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Turkey Letter: 9 January 2017

Foreign Politics

  • Airstrikes by Russia Buttress Turkey in Battle vs. ISIS
  • In Turkey, U.S. Hand Is Seen in Nearly Every Crisis
  • Turkish President sees better ties with U.S. under Trump
  • Turkey has two main demands from Trump administration to mend ties with US: FM
  • Erdogan Joins Push to Reunify Cyprus as Access to Energy Beckons

Economy & Energy

  • Goldman’s Contrarian Call Is Already Being Borne Out by the Lira’s Plunge
  • Turkey’s Fight Against Dollarization Hasn’t Been Working
  • Case for Raising Turkish Rates Just Got Stronger With Inflation
  • Turkey’s gold imports surge 688 pct in December after Erdoğan’s call
  • Turkey’s industrial production rises slightly in November

Domestic Politics

  • Istanbul nightclub attacker identified, Turkey says, as police continue manhunt
  • Turkey Extends State of Emergency in Wake of Attack Claimed by Islamic State
  • Suspected Kurdish militants kill two in car bombing in Turkey’s Izmir
  • Parliament strained as charter talks start
  • Turkish Court Sentences Two Military Officials to Life in Prison for Coup Role
  • In Turkey’s Unrest, Some See an Extreme Version of Post-9/11 America
  • Detention of Doğan lawyer ‘intimidation’

Foreign Politics

Airstrikes by Russia Buttress Turkey in Battle vs. ISIS

Russian warplanes have carried out airstrikes to support Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria against the Islamic State, an important evolution in a budding Russian-Turkish partnership. The deepening ties threaten to marginalize the United States in the struggle to shape Syria’s ultimate fate.

New York Times, Airstrikes by Russia Buttress Turkey in Battle vs. ISIS, January 9, 2017


In Turkey, U.S. Hand Is Seen in Nearly Every Crisis

Turkish officials accused the United States of abetting a failed coup last summer. When the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated last month, the Turkish press said the United States was behind the attack. And once again, after a gunman walked into an Istanbul nightclub early on New Year’s Day and killed dozens, the pro-government news media pointed a finger at the United States.

New York Times, In Turkey, U.S. Hand Is Seen in Nearly Every Crisis, January 4, 2017


Turkish President sees better ties with U.S. under Trump

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he believed relations with Washington would improve under President-elect Donald Trump and that the two NATO allies would reach an easier consensus on regional issues.

Reuters, Turkish President sees better ties with U.S. under Trump, January 9, 2017


Turkey has two main demands from Trump administration to mend ties with US: FM

Turkey has two main expectations from the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, Turkey’s foreign minister has said, naming them as the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the alleged mastermind of the July 2016 coup attempt, and the cessation of cooperation with Syrian Kurds against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey has two main demands from Trump administration to mend ties with US: FM, January 9, 2017


Erdogan Joins Push to Reunify Cyprus as Access to Energy Beckons

As talks resume on ending the frozen conflict in Cyprus, the prospect of reunifying the Mediterranean island divided in 1974 comes with the promise of delivering a rare piece of stability in a turbulent world.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Joins Push to Reunify Cyprus as Access to Energy Beckons, January 4, 2017


Economy & Energy

Goldman’s Contrarian Call Is Already Being Borne Out by the Lira’s Plunge

One of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s out-of-consensus predictions for 2017 is already bearing fruit. While big investors are positioned for Turkey to perform well, Goldman strategists led by Caesar Maasry recommended greater caution in a report published this morning — shortly before the lira plunged to fresh lows against both the dollar and the euro.

Bloomberg, Goldman’s Contrarian Call Is Already Being Borne Out by the Lira’s Plunge, January 9, 2017


Turkey’s Fight Against Dollarization Hasn’t Been Working

Turkish residents have been flocking to the stability of hard currencies, the opposite of what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been urging. Deposits in foreign exchange for individuals and companies excluding banks rose for a third week, signaling a lack of confidence in the lira. It’s the biggest loser among world currencies so far in 2017.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Fight Against Dollarization Hasn’t Been Working, January 9, 2017


Case for Raising Turkish Rates Just Got Stronger With Inflation

The lira sank the most among the world’s major currencies to an all-time low after inflation quickened to 8.53 percent last month, 53 basis points above one of the nation’s key interest rates. That erodes the yield on Turkish assets already under pressure from growing security concerns and adds pressure on the central bank to raise borrowing costs.

Bloomberg, Case for Raising Turkish Rates Just Got Stronger With Inflation, January 3, 2017


Turkey’s gold imports surge 688 pct in December after Erdoğan’s call

Gold imports to Turkey jumped to 36.7 tons in December recording a 688 percent increase compared to the same month in 2015, data from Borsa Istanbul showed on Jan. 4, as reported by Reuters.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s gold imports surge 688 pct in December after Erdoğan’s call, January 4, 2017


Turkey’s industrial production rises slightly in November

Turkish industrial production rose 2.7 percent in November compared to the same month in 2015, led by rises in all sub-indices, although the index remained the same compared with the previous month, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on Jan. 9.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s industrial production rises slightly in November, January 9, 2017


Domestic Politics

Istanbul nightclub attacker identified, Turkey says, as police continue manhunt

Turkish authorities have identified the gunman who fatally shot dozens of revelers at a nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s, Turkey’s top diplomat said Wednesday, as police stepped up raids on suspected militant hideouts in a hunt for the attacker.

Washington Post, Istanbul nightclub attacker identified, Turkey says, as police continue manhunt, January 4, 2017


Turkey Extends State of Emergency in Wake of Attack Claimed by Islamic State

Turkey’s parliament voted to extend the government’s state-of-emergency powers following the deadly New Year’s attack claimed by Islamic State, as the country struggles to contain rising terrorist threats and law enforcement contends with depleted ranks in the wake of last year’s failed coup.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Extends State of Emergency in Wake of Attack Claimed by Islamic State, January 4, 2017


Suspected Kurdish militants kill two in car bombing in Turkey’s Izmir

Suspected Kurdish militants clashed with police and detonated a car bomb in western Turkey on Thursday after their vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint, killing a police officer and a court employee, officials said.

Reuters, Suspected Kurdish militants kill two in car bombing in Turkey’s Izmir, January 5, 2017


Parliament strained as charter talks start

The Turkish parliament began debating on Jan. 9 a constitutional amendment package that will change the system into an executive presidency amid protests by opposition groups that say the move will result in a dictatorship.

Hurriyet Daily News, Parliament strained as charter talks start, January 9, 2017


Turkish Court Sentences Two Military Officials to Life in Prison for Coup Role

A Turkish court sentenced two military officers to life in prison on Thursday in the first ruling related to the mid-July coup attempt, as authorities widened a nationwide crackdown against the failed putsch’s alleged perpetrators.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Court Sentences Two Military Officials to Life in Prison for Coup Role, January 5, 2017


In Turkey’s Unrest, Some See an Extreme Version of Post-9/11 America

While Mr. Erdogan’s critics have denounced what they see as a bald usurpation of power that has subverted democracy and polarized the country, many Turks, frightened and uncertain, are not complaining. They view his authoritarianism as reassuring and angrily reject outsider comments about paranoia and conspiracy theories.

New York Times, In Turkey’s Unrest, Some See an Extreme Version of Post-9/11 America, January 6, 2017


Detention of Doğan lawyer ‘intimidation’

The detention of the Doğan Group’s chief judicial adviser, along with a former chief executive officer of the holding, is an act of intimidation by the political power, the Istanbul Bar Association said in a written statement on Jan. 6.

Hurriyet Daily News, Detention of Doğan lawyer ‘intimidation’, January 6, 2017