’ PM
  • ISIS exists because world ignored al-Assad in Syria, Turkish leader say
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release Concerning Turkey-US Understanding on Countering DAESH
  • Turkey Accused of Shelling Kurdish Positions in Syria
  • Turkey to Allow Use of Key Air Base for U.S. Warplanes to Bomb ISIS
  • Turkey Calls for NATO Meeting to Discuss Security Threats
  • Turkey Strikes Kurdish Militant Positions in Northern Iraq
  • Turkey has not asked for NATO military help: chief
  • Drones and ditches as Turkey tightens border after Islamic State bombing
  • ‘United Cyprus Federation’ under discussion: Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey may revise economic targets once government is formed: Minister
  • Turkey Holds Rates Steady As Political Risks Pressure Lira
  • Businesspeople near Turkish-Syrian border send out SOS
  • Turkey calls for Greece to make Aegean a ‘sea of happiness’ through closer economic ties

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish parliament to convene for extraordinary meeting over ISIL, PKK
  • MHP calls on supreme prosecutor to act against HDP
  • PKK announces ceasefire has ‘lost its meaning’ after Turkish army airstrikes
  • Gov’t informs opposition parties about cross-border operations, excludes HDP
  • Hundreds detained in fresh wave of operations against ISIL, PKK, excludes HDP
  • HDP accuses gov’t of ‘dragging Turkey into civil war’
  • Coalition talks enter new phase
  • CHP, HDP parliament spokespersons boycott presidential visit

Foreign Policy

U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria

Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against the Islamic State in northern Syria, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.

Washington Post, U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria, July 26, 2015


Turkish raids on ISIL, PKK ‘changed the regional game:’ PM

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the military operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq on July 23 and 24 have “changed the regional game.”

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish raids on ISIL, PKK ‘changed the regional game:’ PM, July 26, 2015


ISIS exists because world ignored al-Assad in Syria, Turkish leader says

ISIS’ existence is the result of international inaction against the Bahsar al-Assad regime, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. ISIS “is a product of a crisis, not only a cause of a problem,” he said.

CNN, ISIS exists because world ignored al-Assad in Syria, Turkish leader says, July 27, 2015


Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release Concerning Turkey-US Understanding on Countering DAESH

The DAESH problem is a primary national security threat for Turkey. The dimensions of thus threat are constantly growing… Eliminating the threat posed by DAESH both within our borders as well as to our national security has been an important aspect of the joint operational work conducted between Turkey and US for some time now.

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Press Release Concerning Turkey-US Understanding on Countering DAESH, July 24, 2015


Turkey Accused of Shelling Kurdish Positions in Syria

Kurdish fighters on Monday accused Turkey of shelling their positions in Syria, highlighting the difficult situation Ankara faces as it presses forward with its first direct fight against Islamic State there.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Accused of Shelling Kurdish Positions in Syria, July 27, 2015


Turkey to Allow Use of Key Air Base for U.S. Warplanes to Bomb ISIS

The United States and Turkey have reached an agreement in which manned and unmanned American warplanes will carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, near the Syrian border, Obama administration officials said Thursday.

The New York Times, Turkey to Allow Use of Key Air Base for U.S. Warplanes to Bomb ISIS, July 23, 2015


Turkey Calls for NATO Meeting to Discuss Security Threats

Turkey on Sunday called for a meeting of its NATO allies to discuss threats to its security and its airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants in Syria and Kurdish rebels in Iraq.

The New York Times, Turkey Calls for NATO Meeting to Discuss Security Threats, July 26, 2015


Turkey Strikes Kurdish Militant Positions in Northern Iraq

Turkish forces launched airstrikes on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq overnight, the prime minister’s office said Saturday, the latest escalation that effectively ends a shaky cease-fire in place since 2013.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Strikes Kurdish Militant Positions in Northern Iraq, July 26, 2015


Turkey has not asked for NATO military help: chief

Turkey has not asked for substantial military help from NATO in its campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Kurdish militants, the alliance’s chief said on July 27, a day before it meets to discuss the fighting.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey has not asked for NATO military help: chief, July 27, 2015


Drones and ditches as Turkey tightens border after Islamic State bombing

Turkey is erecting a modular wall along part of its border with Syria as well as reinforcing wire fencing and digging extra ditches after a suspected Islamic State suicide bombing killed 32 mostly young students in a border town this week.

Reuters, Drones and ditches as Turkey tightens border after Islamic State bombing, July 23, 2015


‘United Cyprus Federation’ under discussion: Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı

A “United Cyprus Federation” has been on the agenda of resumed negotiations with the Greek side of the divided island, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, ‘United Cyprus Federation’ under discussion: Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı, July 23, 2015


Economy and Energy

Turkey may revise economic targets once government is formed: Minister

Turkey may need to revise its economic targets downward once a government is formed, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said on July 27, on the back of persistent uncertainties.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey may revise economic targets once government is formed: Minister, July 27 2015


Turkey Holds Rates Steady As Political Risks Pressure Lira

Turkey’s central bank on Thursday kept all interest rates unchanged for a fifth consecutive month, as political uncertainties and mounting national security threats continued to pressure the country’s weak currency and high inflation.

The Wall Street Journal, Turkey Holds Rates Steady As Political Risks Pressure Lira, July 23, 2015


Businesspeople near Turkish-Syrian border send out SOS

Business circles in eastern and southeastern Turkey have called for the country’s political parties to establish a coalition government as soon as possible, highlighting the political uncertainties that have led to rising terrorist attacks and conflicts in the region.

Hurriyet Daily News, Businesspeople near Turkish-Syrian border send out SOS, July 27, 2015


Turkey calls for Greece to make Aegean a ‘sea of happiness’ through closer economic ties

Turkish companies are planning to invest in struggling neighbor Greece in the agricultural, manufacturing, tourism, construction and transportation sectors, as part of a joint program between the two countries.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey calls for Greece to make Aegean a ‘sea of happiness’ through closer economic ties, July 21, 2015

Domestic Politics

Turkish parliament to convene for extraordinary meeting over ISIL, PKK

Members of parliament are expected to gather at an extraordinary meeting of the national assembly on July 29, as Turkish fighter jets and ground forces hit militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) camps in Iraq, in a campaign Ankara said would help create a “safe zone” across swathes of northern Syria.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish parliament to convene for extraordinary meeting over ISIL, PKK, July 26, 2015


MHP calls on supreme prosecutor to act against HDP

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has called on the Supreme Court of Appeals’ Prosecutor’s Office to take legal action against the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for acting against the law on political parties by maintaining alleged ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Hurriyet Daily News, MHP calls on supreme prosecutor to act against HDP, July 26, 2015


PKK announces ceasefire has ‘lost its meaning’ after Turkish army airstrikes

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has said the ceasefire between it and the Turkish government has “lost its meaning” after the Turkish army’s airstrikes against PKK camps in northern Iraq, which began on July 24.

Hurriyet Daily News, PKK announces ceasefire has ‘lost its meaning’ after Turkish army airstrikes, July 26, 2015


Gov’t informs opposition parties about cross-border operations, excludes HDP

The government has informed the opposition parties in parliament about the recent cross-border military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), though the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was not briefed.

Hurriyet Daily News, Gov’t informs opposition parties about cross-border operations, excludes HDP, July 27, 2015


Hundreds detained in fresh wave of operations against ISIL, PKK

A total of 15 suspects have been detained in the capital Ankara’s Hacıbayram neighborhood in an anti-terror police operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), amid a fresh wave of anti-terror operations across the country, which saw more than 200 suspects detained.

Hurriyet Daily News, Hundreds detained in fresh wave of operations against ISIL, PKK, excludes HDP, July 27, 2015


HDP accuses gov’t of ‘dragging Turkey into civil war’

The Turkish army’s ongoing military operations in Iraq and Syria to crack down on terrorists was engineered by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), whose objective to regain its one-party government is dragging Turkey into a “civil war,” the leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, has claimed.

Hurriyet Daily News, HDP accuses gov’t of ‘dragging Turkey into civil war’, July 27, 2015


Coalition talks enter new phase

Coalition talks in Turkey have entered a new phase, as delegations from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) held “exploratory talks” on July 24 aimed at forming a coalition government.

Hurriyet Daily News, Coalition talks enter new phase, July 24, 2015


CHP, HDP parliament spokespersons boycott presidential visit

The members of the Parliament Spokespersons Board from two opposition parties have boycotted a courtesy visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan because it took place at the controversial presidential palace.

Hurriyet Daily News, CHP, HDP parliament spokespersons boycott presidential visit, July 27, 2015