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Turkey Letter: 31 October 2016

Foreign Politics

  • Whose Rebels Will Fight for Raqqa Deepens U.S.-Turkey Divisions
  • Erdogan reasserts Turkey’s role in wars in Syria and Iraq
  • Obama, Erdoğan discuss fight against ISIL in Iraq, Syria
  • Turkey says gives U.S. new documents on Gulen extradition request
  • Turkey calls for end to NATO’s migrant mission in Aegean
  • Çavuşoğlu, Kerry discuss US decision to remove families of diplomats from Istanbul

Economy & Energy

  • Glossy Figures Mask Fiscal Skid as Turkey Prepares to Spend
  • Banks Race the Clock as Turkey Revives Bond Sales Before Fed
  • Paralysis May End in Turkish Stocks as Signs of Rebound Emerge
  • Turkey’s tourism revenue declines around 33 percent in third quarter as foreign arrivals plunge
  • Turkey expects first F-35 delivery in 2018, plans more orders

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey Detains Prominent Opposition Journalists
  • Turkey’s Kurds Stage Nationwide Protests Over Arrests
  • Turkey Shuts News Outlets, Tightens Anti-Terrorism Law
  • The capital punishment to soon be brought to parliament: President Erdoğan

 Foreign Politics

Whose Rebels Will Fight for Raqqa Deepens U.S.-Turkey Divisions

With the battle for the Iraqi city of Mosul barely begun, the U.S. and its allies say they need to move within weeks on the other remaining Islamic State stronghold, Raqqa in Syria. The trouble is that no one can agree on who should do the actual fighting.The U.S. commander of the campaign against Islamic State says the only group capable and ready for such a battle is the Syrian Democratic Forces, made up largely of Kurdish fighters. Turkey, however, wants to keep the Kurds out of the fight to prevent them from connecting their autonomous areas in Syria.

Bloomberg, Whose Rebels Will Fight for Raqqa Deepens U.S.-Turkey Divisions, October 28, 2016


Erdogan reasserts Turkey’s role in wars in Syria and Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that he had informed President Obama of Turkey’s intent to participate in an offensive in northern Syria. His remarks are a reminder of the strategic conundrum facing the United States, which is working to defeat the extremist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with both cooperation from Turkey as well as from Syrian Kurdish militias being targeted by the Turks.

Washington Post, Erdogan reasserts Turkey’s role in wars in Syria and Iraq, October 27, 2016


Obama, Erdoğan discuss fight against ISIL in Iraq, Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and in Iraq on Oct. 26, along with Turkey’s concerns over the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to a statement from the Turkish presidency.

Hurriyet Daily News, Obama, Erdoğan discuss fight against ISIL in Iraq, Syria, October 27, 2016


Turkey says gives U.S. new documents on Gulen extradition request

Turkey has handed over to the U.S. Justice Department further documents to back its request for the extradition of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating a failed July 15 coup attempt, Turkey’s justice minister said on Thursday.

Reuters, Turkey says gives U.S. new documents on Gulen extradition request, October 27, 2016


Turkey calls for end to NATO’s migrant mission in Aegean

Turkey is seeking an end to NATO’s counter-migration mission in the Aegean Sea and it is telling the U.S.-led alliance that the sharp drop in refugees trying to get to Greece means there is no longer a need for warships to patrol its coast.

Reuters, Turkey calls for end to NATO’s migrant mission in Aegean, October 27, 2016


Çavuşoğlu, Kerry discuss US decision to remove families of diplomats from Istanbul

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke on the phone with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry over the latter’s decision to remove the families of U.S. consulate personnel in Istanbul due to security reasons.

Hurriyet Daily News, Çavuşoğlu, Kerry discuss US decision to remove families of diplomats from Istanbul, October 30, 2016


Economy & Energy

Glossy Figures Mask Fiscal Skid as Turkey Prepares to Spend

Turkey’s plan to increase spending to escape an economic slowdown is bringing its public finances under closer scrutiny, with the government’s own data painting two very different pictures of fiscal health.

Bloomberg, Glossy Figures Mask Fiscal Skid as Turkey Prepares to Spend, October 30, 2016


Banks Race the Clock as Turkey Revives Bond Sales Before Fed

Now may not be the best time for Turkish banks to sell bonds internationally, but the flurry of issuers suggests most think conditions aren’t going to get better anytime soon.

Bloomberg, Banks Race the Clock as Turkey Revives Bond Sales Before Fed, October 25, 2016


Paralysis May End in Turkish Stocks as Signs of Rebound Emerge

After missing an emerging-markets rally for six months, Turkish stocks may be ready to take off, if technical indicators are right. The benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index is outperforming the MSCI Emerging Markets Index this month, breaking out of a range within which it traded most of the time since April. Studies of price charts as well as analysts’ earnings projections signal further gains are in store.

Bloomberg, Paralysis May End in Turkish Stocks as Signs of Rebound Emerge, October 26, 2016


Turkey’s tourism revenue declines around 33 percent in third quarter as foreign arrivals plunge

Turkey’s tourism revenue decreased by 32.7 percent to $8.3 billion in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period of last year, amid a dramatic plunge in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on Oct. 31.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s tourism revenue declines around 33 percent in third quarter as foreign arrivals plunge, October 31, 2016


Turkey expects first F-35 delivery in 2018, plans more orders

Turkey expects to take delivery of its first Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35A fighter jets in 2018 and has decided to order a second batch, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries said on Friday.

Reuters, Turkey expects first F-35 delivery in 2018, plans more orders, October 28, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey Detains Prominent Opposition Journalists

The Turkish authorities detained the editor and several prominent writers of one of the country’s few remaining opposition newspapers on Monday, a day after the government dismissed 10,000 civil servants suspected of links to a failed coup in July.

New York Times, Turkey Detains Prominent Opposition Journalists, October 31, 2016


Turkey’s Kurds Stage Nationwide Protests Over Arrests

Turkey’s Kurds defied the state of emergency to stage nationwide protests on Wednesday against the detention of a leading Kurdish politician, as the government’s post-coup crackdown increasingly ensnares the restive minority and fuels an insurgency destabilizing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization member.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Kurds Stage Nationwide Protests Over Arrests, October 26, 2016


Turkey Shuts News Outlets, Tightens Anti-Terrorism Law

Turkey shut more than a dozen news outlets and tightened its anti-terrorism laws in an expansion of its crackdown following the botched July 15 coup.

Bloomberg, Turkey Shuts News Outlets, Tightens Anti-Terrorism Law, October 30, 2016


The capital punishment to soon be brought to parliament: President Erdoğan

Turkey’s parliament cannot stay indifferent to the “public demand” for the death penalty, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, reiterating that he would approve the bill on the re-installment of capital punishment if lawmakers vote in favor of it.

Hurriyet Daily News, The capital punishment to soon be brought to parliament: President Erdoğan, October 29, 2016