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Turkey Letter: May 7, 2018

Foreign Policy:

  • Secret witness testifies against US pastor in Turkey
  • S. Lawmakers Set $717 Billion Defense Bill With Eye on China, Russia, Turkey
  • Turkey Says It Will Retaliate if U.S. Halts Weapons Sales
  • Turkey hints alternative to federation for Cyprus peace deal

Economy and Energy:

  • US imposes high duties on steel wire rod imports from Turkey
  • S&P cuts Turkey’s rating deeper into ‘junk’
  • Turkey’s Dream of a Record Year for IPOs Is Becoming a Nightmare
  • Turkish Central Bank takes reserve requirements step to shore up lira
  • Turkish gov’t cuts property taxes ahead of snap election
  • Turkish lira weakens to another record low against dollar after poor inflation data

Domestic Politics:

  • Turkish Opposition Parties Form Alliance Before June 24 Vote
  • Erdoğan unveils manifesto for re-election bid
  • İYİ Party chair Akşener vows to restructure 8 billion-lira debts of 4.5 million citizens
  • CHP presidential candidate İnce vows to be ‘everyone’s president’
  • In Turkey’s Kurdish Heartland, a Battle for Homes and Votes
  • Turkey’s Independent Newspaper Voice Perseveres With a Smile
  • Eight injured after MHP supporters attack İYİ Party booth in Istanbul
  • Turkey’s Main Opposition Candidate Demands More Media Coverage
  • Heavy rain causes flooding, sweeps away vehicles in Turkey

Foreign Policy:

 

U.S. Lawmakers Set $717 Billion Defense Bill With Eye on China, Russia, Turkey

U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers released details on Friday of a $717 billion annual defense policy bill, including efforts to compete with Russia and China and a measure to temporarily halt weapons sales to Turkey.

The New York Times, U.S. Lawmakers Set $717 Billion Defense Bill With Eye on China, Russia, Turkey, May 4, 2018


Turkey Says It Will Retaliate if U.S. Halts Weapons Sales

Turkey will retaliate if the United States enacts a proposed law that would halt weapons sales to the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

The New York Times, Turkey Says It Will Retaliate if U.S. Halts Weapons Sales, May 6, 2018


Secret witness testifies against US pastor in Turkey

A witness testifying anonymously against a U.S. pastor accused of spying and terror-related charges in Turkey claimed Monday that the American helped Kurdish militants and aimed to create a Christian Kurdish state, the country’s state-run news agency reported.

The Washington Post, Secret witness testifies against US pastor in Turkey, May 7, 2018


Turkey hints alternative to federation for Cyprus peace deal

A Turkish foreign ministry official said Thursday that reunifying Cyprus as a federation may not be possible and suggested that alternatives should be sought to resolve the island’s decades-long ethnic division.

The Washington Post, Turkey hints alternative to federation for Cyprus peace deal, May 3, 2018


Economy and Energy:

 

US imposes high duties on steel wire rod imports from Turkey
The U.S. International Trade Commission said on May 1 that carbon and alloy steel wire rod imports from five countries, including Turkey, were hurting U.S. producers, locking in duties of up to 147.63 percent on the products for five years.
Hürriyet Daily News, US imposes high duties on steel wire rod imports from Turkey, May 2, 2018


S&P cuts Turkey’s rating deeper into ‘junk’
In an unexpected move, Standard & Poor’s cut its sovereign debt rating on Turkey further into junk territory on May 1, citing widening concern about the outlook for inflation amid a sell-off in the Turkish lira currency.
Hürriyet Daily News, S&P cuts Turkey’s rating deeper into ‘junk’, May 2, 2018


Turkey’s Dream of a Record Year for IPOs Is Becoming a Nightmare
The cancellation of two initial public offerings in Turkey’s retail sector within hours of each other on Friday is casting doubt on other deals and threatening to spoil what was supposed to be a bumper year for the country’s equity market.
Bloomberg, Turkey’s Dream of a Record Year for IPOs Is Becoming a Nightmare, May 7, 2018


Turkish Central Bank takes reserve requirements step to shore up lira
The Turkish Central Bank moved to shore up the lira on May 7 after the currency fell to record lows against the dollar, lowering the upper limit for foreign exchange, which banks can use for their reserve requirements.
Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish Central Bank takes reserve requirements step to shore up lira, May 7, 2018


Turkish gov’t cuts property taxes ahead of snap election
The government has slashed property taxes ahead of the snap June 24 elections, with a new legal package also including a higher income tax exemption for female workers whose children go to a day care center and changes to the special consumption tax for a group of alcoholic beverages.
Hürriyet Daily News, Turkish gov’t cuts property taxes ahead of snap election, May 7, 2018


Record-Low Lira Wrecking Investment Case for Troubled Turkey
Resurgent consumer prices have revived a selloff in the lira, just when the currency was defying weakness among developing-nation peers in the wake of U.S. Treasury yields hitting the 3 percent mark. The losses are spilling over to bonds and equities, ruining the carry trade, and earning the markets some unsavory superlatives.
Bloomberg, Record-Low Lira Wrecking Investment Case for Troubled Turkey, May 3, 2018


Domestic Politics:

 

Turkish Opposition Parties Form Alliance Before June 24 Vote
Four opposition parties in Turkey announced a political alliance Saturday ahead of the country’s June 24 national election, aiming to mount a meaningful challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party.
The New York Times, Turkish Opposition Parties Form Alliance Before June 24 Vote, May 4, 2018


Erdoğan unveils manifesto for re-election bid
The leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has announced a manifesto ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary snap elections, vowing to strengthen “social justice” in every sphere of life.
Hürriyet Daily News, Erdoğan unveils manifesto for re-election bid, May 6, 2018


İYİ Party chair Akşener vows to restructure 8 billion-lira debts of 4.5 million citizens
Revealing her party’s economic program ahead of the June 24 snap elections, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has vowed to restructure the debts of 4.5 million Turkish citizens, worth 8 billion liras, through a project called the “Turkey Solidarity Fund.”
Hürriyet Daily News, İYİ Party chair Akşener vows to restructure 8 billion-lira debts of 4.5 million citizens, May 7, 2018


CHP presidential candidate İnce vows to be ‘everyone’s president’
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has finally presented Muharrem İnce as its presidential candidate in a rally attended by thousands in Ankara, where İnce vowed he would “struggle for democracy” and be an “impartial president.”
Hürriyet Daily News, CHP presidential candidate İnce vows to be ‘everyone’s president’, May 4, 2018


In Turkey’s Kurdish Heartland, a Battle for Homes and Votes
Erdogan’s announcement of snap elections has caught the opposition off guard and will complete Turkey’s switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system. But the opposition pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is dominant in southeastern Turkey and won a large share of votes there in a parliamentary election in 2015.
The New York Times, In Turkey’s Kurdish Heartland, a Battle for Homes and Votes, May 7, 2018


Turkey’s Independent Newspaper Voice Perseveres With a Smile
After sharing a prison cell for more than a year, the top executives of Turkey’s oldest newspaper were convicted in April and given heavy sentences for aiding terrorism. But they returned to work last week with determination and a string of jokes.
The New York Times, Turkey’s Independent Newspaper Voice Perseveres With a Smile, May 6, 2018


Eight injured after MHP supporters attack İYİ Party booth in Istanbul
Eight were injured after supporters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) attacked an election campaign booth of the opposition İYİ (Good) Party in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district on May 6.
Hürriyet Daily News, Eight injured after MHP supporters attack İYİ Party booth in Istanbul, May 7, 2018


Turkey’s Main Opposition Candidate Demands More Media Coverage
The presidential candidate for Turkey’s main opposition has hit out at a lack of mainstream media coverage for opposition parties and candidates before elections in June.
The New York Times, Turkey’s Main Opposition Candidate Demands More Media Coverage, May 6, 2018


Heavy rain causes flooding, sweeps away vehicles in Turkey
A torrential flood has swept through a district in the Turkish capital of Ankara, sending vehicles downstream and shocking residents.
The Washington Post, Heavy rain causes flooding, sweeps away vehicles in Turkey, May 5, 2018