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Turkey Letter: April 16, 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • Erdoğan blasts West over Islamophobia
  • Imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson rejects terror charges in Turkey trial
  • Turkey wants NATO to ‘meet expectations’
  • Turkey’s response to US-led Syria strikes: Not enough but welcomed
  • Turkey’s Erdogan, Russia’s Putin agreed to continue efforts for Syria political solution: Turkish presidency
  • Turkey urges US, Russia to refrain from escalating tension over Syria
  • US mission to OSCE calls on Turkey to end state of emergency
  • EU delegation expected to visit Ankara this month to discuss visa-free travel
  • Three PKK supporters found guilty of attacking Turkish associations in France
  • US judge delays Turkish banker’s sentencing until May 7

 

Economy and Energy:

  • Turkey’s unemployment falls to 10.8 percent in January
  • Turkey inks 340 mln-euro deal for 10 high speed trains with Siemens
  • World Bank approves $92 million loan for sustainable cities projects in Turkey
  • Turkish Stocks Lost $20 Billion Market Value in Two Weeks
  • Erdoğan blasts investors amid tumbling Turkish Lira
  • Erdogan Says Those Attempting to Wage ‘Economic Terror’ Will Pay

 

Domestic Politics:

  • Main opposition CHP stages sit-ins across Turkey against emergency rule
  • Silenced universities cannot produce science: CHP leader
  • Turkish government to extend state emergency for seventh time
  • Turkey’s state of emergency aims to silence dissent: CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu
  • Turkey Says Plans to Place Quarter of Top Students in Islamic Schools

Foreign Policy:

 

Erdoğan blasts West over Islamophobia

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again taken aim at the West over Islamophobia, suggesting it is “using anti-Islamic sentiments to reinforce its own ideology and lifestyle.”

Hürriyet Daily News, Erdoğan blasts West over Islamophobia, April 16, 2018


 Imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson rejects terror charges in Turkey trial

An American pastor denied allegations of links to a group accused of orchestrating a failed military coup in Turkey during his trial on April 16 in a case that has compounded strains in the United States’ relations with Turkey.

Hürriyet Daily News, Imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson rejects terror charges in Turkey trial, April 16, 2018


Turkey wants NATO to ‘meet expectations’

NATO should stand by its member Turkey and “meet its expectations,” including demands for air defense protection on its southern borders, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey wants NATO to ‘meet expectations’, April 16, 2018


Turkey’s response to US-led Syria strikes: Not enough but welcomed

The United States and its allies Britain and France launched a much-anticipated strike in Syria around 4 a.m. local time April 14. Despite the late hour, Ankara was wide awake. Senior government officials watched US President Donald Trump’s remarks live (which were made the night of April 13 US time). While his statement was somewhat vague, from Ankara’s perspective Trump was clear on two issues: Britain and France are allies, and Syria, Iran and Russia are foes.

Al-Monitor, Turkey’s response to US-led Syria strikes: Not enough but welcomed, April 15, 2018


Turkey’s Erdogan, Russia’s Putin agreed to continue efforts for Syria political solution: Turkish presidency

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talked on the phone to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about Syria, agreeing to work to reduce tension and continue efforts for a political solution, Erdogan’s office said on Saturday the 14th.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan, Russia’s Putin agreed to continue efforts for Syria political solution: Turkish presidency, April 14, 2018


Turkey urges US, Russia to refrain from escalating tension over Syria

Turkey has urged both the United States and Russia to refrain from acts that could further escalate tension over Syria, calling on Moscow to take effective measures to stop the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey urges US, Russia to refrain from escalating tension over Syria, April 13, 2018


US mission to OSCE calls on Turkey to end state of emergency

The U.S. mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has called on Turkey to bring an end to the ongoing state of emergency, expressing deep concern about the deteriorating state of human rights.

Hürriyet Daily News, US mission to OSCE calls on Turkey to end state of emergency, April 13, 2018


EU delegation expected to visit Ankara this month to discuss visa-free travel

A delegation from the European Union is expected to visit Ankara this month to discuss visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and convey Brussels’s views on the technical matters regarding remaining criteria.

Hürriyet Daily News, EU delegation expected to visit Ankara this month to discuss visa-free travel, April 13, 2018 


Three PKK supporters found guilty of attacking Turkish associations in France

Three supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have received sentences ranging from one to three years in jail for attacking two French-Turkish associations in 2016, in Valence and Montelimar, in southeastern France.

Hürriyet Daily News, Three PKK supporters found guilty of attacking Turkish associations in France, April 12, 2018


US judge delays Turkish banker’s sentencing until May 7

A New York judge has postponed until May 7 the sentencing of a former Turkish banker convicted of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Hürriyet Daily News, US judge delays Turkish banker’s sentencing until May 7, April 10, 2018


Economy and Energy:

 

Turkey’s lira weaker, Moody’s sounds alarm over currency and inflation

Turkey’s lira was a touch weaker on the 16th of April after plumbing a series of record lows last week, as investor alarm about double-digit inflation has been heightened by President Tayyip Erdogan’s drive for lower interest rates.

Reuters, Turkey’s lira weaker, Moody’s sounds alarm over currency and inflation, April 16, 2018


Turkey’s unemployment falls to 10.8 percent in January

Turkey’s unemployment rate stood at 10.8 percent in January, down 2.2 percentage points from same month last year, the country’s statistical authority announced on April 16.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s unemployment falls to 10.8 percent in January, April 16, 2018


Turkey inks 340 mln-euro deal for 10 high speed trains with Siemens

The Turkish State Railways (TCDD) has signed a contract for 10 Velaro high-speed trains with Siemens, which submitted the most favorable bid in the tender.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey inks 340 mln-euro deal for 10 high speed trains with Siemens, April 13, 2018


World Bank approves $92 million loan for sustainable cities projects in Turkey

The World Bank has said its board of executive directors on April 12 approved a $91.54 million loan for the Sustainable Cities II Project in Turkey.

Hürriyet Daily News, World Bank approves $92 million loan for sustainable cities projects in Turkey, April 13, 2018


Turkish Stocks Lost $20 Billion Market Value in Two Weeks

The rapid selloff in Turkish assets since the start of the month has erased some $20 billion from the market value of the country’s equities. And it may not be over.

Bloomberg, Turkish Stocks Lost $20 Billion Market Value in Two Weeks, April 13, 2018


Erdoğan blasts investors amid tumbling Turkish Lira

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hit out at international investors on April 12, saying “no one could bring Turkey to heel using exchange rates,” casting the recent sharp drop in the value of the Turkish Lira as a conspiracy by outside powers.

Hürriyet Daily News, Erdoğan blasts investors amid tumbling Turkish Lira, April 12, 2018


Erdogan Says Those Attempting to Wage ‘Economic Terror’ Will Pay

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government will punish anyone attempting to exploit developments in neighboring Syria in order to wage “economic terrorism” on Turkey.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Says Those Attempting to Wage ‘Economic Terror’ Will Pay, April 12, 2018


Domestic Politics:

 

Main opposition CHP stages sit-ins across Turkey against emergency rule

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on April 16 organized sit-ins to protest Turkey’s ongoing state of emergency, declared shortly after the July 2016 coup attempt.

Hürriyet Daily News, Main opposition CHP stages sit-ins across Turkey against emergency rule, April 16, 2018


Silenced universities cannot produce science: CHP leader

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has blasted the state of Turkey’s education system, stating that the dismissals of academics harm the scientific production.

Hürriyet Daily News, Silenced universities cannot produce science: CHP leader, April 16, 2018 


Turkish government to extend state emergency for seventh time

The extension of the state of emergency for the seventh time will be discussed on April 17 at the National Security Council (MGK) and the government will act in line with the decision of the meeting, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on April 13.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish government to extend state emergency for seventh time, April 13, 2018


Turkey’s state of emergency aims to silence dissent: CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu

The government is continuing to impose the state of emergency in a bid to crackdown on dissent in Turkey, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on April 13.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s state of emergency aims to silence dissent: CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu, April 13, 2018


Turkey Says Plans to Place Quarter of Top Students in Islamic Schools

Nearly a quarter of top-performing students entering Turkish upper schools are expected to be placed in religious Imam Hatip schools, the education minister said on the 12th, a level which secular critics say unfairly prioritizes Islamic education.

The New York Times, Turkey Says Plans to Place Quarter of Top Students in Islamic Schools, April 12, 2018