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Turkey Letter: 30 January 2017

Foreign Politics

  • Iran, Russia and Turkey Agree to Enforce Syria Cease-Fire, but Don’t Explain How
  • Turkey says waiting to see outcome of Trump’s Syria safe zones call
  • Turkish-US ties need urgent action: Erdoğan
  • Hundreds of police trained by Turkey start work in northern Syria
  • K., Turkey Deepen Defense Links as Erdogan Hosts May
  • Greece’s Top Court Rejects Extradition of Turkish Officers
  • Trump’s refugee ban no solution to problems, Turkey PM says

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey’s lira revives as investors look past Fitch downgrade
  • Turkish Central Bank Raises Rates as It Struggles to Boost Currency
  • In double whammy for Turkey, Fitch cuts to junk after S&P slashes outlook
  • Turkey’s economic confidence slips around 4 pct in January

Domestic Politics

  • Social media battle lines drawn ahead of Turkish vote
  • President Erdoğan expected to hold 40 rallies during referendum campaign
  • New state of emergency commission in Turkey receives cool response
  • Turkey ranks 75th in corruption perceptions index amid continued downfall


 

Foreign Politics

 
Iran, Russia and Turkey Agree to Enforce Syria Cease-Fire, but Don’t Explain How

Two days of talks over the Syrian civil war concluded on Tuesday with an agreement by Iran, Russia and Turkey to enforce a fragile partial cease-fire. But neither the Syrian government nor the rebel fighters — who briefly met face to face for the first time in nearly six years of war — signed the agreement.

New York Times, Iran, Russia and Turkey Agree to Enforce Syria Cease-Fire, but Don’t Explain How, January 24, 2017


Turkey says waiting to see outcome of Trump’s Syria safe zones call

Turkey is waiting to see the outcome of U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to order safe zones in Syria, and has long advocated such a plan, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said on Thursday.

Reuters, Turkey says waiting to see outcome of Trump’s Syria safe zones call, January 26, 2017


Turkish-US ties need urgent action: Erdoğan

Turkey and the United States should take immediate steps to re-evaluate the strategic framework of bilateral ties after Donald Trump took the helm as the new U.S. president, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish-US ties need urgent action: Erdoğan, January 27, 2017


Hundreds of police trained by Turkey start work in northern Syria

A new Syrian police force trained and equipped by Turkey started work in a rebel-held border town on Tuesday, a sign of deepening Turkish influence in northern Syria, where it has helped drive out Islamic State militants in recent months.

Reuters, Hundreds of police trained by Turkey start work in northern Syria, January 24, 2017


U.K., Turkey Deepen Defense Links as Erdogan Hosts May

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said she and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were deepening their defense links, amid criticism at home that she is putting trade ahead of concerns about the rule of law in Turkey.

Wall Street Journal, U.K., Turkey Deepen Defense Links as Erdogan Hosts May, January 28, 2017


Greece’s Top Court Rejects Extradition of Turkish Officers

Greece cannot extradite eight military officers who fled Turkey after a failed coup in July, the country’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. The Turkish government had demanded that the officers be handed over, and it immediately protested the court’s decision.

New York Times, Greece’s Top Court Rejects Extradition of Turkish Officers, January 26, 2017


Trump’s refugee ban no solution to problems, Turkey PM says

President Donald Trump’s sweeping ban on people seeking refuge in the United States is no solution to problems, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday, adding that Western countries should do more to help ease Turkey’s refugee burden.

Reuters, Trump’s refugee ban no solution to problems, Turkey PM says, January 28, 2017


 

Economy & Energy

 

Turkey’s lira revives as investors look past Fitch downgrade

The Turkish lira firmed more than 1 percent on Monday, its biggest percentage advance in six sessions, as investors shrugged off a sovereign debt downgrade by Fitch amid central bank efforts to tighten liquidity.

Reuters, Turkey’s lira revives as investors look past Fitch downgrade, January 30, 2017


Turkish Central Bank Raises Rates as It Struggles to Boost Currency

Turkey’s central bank Tuesday continued its practice of unorthodox policy measures in attempts to stabilize the currency by raising overnight lending rates for banks but keeping its benchmark policy rate steady.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Central Bank Raises Rates as It Struggles to Boost Currency, January 24, 2017


In double whammy for Turkey, Fitch cuts to junk after S&P slashes outlook

Ratings agency Fitch downgraded Turkey’s sovereign debt to “junk” on Friday, snuffing out its last remaining investment grade and underscoring deepening concern about politics and monetary policy in what was once a star emerging market.

Reuters, In double whammy for Turkey, Fitch cuts to junk after S&P slashes outlook, January 27, 2017


Turkey’s economic confidence slips around 4 pct in January

Turkey’s economic confidence regressed to 85.7 in January with a 3.9 percent decrease compared to the previous month, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute showed on Jan. 30.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s economic confidence slips around 4 pct in January, January 30, 2017


 

Domestic Politics

 

Social media battle lines drawn ahead of Turkish vote

Campaigning has not officially started, but a string of video “selfies” by the likes of sports stars, actors and cabinet ministers has already launched a divisive debate on plans that would hand Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers.

Reuters, Social media battle lines drawn ahead of Turkish vote, January 30, 2017


President Erdoğan expected to hold 40 rallies during referendum campaign

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to travel 40 cities across Turkey to hold rallies during the campaign for the upcoming referendum and to “explain what constitutional changes will bring about for Turkey,” sources told daily Hürriyet over the weekend.

Hurriyet Daily News, President Erdoğan expected to hold 40 rallies during referendum campaign, January 30, 2017


New state of emergency commission in Turkey receives cool response

The government’s recent decree amending legal regulations during state of emergency rule, including reducing the maximum duration of detention without charge and the establishment of a state of emergency commission, has prompted a cautious response from legal experts.

Hurriyet Daily News, New state of emergency commission in Turkey receives cool response, January 25, 2017


Turkey ranks 75th in corruption perceptions index amid continued downfall

Turkey has ranked 75th in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2016, falling nine places from 2015 and adding to its dramatic decline over the past four years.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey ranks 75th in corruption perceptions index amid continued downfall, January 26, 2017