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Turkey Letter: 9 November 2015

Foreign Policy

  • White House hits Turkey over vote ‘intimidation’
  • EU Warns Turkey About Threats to Media Freedom
  • Syrian issue to be discussed in detail at G-20 summit: Presidential spokesperson
  • Turkey Launches Airstrikes on Kurdish Militants in Northern Iraq
  • Ankara eyes anti-terror cooperation with Arbil

Economy and Energy

  • Lira Erases Turkey Election Rally as Focus Turns to Fed Liftoff
  • Turkey outlook hinges on ability to spur growth, but risks remain: Moody’s
  • Minimum wage rise could boost economy, S&P says
  • Turkey seeks Russian gas discount of more than 10.25 pct at arbitration
  • Turkey’s Fibabanka ‘joins race for HSBC’s Turkish unit’

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan Presses for New Turkish Constitution, Vows to Fight Terrorists
  • Turkey’s Kurdish Rebels Return to War Footing
  • Presidential system, new charter back on agenda
  • 80 percent of minorities in Turkey cannot express themselves openly: Survey
  • Turkey targets supporters of Erdogan foe in police raids
  • Clashes with Kurdish militants kill 18 in southeast Turkey

Foreign Policy

White House hits Turkey over vote ‘intimidation’

The White House on Nov 2 voiced displeasure at the “intimidation” of Turkish journalists during an election that bolstered the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Hurriyet Daily News, White House hits Turkey over vote ‘intimidation’, November 3, 2015


EU Warns Turkey About Threats to Media Freedom

The European Union’s enlargement chief warned Turkey’s government on Wednesday that continued threats to media freedom, including “intimidation” of journalists, will undercut the country’s bid to join the bloc.

Wall Street Journal, EU Warns Turkey About Threats to Media Freedom, November 4, 2015


Syrian issue to be discussed in detail at G-20 summit: Presidential spokesperson

The issue of Syria will extensively be discussed at the G-20 Summit, Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said, noting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will hold a dinner meeting at which the migration crisis and global terrorism will be on the agenda. A declaration will be released after the meeting, he added.

Hurriyet Daily News, Syrian issue to be discussed in detail at G-20 summit: Presidential spokesperson, November 9, 2015


Turkey Launches Airstrikes on Kurdish Militants in Northern Iraq

Turkish jets launched a new series of airstrikes on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, the first indication that the government is pressing ahead with its military campaign against them as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s allies in parliament prepare to reclaim one-party rule.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Launches Airstrikes on Kurdish Militants in Northern Iraq, November 3, 2015


Ankara eyes anti-terror cooperation with Arbil

The Turkish government aims to establish cooperation with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on anti-terror issues, Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu said during his meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in Arbil on Nov. 4.

Hurriyet Daily News, Ankara eyes anti-terror cooperation with Arbil, November 4, 2015


Economy and Energy

Lira Erases Turkey Election Rally as Focus Turns to Fed Liftoff

Turkey’s lira fell, erasing a weekly increase spurred by a surprise electoral victory for the nation’s ruling party, and bonds dropped after better-than-estimated U.S. jobs data bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates in December.

Bloomberg, Lira Erases Turkey Election Rally as Focus Turns to Fed Liftoff, November 6, 2015


Turkey outlook hinges on ability to spur growth, but risks remain: Moody’s

Turkey’s credit outlook will hinge on the new government’s ability to tackle slowing growth and high inflation as credit risks of the country still remain, ratings agency Moody’s said on Nov. 4.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey outlook hinges on ability to spur growth, but risks remain: Moody’s, November 4, 2015


Minimum wage rise could boost economy, S&P says

A minimum wage hike in Turkey could boost the Turkish economy, credit agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said on Nov. 9.

Hurriyet Daily News, Minimum wage rise could boost economy, S&P says, November 9, 2015


Turkey seeks Russian gas discount of more than 10.25 pct at arbitration

Turkey is seeking a price discount of more than 10.25 percent for Russian gas at international arbitration, Turkish Energy Minister Ali Riza Alaboyun told Reuters, but said Ankara may drop the case if Moscow agrees to the discount.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey seeks Russian gas discount of more than 10.25 pct at arbitration, November 4, 2015


Turkey’s Fibabanka ‘joins race for HSBC’s Turkish unit’

Turkey’s Fibabanka has joined the ranks of banks interested in buying HSBC’s Turkish unit, two sources close to the matter told Reuters, a business that is also being considered by ING Group.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Fibabanka ‘joins race for HSBC’s Turkish unit’, November 4, 2015


Domestic Politics

Erdogan Presses for New Turkish Constitution, Vows to Fight Terrorists

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a new constitution that would give him more power and vowed to annihilate Kurdish separatists, saying his parliamentary allies’ convincing win in early elections constitutes a mandate for both initiatives.

Wall Street Journal, Erdogan Presses for New Turkish Constitution, Vows to Fight Terrorists, November 4, 2015


Turkey’s Kurdish Rebels Return to War Footing

The unqualified return to war by the government and the rebels diminishes hopes for a peaceful resolution of the three-decade-old conflict, which has left more than 40,000 people dead.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey’s Kurdish Rebels Return to War Footing, November 5, 2015


Presidential system, new charter back on agenda

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has overtly presented the creation of a new constitution that would pave the way for a transition to a presidential system as the number-one item on the agenda of the newly elected legislature.

Hurriyet Daily News, Presidential system, new charter back on agenda, November 4, 2015


80 percent of minorities in Turkey cannot express themselves openly: Survey

Eighty percent of minorities in Turkey say they cannot express themselves openly on social media, while 35 percent said they are subject to hate speech on the same platform, according to a recent survey conducted by a minority organization funded by the European Union.

Hurriyet Daily News, 80 percent of minorities in Turkey cannot express themselves openly: Survey, November 3, 2015


Turkey targets supporters of Erdogan foe in police raids

Turkish police detained dozens of people including senior police officers and bureaucrats allegedly linked to President Tayyip Erdogan’s foe Fethullah Gulen on Tuesday, widening a campaign against the exiled Muslim cleric after Sunday’s election.

Reuters, Turkey targets supporters of Erdogan foe in police raids, November 3, 2015


Clashes with Kurdish militants kill 18 in southeast Turkey

Eighteen people were killed in clashes in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast region on Wednesday, a day after the military launched air strikes there, and authorities announced a curfew in two provincial districts.

Reuters, Clashes with Kurdish militants kill 18 in southeast Turkey, November 4, 2015