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Turkey Letter: 3 August 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Three Turkish soldiers killed as PKK steps up attacks after air strikes
  • US begins armed drone flights from Turkey
  • Islamic State Woos Kurdish Attackers in Turkey
  • The flow of jihadists into Syria dries up as Turkey cracks down on the border
  • Kurdish militia in Syria accuses Turkey of ‘provocative’ attacks
  • Iraq’s Kurdistan laments caught in middle of Turkey-PKK fight
  • Turkey Hits Kurdish Militants in Iraq in Largest Airstrike Yet
  • S., Turkey weigh which Syrian rebels to support in border area

Economy and Energy

  • EBRD Sees Record Turkey Equity Investment in Year of Uncertainty
  • Slowing Turkey Inflation May Be Temporary as Food Set to Surge
  • Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan to discuss TurkStream this autumn: Kremlin
  • Turkey Central Bank to Consider Shift to Single-Rate Policy

Domestic Politics

  • AKP, CHP coalition talks at key phase, leaders expected to meet this week
  • Davutoğlu genuine but Erdoğan blocking coalition government: CHP
  • It’s never late to call for peace: Demirtaş
  • Turkey’s Supreme Military Council convenes for promotions and retirements

Foreign Policy

Three Turkish soldiers killed as PKK steps up attacks after air strikes

Kurdish militias carried out a suicide attack on a military police station in eastern Turkey on Sunday, killing two soldiers and wounding 31 others, the local authorities said.

Reuters, Three Turkish soldiers killed as PKK steps up attacks after air strikes August 2, 2015


US begins armed drone flights from Turkey

The Pentagon says the military for the first time conducted armed drone missions out of Turkey last weekend, and is planning to conduct manned aircraft flights from Incirlik Air Base.

Associated Press, US begins armed drone flights from Turkey, August 3, 2015


Islamic State Woos Kurdish Attackers in Turkey

Islamic State appears to be successfully wooing young Turkish Kurds, while their kinsmen in Iraq and Syria—for the most part—are taking up arms against Islamic State

The Wall Street Journal, Islamic State Woos Kurdish Attackers in Turkey, August 2, 2015


The flow of jihadists into Syria dries up as Turkey cracks down on the border

For years, Turkey’s porous border with Syria provided a lifeline for the Islamic State, allowing the group to ferry weapons and fighters to a war zone where it was building its brutal “caliphate”. But that is now changing.

Washington Post, The flow of jihadists into Syria dries up as Turkey cracks down on the border, August 1, 2015


Kurdish militia in Syria accuses Turkey of ‘provocative’ attacks

Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State in Syria accused Turkey on Saturday of targeting it at least four times in the past week, calling the attacks provocative and hostile.

Reuters, Kurdish militia in Syria accuses Turkey of ‘provocative’ attacks, August 1, 2015


Iraq’s Kurdistan laments caught in middle of Turkey-PKK fight

Iraq’s Kurdistan region is suffering the fallout as Turkey launches strikes against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq, the region’s top diplomat said on Friday, calling for both sides to return to a ceasefire.

Reuters, Iraq’s Kurdistan laments caught in middle of Turkey-PKK fight, July 31, 2015


Turkey Hits Kurdish Militants in Iraq in Largest Airstrike Yet

Turkey’s renewed conflict with Kurdish militants intensified on Wednesday as the government launched a new wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq and a blast temporarily crippled a key oil pipeline in southeastern Turkey.

The Wall Street Journal, Turkey Hits Kurdish Militants in Iraq in Largest Airstrike Yet, July 29, 2015


U.S., Turkey weigh which Syrian rebels to support in border area

The United States and Turkey have not yet agreed which Syrian opposition fighters they will support in a joint effort to help clear Islamic State from an area along the Turkish border, officials said on Tuesday, underscoring uncertainty surrounding the campaign plan.

Reuters, U.S., Turkey weigh which Syrian rebels to support in border area, July 28, 2015


Erdoğan believes Putin ‘may give up on’ Syria’s Bashar al-Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has changed his stance on the ongoing crisis in Syria and is “much more positive” about a future without President Bashar al-Assad, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan believes Putin ‘may give up on’ Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, August 3, 2015


Economy and Energy

 EBRD Sees Record Turkey Equity Investment in Year of Uncertainty

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is set to make record equity investments in Turkey this year, even as the country awaits the formation of a government and confronts regional instability.

Bloomberg, EBRD Sees Record Turkey Equity Investment in Year of Uncertainty, August 3, 2015


Slowing Turkey Inflation May Be Temporary as Food Set to Surge

Turkish inflation slowed in July, driven by seasonal factors that will likely provide only temporary relief for the central bank as it seeks to lower price gains.

Bloomberg, Slowing Turkey Inflation May Be Temporary as Food Set to Surge, August 3, 2015


Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan to discuss TurkStream this autumn: Kremlin

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.

Reuters, Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan to discuss TurkStream this autumn: Kremlin, July 31, 2015


Turkey Central Bank to Consider Shift to Single-Rate Policy

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.

Bloomberg, Turkey Central Bank to Consider Shift to Single-Rate Policy, July 30, 2015


Turkish President Aims to Boost Ties With China

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to step up cooperation with Beijing on everything from trade to terrorism in meetings with Chinese leaders on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal, Turkish President Aims to Boost Ties With China, July 29, 2015

Russia won’t delay signing gas discount: Energy Minister

Turkey believes Russia will not delay signing documents which secured a 10.25 percent discount on gas prices, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, Russia won’t delay signing gas discount: Energy Minister, August 3, 2015


Domestic Politics

 AKP, CHP coalition talks at key phase, leaders expected to meet this week

Coalition talks between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) will enter a new phase following a last meeting by respective delegations on Aug. 3, with the two parties’ leaders to decide in an encounter likely to take place later this week.

Hurriyet Daily News, AKP, CHP coalition talks at key phase, leaders expected to meet this week, August 3, 2015


Davutoğlu genuine but Erdoğan blocking coalition government: CHP

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is blocking efforts by political parties to form a coalition, even though Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu genuinely wants to create a government, according to the head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Hurriyet Daily News, Davutoğlu genuine but Erdoğan blocking coalition government: CHP, August 3, 2015


It’s never late to call for peace: Demirtaş

During a period when tension between the army and terrorist groups has been escalating on a daily basis with incidents especially in east and southeast Anatolia, the leader of Turkey’s Kurdish-problem focused party has renewed his call for peace to both sides, underlining an appeal for peace is never late.

Hurriyet Daily News, It’s never late to call for peace: Demirtaş, August 3, 2015


Turkey’s Supreme Military Council convenes for promotions and retirements

Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) convened for its regular annual meeting on Aug. 3 to discuss appointments and retirements of high-ranking staff officers and generals in the Turkish Armed Forces, as well as for the removal of military personnel from the army.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Supreme Military Council convenes for promotions and retirements, August 3, 2015