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Turkey Letter: 28 November 2017

Foreign Policy:

  • Gold Trader Reza Zarrab Is Aiding U.S. Iran Sanctions Probe
  • Turkey-EU hold counter-terrorism meeting
  • Presidential spokesperson says Turkish National Security Council will discuss Pentagon statement on cooperation with YPG
  • Turkish PM Yıldırım, UK PM May discuss anti-terror fight, Middle East
  • Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
  • Russia, Turkey and Iran Propose Conference on Postwar Syria’s Future
  • Ex-UK soldier in Turkey released from jail pending trial

Economy and Energy:

  • A Manhattan Trial Wreaks Havoc on Turkish Markets
  • OECD nearly doubles 2017 growth forecast for Turkey to over 6 pct
  • Turkey’s economic confidence index falls below 100 in November
  • Turkey to Be Removed From Draft EU Tax Havens Blacklist
  • This Is How Far Turkey Will Go to Boost Lira Without a Hike

Domestic Politics:

  • Erdoğan says CHP has become Turkey’s ‘main treason party’
  • Main opposition CHP head says Erdoğan’s relatives sent millions of dollars to foreign company
  • Tense women’s march in Turkey ends peacefully

 

Foreign Policy

 

Gold Trader Reza Zarrab Is Aiding U.S. Iran Sanctions Probe

Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader at the center of an international corruption case, has agreed to cooperate with the American prosecution of a Turkish banker accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions, a defense lawyer said at the start of the trial.

Bloomberg, Gold Trader Reza Zarrab Is Aiding U.S. Iran Sanctions Probe, November 28, 2017


Turkey-EU hold counter-terrorism meeting

Turkey and the European Union held a counter-terrorism meeting on Nov. 28 in Ankara, seeking further cooperation to prevent and counter violent extremism, terrorism financing and links between organized crime and terrorism and to reinforce cooperation in the field of justice and law enforcement cooperation.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey-EU hold counter-terrorism meeting, November 28, 2017


Presidential spokesperson says Turkish National Security Council will discuss Pentagon statement on cooperation with YPG

Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said Turkey’s National Security Council will discuss the Pentagon’s statement on continuing the U.S.’s cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Hurriyet Daily News, Presidential spokesperson says Turkish National Security Council will discuss Pentagon statement on cooperation with YPG, November 28, 2017


Turkish PM Yıldırım, UK PM May discuss anti-terror fight, Middle East

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and his British counterpart Theresa May expressed their consensus to continue their cooperation in many areas during their bilateral meeting on Nov. 27 at Downing Street in London, such as the fight against terrorism and regional issues.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish PM Yıldırım, UK PM May discuss anti-terror fight, Middle East, November 27, 2017


Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds

The United States will cut off its supply of arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria, President Donald Trump told the Turkish president on Friday, in a move sure to please Turkey but further alienate Syrian Kurds who bore much of the fight against the Islamic State group.

Washington Post, Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds, November 24, 2017


Ex-UK soldier in Turkey released from jail pending trial

A lawyer says a Turkish court has released a former British soldier from jail pending the outcome of his trial for alleged membership of a terrorist organization. Joe Robinson was arrested while on holiday in Turkey, accused of fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militia against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Washington Post, Ex-UK soldier in Turkey released from jail pending trial, November 24, 2017


Russia, Turkey and Iran Propose Conference on Postwar Syria’s Future

Leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran announced an agreement on Wednesday to sponsor a conference aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the Syria war. The announcement by the three leaders, who were meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, underscored Russia’s increasingly influential role in determining the outcome of the war, which appears to be winding down after nearly seven years.

New York Times, Russia, Turkey and Iran Propose Conference on Postwar Syria’s Future, November 22, 2017


Economy and Energy:

 

A Manhattan Trial Wreaks Havoc on Turkish Markets

The trial in New York of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who is accused of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, has been wreaking havoc on Turkey’s markets, after efforts led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to secure a political resolution to the case. Many investors want to see what is revealed in that Manhattan courtroom before taking a risk on Turkey.

Bloomberg, A Manhattan Trial Wreaks Havoc on Turkish Markets, November 28, 2017


OECD nearly doubles 2017 growth forecast for Turkey to over 6 pct

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has significantly raised its 2017 growth forecast for Turkey to over 6 percent, by citing strong fiscal stimulus and rebound in exports. “Economic growth is estimated to have exceeded 6 percent in 2017, driven by strong fiscal stimulus and an export market recovery,” the OECD said in a note of its latest outlook on Turkey, which was released on Nov. 28.

Hurriyet Daily News, OECD nearly doubles 2017 growth forecast for Turkey to over 6 pct, November 28, 2017


Turkey’s economic confidence index falls below 100 in November

Turkey’s economic confidence index fell 3.4 percent to 97.9 points in November, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) stated on Nov. 28, signaling a further retreat from a five-year high in August. The index indicates an optimistic economic outlook when above 100 and a pessimistic one when below 100. It was last below 100 in June, when it stood at 98.9 points.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s economic confidence index falls below 100 in November, November 28, 2017


Turkey to Be Removed From Draft EU Tax Havens Blacklist

Turkey is on course to dodge a potential inclusion in the European Union’s list of tax havens, after offering additional clarifications to the bloc in a letter sent on Friday.

Bloomberg, Turkey to Be Removed From Draft EU Tax Havens Blacklist, November 27, 2017


Turkey Lifts Bank-Funding Cost as Lira Drops to All-Time Low

The Turkish lira weakened to a record low and bonds tumbled, pressuring policy makers to find ways of staunching a market rout that’s putting them at odds with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The currency dropped as much as 1.2 percent against the dollar before recouping some losses after the central bank pushed lenders to use a window that makes borrowing more expensive from Wednesday.

Bloomberg, Turkey Lifts Bank-Funding Cost as Lira Drops to All-Time Low, November 21, 2017


Domestic Politics:

 

Erdoğan says CHP has become Turkey’s ‘main treason party’

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of becoming Turkey’s “main treason party,” blasting its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as “discredited” and “extremely confused.”

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan says CHP has become Turkey’s ‘main treason party,’ November 28, 2017


Main opposition CHP head says Erdoğan’s relatives sent millions of dollars to foreign company

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu revealed that President Tayyip Erdoğan’s close circle – including his brother, his son and his executive assistant – made transactions worth around $15 million to an off-shore company called Bellway Limited in the tax haven Isle of Man in December 2011 and January 2012.

Hurriyet Daily News, Main opposition CHP head says Erdoğan’s relatives sent millions of dollars to foreign company, November 28, 2017


Tense women’s march in Turkey ends peacefullyTurkish police haven’t intervened in a banned march that attracted more than 1,000 protesters to highlight the issue of violence against women and girls. The demonstration ended peacefully amid a tense atmosphere and heavy security after police told the group that the march wouldn’t be allowed. Despite the ban, the march took place on Istanbul’s main pedestrian avenue.

Washington Post, Tense women’s march in Turkey ends peacefully, November 25, 2017