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Turkey Letter: 7 August 2017

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey promises to eliminate anti-China media reports
  • EU: 850,000 Refugees in Turkey Benefit From Cash Assistance
  • German publisher complains to EU court over Turkey detention of journalist
  • Turkey Warns New Military Moves in Syria Imminent
  • Turkey reinforces military on Syria border: agency
  • Turkish police say working with Australia on foiled Etihad bomb plan
  • Turkish troops hold exercises in Qatar
  • After Military Shake-Up, Erdogan Says Turkey to Tackle Kurds in Syria
  • Turkey’s Erdogan Says Germany Abetting Terrorists

Economy and Energy

  • Turkey auto sales rise 40.6 pct in July – association
  • Government welcomes further fall in Turkey’s inflation rate
  • Germany’s Siemens wins tender for Turkish wind power project
  • Turkish firms’ plastics exports exceed $2 bln
  • Government will prioritize economy after summer: PM Yıldırım
  • Russian ban on Turkish tomatoes bears domestic fruit
  • Arzum Electrical Appliances launches the world’s first Automatic Turkish Coffee Machine with direct serve feature in the US

Domestic Policy

  • Turkish Supreme Military Council replaces land, air and navy commanders
  • Turkish doctors slam rights court for rejecting hunger strikers’ case
  • Main opposition MP prepares report on rights violations during Turkey’s emergency rule
  • Former head of Turkey’s top religious body to become university rector
  • Gov’t determined to raise generations acquainted with religion: President Erdoğan
  • Turkey Arrests 24 in Police Exam Fraud Linked to Coup Probe
  • Turkish family minister says authority to register civil marriages shouldn’t be given to imams
  • No more ‘Heroes’ as Turkish coup suspects get court uniforms
  • Turkish PM slams AKP member for ‘new state’ remarks

Foreign Policy

Turkey promises to eliminate anti-China media reports
Turkey regards China’s security as akin to its own and will move to stamp out any anti-China reports in its media, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Reuters, Turkey promises to eliminate anti-China media reports, August 3 2017


EU: 850,000 Refugees in Turkey Benefit From Cash Assistance
A European Union official says more than 850,000 people are now benefiting from a EU-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey.
New York Times, EU: 850,000 Refugees in Turkey Benefit From Cash Assistance, August 4 2017


German publisher complains to EU court over Turkey detention of journalist
Germany’s Die Welt and Welt am Sonntag newspapers have filed a formal complaint at the European Court of Human Rights about the Turkish government’s arrest of its correspondent Deniz Yucel, saying it made direct reporting from Turkey impossible, Die Welt reported on Saturday.
Reuters, German publisher complains to EU court over Turkey detention of journalist, August 4 2017


Turkey Warns New Military Moves in Syria Imminent
Turkey’s president reiterated Saturday that new cross-border operations into Syria are in the works as the country boosts its military presence along the border against threats from Kurdish militants in war-torn Syria.
New York Times, Turkey Warns New Military Moves in Syria Imminent, August 5 2017


Turkey reinforces military on Syria border: agency
Turkey has sent military reinforcements to its southern border with Syria, dispatching artillery and tanks to the area overnight, Dogan news agency said on Saturday.
Reuters, Turkey reinforces military on Syria border: agency, August 5 2017


Turkish police say working with Australia on foiled Etihad bomb plan
Turkish police said they were working with Australian authorities to investigate a foiled plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight using explosives which Canberra said were flown in from Turkey.
Reuters, Turkish police say working with Australia on foiled Etihad bomb plan, August 6 2017


Turkish troops hold exercises in Qatar
Qatar held joint military exercises with Turkish troops on Monday, Qatari media reported, showcasing their strategic alliance two months into a boycott by Arab neighbors which accuse Doha of supporting terrorism.
Reuters, Turkish troops hold exercises in Qatar, August 7 2017


After Military Shake-Up, Erdogan Says Turkey to Tackle Kurds in Syria
Days after a reshuffle of Turkey’s top military commanders, President Tayyip Erdogan has revived warnings of military action against Kurdish fighters in Syria that could set back the U.S.-led battle against Islamic State.
New York Times, After Military Shake-Up, Erdogan Says Turkey to Tackle Kurds in Syria, August 7 2017


Turkey’s Erdogan Says Germany Abetting Terrorists
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany on Monday of assisting terrorists by not responding to thousands of files sent to Berlin or handing over suspects wanted by Turkish authorities.
New York Times, Turkey’s Erdogan Says Germany Abetting Terrorists, August 7 2017


Economy and Energy

Turkey auto sales rise 40.6 pct in July – association
Sales of automobiles and light commercial vehicles in Turkey rose 40.6 percent in July from the previous year to 82,297 vehicles, data from the ODD industry association showed on Wednesday.
Reuters, Turkey auto sales rise 40.6 pct in July – association, August 2 2017


Government welcomes further fall in Turkey’s inflation rate
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has welcomed a drop to single digits in Turkey’s inflation rate, predicting a sharper fall to below 7 percent next year.
Hurriyet, Government welcomes further fall in Turkey’s inflation rate, August 3 2017


Germany’s Siemens wins tender for Turkish wind power project
Turkey picked Germany’s Siemens (SIEGn.DE) as the winning bidder for a $1 billion wind power project on Thursday, a sign Ankara wants to keep business separate from the widening diplomatic row between the NATO allies.
Reuters, Germany’s Siemens wins tender for Turkish wind power project, August 3 2017


Turkish firms’ plastics exports exceed $2 bln
Turkey exported $2.08 billion worth of plastic products in the first six months of the year, marking a 1.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV) on Aug. 3.
Hurriyet, Turkish firms’ plastics exports exceed $2 bln, August 3 2017


Government will prioritize economy after summer: PM Yıldırım
The Turkish government’s priority after summer will be the economy, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, adding that work on new economic programs is underway.
Hurriyet, Government will prioritize economy after summer: PM Yıldırım, August 4 2017


Russian ban on Turkish tomatoes bears domestic fruit
A ban on Turkish tomato imports that was motivated by geopolitics has inspired Russia to become self-sufficient in tomato production, a windfall for companies who invested in the technology that would increase year-round production.
Reuters, Russian ban on Turkish tomatoes bears domestic fruit, August 4 2017


Arzum Electrical Appliances launches the world’s first Automatic Turkish Coffee Machine with direct serve feature in the US
1.8 billion cups of coffee is consumed around the world every day and with 500 years of history, Turkish Coffee is the oldest coffee brewing method around. Turkish Coffee Culture and Tradition was listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2013 (https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/turkish-coffee-culture-and-tradition-00645). Arzum, one of Turkey’s leading brands in small domestic appliances has united Turkish Coffee with technology to present this cultural heritage to the world. Arzum Okka has been sold in over 30 countries since 2014 and its US version, that comes with 110V and UL-certification, is now available in the US: http://www.okkaforUS.com


Domestic Policy

Turkish Supreme Military Council replaces land, air and navy commanders
Turkey on Wednesday replaced the commanders of its army, air force and navy after their terms in office expired, reshuffling the top of a military that has been shaken by last year’s failed coup.
Reuters, Turkish Supreme Military Council replaces land, air and navy commanders, 02 August 2017


Turkish doctors slam rights court for rejecting hunger strikers’ case
A prominent association of Turkish doctors criticized the European Court of Human Rights on Thursday for rejecting a request from two teachers to be released from prison on health grounds after five months on hunger strike.
Reuters, Turkish doctors slam rights court for rejecting hunger strikers’ case, August 3 2017


Main opposition MP prepares report on rights violations during Turkey’s emergency rule
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has prepared a report on “human rights and constitutional violations” under the state of emergency declared after the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Hurriyet, Main opposition MP prepares report on rights violations during Turkey’s emergency rule, August 3 2017


Former head of Turkey’s top religious body to become university rector
The former head of Turkey’s top religious body is planning to become a university rector after he resigned from his post on July 30.
Hurriyet, Former head of Turkey’s top religious body to become university rector, August 3 2017


Gov’t determined to raise generations acquainted with religion: President Erdoğan
The government is “determined to raise generations acquainted with their religion, history and culture,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 4 at the opening of Istanbul’s Yıldız Hamidiye Mosque after a four-year restoration period.
Hurriyet, Gov’t determined to raise generations acquainted with religion: President Erdoğan, August 4 2017


Turkey Arrests 24 in Police Exam Fraud Linked to Coup Probe
Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have detained 24 people in connection with an investigation into the leaking of a police academy exam in 2012.
New York Times, Turkey Arrests 24 in Police Exam Fraud Linked to Coup Probe, August 4 2017


Turkish family minister says authority to register civil marriages shouldn’t be given to imams
Authority to register civil marriages should not be given to imams, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya has said, commenting on a recent draft law allowing “muftis,” religious civil servants within Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), to register marriages.
Hurriyet, Turkish family minister says authority to register civil marriages shouldn’t be given to imams, August 4 2017


No more ‘Heroes’ as Turkish coup suspects get court uniforms
Terrorist or coup suspects in Turkish courts will be made to wear special uniforms when they appear in court, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday after a defendant showed up for trial last month with a T-shirt that said “Hero” on it.
Reuters, No more ‘Heroes’ as Turkish coup suspects get court uniforms, August 5 2017


Turkish PM slams AKP member for ‘new state’ remarks
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has slammed a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member over his controversial remarks on “founding a new state,” which had prompted outrage from opposition parties.
Hurriyet, Turkish PM slams AKP member for ‘new state’ remarks, August 6 2017