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Turkey Letter 29 July 2019 

Foreign Policy: 

  • Cyprus: Turkey must halt gas drilling for talks to restart 
  • Erdogan says Turkey to turn elsewhere if U.S. will not sell F-35s 
  • Turkey determined to destroy ‘terror corridor’ in Syria 
  • Pompeo Urges Turkey Not to Make Russian S-400 ‘Operational’ 
  • Trump asks GOP senators for “flexibility” on Turkey sanctions 

Economy & Energy: 

  • Turkey Told Bankers It May Exceed Targets for Borrowing, Deficit 
  • Erdogan Says Record Rate Cut ‘Not Enough,’ Urges Gradual Easing 
  • Lira Rises as Turkey Yield Appeal Absorbs Shock of Rate Cut 
  • Turkish central bank slashes interest rates 

Domestic Politics: 

  • Court says Turkey violated petition-signing scholars’ rights 
  • Former Turkish banker’s appeal hearing set for October 

Foreign Policy  

Cyprus: Turkey must halt gas drilling for talks to restart 

The president of Cyprus says Turkey must halt illegal drilling for gas in waters where the east Mediterranean island nation has exclusive economic rights if stalled reunification talks in the ethnically divided nation are to resume. 

AP News, Cyprus: Turkey must halt gas drilling for talks to restart, 29 July 2019 


Erdogan says Turkey to turn elsewhere if U.S. will not sell F-35s 

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey would turn elsewhere for fighter jets if the United States will not sell it the F-35 jets, adding that a U.S. decision to cut Ankara from the program would not deter it from meeting its needs. 

Reuters, Erdogan says Turkey to turn elsewhere if U.S. will not sell F-35s, 26 July 2019 


 Turkey determined to destroy ‘terror corridor’ in Syria 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday his country is determined to destroy what he called a “terror corridor” in northern Syria — regardless of whether or not Turkey and the United States agree on the establishment of a so-called “safe zone” there. 

Washington Post, Turkey determined to destroy ‘terror corridor’ in Syria, 26 July 2019  


Pompeo Urges Turkey Not to Make Russian S-400 ‘Operational’ 

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged Turkey not to make the S-400 missile defense system it purchased from Russia “operational” as President Donald Trump holds off on implementing new sanctions required by law. 

Bloomberg, Pompeo Urges Turkey Not to Make Russian S-400 ‘Operational’, 25 July 2019  


Trump asks GOP senators for “flexibility” on Turkey sanctions 

During a private meeting Tuesday at the White House, President Donald Trump asked Republican senators for “flexibility” in responding to Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system and argued against retaliating at this time with congressionally mandated sanctions that many of the lawmakers want to swiftly implement, according to many who attended the meeting. 

NBC News, Trump asks GOP senators for “flexibility” on Turkey sanctions, 24 July 2019 


Economy & Energy  

Turkey Told Bankers It May Exceed Targets for Borrowing, Deficit 

Turkish officials told bankers that the government is set to exceed its targets on new debt and the budget deficit, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. 

Bloomberg, Turkey Told Bankers It May Exceed Targets for Borrowing, Deficit, 29 July 2019 


Erdogan Says Record Rate Cut ‘Not Enough,’ Urges Gradual Easing 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the central bank to press ahead with monetary easing, speaking a day after it delivered Turkey’s biggest interest-rate cut in at least 17 years without roiling markets. 

Bloomberg, Erdogan Says Record Rate Cut ‘Not Enough,’ Urges Gradual Easing, 26 July 2019 


Lira Rises as Turkey Yield Appeal Absorbs Shock of Rate Cut 

Within 10 minutes of Turkey’s central bank decision, the lira reversed losses and advanced the most in emerging markets as traders coped with a record interest-rate cut by focusing on the currency’s yield appeal. 

Bloomberg, Lira Rises as Turkey Yield Appeal Absorbs Shock of Rate Cut, 25 July 2019 


Turkish central bank slashes interest rates 

Turkey’s central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate on Thursday, marking a shift in direction after the sacking of its former governor by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Financial Times, Turkish central bank slashes interest rates, 25 July 2019 


Domestic Politics 

 Court says Turkey violated petition-signing scholars’ rights 

Turkey’s top court ruled Friday that 10 academics had their rights violated when they were sentenced on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda for signing a petition calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeast. 

AP News, Court says Turkey violated petition-signing scholars’ rights, 26 July 2019 


Former Turkish banker’s appeal hearing set for October 

The lawyer of a former Turkish banking executive who was released last week from a federal U.S. prison said on July 24 that his appeal hearing will be in October. “The court of appeals determined that the first hearing of the case of Mehmet Hakan Atilla will be held during the week of October 21,” Halil Uzun told Anadolu Agency. 

Hurriyet, Former Turkish banker’s appeal hearing set for October, 24 July 2019