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Turkey Letter: 7 November 2016

Foreign Politics

  • Dunford, Turkish Leaders Create Long-term Plan Against ISIL in Raqqa
  • US ‘deeply concerned’ over HDP arrests, internet restrictions in Turkey
  • Europeans Slam Turkey for Arrests
  • Erdogan blasts West as Turkey’s Kurdish party boycotts parliament
  • N. says Turkey may be going ‘beyond what is permissible’ on rights
  • Cyprus’s president says hopes to bridge chasm in peace talks next week

Economy & Energy

  • S&P upgrades Turkey’s outlook to ‘stable’ on gradual implementation of economic reforms
  • Turkey’s Crackdown Sweeps Through Business and Finance, Imperiling the Economy
  • Turkish Markets Tumble as Kurdish Leaders Detained in Raids
  • IMF says politics, debt taking toll on Turkish economy
  • Nothing Like a Threat of Treason to Make Turkish Banks Cut Rates
  • Amundi Sees Turkey Turmoil Worsening After Markets Nosedive
  • Business Insider’s Owner Is Shunning Turkey Amid Media Crackdown

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Targets Kurdish Politicians
  • Kurdish Militants Claim Responsibility for Friday’s Car Bomb Attack in Turkey
  • Turkey’s Main Opposition to Fight Erdogan’s ‘One-Man Regime’
  • Trial begins of Islamic State suspects in Turkey’s worst suicide bombing

Foreign Politics

Dunford, Turkish Leaders Create Long-term Plan Against ISIL in Raqqa

U.S. and Turkish military leaders have hammered out a long-range plan for operations against ISIL in Syria.  Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with his counterpart Turkish Army Gen. Hulusi Akar at the General Staff headquarters.

U.S. Department of Defense, Dunford, Turkish Leaders Create Long-term Plan Against ISIL in Raqqa, November 6, 2016


US ‘deeply concerned’ over HDP arrests, internet restrictions in Turkey

Washington has expressed its concern over the arrests of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers and the restrictions on the internet. “The United States is deeply concerned by the Turkish Government’s detentions of opposition members of parliament, including the co-chairs of the HDP, and by government restrictions on internet access today,” State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said on Nov. 4.

Hurriyet Daily News, US ‘deeply concerned’ over HDP arrests, internet restrictions in Turkey, November 4, 2016


Europeans Slam Turkey for Arrests

Turkey’s arrest of Kurdish opposition leaders on Friday drew sharp condemnations across Europe and calls to review the continent’s close ties to its increasingly awkward ally.

Wall Street Journal, Europeans Slam Turkey for Arrests, November 4, 2016


Erdogan blasts West as Turkey’s Kurdish party boycotts parliament

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Europe on Sunday of abetting terrorism by supporting Kurdish militants and said he did not care if it called him a dictator. Turkey drew international condemnation for the arrest on Friday of leaders and lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the second-largest opposition grouping in parliament, as part of a terrorism investigation.

Reuters, Erdogan blasts West as Turkey’s Kurdish party boycotts parliament, November 6, 2016


U.N. says Turkey may be going ‘beyond what is permissible’ on rights

Turkey’s detention or suspension of more than 110,000 officials since a failed coup in July, including the arrest of pro-Kurdish lawmakers on Friday, may go “beyond what is permissible”, the United Nations’ human rights office said on Friday.

Reuters, U.N. says Turkey may be going ‘beyond what is permissible’ on rights, November 4, 2016


Cyprus’s president says hopes to bridge chasm in peace talks next week

Cyprus’s president said on Friday significant differences remained between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the ethnically-split island but he hoped talks next week could resolve some outstanding issues.

Reuters, Cyprus’s president says hopes to bridge chasm in peace talks next week, November 4, 2016


Economy & Energy

S&P upgrades Turkey’s outlook to ‘stable’ on gradual implementation of economic reforms

Turkey’s outlook was revised up to “stable” from “negative” by global ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) late on Nov. 4, mainly due to a gradual implementation of economic reforms.

Hurriyet Daily News, S&P upgrades Turkey’s outlook to ‘stable’ on gradual implementation of economic reforms, November 7, 2016


Turkey’s Crackdown Sweeps Through Business and Finance, Imperiling the Economy

Istanbul’s tightknit finance community first felt the chill of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown in late July when a senior banker was hit with a criminal complaint and stripped of his license.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Crackdown Sweeps Through Business and Finance, Imperiling the Economy, November 3, 2016


Turkish Markets Tumble as Kurdish Leaders Detained in Raids

Turkey’s lira plunged to a record and bonds fell with stocks after police rounded up pro-Kurdish opposition leaders, prompting investor concerns that an increasingly autocratic government is dismantling democracy in the country.

Bloomberg, Turkish Markets Tumble as Kurdish Leaders Detained in Raids, November 4, 2016


IMF says politics, debt taking toll on Turkish economy

Increased political uncertainty, a fall in tourism and high levels of corporate debt are taking their toll on Turkey’s economy, where growth is expected to fall to 2.9 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund said.

Reuters, IMF says politics, debt taking toll on Turkish economy, November 4, 2016


Nothing Like a Threat of Treason to Make Turkish Banks Cut Rates

For months, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been leaning on Turkey’s banks to give the economy a boost with easier credit. In August, he warned that failure to comply could amount to “treason.’’

Bloomberg, Nothing Like a Threat of Treason to Make Turkish Banks Cut Rates, November 2, 2016


Amundi Sees Turkey Turmoil Worsening After Markets Nosedive

For Europe’s biggest money manager, the stampede that sent Turkey’s markets into a tailspin last week may be just a taste of things to come.

Bloomberg, Amundi Sees Turkey Turmoil Worsening After Markets Nosedive, November 6, 2016


Business Insider’s Owner Is Shunning Turkey Amid Media Crackdown

Axel Springer SE, owner of the news site Business Insider, won’t make new investments in Turkey because of the country’s crackdown on journalists, its chief executive officer said.

Bloomberg, Business Insider’s Owner Is Shunning Turkey Amid Media Crackdown, November 3, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Targets Kurdish Politicians

As dozens of counterterrorism police officers circled his home, the co-leader of Turkey’s main Kurdish opposition party calmly sent a Twitter posting about his impending arrest. Pajama-clad neighbors came running in the middle of the night to stop it but they were too late. The opposition leader, Selhattin Demirtas, was one of 11 Kurdish members of Parliament seized early Friday by security forces in raids carried out in the southeast city of Diyarbakir, where he lives, and in the capital, Ankara.

New York Times, Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Targets Kurdish Politicians, November 4, 2016


Kurdish Militants Claim Responsibility for Friday’s Car Bomb Attack in Turkey

Kurdish militants claimed responsibility on Sunday for a deadly car bomb attack that hit a Turkish police station last Friday as the country’s top Kurdish lawmakers suspended participation in parliament, setting the stage for more violence in response to an expansive government crackdown on dissent.

Wall Street Journal, Kurdish Militants Claim Responsibility for Friday’s Car Bomb Attack in Turkey, November 6, 2016


Turkey’s Main Opposition to Fight Erdogan’s ‘One-Man Regime’

Turkey’s main opposition party will resist imposition of one-man rule “with all our might,” chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in an interview, as an expanding government crackdown deepened concerns at home and abroad about the country’s direction.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Main Opposition to Fight Erdogan’s ‘One-Man Regime’, November 4, 2016


Trial begins of Islamic State suspects in Turkey’s worst suicide bombing

More than a dozen suspected members of Islamic State appeared under police protection in an Ankara courtroom on Monday accused of involvement in Turkey’s deadliest suicide bombing, which killed more than 100 people in the capital just over a year ago.

Reuters, Trial begins of Islamic State suspects in Turkey’s worst suicide bombing, November 7, 2016