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Turkey Letter: 9 May 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Turkish President Erdogan Rejects EU Request on Antiterrorism Laws
  • Erdogan reaffirms EU membership as Turkey’s ‘strategic goal’
  • Merkel, Renzi Insist on EU Migrant Deal Amid Turkey Crisis
  • Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu discusses anti-ISIL fight with Trump’s possible vice presidential pick
  • US ‘concerned’ over Can Dündar, Erdem Gül convictions
  • Turkish warplanes attack Kurdish militant targets in Iraq

Economy & Energy

  • S&P Raises Turkey’s Credit Rating Outlook to Stable
  • Turkish Markets Swing Amid Power Struggle
  • Squeezed again by political worries, Turkey stocks head for worst week in five years
  • Bad loans and bankruptcies sound the alarm for Turkey’s economy
  • Turkish Inflation Rate Drops to Lowest Since May 2013
  • Turkish industrial production edges up in March

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s prime minister resigns amid high-level rifts and deepening crises
  • No turning back from presidential system, says Erdoğan
  • Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition says lifting immunity will bring more violence
  • Journalists sentenced to jail in case highlighting media crackdown in Turkey
  • Under ISIL fire, Kilis locals demand more protection

Foreign Policy

Turkish President Erdogan Rejects EU Request on Antiterrorism Laws

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday rejected European Union calls for Ankara to revise its antiterrorism laws, signaling a tougher stance toward the bloc as he seeks to consolidate power at home.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish President Erdogan Rejects EU Request on Antiterrorism Laws, May 6, 2016


Erdogan reaffirms EU membership as Turkey’s ‘strategic goal’ 

Membership of the European Union remains Turkey’s strategic goal and a deal to liberalize visas for Turks visiting the bloc should accelerate the accession process, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

Reuters, Erdogan reaffirms EU membership as Turkey’s ‘strategic goal’, May 9, 2016


Merkel, Renzi Insist on EU Migrant Deal Amid Turkey Crisis 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi insisted that the European Union’s deal with Turkey on migrants must be implemented despite the imminent departure of the country’s premier.

Bloomberg, Merkel, Renzi Insist on EU Migrant Deal Amid Turkey Crisis, May 5, 2016


Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu discusses anti-ISIL fight with Trump’s possible vice presidential pick 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a meeting with visiting U.S. Senator for Florida Marco Rubio, also a former Republican presidential candidate, on May 5 focused on regional issues and the U.S.-led coalition’s fight against jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Çavuşoğlu discusses anti-ISIL fight with Trump’s possible vice presidential pick, May 9, 2016


US ‘concerned’ over Can Dündar, Erdem Gül convictions

The United States has criticized the conviction of Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül, who were sentenced to jail time for revealing state secrets.

Hurriyet Daily News, US ‘concerned’ over Can Dündar, Erdem Gül convictions, May 7, 2016


Turkish warplanes attack Kurdish militant targets in Iraq

Turkish warplanes hit targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq on Sunday, military sources said, as three soldiers and 12 militants were reported killed in separate clashes over the weekend.

Reuters, Turkish warplanes attack Kurdish militant targets in Iraq, May 8, 2016


Economy & Energy

S&P Raises Turkey’s Credit Rating Outlook to Stable

Standard & Poor’s revised Turkey’s credit-rating outlook to stable from negative Friday, citing the resilience of the Turkish economy in the face of global and local threats to the country’s stability.

The Wall Street Journal, S&P Raises Turkey’s Credit Rating Outlook to Stable, May 6, 2016


Turkish Markets Swing Amid Power Struggle

Turkish markets whipsawed Thursday as a political leadership struggle triggering the ouster of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu raised concerns about the country’s economic future.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Markets Swing Amid Power Struggle, May 5, 2016


Squeezed again by political worries, Turkey stocks head for worst week in five years 

Turkish stocks fell 1.3 percent on May 6, on track for their worst weekly performance in nearly five years, hit by renewed political uncertainty after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he would step down.

Reuters, Squeezed again by political worries, Turkey stocks head for worst week in five years, May 6, 2016


Bad loans and bankruptcies sound the alarm for Turkey’s economy

After years of growth fueled by credit and domestic consumption, bad debts and bankruptcies are rising in Turkey, squeezing banks and exposing a fragile real economy which risks denting support for the ruling AK Party.

Reuters, Bad loans and bankruptcies sound the alarm for Turkey’s economy, May 4, 2016


Turkish Inflation Rate Drops to Lowest Since May 2013 

Turkey’s annual inflation slowed in April to the lowest level in three years, giving the central bank further room to lower interest rates after cutting the past two months.

Bloomberg, Turkish Inflation Rate Drops to Lowest Since May 2013, May 3, 2016


Turkish industrial production edges up in March 

Turkish industrial production expanded at a rate of 2.9 percent in March from the previous year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) stated on May 9.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish industrial production edges up in March, May 9, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey’s prime minister resigns amid high-level rifts and deepening crises

Turkey’s prime minister resigned Thursday after a public rift with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, throwing the country’s politics into turmoil and paving the way for Erdogan to consolidate power at a time of domestic and regional crises.

Washington Post, Turkey’s prime minister resigns amid high-level rifts and deepening crises, May 5, 2016


No turning back from presidential system, says Erdoğan 

 Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stressed that there is no turning back from a presidential system in his address during a mass opening ceremony, a day after Prime Minister Davutoğlu announced he would leave his post following a rift with Erdoğan.

Hurriyet Daily News, No turning back from presidential system, says Erdoğan, May 6, 2016


Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition says lifting immunity will bring more violence 

A bill proposed by Turkey’s ruling party that would strip some parliamentarians of their immunity from prosecution is likely to create more violence and stifle democratic politics, the co-head of the pro-Kurdish opposition party said.

Reuters, Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition says lifting immunity will bring more violence, May 4, 2016


Journalists sentenced to jail in case highlighting media crackdown in Turkey

A Turkish court sentenced two prominent journalists to five years in prison for “divulging state secrets” Friday in a high-profile case that has drawn international scrutiny — just hours after one of the reporters was nearly killed in an assassination attempt outside the courthouse in Istanbul.

Washington Post, Journalists sentenced to jail in case highlighting media crackdown in Turkey, May 6, 2016


Under ISIL fire, Kilis locals demand more protection 

Locals in the southeastern border province of Kilis have appealed to the Turkish state in a newspaper advert calling for additional measures to ensure their security amid persistent rocket fire from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held territories in northern Syria.

Hurriyet Daily News, Under ISIL fire, Kilis locals demand more protection, May 6, 2016