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Turkey Letter: May 14, 2018

Foreign Policy: 

  • Turkey sued over violence in protests in Washington in 2017 
  • Turkish PM Says U.S. and Israel Partners in Crime Against Humanity 
  • U.S. Set Up Base in Syria’s Manbij After Turkish Threats 
  • Turkey sets up 11th observation post in Syria’s Idlib 
  • Turkish court decides to keep US pastor Andrew Brunson behind bars 
  • Turkey’s Erdogan in UK, praises country as ‘real friend’ 
  • UN Human Rights Chief Urges Turkey to End State of Emergency

Economy and Energy:

  • Turkey’s current account deficit grows in March 
  • What the Lira’s Plight Says About Turkey’s Economy 
  • Erdoğan summons urgent economy meeting as Turkish Lira plunges 
  • Ankara plans to lure back capital deposited abroad by Turks in new scheme 
  • Turkey eyes $1 billion e-gaming exports 
  • Turkey to invest over $46 bln on railways in five years

Domestic Politics: 

  • CHP presidential candidate Muharrem İnce vows to ‘bring peace to Turkey’ if elected 
  • Akşener vows to be ‘unifying’ if elected 
  • HDP highlights unity in election manifests 
  • How a hashtag and memes are uniting Turkey’s opposition 
  • CHP candidate İnce visits jailed HDP candidate Demirtaş in Edirne Prison

 

Foreign Policy: 

 

Turkey sued over violence in protests in Washington in 2017  

Twenty people beaten outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington in 2017 have filed lawsuits against the government of Turkey and five individuals after the bloody assault on demonstrators that drew international condemnation. 

Washington Post, Turkey sued over violence in protests in Washington in 2017, May 14, 2018 


Turkish PM Says U.S. and Israel Partners in Crime Against Humanity 

Turkey condemned the killing by Israeli forces of dozens of Palestinians protesting on Monday at the Gaza border against the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem, saying the United States was an accomplice in a crime against humanity. 

New York Times, Turkish PM Says U.S. and Israel Partners in Crime Against Humanity, May 14, 2018 


U.S. Set Up Base in Syria’s Manbij After Turkish Threats 

U.S. forces set up a new base in Manbij in northern Syria some three months ago after Turkish threats to march on the town, a U.S.-backed militia official there said on Wednesday. 

New York Times, U.S. Set Up Base in Syria’s Manbij After Turkish Threats, May 9, 2018 


Turkey sets up 11th observation post in Syria’s Idlib 

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have set up the 11th observation post in the Idlib province of northern Syria in a bid to monitor an ongoing truce between the Syrian regime and armed opposition groups, the military announced in a written statement on May 14. 

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey sets up 11th observation post in Syria’s Idlib, May 14, 2018 


Turkish court decides to keep US pastor Andrew Brunson behind bars 

The panel of judges overseeing the trial of jailed pastor Andrew Brunson, in a case that has inflamed tensions between Turkey and the United States, has decided to reject his demand to be released during the trial. 

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish court decides to keep US pastor Andrew Brunson behind bars, May 8, 2018 


Turkey’s Erdogan in UK, praises country as ‘real friend’ 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan started a three-day visit to Britain by praising the country Sunday as “an ally and a strategic partner, but also a real friend.” The Turkish leader is scheduled to meet Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday. 

Washington Post, Turkey’s Erdogan in UK, praises country as ‘real friend’, May 13, 2018  


UN Human Rights Chief Urges Turkey to End State of Emergency 

The United Nations’ top human rights official is calling on Turkey’s government to lift the country’s state of emergency immediately, arguing that harsh penalties for dissent are hard to reconcile with “credible elections.” 

New York Times, UN Human Rights Chief Urges Turkey to End State of Emergency, May 9, 2018 


Economy and Energy: 

 

Turkey’s current account deficit grows in March 

Turkey’s current account deficit hit $4.8 billion in March, marking an increase of $1.7 billion, year-on-year, the Turkish Central Bank (CBRT) announced on May 14. This figure was higher than expected from the current figure, which was at $4.1 billion. 

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s current account deficit grows in March, May 14, 2018 


 HDP highlights unity in election manifests 

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has proposed a “democratic decentralization” model in its election manifesto for Turkey’s upcoming July 24 snap elections, saying this model does not contradict with the country’s unitary state structure and democratic parliamentary system. 

Hürriyet Daily News, HDP highlights unity in election manifests, May 14, 2018  


What the Lira’s Plight Says About Turkey’s Economy 

Turkey has been through a lot over the past few years: a coup attempt, a divisive referendum that concentrated more power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and spillover from the Syrian civil war on its southern border. But all that doesn’t explain why the lira keeps coming under pressure during every major global selloff. Behind five consecutive years of depreciation is an unbalanced economy that must rely on foreign capital. 

Bloomberg, What the Lira’s Plight Says About Turkey’s Economy, May 14, 2018  


Erdoğan summons urgent economy meeting as Turkish Lira plunges 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan summoned top members of the government’s economic administration for an urgent meeting on May 9 amid continued plunges in the value of the Turkish Lira. The meeting was held in Ankara in the afternoon of May 9 with the attendance of senior figures including Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal and Central Bank Governor Murat Çetinkaya under the presidency of Erdoğan. 

Bloomberg, Erdoğan summons urgent economy meeting as Turkish Lira plunges, May 9, 2018  


Ankara plans to lure back capital deposited abroad by Turks in new scheme 

Ankara is working on a new cash repatriation law to bring Turkish citizens’ assets abroad back to the country, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal has said.“We want to encourage our citizens abroad to bring their assets back into Turkey,” Ağbal told state-run Anadolu Agency. 

Hürriyet Daily News, Ankara plans to lure back capital deposited abroad by Turks in new scheme, May 9, 2018  


Turkey eyes $1 billion e-gaming exports 

Turkey’s e-game developing sector aims for exports worth $1 billion this year after breaking consecutive records, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Anadolu Agency. Due to increasing interest in games developed by Turkish game producers, new export records were made last year with the addition of new games. 

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey eyes $1 billion e-gaming exports, May 8, 2018  


Turkey to invest over $46 bln on railways in five years 

Turkey will invest 39 billion euros ($46.4 billion) on railways in the next five years, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on May 8. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 10th World Congress on High-Speed Rail, Arslan said: “Our target is to transform all our lines to electrically operated ones and raise our productivity to the maximum level until 2023.” 

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey to invest over $46 bln on railways in five years, May 8, 2018  


Domestic Politics

 

CHP presidential candidate Muharrem İnce vows to ‘bring peace to Turkey’ if elected 

Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has vowed to provide “peace and comfort to the country” if he is elected president in the June 24 snap elections, ending discrimination against citizens due to their ethnic, religious or political backgrounds. 

Hürriyet Daily News, CHP presidential candidate Muharrem İnce vows to ‘bring peace to Turkey’ if elected, May 14, 2018  


Akşener vows to be ‘unifying’ if elected 

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has vowed to be the “unifying” president of Turkey if elected as the head of the nation in the June 24 snap elections, while unveiling her election manifesto for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls. 

Hürriyet Daily News, Akşener vows to be ‘unifying’ if elected, May 14, 2018  


How a hashtag and memes are uniting Turkey’s opposition 

On Tuesday, Twitter erupted with tweets using the hashtag #tamam. The Turkish word, in this case meaning “enough is enough,” quickly became the rallying cry of those opposed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his increasingly authoritarian control over politics and society. 

Washington Post, How a hashtag and memes are uniting Turkey’s opposition, May 11, 2018  


CHP candidate İnce visits jailed HDP candidate Demirtaş in Edirne Prison 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce visited Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former co-leader and presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), at Edirne Prison on May 9. 

Hürriyet Daily News, CHP candidate İnce visits jailed HDP candidate Demirtaş in Edirne Prison, May 9, 2018