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Turkey Letter: 28 November 2016

Foreign Politics

  • Erdogan Threatens to Let Migrant Flood Into Europe Resume
  • European Parliament Votes to Suspend Talks With Turkey on E.U. Membership
  • Merkel says EU and Turkey must stick to migration deal
  • Turkey’s Push to Expand Safe Zone in Syria Risks Slowing Fight Against ISIS
  • Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria as Turkish-backed rebels push to al-Bab
  • Improving ties with Israel vital: President Erdoğan
  • Turkey Says Three Soldiers Killed in Syria Airstrike

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey Raises Rates for First Time in Almost Three Years
  • Turkey Rate Hike Fails to Compensate for Risk as Lira Slides
  • Turkey’s Rate Rise Can’t Stop Dollar Storm
  • OECD slashes 2016 growth forecast for Turkey
  • Erdogan Economy Meeting Goes Unmentioned as Structure Undefined
  • Turkey Seeking Renewables Industry With Make-It-Here Rules

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan Aspirations for More Power Get Blessing From Opposition
  • Turkey’s AK Party withdraws controversial bill on sexual abuse for review
  • Blast kills two at governor’s office in southern Turkish city
  • Turkey court accepts indictment against HPD deputies
  • BBC, Voice of America reporters detained in southeast Turkey
  • 15,000 More Public Workers Are Fired in Turkey Crackdown

Foreign Politics

Erdogan Threatens to Let Migrant Flood Into Europe Resume

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily threatened on Friday to open the floodgates of migrants into Europe again, apparently in response to a move to suspend talks on Turkey’s membership in the European Union.

New York Times, Erdogan Threatens to Let Migrant Flood Into Europe Resume, November 25, 2016


European Parliament Votes to Suspend Talks With Turkey on E.U. Membership

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to suspend talks with Turkey on European Union membership, the most forceful response yet to the crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against political opponents.

New York Times, European Parliament Votes to Suspend Talks With Turkey on E.U. Membership, November 24, 2016


Merkel says EU and Turkey must stick to migration deal

The European Union and Turkey must honour their commitments to each other, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, in a bid to cool a row threatening a key migration deal.

Reuters, Merkel says EU and Turkey must stick to migration deal, November 25, 2016


Turkey’s Push to Expand Safe Zone in Syria Risks Slowing Fight Against ISIS

Not far from the square here where Islamic State executioners carried out public beheadings, Syrian rebels have raised a banner trumpeting the beginning of a new era: “Welcome: #safehaventurkey” Until late August this border town served as a strategic gateway for foreign fighters and supplies for Islamic State’s self-declared, now-shrinking caliphate. Now it is the cornerstone of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plan—viewed warily by the U.S.—to transform a vast stretch of northern Syria into a haven for people fleeing the violence.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Push to Expand Safe Zone in Syria Risks Slowing Fight Against ISIS, November 25, 2016


Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria as Turkish-backed rebels push to al-Bab

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed an attack on Turkish troops in Syria with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on November 25 as Turkish-backed rebels pressed an offensive to take the Syrian city of al-Bab from Islamic State.

Reuters, Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria as Turkish-backed rebels push to al-Bab, November 25, 2016


Improving ties with Israel vital: President Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stressed the importance of normalization between Israel and Turkey in a phone conversation with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Hurriyet Daily News, Improving ties with Israel vital: President Erdoğan, November 28, 2016


Turkey Says Three Soldiers Killed in Syria Airstrike

Turkey on Thursday said the Assad regime killed three of its soldiers in Syria, in what would be the first deadly airstrike on Turkish forces since the country launched an operation against Islamic State in August.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Says Three Soldiers Killed in Syria Airstrike, November 24, 2016


Economy & Energy

Turkey Raises Rates for First Time in Almost Three Years

Turkey’s central bank Thursday raised interest rates for the first time in nearly three years, seeking to counter the economic reverberations of political upheaval at home and joining emerging-market peers in trying to stem a currency selloff after Donald Trump clinched the U.S. presidency earlier this month.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Raises Rates for First Time in Almost Three Years, November 24, 2016


Turkey Rate Hike Fails to Compensate for Risk as Lira Slides

The lira’s short-lived rebound after a surprise interest-rate increase sent Turkish policy makers a message: a lot more will be needed to arrest the currency’s slump.

Bloomberg, Turkey Rate Hike Fails to Compensate for Risk as Lira Slides, November 24, 2016


Turkey’s Rate Rise Can’t Stop Dollar Storm

First Mexico, now Turkey. Faced with a rapidly sliding currency in the wake of the U.S. presidential election, the Turkish central bank raised interest rates by more than expected Thursday. But Turkey’s problems won’t be solved by that.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Rate Rise Can’t Stop Dollar Storm, November 24, 2016


OECD slashes 2016 growth forecast for Turkey

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has slashed its 2016 growth forecast for Turkey to 2.9 percent in its latest outlook, down from 3.9 percent in its previous estimate.

Hurriyet Daily News, OECD slashes 2016 growth forecast for Turkey, November 28, 2016


Erdogan Economy Meeting Goes Unmentioned as Structure Undefined

An eagerly anticipated meeting of Turkey’s top economic policy makers convened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 24 ended without a public statement amid a lack of clarity about its structure or authority.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Economy Meeting Goes Unmentioned as Structure Undefined, November 24, 2016


Turkey Seeking Renewables Industry With Make-It-Here Rules

Turkey is seeking to become a manufacturing hub for the renewable-energy industry by implementing the world’s strictest rules on local content.

Bloomberg, Turkey Seeking Renewables Industry With Make-It-Here Rules, November 22, 2016


Domestic Politics

Erdogan Aspirations for More Power Get Blessing From Opposition

Turkey’s nationalist opposition party is signaling that it is close to an agreement with the ruling AKP party on a new constitution that would broaden President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Aspirations for More Power Get Blessing From Opposition, November 22, 2016


Turkey’s AK Party withdraws controversial bill on sexual abuse for review

Turkey’s ruling party has withdrawn for review a proposed bill allowing men accused of sexual abuse to avoid sentence, but a public uproar has persisted, with opposition parties and civil society groups calling for it to be canceled entirely.

Reuters, Turkey’s AK Party withdraws controversial bill on sexual abuse for review, November 22, 2016


Blast kills two at governor’s office in southern Turkish city

An explosion killed two people and wounded more than 30 outside the governor’s office in the southern Turkish city of Adana on November 24, weeks after the United States warned of attacks by what it called extremist groups.

Reuters, Blast kills two at governor’s office in southern Turkish city, November 24, 2016


Turkey court accepts indictment against HPD deputies

A court in the western province of İzmir has accepted an indictment against the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) co-chair and two other party lawmakers on terror charges, seeking up to five years in jail, a judiciary source said on Nov. 28.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey court accepts indictment against HPD deputies, November 28, 2016


BBC, Voice of America reporters detained in southeast Turkey

Turkish authorities detained two reporters working for foreign news organizations in southeast Turkey, the latest journalists taken into custody as part of the government’s sweeping crackdown following a failed coup in July.

Associated Press, BBC, Voice of America reporters detained in southeast Turkey, November 28, 2016


15,000 More Public Workers Are Fired in Turkey Crackdown

The Turkish government on November 22 expanded its crackdown on political opponents, dismissing an additional 15,000 civil servants from their jobs and shutting down 375 organizations, including nine more news outlets.

New York Times, 15,000 More Public Workers Are Fired in Turkey Crackdown, November 22, 2016