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Turkey Letter: April 9, 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • Turkey will not intervene in Tel Rifaat if Russia keeps promise on YPG: Presidential spokesman
  • Turkey’s volunteer doctors treat 2,500 Syrians in refugee camps in Azaz
  • US, Turkey blast Assad on chemical raid claim
  • Russia ‘expects Turkey to hand over Afrin to Assad’
  • Erdoğan phones Turkish citizen in Germany
  • UK wants Turkey as part of European family: Lord Alex Carlile
  • Over 40 militants ‘neutralized’ across Turkey last week: Interior Ministry
  • Turkey Criticizes United States Over Mixed Messages on Syria
  • Turkey’s Erdogan Says France Is Abetting Terrorists
  • Turkey formally demands exemption from US tariffs
  • Turkey urges guarantors of Astana to ‘accelerate political process’
  • Turkey to ‘stay in Afrin’ despite Iran’s demand: Presidential spokesman
  • Cyprus to protest Turkey’s planned nuclear power plant
  • Iran, Russia and Turkey plan Syria’s future as Trump seeks an exit
  • Greek minister says country vigilant against ‘enemy’ Turkey
  • Turkey’s Erdogan says missile deal with Russia is final

 

Economy and Energy:

  • Turkish court cancels environmental clearance for hydroelectric dam due to ‘stress on fish’
  • Turkish lira hits yet another historic low against US dollar amid trade war, risks
  • Serbia is a gateway to EU, Russia: Turkish envoy
  • TÜSİAD warns of huge external debt
  • Turkey’s top business association supports reforms
  • Erdoğan blasts Central Bank over interest rate policy
  • Turkey Starts Construction of its First Nuclear Power Plant
  • Rumors of Turkish deputy PM’s departure spook markets

 

Domestic Politics:

  • ‘Centralized system’ for taxis in Turkey proposed amid Uber-taxi tension
  • Turkey’s top business body pushes for more gender equality in TV series
  • We will vote in 2019 to save democracy: CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu
  • Opposition will get 60 percent of votes to win presidency in 2019: CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu
  • At least 394 workers killed in Turkey in 2018: Report
  • Turkey says its global dragnet has seized dozens of its citizens in 18 countries
  • Turkey: 4 staff members killed in attack at university

Foreign Policy:

 

Turkey will not intervene in Tel Rifaat if Russia keeps promise on YPG: Presidential spokesman

Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on April 7 that Turkey was talking to Russia about the Syrian town of Tel Rifaat and would not need to intervene in the area given Moscow’s assurances that Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants were not present there.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey will not intervene in Tel Rifaat if Russia keeps promise on YPG: Presidential spokesman, April 9, 2018


Turkey’s volunteer doctors treat 2,500 Syrians in refugee camps in Azaz

Volunteer doctors in Turkey treated 2,500 Syrians living in refugee camps in Aleppo on April 7 and 8, an association official said on April 9.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s volunteer doctors treat 2,500 Syrians in refugee camps in Azaz, April 9, 2018


US, Turkey blast Assad on chemical raid claim

The international community has blasted the Syrian regime in Syria over claims of use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta, with the U.S. President Donald Trump calling Bashar Al-Assad “an animal.”

Hürriyet Daily News, US, Turkey blast Assad on chemical raid claim, April 9, 2018


Russia ‘expects Turkey to hand over Afrin to Assad’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Russia expects Turkey to bring the strategic northern Syrian town of Afrin, previously held by the People’s Defense Units (YPG), under the control of the Syrian government.

Hürriyet Daily News, Russia ‘expects Turkey to hand over Afrin to Assad’, April 9, 2018


Erdoğan phones Turkish citizen in Germany

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 8 phoned a Turkish citizen residing in Germany who had been ill-treated by police and extended get-well wishes.

Hürriyet Daily News, Erdoğan phones Turkish citizen in Germany, April 9, 2018


UK wants Turkey as part of European family: Lord Alex Carlile

If Turkey’s economic relations with Russia lead it to change its strategic alliance then this would be of concern to NATO, Alex Carlile, a member of the British House of Lords, has told daily Hurriyet, stressing that Ankara is “part of the European family.”

Hürriyet Daily News, UK wants Turkey as part of European family: Lord Alex Carlile, April 9, 2018


Over 40 militants ‘neutralized’ across Turkey last week: Interior Ministry

At least 43 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants have been “neutralized” as part of counter-terror operations held across Turkey over the past week, the Interior Ministry stated on April 9.

Hürriyet Daily News, Over 40 militants ‘neutralized’ across Turkey last week: Interior Ministry, April 9, 2018


Turkey Criticizes United States Over Mixed Messages on Syria

Turkey on the 7th criticized the United States over sending what it said were mixed messages on Syria, saying Washington was sowing confusion by equivocating about its future role in the country.

The New York Times, Turkey Criticizes United States Over Mixed Messages on Syria, April 7, 2018


 Turkey’s Erdogan Says France Is Abetting Terrorists

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the 7th accused France of abetting terrorists by “hosting them” at the Elysee Palace, amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies over Paris’s support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The New York Times, Turkey’s Erdogan Says France Is Abetting Terrorists, April 7, 2018 


Turkey formally demands exemption from US tariffs

Turkey expects a positive response to its letter requesting an exemption from new U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminum next week, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey formally demands exemption from US tariffs, April 6, 2018


Turkey urges guarantors of Astana to ‘accelerate political process’

In a tripartite meeting with the Russian and Iranian presidents, Turkey urged an “acceleration of the political process” in Syria, particularly the forming of a committee to write a new constitution for the country as part of an attempted solution to the long-running war in the country.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey urges guarantors of Astana to ‘accelerate political process’, April 6, 2018


Turkey to ‘stay in Afrin’ despite Iran’s demand: Presidential spokesman

Turkey will not withdraw its troops from Afrin despite the urging of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın has said.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey to ‘stay in Afrin’ despite Iran’s demand: Presidential spokesman, April 5, 2018


Cyprus to protest Turkey’s planned nuclear power plant

Cyprus says it will lodge protests over the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant a few dozen kilometers from the east Mediterranean island nation.

The Washington Post, Cyprus to protest Turkey’s planned nuclear power plant, April 5, 2018


Iran, Russia and Turkey plan Syria’s future as Trump seeks an exit

The leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey met the 4th for high-level talks on ending the Syrian war, cementing their influence on the outcome of the conflict and isolating the United States from the region’s most crucial diplomacy.

The Washington Post, Iran, Russia and Turkey plan Syria’s future as Trump seeks an exit, April 4, 2018


Greek minister says country vigilant against ‘enemy’ Turkey

Greece’s defense minister described Turkey on the 4th as an “enemy that continues to provoke us” and said he had ordered the deployment of more military personnel to islands in the eastern Aegean Sea.

The Washington Post, Greek minister says country vigilant against ‘enemy’ Turkey, April 4, 2018


Turkey’s Erdogan says missile deal with Russia is final

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the 3rd that his country’s plan to purchase Russia’s long-range missile defense system is a “done deal,” brushing aside concerns from some NATO allies.

The Washington Post, Turkey’s Erdogan says missile deal with Russia is final, April 3, 2018


 

Economy and Energy:

 

Turkish court cancels environmental clearance for hydroelectric dam due to ‘stress on fish’

A court in the northeastern province of Erzincan has cancelled the environmental clearance for a hydroelectric (HES) dam planned for construction on the Karasu River.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish court cancels environmental clearance for hydroelectric dam due to ‘stress on fish’, April 9, 2018


Turkish Lira Falls to Record Lows Before New Stimulus Announced

Turkey’s lira fell to new record lows against the dollar and euro as investor concerns about an overheating economy and unresponsive central bank mounted.

Bloomberg, Turkish Lira Falls to Record Lows Before New Stimulus Announced, April 9, 2018


Serbia is a gateway to EU, Russia: Turkish envoy

Turkey’s Ambassador to Belgrade Tanju Bilgiç has said Turkish companies investing in Serbia have access to both the EU and Russian markets.

Hürriyet Daily News, Serbia is a gateway to EU, Russia: Turkish envoy, April 5, 2018


TÜSİAD warns of huge external debt

Turkey should leave the course of economic growth based on consumption and foreign loans, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) head Erol Bilecik has warned.

Hürriyet Daily News, TÜSİAD warns of huge external debt, April 5, 2018


Turkey’s top business association supports reforms

Turkish businesses fully support the reform package aimed at improving Turkey’s investment environment, Erol Bilecik, chairman of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), said on Thursday the 5th.

Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s top business association supports reforms, April 5, 2018


Erdoğan blasts Central Bank over interest rate policy

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Turkey’s Central Bank of “acting behind his back” on interest rate policy, according to governmental sources.

Hürriyet Daily News, Erdoğan blasts Central Bank over interest rate policy, April 5, 2018


Turkey Starts Construction of its First Nuclear Power Plant

Turkey reported the construction start of its first nuclear power plant to the IAEA’s Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) this week. The first safety-related concrete was poured for unit 1 of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant on 3 April, following the granting of the construction licence by the regulatory body, the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) the day before.

IAEA, Turkey Starts Construction of its First Nuclear Power Plant, April 5, 2018


Rumors of Turkish deputy PM’s departure spook markets

There’s never a dull moment in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “new Turkey,” and today was no exception. Claims that Mehmet Simsek, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, had resigned sent the Turkish lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar and tremors through the political establishment. It didn’t help that presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin was unable to offer clarity when queried about Simsek’s status. “This is, for now, an allegation. There is nothing that came to us about this,” he said in a press briefing. Hours later Simsek took to Twitter to confirm he was still on the job — at an investor’s meeting in Istanbul — and that he would continue to serve “until our last breath.”

Al-Monitor, Rumors of Turkish deputy PM’s departure spook markets, April 5, 2018


 

Domestic Politics:

 

‘Centralized system’ for taxis in Turkey proposed amid Uber-taxi tension

Amid recent tension between Uber and taxi drivers in Turkey, Mustafa Ilıcalı, parliament’s transportation commission spokesperson, has proposed a system envisaging the administering of all taxis from a “centralized system.”

Hürriyet Daily News, ‘Centralized system’ for taxis in Turkey proposed amid Uber-taxi tension, April 9, 2018


Turkey’s top business body pushes for more gender equality in TV series

Hundreds of millions of viewers across the world are watching Turkish TV series. With $350 million in revenue from foreign syndication, Turkey ranks second in the world, after the United States, in global TV series sales.

Al-Monitor, Turkey’s top business body pushes for more gender equality in TV series, April 8, 2018


We will vote in 2019 to save democracy: CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on “all democracy defenders” to go to the polls in upcoming elections due in 2019, vowing victory over the ruling Justice and Developing Party (AKP).

Hürriyet Daily News, We will vote in 2019 to save democracy: CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu, April 8, 2018 


Opposition will get 60 percent of votes to win presidency in 2019: CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu

A united opposition front brought together “under certain principles” will win the presidential election due in 2019 with 60 percent of the vote, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has claimed.

Hürriyet Daily News, Opposition will get 60 percent of votes to win presidency in 2019: CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu, April 6, 2018


At least 394 workers killed in Turkey in 2018: Report

At least 394 workers were killed in Turkey in the first three months of 2018, according to a monthly report recently released by a non-governmental organization focused on worker health and safety issues.

Hürriyet Daily News, At least 394 workers killed in Turkey in 2018: Report, April 6, 2018


Turkey says its global dragnet has seized dozens of its citizens in 18 countries

Turkey’s intelligence agency has seized at least 80 Turkish nationals from multiple countries as part of its efforts to hunt suspects with alleged links to a 2016 coup attempt, a senior Turkish official said Thursday the 5 April.

The Washington Post, Turkey says its global dragnet has seized dozens of its citizens in 18 countries, April 5, 2018