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Turkey Letter: 8 August 2016

Foreign Policy

  • U.S. Not Persuaded to Extradite Imam Over Turkey Coup
  • Turks Can Agree on One Thing: U.S. Was Behind Failed Coup
  • Turkey Issues a Warrant for Fethullah Gulen, Cleric Accused in Coup
  • Why Many Turks Blame the United States for the Coup
  • In Europe, Some Contemplate a New Kind of Relationship With Turkey
  • Erdogan, Putin Work to Patch Ties as Economies Flag
  • Fallout From Turkey Coup Leaves Syria Rebels in the Lurch
  • EU migrant deal not possible if Turkey’s demands not met: Erdogan
  • Most Germans want to end EU migrant deal with Turkey – poll
  • Turkish Gold Trader Builds a Dream Team of Defense Lawyers
  • Renzi Takes a Swipe at Erdogan in Row Over Turkish Leader’s Son
  • State Department, Citing Security, Suspends Teaching Program in Turkey

Economy & Energy

  • A Coup, Terrorists and Inflation, Yet Investors Rush to Turkey
  • Turkish Stocks Gain to 3-Week High as Moody’s Delay Spurs Lira
  • Turkey Inflation Surges on Food, Weaker Lira Following Coup
  • Rates to be cut below 10 pct in line with Erdoğan’s recommendations: Deputy PM
  • Turkey Unveils Draft Details of Planned Sovereign Wealth Fund
  • Erdogan Defiant in Meeting With Investors Following Turkey Coup
  • Turkish Price Hikes Since Coup Attempt May End Monetary Easing

Domestic Politics

  • Turks Mass in Rally to Celebrate Thwarted Coup Attempt
  • Coup arrests push Turkish penal system to breaking point
  • Court receives petition to withdraw Erdoğan insult cases, HDP left out
  • Turkey plans to abolish military high courts with constitutional change
  • Turkey to move provincial capitals in mainly Kurdish region

Foreign Policy

U.S. Not Persuaded to Extradite Imam Over Turkey Coup

U.S. officials don’t expect to extradite an imam Turkey blames for masterminding a failed coup because they aren’t convinced by the evidence Ankara has presented so far and are troubled by threatening public statements from Turkish officials, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Wall Street Journal, U.S. Not Persuaded to Extradite Imam Over Turkey Coup, August 4, 2016


Turks Can Agree on One Thing: U.S. Was Behind Failed Coup

A Turkish newspaper reported that an American academic and former State Department official had helped orchestrate a violent conspiracy to topple the Turkish government from a fancy hotel on an island in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul. The same newspaper, in a front-page headline, flat-out said the United States had tried to assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of the failed coup.

New York Times, Turks Can Agree on One Thing: U.S. Was Behind Failed Coup, August 2, 2016


Turkey Issues a Warrant for Fethullah Gulen, Cleric Accused in Coup

Turkey issued an arrest warrant on Thursday for Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric based in the United States, who was accused last month of orchestrating a failed coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

New York Times, Turkey Issues a Warrant for Fethullah Gulen, Cleric Accused in Coup, August 4, 2016


Why Many Turks Blame the United States for the Coup

Turkey is making a full-court press to get the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who has lived in exile in Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years and is accused by the government of masterminding the July 15 aborted coup. As part of that effort, a delegation of Turkish parliament members held talks with American officials in Washington, D.C., this week. Three of them – Taha Ozhan, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, delegation leader and a member of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party; Oguz Kaan Salici of the main opposition Republican People’s Party; and Kamil Aydin, of the Nationalist Movement Party, another opposition party — also met The New York Times Editorial Board, which recently published an editorial criticizing Turkey for accusing the United States of complicity in the insurrection and fueling a new wave of anti-Americanism.

New York Times, Why Many Turks Blame the United States for the Coup, August 5, 2016


In Europe, Some Contemplate a New Kind of Relationship With Turkey

When Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said this week it was time for the European Union to reconsider membership talks with Turkey, he set off a diplomatic firestorm.

Wall Street Journal, In Europe, Some Contemplate a New Kind of Relationship With Turkey, August 4, 2016


Erdogan, Putin Work to Patch Ties as Economies Flag

In his first trip abroad since a failed coup last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to meet with President Vladimir Putin in Russia on Tuesday to cement a sharp turnaround in relations.

Wall Street Journal, Erdogan, Putin Work to Patch Ties as Economies Flag, August 7, 2016


Fallout From Turkey Coup Leaves Syria Rebels in the Lurch

Some of the most intense fighting in the five-year Syrian war erupted after last month’s failed Turkish coup—and it is probably no coincidence.

Wall Street Journal, Fallout From Turkey Coup Leaves Syria Rebels in the Lurch, August 4, 2016


EU migrant deal not possible if Turkey’s demands not met: Erdogan

Turkey’s migration agreement with the European Union may collapse if the EU does not keep its side of the deal on visa waivers, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told France’s Le Monde newspaper.

Reuters, EU migrant deal not possible if Turkey’s demands not met: Erdogan, August 8, 2016


Most Germans want to end EU migrant deal with Turkey – poll

Most Germans think the European Union should scrap a landmark migration deal with Turkey, also scuppering negotiations on its accession to the bloc, according to a poll published on Sunday.

Reuters, Most Germans want to end EU migrant deal with Turkey – poll, August 7, 2016


Turkish Gold Trader Builds a Dream Team of Defense Lawyers

When Reza Zarrab, a wealthy gold trader from Turkey, was in need of a top-flight lawyer after his arrest in March, he hired Benjamin Brafman, one of New York’s most prominent defense lawyers. Mr. Zarrab did not stop there. In just four months, he has hired five white-collar law firms to defend him, with 15 lawyers — many of them among the most accomplished in their field — having entered the case on his behalf. A 16th lawyer, from a sixth firm, is joining soon, court papers show.

New York Times, Turkish Gold Trader Builds a Dream Team of Defense Lawyers, August 2, 2016


Renzi Takes a Swipe at Erdogan in Row Over Turkish Leader’s Son

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi took to Twitter to hit back at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who lashed out at the Italian justice system for targeting his son and who has been on an anti-West tirade since thwarting a coup.

Bloomberg, Renzi Takes a Swipe at Erdogan in Row Over Turkish Leader’s Son, August 2, 2016


State Department, Citing Security, Suspends Teaching Program in Turkey

In the wake of the coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has conducted widespread purges of perceived adversaries. As a result, every university dean in Turkey was forced to resign. Some experts have raised questions about whether the university system will be able to function. The ripple effects to American academics are just starting to emerge.

New York Times, State Department, Citing Security, Suspends Teaching Program in Turkey, August 5, 2016


Economy & Energy

A Coup, Terrorists and Inflation, Yet Investors Rush to Turkey

On the face of it, this might not seem the right time to be investing in Turkey. Terrorists attacked the main airport in Istanbul, a foiled coup raised questions about political stability, and the country’s debt is being downgraded by rating agencies — all of this happening within a span of two weeks. So what were the best-performing investments in the global economy last week? You guessed it: Turkish stocks and bonds — up 6.6 and 3.8 percent in dollar terms, according to Merrill Lynch.

New York Times, A Coup, Terrorists and Inflation, Yet Investors Rush to Turkey, August 3, 2016


Turkish Stocks Gain to 3-Week High as Moody’s Delay Spurs Lira

Turkish stocks rose to a three-week high and government bonds advanced as Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to extend its review of the country’s credit rating drew investors chasing higher yields in emerging markets.

Bloomberg, Turkish Stocks Gain to 3-Week High as Moody’s Delay Spurs Lira, August 8, 2016


Turkey Inflation Surges on Food, Weaker Lira Following Coup

Turkey’s consumer price inflation rose higher than expected in July, led by a surge in food prices that gained pace with a weaker lira following a failed coup attempt.

Bloomberg, Turkey Inflation Surges on Food, Weaker Lira Following Coup, August 3, 2016


Rates to be cut below 10 pct in line with Erdoğan’s recommendations: Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said interest rates will be cut below 10 percent in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent recommendation, while also noting that the construction sector was one of the motor forces of the Turkish economy.

Hurriyet Daily News, Rates to be cut below 10 pct in line with Erdoğan’s recommendations: Deputy PM, August 8, 2016


Turkey Unveils Draft Details of Planned Sovereign Wealth Fund

Turkey’s government took the first steps toward creating a sovereign wealth fund that officials say can be used to stabilize markets and fund infrastructure projects in the wake of a failed coup attempt.

Bloomberg, Turkey Unveils Draft Details of Planned Sovereign Wealth Fund, August 2, 2016


Erdogan Defiant in Meeting With Investors Following Turkey Coup

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a resolute defense of his government’s handling of the aftermath of the failed coup attempt, reiterating his demand for the U.S. to extradite the plot’s alleged mastermind and telling investors the economy is poised to recover.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Defiant in Meeting With Investors Following Turkey Coup, August 2, 2016


Turkish Price Hikes Since Coup Attempt May End Monetary Easing

Turkey’s annual inflation rate jumped to a six-month high in July amid soaring food prices with a weaker currency in the wake of the failed coup attempt, casting doubts on whether the central bank can keep easing monetary policy.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Price Hikes Since Coup Attempt May End Monetary Easing, August 3, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turks Mass in Rally to Celebrate Thwarted Coup Attempt

The city’s waterfront was flooded by a wave of red-and-white Turkish flags on Sunday as more than one million people gathered for a remarkable rally to celebrate the popular uprising that helped thwart last month’s attempted military coup.

Wall Street Journal, Turks Mass in Rally to Celebrate Thwarted Coup Attempt, August 7, 2016


Coup arrests push Turkish penal system to breaking point

Even before last month’s coup attempt, Turkey’s penal system was overstretched, with crowded prisons and backlogged courts. Now, it is struggling to cope with an influx of thousands who have been detained in the aftermath of the attempted putsch.

Reuters, Coup arrests push Turkish penal system to breaking point, August 4, 2016


Turkey sees swift overhaul of intelligence agency, gendarmerie after coup

Turkey will soon complete an overhaul of its intelligence agency and make new appointments to its gendarmerie as it tries to rid its security apparatus of the followers of a U.S.-based cleric blamed for an attempted coup, officials said on Wednesday.

Reuters, Turkey sees swift overhaul of intelligence agency, gendarmerie after coup, August 3, 2016


Court receives petition to withdraw Erdoğan insult cases, HDP left out

An Ankara court received on Aug. 1 a two-page petition notifying that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was withdrawing cases opened against some opposition party leaders – but not the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – over insult charges, in a gesture to encourage political solidarity created after the July 15 coup attempt.

Hurriyet Daily News, Court receives petition to withdraw Erdoğan insult cases, HDP left out, August 1, 2016


Turkey plans to abolish military high courts with constitutional change

Turkey plans to abolish military high courts by amending the country’s constitution, a senior lawmaker in the ruling AK Party said on Friday, part of government efforts to boost civilian control over the armed forces and the judiciary.

Reuters, Turkey plans to abolish military high courts with constitutional change, August 5, 2016


Turkey to move provincial capitals in mainly Kurdish region

Turkey’s parliament will vote to move the capitals of two mainly Kurdish provinces, according to draft legislation submitted on Tuesday, in an apparent effort to tighten strategic control over the restive southeastern region.

Reuters, Turkey to move provincial capitals in mainly Kurdish region, August 2, 2016