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Turkey Letter: 5 December 2016

Foreign Politics

  • EU Chill With Turkey Nears a Freeze
  • Turkey, Russia see need for Aleppo truce but divisions remain
  • Egypt and Turkey Soften Positions on Syria, Benefiting Assad
  • Cypriot Leaders Agree to Restart Reunification Talks
  • New Israeli ambassador presents credentials to President Erdoğan
  • Dutch Ask E.U. to Pressure Turkey Over Crackdown
  • Greek Court Rejects Turkish Extradition Request for Military Officers

Economy & Energy

  • Erdogan Says Turkey Faces ‘Economic Sabotage’ as Lira Plunges
  • Turkish Lira Drops to Record as Central Bank’s Resolve Tested
  • Global Banks Rein in Turkey Loans as Erdogan Roils Markets
  • Turkey’s annual inflation eases to 7 percent after food prices decline
  • Turkey Hires Advisers to Sell $10 Billion of Seized Firms

Domestic Politics

  • Prominent business group TÜSİAD wants Turkey’s state of emergency to end
  • Turkey’s top business association calls for cooperation to achieve sustainable development
  • AKP-MHP still yet to finalize constitution draft
  • Six arrested over deadly dormitory fire in Turkey’s Adana
  • Turkey’s Crackdown Curiously Spares the Literary World

Foreign Politics

EU Chill With Turkey Nears a Freeze

European leaders are facing a dilemma: How to deal with what they see as growing signs of authoritarianism in Turkey while keeping in place a prized agreement that has helped keep thousands of migrants out of Europe.

Wall Street Journal, EU Chill With Turkey Nears a Freeze, December 1, 2016


Turkey, Russia see need for Aleppo truce but divisions remain

Turkey and Russia, two of the main backers of opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, said on Thursday they agreed on the need for a halt to fighting and the provision of aid in Aleppo but deep divisions remain between them over the conflict.

Reuters, Turkey, Russia see need for Aleppo truce but divisions remain, December 1, 2016


Egypt and Turkey Soften Positions on Syria, Benefiting Assad

Egypt and Turkey, countries that were once vocal opponents of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, have, to varying degrees, softened their positions. Egypt, the region’s most populous Sunni country and wary of Iran’s Shiite theocracy, has made its tacit, increasing support of the Syrian government public for the first time. And Turkey, a Sunni regional power, is reshaping the Syrian battlefield by edging closer to Russia and dampening its longtime support for rebels fighting Mr. Assad.

New York Times, Egypt and Turkey Soften Positions on Syria, Benefiting Assad, December 2, 2016


Cypriot Leaders Agree to Restart Reunification Talks

Negotiations to reunify ethnically divided Cyprus are back on track, according to the United Nations, after they nearly fell apart two weeks ago.

Wall Street Journal, Cypriot Leaders Agree to Restart Reunification Talks, December 2, 2016


New Israeli ambassador presents credentials to President Erdoğan

Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Eitan Na’eh has presented his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to officially begin his tenure in Ankara, after six years of low-level diplomatic representation due to the Mavi Marmara crisis of 2010.

Hurriyet Daily News, New Israeli ambassador presents credentials to President Erdoğan, December 5, 2016


Dutch Ask E.U. to Pressure Turkey Over Crackdown

The prospects for Turkey’s eventually joining the European Union narrowed on Thursday when the Netherlands asked other member countries to formally warn the Turkish government that the purges there could lead to the freezing of membership talks.

New York Times, Dutch Ask E.U. to Pressure Turkey Over Crackdown, December 1, 2016


Greek Court Rejects Turkish Extradition Request for Military Officers

An appeals court on Monday rejected Turkey’s request to extradite the first three of eight military officers who fled to Greece in the wake of the failed coup attempt in their country, officials said.

Wall Street Journal, Greek Court Rejects Turkish Extradition Request for Military Officers, December 5, 2016


Economy & Energy

Erdogan Says Turkey Faces ‘Economic Sabotage’ as Lira Plunges

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said his political enemies are trying to sabotage the economy by speculating on the stock market, foreign exchange rate and interest rates after failing to overthrow his administration in July.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Says Turkey Faces ‘Economic Sabotage’ as Lira Plunges, December 3, 2016


Turkish Lira Drops to Record as Central Bank’s Resolve Tested

The Turkish lira’s losses deepened on December 1, with the currency falling to record lows against the dollar and euro.

Bloomberg, Turkish Lira Drops to Record as Central Bank’s Resolve Tested, December 1, 2016


Global Banks Rein in Turkey Loans as Erdogan Roils Markets

Global lenders are staying away from Turkish syndicated loans. The number of lenders participating in syndicated-loan offerings has dropped almost every time a Turkish bank has rolled over one of their facilities during the second half of this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This has meant that the country’s banks are issuing foreign-financing packages at the slowest pace since January 2013, according to data compiled by Turkey’s central bank.

Bloomberg, Global Banks Rein in Turkey Loans as Erdogan Roils Markets, December 2, 2016


Turkey’s annual inflation eases to 7 percent after food prices decline

Turkey’s monthly inflation rose much lower than estimates in November after a decline in food prices, pushing down the annual inflation rate to 7 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute’s (TÜİK) November 2016 report revealed on Dec. 5.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s annual inflation eases to 7 percent after food prices decline, December 5, 2016


Turkey Hires Advisers to Sell $10 Billion of Seized Firms

Turkey hired three local institutions to advise on the sale of 596 companies it seized because of alleged links to terror organizations.

Bloomberg, Turkey Hires Advisers to Sell $10 Billion of Seized Firms, November 30, 2016


Domestic Politics

Prominent business group TÜSİAD wants Turkey’s state of emergency to end

The state of emergency declared after the July 15 coup attempt should be lifted immediately, said Cansen Başaran-Symes, the chair of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), also criticizing discussions on reinstating capital punishment as “worrying.”

Hurriyet Daily News, Prominent business group TÜSİAD wants Turkey’s state of emergency to end, December 1, 2016


Turkey’s top business association calls for cooperation to achieve sustainable development

Turkey’s largest business organization has called on all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development goals in line with the United Nations’ 2030 agenda.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s top business association calls for cooperation to achieve sustainable development, December 5, 2016


AKP-MHP still yet to finalize constitution draft

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are continuing to discuss the content of the constitutional amendment on the government’s desired presidential system change, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has stated, adding that joint efforts have been accelerated in order to submit the text to parliament’s constitution committee this week.

Hurriyet Daily News, AKP-MHP still yet to finalize constitution draft, December 5, 2016


Six arrested over deadly dormitory fire in Turkey’s Adana

A local court in the southern province of Adana on Dec. 4 ordered the arrest of six suspects over a deadly fire at a private girls’ dormitory in Adana’s Aladağ district, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Hurriyet Daily News, Six arrested over deadly dormitory fire in Turkey’s Adana, December 4, 2016


Turkey’s Crackdown Curiously Spares the Literary World

Some Turkish authors who are not in prison may well be wondering why not. This country’s literary world has a proud tradition of enduring imprisonment and repression, but mainstream authors have enjoyed an odd, if partial, immunity to the crackdown by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a failed coup attempt this summer.

New York Times, Turkey’s Crackdown Curiously Spares the Literary World, December 4, 2016