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Turkey Letter: February 5, 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • Turkish army moves to fourth observation point in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone
  • Netherlands, Turkey fail to heal diplomatic rift
  • Turkish tank in Afrin ‘might have been hit by Russian-made anti tank weapon Konkurs’
  • Turkey’s Erdogan meets pope, Jerusalem expected on agenda
  • Turkey will launch Manbij offensive after Afrin operation: Deputy Prime Minister Bozdağ

Economy and Energy:

  • Turkey plans to explore resources in eastern Mediterranean: FM Çavuşoğlu
  • Fraying Israel-Turkey Ties Threaten Planned Gas Venture
  • Giant oil platform passes through Istanbul’s Bosphorus
  • Turkey’s annual inflation drops to 10.4 pct in January, down from 11.9 pct in December
  • 4 mln foreigners visit Turkey in 2017: Tourism Ministry

Domestic Politics:

  • In Turkey, soaring support for Syrian offensive and rising anti-Americanism
  • Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu re-elected as Turkey’s main opposition CHP chair
  • EU worried about erosion of rule of law in Turkey
  • Amnesty International’s Turkey chair Taner Kılıç rearrested after release ruling
  • Air pollution in Turkey’s Bursa reaches alarming levels
  • Three get aggravated life terms over 2016 Istanbul bombing

 

Foreign Policy:

 

Turkish army moves to fourth observation point in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone

A convoy of Turkish Armed Forces on Feb. 5 moved to the fourth observation point in Syria’s Idlib, the establishment of which accords with the Astana agreement.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish army moves to fourth observation point in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone, February 5, 2018


Netherlands, Turkey fail to heal diplomatic rift

The Dutch foreign ministry says attempts to heal a diplomatic rift between the Netherlands and Turkey have faltered. The ministry issued a statement Monday the 5th saying that recent talks did not reach agreement on how to normalize relations.

Washington Post,  Netherlands, Turkey fail to heal diplomatic rift, February 5, 2018


Turkish tank in Afrin ‘might have been hit by Russian-made anti tank weapon Konkurs’

The antitank weaponry used in the attack against a Turkish army tank on Feb. 3 in Sheikh Haruz, northeast of Afrin, might have been a Russian-made 9M113 Konkurs, security sources told daily Hürriyet on Feb. 5.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish tank in Afrin ‘might have been hit by Russian-made anti tank weapon Konkurs’, February 5, 2018


Turkey’s Erdogan meets pope, Jerusalem expected on agenda

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived at the Vatican for talks with Pope Francis expected to focus on the status of Jerusalem and the fight against terrorism.

Washington Post, Turkey’s Erdogan meets pope, Jerusalem expected on agenda, February 5, 2018 


Turkey will launch Manbij offensive after Afrin operation: Deputy Prime Minister Bozdağ

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said Turkey will launch its third military operation into Syria in the Manbij district “if [Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units] YPG militants do not retreat from the region.”

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey will launch Manbij offensive after Afrin operation: Deputy Prime Minister Bozdağ, February 5, 2018


 

Economy and Energy:

 

Turkey plans to explore resources in eastern Mediterranean: FM Çavuşoğlu

Turkey has a plan to conduct exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean region in the near future, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Feb. 4.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey plans to explore resources in eastern Mediterranean: FM Çavuşoğlu, February 5, 2018


 Fraying Israel-Turkey Ties Threaten Planned Gas Venture

A U.S.-backed initiative to build an undersea natural gas pipeline between Israel and Turkey looks increasingly troubled as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan escalates his public denunciations of the Jewish state.

Bloomberg, Fraying Israel-Turkey Ties Threaten Planned Gas Venture, February 5, 2018


Giant oil platform passes through Istanbul’s Bosphorus

A giant Panama-flagged oil platform sailed through the Bosphorus Strait on Feb. 5, making its way toward the Black Sea via the route cutting through Europe and Asia a couple of hours after a mind-blowing search and rescue drill was carried out by local volunteers.

Hürriyet Daily News, Giant oil platform passes through Istanbul’s Bosphorus, February 5, 2018


Turkey’s annual inflation drops to 10.4 pct in January, down from 11.9 pct in December

Turkey’s annual inflation was 10.4 percent in January, easing from December’s 11.9 percent, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on Feb. 5.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s annual inflation drops to 10.4 pct in January, down from 11.9 pct in December, February 5, 2018


32.4 mln foreigners visit Turkey in 2017: Tourism Ministry

The number of foreign arrivals in Turkey rose to 32.4 million in 2017 with a 27.8 percent year-on-year increase, mainly thanks to a significant surge in Russian visitors, data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Jan. 31.

Hürriyet Daily News, 32.4 mln foreigners visit Turkey in 2017: Tourism Ministry, January 31, 2018 


Domestic Politics:

 

In Turkey, soaring support for Syrian offensive and rising anti-Americanism

On a celebrity gossip show here, the hosts recently projected the Instagram profiles of Turkish actors and pop stars on the screen and berated those who had not yet posted support for Turkey’s military offensive in ­Syria.

Washington Post,  In Turkey, soaring support for Syrian offensive and rising anti-Americanism, February 4, 2018


Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu re-elected as Turkey’s main opposition CHP chair

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was re-elected for a 5th term as chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) late on Feb. 3. Voting was held in the capital, Ankara, at the party’s 36th ordinary congress chaired by Yılmaz Büyükerşen, mayor of the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.

Hürriyet Daily News, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu re-elected as Turkey’s main opposition CHP chair, February 3, 2018


EU worried about erosion of rule of law in Turkey

The European Union says it’s worried about the rule of law in EU candidate country Turkey after the jailing of Amnesty International’s chairman and Turkish Medical Association members there.

Washington Post, EU worried about erosion of rule of law in Turkey, February 2, 2018


Amnesty International’s Turkey chair Taner Kılıç rearrested after release ruling

An Istanbul court on Feb. 1 overturned its earlier decision to release Amnesty International’s Turkey chair Taner Kılıç, ordering for him to be kept in jail for the duration of his trial on terror charges.

Hürriyet Daily News, Amnesty International’s Turkey chair Taner Kılıç rearrested after release ruling, February 1, 2018


Air pollution in Turkey’s Bursa reaches alarming levels

Air pollution in the western province of Bursa has reached alarming levels, posing risks to human health, the latest data from the Environment and Urbanization Ministry’s Air Quality Index has shown.

Hürriyet Daily News, Air pollution in Turkey’s Bursa reaches alarming levels, January 31, 2018


Three get aggravated life terms over 2016 Istanbul bombing

An Istanbul court on Jan. 31 gave aggravated life sentences and an additional 329 years in jail to three people in connection to the deadly 2016 bombing in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet area, which killed 12 people.

Hürriyet Daily News, Three get aggravated life terms over 2016 Istanbul bombing, January 31, 2018