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Turkey Letter: 8 September 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Over 50 Turkish jets bomb PKK targets in northern Iraq: Report
  • Troubling image of drowned boy captivates, horrifies
  • Erdoğan harshly slams West over terror, refugee crisis
  • Turkey extends mandate to send troops to Syria if needed
  • Masked Gunmen Kidnap 18 Turkish Workers in Baghdad
  • US to stay in İncirlik as long as required: US ambassador
  • Turkey’s G20 presidency becomes casualty of political turmoil
  • Turkey Frees Two British Journalists With Vice News

Economy and Energy

  • Turkish lira hits new low after deadly PKK attack
  • G20 seeks to lift global market mood as Turkish lira sees new historic low
  • Emerging Markets Must Attract Capital, Says Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister
  • Turkish Inflation Rate Rises More Than Expected in August
  • Turkish Exports See Worst July Since 2010 as Russia Slump Hurts
  • Senior manager at Akkuyu nuclear project resigns, says Turkey shouldn’t work with Russian company
  • Turkish Airlines CEO Sees Potential for Closer Lufthansa Tie
  • HSBC Turkey Sale to ING Said to Stall on Market, Political Risks

Domestic Politics

  • After Fatal Attack, Turkey Strikes at Kurdish Rebels
  • Turkey’s Military: 16 Troops Killed, 6 Wounded in PKK Attack
  • Bomb kills 14 Turkish police officers as jets strike PKK in Iraq
  • Roadside bomb kills four police in southeast Turkey
  • HDP co-chairs accuse gov’t over spiraling violence
  • Daily Hürriyet assaulted by pro-AKP protesters for second time in two days
  • Turkey Escalates Gulen Witch Hunt With Koza Ipek Raids
  • Erdoğan, CHP both warn of ‘provocations’ amid tense climate in Turkey

Foreign Policy

Over 50 Turkish jets bomb PKK targets in northern Iraq: Report

Turkish warplanes launched a massive air operation early on Sept.8 against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, killing as many as 40 militants, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) said.

Hurriyet Daily News, Over 50 Turkish jets bomb PKK targets in northern Iraq: Report, September 8, 2015


Troubling image of drowned boy captivates, horrifies

An image of a drowned toddler washed up on the beach in one of Turkey’s prime tourist resorts swept across social media on Wednesday after at least 12 presumed Syrian refugees died trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.

Reuters, Troubling image of drowned boy captivates, horrifies, September 2, 2015


Erdoğan harshly slams West over terror, refugee crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly slammed the West over “insensitivity” amid the growing refugee crisis, while announcing the “joint fight against global terrorism” as a key issue to be discussed during the G-20 Summit in Turkey mid-November.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan harshly slams West over terror, refugee crisis, September 3, 2015


Turkey extends mandate to send troops to Syria if needed

Turkey’s parliament voted late on Thursday to extend by a year a mandate authorizing the deployment of troops to Syria and Iraq, weeks after it stepped up its role in the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State.

Reuters, Turkey extends mandate to send troops to Syria if needed, September 3, 2015


Masked Gunmen Kidnap 18 Turkish Workers in Baghdad

Masked gunmen in pickup trucks kidnapped a group of workers from Turkey on the outskirts of Baghdad on Wednesday, triggering the second crisis involving Turkish citizens in Iraq in the past year.

The Wall Street Journal, Masked Gunmen Kidnap 18 Turkish Workers in Baghdad, September 2, 2015


US to stay in İncirlik as long as required: US ambassador

American aircraft will remain at Turkey’s İncirlik airbase as long as required in the struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the top U.S. diplomat in Ankara has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, US to stay in İncirlik as long as required: US ambassador, September 3, 2015


Turkey’s G20 Presidency becomes casualty of political turmoil

When Turkey took over the helm of the G20 this year, it hoped to promote an image of an emerging economic power forging a strategy to tackle sluggish global growth and giving low-income nations a stronger voice.

Reuters, Turkey’s G20 presidency becomes casualty of political turmoil, September 1, 2015


Turkey Frees Two British Journalists With Vice News

Two British journalists who were arrested by Turkish authorities last week have been released, a lawyer representing the men said on Thursday, but a local journalist who was assisting them remained in jail.

The New York Times, Turkey Frees Two British Journalists With Vice News, September 3, 2015


Economy and Energy

Turkish lira hits new low after deadly PKK attack

The Turkish Lira hit new lows against the U.S. dollar early Sept. 7, due to concern over Turkey’s worsening security situation, after Kurdish militants carried out one of their deadliest bomb attacks on Turkish troops in years.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish lira hits new low after deadly PKK attack, 7 September 2015


G20 seeks to lift global market mood as Turkish lira sees new historic low

Ministers and central bank chiefs from the world’s top 20 economies sought Sept. 5 to bolster market confidence in the global economy, despite mounting alarm about the fallout from China’s slowdown.

Hurriyet Daily News, G20 seeks to lift global market mood as Turkish lira sees new historic low, September 5, 2015


Emerging Markets Must Attract Capital, Says Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister

Emerging markets need to take steps to attract foreign capital to avoid economic shocks as the U.S. Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cevdet Yilmaz said Sunday.

Wall Street Journal, Emerging Markets Must Attract Capital, Says Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, September 6, 2015


Turkish Inflation Rate Rises More Than Expected in August

Turkey’s annual inflation rate rose more than expected in August as high food costs continued to pressure consumer prices, hitting the central bank’s ability to reach its 5% target.

The Wall Street Journal, Turkish Inflation Rate Rises More Than Expected in August, September 3, 2015


Turkish Exports See Worst July Since 2010 as Russia Slump Hurts

Turkish exports fell to their lowest July figure since 2010 as shipments to Russia slumped by half from a year earlier.

Bloomberg, Turkish Exports See Worst July Since 2010 as Russia Slump Hurts, August 31, 2015


Senior manager at Akkuyu nuclear project resigns, says Turkey shouldn’t work with Russian company

A senior manager at Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in the Mediterranean province of Mersin has resigned from his post, claiming that even though Turkey needs nuclear technology, it should not be done with contracted Russian company Rosatom.

Hurriyet Daily News, Senior manager at Akkuyu nuclear project resigns, says Turkey shouldn’t work with Russian company, September 4, 2015


HSBC Turkey Sale to ING Said to Stall on Market, Political Risks

ING Groep NV’s talks to buy the Turkish unit of HSBC Holdings Plc have stalled amid political and market turmoil, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Bloomberg, HSBC Turkey Sale to ING Said to Stall on Market, Political Risks, September 2, 2015


Turkish Airlines CEO Sees Potential for Closer Lufthansa Tie

Turkish Airlines said it may strengthen its relationship with Star Alliance partner Deutsche Lufthansa AG in a move that could help the German carrier stem a shift in market share to fast-growing rivals in the Persian Gulf.

Bloomberg, Turkish Airlines CEO Sees Potential for Closer Lufthansa Tie, September 4, 2015


Domestic Politics

After Fatal Attack, Turkey Strikes at Kurdish Rebels

The Turkish military carried out airstrikes against Kurdish insurgents on Monday, a day after what appeared to be the deadliest rebel assault since the breakdown in July of a fragile peace process with the Turkish state.

New York Times, After Fatal Attack, Turkey Strikes at Kurdish Rebels, September 7, 2015


Turkey’s Military: 16 Troops Killed, 6 Wounded in PKK Attack

Turkey’s military announced Monday that 16 soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in a Kurdish rebel attack against troops in southeast Turkey a day earlier. The attack was the deadliest assault on Turkish troops since renewed fighting between the rebels and Turkey’s security forces erupted in July, shattering a fragile peace process.

New York Times, Turkey’s Military: 16 Troops Killed, 6 Wounded in PKK Attack, September 7, 2015


Bomb kills 14 Turkish police officers as jets strike PKK in Iraq

Kurdish militants killed 14 police officers in a bomb attack on a minibus in a Turkish province bordering Armenia and Iran on Tuesday, a government official told Reuters, widening a conflict with the Turkish state.

Reuters, Bomb kills 14 Turkish police officers as jets strike PKK in Iraq, September 8, 2015


Roadside bomb kills four police in southeast Turkey

Kurdish militants set off a roadside bomb that killed four Turkish police officers as they traveled in an armored vehicle in the southeast of the country on Thursday, officials said.

Reuters, Roadside bomb kills four police in southeast Turkey, September 3, 2015


HDP co-chairs accuse gov’t over spiraling violence

The co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have accused the government over increasing violence in Turkey’s southeastern and eastern provinces and against HDP branch offices.

Hurriyet Daily News, HDP co-chairs accuse gov’t over spiraling violence, September 8, 2015


Daily Hürriyet assaulted by pro-AKP protesters for second time in two days

Daily Hürriyet’s Istanbul headquarters was pelted with stones by a group of club-swinging pro- Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters on Sept. 8, less than 48 hours after a similar attack and amid a lack of police security.

Hurriyet Daily News, Daily Hürriyet assaulted by pro-AKP protesters for second time in two days, September 8, 2015


Turkey Escalates Gulen Witch Hunt With Koza Ipek Raids

In the interlude between Turkish elections, police are cracking down on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s biggest enemy, raiding 23 businesses that include newspapers, TV stations and the nation’s largest gold miner.

Bloomberg, Turkey Escalates Gulen Witch Hunt With Koza Ipek Raids, September 1, 2015


Erdoğan, CHP both warn of ‘provocations’ amid tense climate in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) have warned the public of possible provocations in separate statements issued as Turkey moves toward a Nov. 1 election amid a tense climate.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan, CHP both warn of ‘provocations’ amid tense climate in Turkey, September 8, 2015.