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Turkey Letter: 31 August 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey, U.S., Conduct First Joint Airstrikes Against ISIS
  • Commander of U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Killed in Turkey Car Bomb
  • Turkey’s parliament to vote on Syria mandate
  • Turkey refutes tipping al-Qaeda group to US-trained fighters
  • Rights groups call on Turkey to release VICE journalist

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey’s Central Bank Unveils Measures to Boost Liquidity
  • Turkey’s snap election will prolong doubts, damage economy – Moody’s
  • Turkey’s foreign trade gap widens in July
  • Turkey ranks sixth in Brookings’ financial inclusion study
  • Turkey’s economic confidence index decreased amid uncertainties
  • Emboldened by $5.2 bln Brazil deal, HSBC ‘drags feet in Turkey’
  • Turkey’s 4G tender outstrips predictions with bids of $4.5 billion
  • Vodafone Turkey to pay for tenders won in cash

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan Approves Caretaker Government in Turkey
  • Turkish opposition leader says talks would secure Kurdish ceasefire
  • AKP fomenting chaos to secure single-party government: CHP leader
  • All measures to be taken to make November 1 polls safe: Erdoğan
  • Poll shows Turkey’s AK Party short of votes needed to form government alone
  • Seven killed in Turkey in clashes with militants
  • Four civilians, two police officers killed in attacks in southeast Turkey

Foreign Policy

Turkey, U.S., Conduct First Joint Airstrikes Against ISIS

Turkish warplanes have conducted their first airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group.

NPR, Turkey, U.S., Conduct First Joint Airstrikes Against ISIS, August 29, 2015


Commander of U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Killed in Turkey Car Bomb

A car bomb Wednesday in the Turkish city of Antakya killed the commander of a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group, officials said, the latest attack targeting Syria’s opposition and moderate rebel leaders.

Wall Street Journal, Commander of U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Killed in Turkey Car Bomb, August 26, 2015


Turkey’s parliament to vote on Syria mandate

Turkey’s parliament will convene for an extraordinary session on Sept. 3 to vote on a motion to extend the mandate of the Turkish Armed Forces to take military action in Iraq and Syria.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s parliament to vote on Syria mandate, August 31, 2015


Turkey refutes tipping al-Qaeda group to US-trained fighters

Turkey has strongly denied a news report suggesting that Turkish authorities orchestrated the kidnapping of a group of U.S.-trained moderate Syrian fighters after they entered Syria last month to confront fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), arguing that the report was “intentional.”

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey refutes tipping al-Qaeda group to US-trained fighters, August 26, 2015


Rights groups call on Turkey to release VICE journalists

Turkish anti-terrorist police have detained two British journalists from Vice News for reporting from the predominantly Kurdish southeast without government accreditation, security sources said on Friday.

Reuters, Rights groups call on Turkey to release VICE journalists, August 31, 2015


Economy and Energy

Turkey’s Central Bank Unveils Measures to Boost Liquidity

Turkey’s central bank on Saturday unveiled measures to bolster liquidity and help the country’s commercial banks meet debt repayments, as Turkish policy makers take steps to counter the potential fallout from an anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate rise this year.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Central Bank Unveils Measures to Boost Liquidity, August 29, 2015


Turkey’s snap election will prolong doubts, damage economy – Moody’s

Turkey’s snap elections due in November will weigh on its credit rating by prolonging political uncertainty and strengthening headwinds for an already bruised economy, ratings agency Moody’s said on Thursday.

Reuters, Turkey’s snap election will prolong doubts, damage economy – Moody’s, August 27, 2015


Turkey’s foreign trade gap widens in July

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit widened by 6.5 percent to over $7 billion in July compared to the same month of last year, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed on Aug. 31.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s foreign trade gap widens in July, August 31, 2015


Turkey ranks sixth in Brookings’ financial inclusion study

The Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings has launched the 2015 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP) Report and Scorecard, which evaluates access to and usage of affordable financial services across 21 countries. According to Brookings’ FDIP analysis, Turkey ranked sixth among the countries for its financial inclusion efforts.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey ranks sixth in Brookings’ financial inclusion study, August 25, 2015


Turkey’s economic confidence index decreased amid uncertainties

Turkey’s economic confidence index fell 1.9 percent month-on-month to 84.28 in August from a revised 85.87 in July, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on Aug. 28.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s economic confidence index decreased amid uncertainties, August 28, 2015


Emboldened by $5.2 bln Brazil deal, HSBC ‘drags feet in Turkey’

HSBC is dragging its feet on the sale of its Turkish business to ING Group, two sources familiar with the matter said, as the bank is no longer in a hurry to exit Turkey after securing a hefty $5.2 billion for its Brazilian unit.

Reuters, Emboldened by $5.2 bln Brazil deal, HSBC ‘drags feet in Turkey,’ August 28, 2015


Turkey’s 4G tender outstrips predictions with bids of 4.5 billion

Turkey’s auction of 4G mobile phone frequencies lured a higher than expected 3.96 billion euros ($4.5 billion) worth of bids, the agency running the process said on Wednesday, showing the appeal of Turkey’s youthful and growing market.

Reuters, Turkey’s 4G tender outstrips predictions with bids of 4.5 billion, August 26, 2015


Vodafone Turkey to pay for tenders won in cash

Vodafone Turkey wants to pay the tender price of 778 million euros it offered in a recent deal for advanced 4G technologies in cash this year, CEO Gökhan Öğüt said on Aug. 28 as reported by Reuters.

Hurriyet Daily News, Vodafone Turkey to pay for tenders won in cash, August 28, 2015


Domestic Politics

Erdogan Approves Caretaker Government in Turkey

The short-term interim government approved Friday by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey allowed pro-Kurdish party lawmakers to take up ministerial posts for the first time in the country’s history. But the two ministers who were appointed are not expected to survive this fall’s election.

New York Times, Erdogan Approves Caretaker Government in Turkey, August 28, 2015


Turkish opposition leader says talks would secure Kurdish ceasefire

The joint leader of Turkey’s opposition People’s Democracy Party (HDP) said on Saturday he expected the militant Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) to lay down its arms if Turkey resumed negotiations with the armed group.

Reuters, Turkish opposition leader says talks would secure Kurdish ceasefire, August 31, 2015


AKP fomenting chaos to secure single-party government: CHP leader

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of causing a recent rise in terrorist attacks with the aim of receiving enough votes to form a single-party government in the Nov. 1 polls.

Hurriyet Daily News, AKP fomenting chaos to secure single-party government: CHP leader, August 31, 2015


All measures to be taken to make November 1 polls safe: Erdoğan

Security forces will take all necessary measures to ensure election safety on Nov. 1 in a bid to avoid the repetition of problems that allegedly occurred in the June 7 polls, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, All measures to be taken to make November 1 polls safe: Erdoğan, August 31, 2015


Poll shows Turkey’s AK Party short of votes needed to form government alone

Turkey’s ruling AK Party is seen falling short of the votes needed to form a single-party government in a snap election on Nov. 1 with 41.7 percent of votes, up from 40.9 percent in the June election, pollster Metropoll found in its latest survey.

Reuters, Poll Shows Turkey’s AK Party short of votes needed to form government alone, August 26, 2015


Seven killed in Turkey in clashes with militants

Seven people, including at least four civilians, were killed on Thursday in clashes between Turkey’s armed forces and militants in the mainly Kurdish southeast, security sources and the army said.

Reuters, Seven Killed in Turkey in Clashes with militants, August 27, 2015


Four civilians, two police officers killed in attacks in southeast Turkey

A child, three other civilians and two police officers were killed in violence in southeast Turkey on Sunday following the breakdown of a ceasefire between the government and Kurdish militants.

Reuters, Four civilians, two police officers killed in attacks in southeast Turkey, August 30, 2015