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Turkey Letter: 31 July 2017

Foreign Policy

  • Erdogan Bashes Germany, NATO as Turkey Goes for Russian Missiles
  • Tensions Escalate Between Germany and Turkey
  • Syrian rebels reopen main border crossing with Turkey
  • Britain ends electronics cabin ban on some flights from Turkey
  • Thousands rally in Istanbul against Israel’s Al-Aqsa mosque measures

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey Plans to Raise Its Borrowing Limit
  • PM Yıldırım to be in charge of state, wealth funds after cabinet reshuffle
  • Turkey Insurance Companies Plunge on Second Freak July Storm
  • Turkey’s tourism revenue sees strong recovery in second quarter
  • Time for Turkish economy to leap up as worst is over: Deputy PM Şimşek
  • Turkey’s foreign trade deficit narrows in June

Domestic Politics

  • Pro-Kurdish party launches protests against Turkish crackdown
  • Turkey opposition stages sit-in to protest changes to parliamentary procedure
  • Turkish Parliament strips status of two more pro-Kurdish lawmakers
  • Turkey Frees 7 Journalists, but Others Remain Behind Bars
  • Women in Istanbul protest, chant ‘Don’t mess with my outfit’
  • Turkey’s main opposition leader accuses prosecutors in daily Cumhuriyet case of being Gülenists

Foreign Policy

Erdogan Bashes Germany, NATO as Turkey Goes for Russian Missiles
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan bashed Germany, NATO, the U.S. and Israel in a speech to his party on Tuesday, signaling an accelerated political realignment away from the West as he seeks to conclude a missile defense deal with Russia.
Bloomberg, Erdogan Bashes Germany, NATO as Turkey Goes for Russian Missiles, July 25 2017


Tensions Escalate Between Germany and Turkey
In early June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and made an unusual offer, according to German officials briefed on the exchange: extradite two Turkish generals who had applied for asylum in Germany, and receive a detained German-Turkish journalist in return.
Wall Street Journal, Tensions Escalate Between Germany and Turkey, July 27 2017


Syrian rebels reopen main border crossing with Turkey
Syrian opposition groups have reopened the northwestern border crossing of Bab al-Hawa with Turkey after a week-long closure caused by rebel infighting that blocked the main conduit for goods into Idlib province.
Reuters, Syrian rebels reopen main border crossing with Turkey, July 27 2017


Britain ends electronics cabin ban on some flights from Turkey
Britain on Friday lifted a ban on passengers carrying electronic devices in the cabin on some flights to the UK from Turkey after new security measures were introduced, saying other restrictions would be looked at on a case by case basis.
Reuters, Britain ends electronics cabin ban on some flights from Turkey, July 28 2017


Thousands rally in Istanbul against Israel’s Al-Aqsa mosque measures
Thousands of people rallied in Turkey’s largest city on Sunday against security measures Israel has imposed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, shortly after Israel removed other measures that led to two weeks of violent Palestinian protests.
Reuters, Thousands rally in Istanbul against Israel’s Al-Aqsa mosque measures, July 30 2017


Economy and Energy

Turkey Plans to Raise Its Borrowing Limit
Turkey is preparing to increase its debt limit for the first time since 2009 after first-half borrowing left the Treasury near its legal ceiling.
Bloomberg, Turkey Plans to Raise Its Borrowing Limit, July 25 2017


PM Yıldırım to be in charge of state, wealth funds after cabinet reshuffle
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım is set to assume roles in key public offices including the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) and the Turkish Wealth Fund, a post which was under the responsibility of Nurettin Canikli, who was appointed as the new defense minister after a cabinet reshuffle earlier this week.
Hurriyet, PM Yıldırım to be in charge of state, wealth funds after cabinet reshuffle, July 26 2017


Turkey Insurance Companies Plunge on Second Freak July Storm
The Borsa Istanbul Insurance Sector Index dropped as much as 2.5 percent on Friday after a brief but ferocious storm in Istanbul on Thursday showered the city with hail as large as golf balls, shattering windows, denting vehicles and damaging buildings.
Bloomberg, Turkey Insurance Companies Plunge on Second Freak July Storm, July 28 2017


Turkey’s tourism revenue sees strong recovery in second quarter
Turkey’s tourism revenue has shown strong recovery in the second quarter of the year after a tough period amid a series of problems, the official data showed on July 31.
Hurriyet, Turkey’s tourism revenue sees strong recovery in second quarter, July 31 2017


Time for Turkish economy to leap up as worst is over: Deputy PM Şimşek
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said the worst is over for the Turkish economy, adding that it was time to leap ahead for the economy.
Hurriyet, Time for Turkish economy to leap up as worst is over: Deputy PM Şimşek, July 31 2017


Turkey’s foreign trade deficit narrows in June
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit has narrowed in June year-on-year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said on July 31.
Hurriyet, Turkey’s foreign trade deficit narrows in June, July 31 2017


Domestic Politics

Pro-Kurdish party launches protests against Turkish crackdown
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish parliamentary opposition launched three months of protests on Tuesday against a state crackdown which has seen dozens of lawmakers and mayors jailed over suspected links to militant separatists.
Reuters, Pro-Kurdish party launches protests against Turkish crackdown, July 25 2017


Turkey opposition stages sit-in to protest changes to parliamentary procedure
Turkey’s main opposition staged a sit-in on Thursday to protest against proposed changes to parliamentary procedure that it says will restrict lawmakers’ ability to challenge President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party in the assembly.
Reuters, Turkey opposition stages sit-in to protest changes to parliamentary procedure, July 27 2017


Turkish parliament strips status of two more pro-Kurdish lawmakers
Turkey’s parliament stripped two pro-Kurdish lawmakers of their parliamentary status on Thursday, further reducing the presence of the HDP, the second-largest opposition party in the general assembly.
Reuters, Turkish parliament strips status of two more pro-Kurdish lawmakers, July 27 2017


Turkey Frees 7 Journalists, but Others Remain Behind Bars
A Turkish court ordered the release Friday of seven journalists of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, but left the four most prominent editors and executives in jail, in a sign that the government remains determined to prosecute its most vociferous critics.
New York Times, Turkey Frees 7 Journalists, but Others Remain Behind Bars, July 28 2017


Women in Istanbul protest, chant ‘Don’t mess with my outfit’
Women’s rights associations protested on July 30 in Istanbul’s Maçka Democracy Park where a private security guard verbally abused a 24-year-old woman the day before, with women also protesting against the rising number of attacks they face over the way they dress.
Hurriyet, Women in Istanbul protest, chant ‘Don’t mess with my outfit’, July 31 2017


Turkey’s main opposition leader accuses prosecutors in daily Cumhuriyet case of being Gülenists
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has accused the prosecutors in the daily Cumhuriyet case of being members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Hurriyet, Turkey’s main opposition leader accuses prosecutors in daily Cumhuriyet case of being Gülenists, July 31 2017