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Turkey Letter: June 5, 2017

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey says U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish YPG ‘not befitting’ of an ally
  • U.S. Begins Arming Syrian Kurds for Final Assault on Raqqa
  • Death penalty in Turkey would mean end to EU accession talks: Juncker
  • German foreign minister due in Turkey to discuss soured ties
  • Turkey Grows Further From Europe as EU Nations Change NATO Meeting Location
  • Turkey Plans to Build Walls Along Borders with Iraq, Iran
  • Putin says Russia ready to sell S-400 missile systems to Turkey: TASS
  • Turkey’s FM wants no conditions for Cyprus peace summit

Economy & Energy

  • Russia lifts further trade sanctions against Turkey
  • Russia could discuss easing Turkish tomato ban -minister
  • Turkey must cut unemployment to single-digits: PM Yıldırım
  • This Top Turkish Investor Values Good Governance
  • Turkey’s April trade deficit widens to around $5 billion
  • Jeansmaker That’s Dressed Lady Gaga Looks to Revive Turkey IPOs

Domestic Politics

  • 13 Turkish Troops Die in Helicopter Crash near Iraq Border
  • Coup suspects playing Three Monkeys, Erdoğan says
  • Opposition HDP spokesperson Baydemir briefly detained in Turkey’s Diyarbakır
  • In Turkey, a Hunger Strike Divides a Country in Turmoil
  • 218 curfews imposed in last 2 years in Turkey’s east, southeast: Human rights group

Foreign Policy

Turkey says U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish YPG ‘not befitting’ of an ally

Turkey’s National Security Council said on Wednesday that the U.S. government’s decision to arm the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Syria was “not befitting” of a friend. Turkey warned the United States that its decision to arm Kurdish forces could end up hurting Washington, and relations between the two NATO allies have been strained since then.

Reuters, Turkey says U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish YPG ‘not befitting’ of an ally, May 31, 2017


U.S. Begins Arming Syrian Kurds for Final Assault on Raqqa

The United States has started arming Syrian Kurds with heavy machine guns, antitank weapons and other arms, a critical step in preparing a pivotal part of the force that will carry out the final assault on the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Pentagon officials said.

New York Times, U.S. Begins Arming Syrian Kurds for Final Assault on Raqqa, May 31, 2017


Death penalty in Turkey would mean end to EU accession talks: Juncker

The European Union should continue accession negotiations with Turkey but a reintroduction of the death penalty would clearly put an end to the process, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on May 31.

Reuters, Death penalty in Turkey would mean end to EU accession talks: Juncker, May 31, 2017


German foreign minister due in Turkey to discuss soured ties

Turkey’s foreign minister says his German counterpart will come to Turkey next week for talks over Ankara’s refusal to let German lawmakers visit their country’s troops at a Turkish air base. Turkey has been angered by Germany’s decision to grant asylum to Turkish soldiers and other officials Ankara accuses of involvement in a failed coup.

Washington Post, German foreign minister due in Turkey to discuss soured ties , May 30, 2017


Turkey Grows Further From Europe as EU Nations Change NATO Meeting Location

A number of European nations have expressed staunch opposition toward fellow NATO member Turkey’s bid to host a gathering for the Western military alliance next year, according to high-ranking officials cited Wednesday in German media.

News Week, Turkey Grows Further From Europe as EU Nations Change NATO Meeting Location, May 31, 2017


Turkey Plans to Build Walls Along Borders with Iraq, Iran

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country plans to build walls along its borders with Iraq and Iran, similar to the one currently being erected along the frontier with Syria.

New York Times, Turkey Plans to Build Walls Along Borders with Iraq, Iran, June 1, 2017


Putin says Russia ready to sell S-400 missile systems to Turkey: TASS

President Vladimir Putin said on June 1 that Russia was ready to sell Turkey advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and had discussed the matter with Ankara, the TASS news agency reported.

Reuters, Putin says Russia ready to sell S-400 missile systems to Turkey: TASS, June 1, 2017


Turkey’s FM wants no conditions for Cyprus peace summit

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are ready to take part in a summit in Geneva to work out a peace accord reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus as long as Greek Cypriots drop unacceptable “conditions,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday.

Washington Post, Turkey’s FM wants no conditions for Cyprus peace summit, June 1, 2017


Economy & Energy

Russia lifts further trade sanctions against Turkey

Russia on June 2 further relaxed trade sanctions placed on Turkey in the aftermath of the downing of a Russian fighter jet in 2015. The Russian government said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had signed a decree lifting the ban on some agricultural produce and Turkish companies involved in construction, engineering and tourism.

Hurriyet Daily News, Russia lifts further trade sanctions against Turkey, June 2, 2017


Russia could discuss easing Turkish tomato ban -minister

Russia is open to discussing partially lifting its ban on tomato imports from Turkey provided the move does not harm its own farmers or investors, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev told Reuters on June 1.

Reuters, Russia could discuss easing Turkish tomato ban -minister, June 1, 2017


Turkey must cut unemployment to single-digits: PM Yıldırım

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said it is a must for the Turkish government to slash unemployment rate, which hit nearly 13 percent, to single digits again, underlining the country’s strengths and weaknesses on the road to achieving this goal.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey must cut unemployment to single-digits: PM Yıldırım, June 2, 2017


This Top Turkish Investor Values Good Governance

One of Turkey’s top-performing money managers says his peer-beating returns are down to homing in on the best-run companies, paying close attention to everything management says — and joining customers in the stores run by the retailers in his portfolios.

Bloomberg, This Top Turkish Investor Values Good Governance, June 2, 2017


Turkey’s April trade deficit widens to around $5 billion

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit rose to 4.95 billion in April with a 16.7 percent year-on-year increase, official data showed on May 31. While the country’s imports surged 9.9 percent year-on-year to $17.7 billion, exports rose 7.4 percent to $12.8 billion.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s April trade deficit widens to around $5 billion, May 31, 2017


Jeansmaker That’s Dressed Lady Gaga Looks to Revive Turkey IPOs

The owners of Turkish jeansmaker Mavi Jeans may raise as much as almost $400 million selling stock in a deal that promises to shake up a moribund market for local initial public offerings, characterized by years of canceled or postponed sales and short-lived listings.

Bloomberg, Jeans maker That’s Dressed Lady Gaga Looks to Revive Turkey IPOs, May 30, 2017


Domestic Politics

13 Turkish Troops Die in Helicopter Crash near Iraq Border

A Turkish military helicopter crashed Wednesday near Turkey’s border with Iraq, killing all 13 personnel on board, the military said.

Associated Press, 13 Turkish Troops Die in Helicopter Crash near Iraq Border, May 31, 2017


Coup suspects playing Three Monkeys, Erdoğan says

The suspects who are currently on trial for their alleged role in the July 2016 coup attempt are playing a game of Three Monkeys but they will not be able to “escape a painful end,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Hurriyet Daily News, Coup suspects playing Three Monkeys, Erdoğan says, June 2, 2017


Opposition HDP spokesperson Baydemir briefly detained in Turkey’s Diyarbakır

Police on June 2 briefly detained Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson Osman Baydemir in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır as part of an ongoing case in which he is accused of “insulting public servants.”

Hurriyet Daily News, Opposition HDP spokesperson Baydemir briefly detained in Turkey’s Diyarbakır, June 2, 2017


In Turkey, a Hunger Strike Divides a Country in Turmoil

Nuriye Gulmen, an academic, and Semih Ozakca, a schoolteacher, began a hunger strike on March 9. As their strike neared the 80-day mark last month, the two were arrested and have not been released.

New York Times, In Turkey, a Hunger Strike Divides a Country in Turmoil, June 1, 2017


218 curfews imposed in last 2 years in Turkey’s east, southeast: Human rights group

A total of 218 curfews were imposed in the last two years in Turkey’s east and southeast, statistics gathered by Human Rights Foundation (İHV) showed. Turkish authorities often imposed curfews during clashes between the Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Hurriyet Daily News, 218 curfews imposed in last 2 years in Turkey’s east, southeast: Human rights group, June 2, 2017