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Turkey Letter: 6 February 2017

Foreign Politics

  • Merkel urges Turkey’s Erdogan to uphold freedoms, allow dissent
  • Russia, Turkey, Iran discuss Syria ceasefire in Astana
  • Turkey and Greece Trade Jabs in Island Dispute
  • Turkey Refugee Deal With EU at Risk, Erdogan Adviser Warns

Economy & Energy

  • Turkish lira at multi-week high as dollar fades post-Fed
  • Turkish central bank signals no end to unorthodox lira defense
  • Turkey transfers billions in major company stakes to sovereign wealth fund
  • IMF: Turkey’s Growth Below Potential in 2016 and 2017
  • Divisions in Turkey’s economic team hamper response to lira slide

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan Urges Support in Referendum on Turkey Presidential Power
  • Turkey Says Detains 748 Islamic State Suspects in Weekend Operations
  • MHP to campaign across Turkey for upcoming referendum
  • Turkey faces largest decline in freedoms in 2016

 

Foreign Politics

Merkel urges Turkey’s Erdogan to uphold freedoms, allow dissent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of freedom of opinion in talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, during a visit meant to help improve frayed ties between the two NATO allies.

Reuters, Merkel urges Turkey’s Erdogan to uphold freedoms, allow dissent, February 2, 2017


Russia, Turkey, Iran discuss Syria ceasefire in Astana

Experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations held a technical meeting in the Kazakh capital on Monday to discuss the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire agreement, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Reuters, Russia, Turkey, Iran discuss Syria ceasefire in Astana, February 6, 2017


Turkey and Greece Trade Jabs in Island Dispute

Turkey and Greece have reignited a decades-old disagreement over the sovereignty of a pair of uninhabited Aegean Islands, in a spat that analysts say risks aggravating other diplomatic disputes between the two countries

New York Times, Turkey and Greece Trade Jabs in Island Dispute, February 2, 2017


Turkey Refugee Deal With EU at Risk, Erdogan Adviser Warns

An accord meant to stem the flow of refugees into Europe could collapse if Greece and Germany don’t extradite fugitive Turkish military officers involved in the botched July coup, a chief adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Bloomberg, Turkey Refugee Deal With EU at Risk, Erdogan Adviser Warns, February 2, 2017


 

Economy & Energy

Turkish lira at multi-week high as dollar fades post-Fed

The Turkish lira surged to multi-week highs on February 2, as leading emerging markets took heart from a weaker dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave no hint of accelerating rate hikes.

Reuters, Turkish lira, Mexican peso at multi-week highs as dollar fades post-Fed, February 2, 2017


Turkish central bank signals no end to unorthodox lira defense

Turkey’s central bank signaled that it would stick with its unorthodox steps to manage the fall in the lira, saying its moves to drive up funding costs were working and would continue until the inflation outlook improves.

Reuters, Turkish central bank signals no end to unorthodox lira defence, January 31, 2017


Turkey transfers billions in major company stakes to sovereign wealth fund

Turkey has transferred government stakes worth billions of dollars in Turkish Airlines, major banks and fixed-line operator Turk Telekom to a sovereign wealth fund set up last year to help finance big-ticket infrastructure projects.

Reuters, Turkey transfers billions in major company stakes to sovereign wealth fund, February 6, 2017


IMF: Turkey’s Growth Below Potential in 2016 and 2017

In consultation, IMF says country should simplify and, when feasible, tighten monetary policy. Cautioning that the economy faces considerable downside risks, the IMF said Turkey’s growth is projected at 2.7% in 2016 and 2.9% in 2017.

Wall Street Journal, IMF: Turkey’s Growth Below Potential in 2016 and 2017, February 3, 2017


Divisions in Turkey’s economic team hamper response to lira slide

Divisions among Turkey’s economic policy makers, which have hindered the central bank and unnerved investors, are unlikely to abate before an April referendum on granting the stronger powers that President Tayyip Erdogan has long sought.

Reuters, Divisions in Turkey’s economic team hamper response to lira slide, February 3, 2017


 

Domestic Politics

Erdogan Urges Support in Referendum on Turkey Presidential Power

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chose the opening of a new hospital to begin the campaign for constitutional changes to bring more power to his office, drawing on past pledges to improve health care to appeal to voters ahead of the upcoming referendum.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Urges Support in Referendum on Turkey Presidential Power, February 3, 2017


Turkey Says Detains 748 Islamic State Suspects in Weekend Operations

Turkey detained 748 Islamic State suspects in weekend operations in 29 provinces, the interior ministry said, in its biggest round-up targeting the jihadist group in Turkey.

New York Times, Turkey Says Detains 748 Islamic State Suspects in Weekend Operations, February 6, 2017


MHP to campaign across Turkey for upcoming referendum

Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has decided to visit provinces across Turkey as part of their campaign for the upcoming referendum that will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be shifted into an executive presidency. The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AKP and the MHP.

Hurriyet Daily News, MHP to campaign across Turkey for upcoming referendum, February 6, 2017


Turkey faces largest decline in freedoms in 2016

Turkey suffered the largest decline in freedoms among 195 countries over the past year, an annual report published by the Washington-based Freedom House showed on Jan. 31.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey faces largest decline in freedoms in 2016, February 1, 2017