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Turkey Letter: January 8, 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • It is time to salvage Turkey’s ties with Europe, top business group urges
  • Germany, Turkey take small steps toward friendlier ties
  • France’s Macron suggests EU partnership with Turkey
  • How Banker’s Conviction Strains U.S.-Turkey Ties
  • Banker From Turkey Is Convicted in U.S. Over Plot to Evade Iran Sanctions
  • Turkey, Russia finalize deal on anti-missile defense system

Economy and Energy:

  • Inflation the most important issue facing Turkey’s economy in 2018
  • Istanbul’s busiest avenue İstiklal hopes to bring back good old days
  • Turkish industrial output rises in November
  • Istanbul to host world’s angel investors in February
  • Turkey’s economy to grow by 4.8 pct in next five years: Fitch
  • Turkey’s defense contractor ASELSAN inks $92.5 mln deal
  • Turkey’s Halkbank Could Suffer From Ex-Banker’s U.S. Conviction
  • Turkish Retailer Beymen Said in Talks With BofA, Citi on IPO

Domestic Politics:

  • Turkey’s state of emergency to be extended once again
  • MHP to support Erdoğan in 2019 presidential election, calls on AKP for alliance
  • Erdoğan again sues Kılıçdaroğlu over ‘insult’
  • Turkey’s main opposition CHP reveals priorities of its economic program
  • A Rival Steps Up to Challenge Turkey’s President Erdogan
  • Kurdish party leader, jailed in Turkey, to step down

Foreign Policy:

It is time to salvage Turkey’s ties with Europe, top business group urges

It is the time for Turkey to recover its ties with the European Union, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) head Erol Bilecik has said. “It is the time for us to recover our ties with Europe. We need to take steps in an effort to achieve this goal immediately. If Turkey does this, things will change because Europe does not want to lose Turkey.”

Hürriyet Daily News, It is time to salvage Turkey’s ties with Europe, top business group urges, January 8, 2018


Germany, Turkey take small steps toward friendlier ties

The German and Turkish foreign ministers took small steps Saturday toward restoring friendlier relations after more than a year of tension between their countries, but they made clear that significant differences remain.

The Washington Post, Germany, Turkey take small steps toward friendlier ties, January 6, 2018


France’s Macron suggests EU partnership with Turkey

French President Emmanuel Macron suggested Friday that the European Union develop a partnership with Turkey after its leader said he was “seriously tired” of waiting for the bloc to decide if it wants Turkey as a member.

The Washington Post, France’s Macron suggests EU partnership with Turkey, January 5, 2018


How Banker’s Conviction Strains U.S.-Turkey Ties
The conviction in a U.S. court of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, former head of international banking at state-owned Halkbank, may cause more trouble for the lender and further strain relations between Turkey and the U.S. The trial in Manhattan sparked vehement protests from the administration of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who accused U.S. officials of trying to harm his country’s national and economic interests and furthering the agenda of his opponents. He labeled the prosecution nothing short of an “international coup attempt.”
The Washington Post, How Banker’s Conviction Strains U.S.-Turkey Ties, January 8, 2018


Banker From Turkey Is Convicted in U.S. Over Plot to Evade Iran Sanctions

A Turkish banker was convicted on Wednesday of taking part in a billion-dollar scheme to evade American sanctions against Iran, in a case that painted a picture of high-level corruption in Turkey and heightened tensions between the United States and a NATO ally.

The New York Times, Banker From Turkey Is Convicted in U.S. Over Plot to Evade Iran Sanctions, January 3, 2018


Turkey, Russia finalize deal on anti-missile defense system

Turkey has finalized a deal with Moscow for the purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-missile system, Turkish defense officials announced Friday, despite concerns voiced by some of the NATO member’s allies.

The Washington Post, Turkey, Russia finalize deal on anti-missile defense system, December 29, 2017


Economy and Energy:

Inflation the most important issue facing Turkey’s economy in 2018

High inflation is the most important issue facing the Turkish economy in 2018, journalist Cüneyt Toros has told the Hürriyet Daily News.“We are currently at a turning point. Until recently Turkey grew through the private sector. But now the government has stepped in with various incentives it has been providing. There is a cost to this and that is inflation” said Toros, the editorial director of economy magazine Fortune Türkiye.

Hürriyet Daily News, Inflation the most important issue facing Turkey’s economy in 2018, January 8, 2018


Istanbul’s busiest avenue İstiklal hopes to bring back good old days

Istanbul’s busiest avenue, the iconic “İstiklal Avenue,” hopes to bring back the good old days in terms of passenger traffic and expensive rental opportunities after suffering a series of setbacks. Meanwhile, the city’s second and third most popular avenues have begun to recover from two problematic years, a fresh report has shown.

Hürriyet Daily News, Istanbul’s busiest avenue İstiklal hopes to bring back good old days, January 8, 2018


Turkish industrial output rises in November

Turkey’s calendar-adjusted industrial production gained 7 percent in November 2017 compared to the same month in 2016, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced on Jan. 8. Among three main sub-indexes, the manufacturing index rose the most with 7.1 percent during the same period.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish industrial output rises in November, January 8, 2018


Istanbul to host world’s angel investors in February

Angel investors from around the world will meet in Istanbul in February to explore the role of family offices and wealth management institutions in fostering innovation and delivering more business value. The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), which will be held between Feb. 18 and 20, will host presidents and leading angel investment figures from 75 countries, which fund entrepreneurs with a transaction volume of $50 billion around the world.

Hürriyet Daily News, Istanbul to host world’s angel investors in February, January 7, 2018


Turkey’s economy to grow by 4.8 pct in next five years: Fitch

Turkey’s economy is expected to grow by 4.8 percent annually on average in the next five years, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 5, citing global ratings agency Fitch Ratings. In its report titled “Investment and Demographics Key to EM Growth Potential,” Fitch provided a list of the 10 largest emerging markets in the world, in which Turkey ranked third in its forecast economic growth rate.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s economy to grow by 4.8 pct in next five years: Fitch, January 5, 2018


Turkey’s defense contractor ASELSAN inks $92.5 mln deal

Turkey’s pioneering defense company Aselsan has announced a 76.8 million euro ($92.5 million) deal with BMC Otomotiv, one of the country’s major commercial and defense vehicle producers, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 4.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s defense contractor ASELSAN inks $92.5 mln deal, January 5, 2018


Turkey’s Halkbank Could Suffer From Ex-Banker’s U.S. Conviction

The conviction of a Turkish banker in New York on Wednesday could spell trouble for Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, the state-run lender implicated in a money-laundering and sanctions-evasion scheme that formed the basis of the prosecution.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Halkbank Could Suffer From Ex-Banker’s U.S. Conviction, January 4, 2018


Turkish Retailer Beymen Said in Talks With BofA, Citi on IPO

The owners of the Turkish distributor of luxury brands including Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana are in talks with Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG to manage its initial public offering, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Bloomberg, Turkish Retailer Beymen Said in Talks With BofA, Citi on IPO, January 3, 2018


Domestic Politics:

Turkey’s state of emergency to be extended once again

The state of emergency rule is set to be extended once again following an advisory decision made by the National Security Council (MGK), the government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Jan. 8.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s state of emergency to be extended once again, January 8, 2018


MHP to support Erdoğan in 2019 presidential election, calls on AKP for alliance

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli has announced his party’s decision to support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s bid for reelection in presidential elections due for November 2019.

Hürriyet Daily News, MHP to support Erdoğan in 2019 presidential election, calls on AKP for alliance, January 8, 2018


Erdoğan again sues Kılıçdaroğlu over ‘insult’

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sued main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for “insulting the presidential office” in remarks on an alleged phone conversation between Erdoğan and his son.

Hürriyet Daily News, Erdoğan again sues Kılıçdaroğlu over ‘insult’, January 8, 2018


Turkey’s main opposition CHP reveals priorities of its economic program

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) revealed the main priorities of its economic plan in a press meeting on Jan. 5, during which it also demanded an end of state of emergency rule in the country to encourage foreign direct investment.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s main opposition CHP reveals priorities of its economic program, January 5, 2018 


A Rival Steps Up to Challenge Turkey’s President Erdogan

Out of the repressive climate of the last 18 months since a bloody coup attempt in Turkey, the most fearless challenger to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — and potentially his most serious rival in future elections — has been Meral Aksener.

The New York Times, A Rival Steps Up to Challenge Turkey’s President Erdogan, January 5, 2018 


Kurdish party leader, jailed in Turkey, to step down

The jailed co-leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition will step down during a party congress next month. Selahattin Demirtas announced his decision not to seek another term at the Feb. 11 congress in a letter made public by his Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, on Thursday.

The Washington Post, Kurdish party leader, jailed in Turkey, to step down, January 4, 2018