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Turkey Letter: 6 November 2018

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey among 8 countries granted waiver on US oil sanctions against Iran
  • Erdogan says Turkey discussing Halkbank with U.S. after Trump call
  • S. and Turkey drop dueling sanctions against senior officials
  • US, Turkey begin joint patrols around northern Syrian town of Manbij
  • Turkey’s president invokes NATO solidarity in killing of Jamal Khashoggi
  • Syria accuses Turkey of not implementing Idlib deal

Economy and Energy

  • Turkish inflation rate jumps above 25% on lira weakness
  • Turkish lira firmest in three months on Iran sanctions waiver expectations
  • Development bank EBRD slashes Turkey growth forecasts
  • Turkey projects foreign debt payment at $10.8 billion in 2019
  • Turkey central bank sharply raises inflation forecasts
  • Turkey top improver for first time in Doing Business report: World Bank
  • Turkey Goes Looking for Energy in Contested Mediterranean

Domestic Politics

  • 260,000 Syrians returned to ‘Euphrates Shield’ operation area: Turkish defense minister
  • General Electric beats Rolls-Royce to power Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet
  • Turkey launches project for its first long range air defense system ‘Siper’
  • Istanbul’s new airport aims to be one of world’s largest
  • Turkish government extends tax cuts

Foreign Policy

Turkey among 8 countries granted waiver on US oil sanctions against Iran

The United States has granted exemptions to eight countries, including Turkey, allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Nov. 5, as Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s banking, energy and shipping industries.

Hurriyet, Turkey among 8 countries granted waiver on US oil sanctions against Iran, 5 November 2018


Erdogan says Turkey discussing Halkbank with U.S. after Trump call

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he and President Donald Trump had discussed Turkey’s Halkbank, which faces potential U.S. fines after an executive was convicted of taking part in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions.

Reuters, Erdogan says Turkey discussing Halkbank with U.S. after Trump call, 3 November 2018


U.S. and Turkey drop dueling sanctions against senior officials

The United States and Turkey have lifted sanctions against top officials in each other’s government in a mutual sign on Friday of warming diplomatic relations between the two NATO allies after last month’s release of an American pastor.

The New York Times, U.S. and Turkey drop dueling sanctions against senior officials, 2 November 2018


US, Turkey begin joint patrols around northern Syrian town of Manbij

Turkish and U.S. troops on Thursday began jointly patrolling areas around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, part of a roadmap for easing tensions between the two NATO allies, Turkey’s defense minister announced.

Military Times, US, Turkey begin joint patrols around northern Syrian town of Manbij, 2 November 2018


Turkey’s president invokes NATO solidarity in killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Turkey’s president lashed out again at Saudi Arabia over the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, and turned up pressure on the kingdom by invoking the NATO alliance as a means to ensure the perpetrators will be punished.

The New York Times, Turkey’s president invokes NATO solidarity in killing of Jamal Khashoggi, 2 November 2018


Turkey rejects Syrian accusations over Idlib deal

Turkey rejected on Tuesday Syrian government accusations that it is not meeting its obligations under an agreement to create a demilitarized zone around the insurgent-held Idlib region, saying the deal was being implemented as planned

Reuters, Turkey rejects Syrian accusations over Idlib deal, 30 October 2018


Economy and Energy

Turkish inflation rate jumps above 25% on lira weakness

Turkey’s inflation rate rose above 25 per cent in October after a currency crisis this summer made white goods, food and housing more expensive and forced the government to slash its economic growth targets.

Financial Times, Turkish inflation rate jumps above 25% on lira weakness, 5 November 2018


Turkish lira firmest in three months on Iran sanctions waiver expectations

The Turkish lira firmed 1.7 percent against the dollar to its strongest level in around three months on Friday, helped by investor optimism that Turkey will receive a waiver on U.S. sanctions targeting Iranian oil and the lifting of U.S. sanctions on two top Turkish officials.

Reuters, Turkish lira firmest in three months on Iran sanctions waiver expectations, 2 November 2018


Development bank EBRD slashes Turkey growth forecasts

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) slashed growth forecasts on Nov. 1 for Turkey, its biggest lending market, but left the rest of its region largely unscathed despite growing pressures.

Reuters,Development bank EBRD slashes Turkey growth forecasts, 1 November 2018

 


Turkey projects foreign debt payment at $10.8 billion in 2019

The Turkish Treasury on Nov. 1 forecasted the foreign debt payment to total $10.8 billion for next year. The total amount of debt service is projected to realize at 224.8 billion Turkish Liras ($40.4 billion) in 2019, the Treasury and Finance Ministry said in an online statement.

Hurriyet, Turkey projects foreign debt payment at $10.8 billion in 2019,1 November 2018


Turkey central bank sharply raises inflation forecasts

Turkey’s central bank on Wednesday sharply raised its inflation forecasts for this year and next, predicting a rate of 23.5 percent by the end of 2018 and acknowledging the deep impact of a lira selloff that has shaken confidence in the economy.

Reuters, Turkey central bank sharply raises inflation forecasts,31 October 2018


Turkey top improver for first time in Doing Business report: World Bank

Turkey carried out a record number of business reforms in the past year, earning the country a spot in this year’s top 10 global improvers, read the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reforms report on Oct. 31.

Hurriyet, Turkey top improver for first time in Doing Business report: World Bank,31 October 2018


Turkey Goes Looking for Energy in Contested Mediterranean

Turkey’s first deep-sea drilling ship, flanked by Turkish war vessels, set sail Tuesday looking for natural gas and oil in contested waters of the Mediterranean, a launch liable to exacerbate longstanding tensions with Greece.

Bloomberg, Turkey Goes Looking for Energy in Contested Mediterranean, 30 October 2018


Domestic Politics

 260,000 Syrians returned to ‘Euphrates Shield’ operation area: Turkish defense minister

A total of 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to a swathe of land in northern Syria where Turkey carried out a cross-border operation dubbed “Euphrates Shield,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Nov. 1.

Hurriyet, 260,000 Syrians returned to ‘Euphrates Shield’ operation area: Turkish defense minister,1 November 2018


General Electric beats Rolls-Royce to power Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet

Turkey’s aerospace authorities have chosen General Electric’s F110 family of engines to power the prototype and an initial batch of what will become Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet, the TF-X.

Defense News, General Electric beats Rolls-Royce to power Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet,1 November 2018


Turkish government extends tax cuts

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has unveiled a tax cuts package including six topics, aiming at full economic recovery following the currency turmoil in recent months.

Hurriyet, Turkish government extends tax cuts, 31 October 2018


Turkey launches project for its first long range air defense system ‘Siper’

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 31 announced Turkey has kicked off work for its first long range air defense system and named the project “Siper.” “I wish luck to our long range regional air missile defense system, which we have named ‘Siper,’” said Erdoğan speaking at the inauguration for “National Technology Development Infrastructures” at TÜBİTAK SAGE, where some new local defense systems of the country were demonstrated.

Hurriyet,Turkey launches project for its first long range air defense system ‘Siper’, 31 October 2018