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Turkey Letter: October 16, 2017

 

Foreign Policy

 

  • Turkey says it is closing its airspace to flights to and from Iraqi Kurdish region
  • Turkish army expands deployment in Syria
  • Turkey says it is ready to cooperate with Iraq on ‘PKK presence in Kirkuk’
  • Turkey determined to maintain EU accession process, government says
  • Syria demands Turkey immediately withdraw troops
  • Merkel says EU won’t decide on Turkey’s membership bid at upcoming summit
  • Turkey blames U.S. envoy for souring ties; won’t buy U.S. guns
  • Turkey slams European countries over PKK rallies
  • Erdogan says U.S. sacrificing strategic ally Turkey
  • Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout
  • Turkey, Israel ‘discuss price, route of gas pipeline’

 

Economy and Energy

 

  • Turkey’s unemployment rate stood at 10.7 percent in July
  • Turkey’s credit fund has backed $60 million worth of loans: Minister
  • Turkey’s Central Bank vows tight policy until inflation improves
  • Enterprise becomes Turkish Airlines’ car rental partner
  • Turkey’s hybrid car sees 8-fold boost in third quarter of 2017

 

Domestic Policy

 

  • Turkey’s leading business group TÜSİAD denies ‘silent, passive’ criticism
  • Gov’t decided to extend state of emergency for three more months: Deputy PM
  • Turkey arrests 30 more officers in coup probe
  • Over 300 migrants detained in Turkey’s north, east
  • Turkey sentences Wall Street Journal reporter to more than two years in prison
  • German journalist stands trial in Turkey on terror charges
  • Press cards of 889 journalists cancelled in 2016: Justice Minister
  • Presidential security begins using Turkey-made weapons after Erdogan’s call to give up Sig Sauer
  • Turkish Constitutional Court to ask Prime Ministry’s permission for hearing on former top soldier
  • Law allowing muftis to perform marriages will pass in the parliament: Erdogan

 

Foreign Policy

 

Turkey says it is closing its airspace to flights to and from Iraqi Kurdish region

Turkey says it is closing its air space to flights to and from Iraqi Kurdish region.

Washington Post, Turkey says it is closing its airspace to flights to and from Iraqi Kurdish region, October 16, 2017


Turkish army expands deployment in Syria

The Turkish military has been expanding its deployment in northwest Syria with the goal of encircling militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Idlib province, as part of a deal to reduce clashes.

Hurriyet, Turkish army expands deployment in Syria, October 16, 2017


Turkey says it is ready to cooperate with Iraq on ‘PKK presence in Kirkuk’

Turkey has expressed its readiness to cooperate with the central Iraqi government against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Kirkuk, while urging the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) “not to provide shelter to the terrorist organization” in that region.

Hurriyet, Turkey says it is ready to cooperate with Iraq on ‘PKK presence in Kirkuk’, October 16, 2017


Syria demands Turkey immediately withdraw troops

Turkey has said it sent troops into Idlib province to help establish a de-escalation zone in line with the Astana agreement. Syria has rejected that claim, saying the presence of Turkish troops was at odds with the deal.

Deutsche Welle, Syria demands Turkey immediately withdraw troops, October 14, 2017


Turkey determined to maintain EU accession process, government says

Turkey is determined to press on with its efforts to join the European Union despite tensions with the bloc, the government said on Sunday ahead of an EU summit which will discuss the frayed relations between Brussels and Ankara.

New York Times, Turkey determined to maintain EU accession process, government says, October 15, 2017


Merkel says EU won’t decide on Turkey’s membership bid at upcoming summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that European Union leaders meeting next week for a summit will discuss deteriorated relations with Turkey but fall short of making a decision on its EU membership bid.

Bloomberg, Merkel says EU won’t decide on Turkey’s membership bid at upcoming summit, October 14, 2017


Turkey blames U.S. envoy for souring ties; won’t buy U.S. guns

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that the United States is “sacrificing ties” by supporting its ambassador to Turkey in a diplomatic spat that resulted in the two countries suspending the issuing of travel visas to the other’s citizens.

Washington Post, Turkey blames U.S. envoy for souring ties; won’t buy U.S. guns, October 12, 2017


 Turkey slams European countries over PKK rallies

Turkey has lashed out at some European countries for tolerating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) simultaneous demonstrations late on Oct. 15, vowing to summon their ambassadors.

Hurriyet, Turkey slams European countries over PKK rallies, October 16, 2017


Erdogan says U.S. sacrificing strategic ally Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States on Thursday of mistreating a strategic ally, in a blistering speech which appeared to rule out swift resolution to a dispute between two NATO members jointly fighting Islamic State.

New York Times, Erdogan says U.S. sacrificing strategic ally Turkey, October 12, 2017


Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Serbia’s president on Tuesday as Ankara stepped up efforts to increase its clout in the Balkans.Erdogan’s talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic focused on trade and investment, but also covered political relations in the region, where many countries have historic and religious links with Turkey from centuries of Ottoman rule.

New York Times, Erdogan holds talks in Serbia as Turkey hikes Balkan clout, October 10, 2017


Turkey, Israel ‘discuss price, route of gas pipeline’

Turkey and Israel’s talks on the proposed natural gas pipeline construction to bring Israeli gas to Europe are at an “advanced stage,” according to the adviser to Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister.

Hurriyet, Turkey, Israel ‘discuss price, route of gas pipeline’, October 13, 2017


 

Economy and Energy

 

Turkey’s unemployment rate stood at 10.7 percent in July

Turkey’s unemployment rate remained at 10.7 percent in the June-August period compared with the same month last year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced on Oct. 16.The unemployment rate was, however, up from 10.2 percent a month earlier.

Hurriyet, Turkey’s unemployment rate stood at 10.7 percent in July, October 16, 2017


Turkey’s credit fund has backed $60 million worth of loans: Minister

Turkey’s Credit Guarantee Fund (KGF) has backed loans worth 219 billion Turkish Lira ($60.18 billion) so far, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal said on Oct. 16.

Hurriyet, Turkey’s credit fund has backed $60 million worth of loans: Minister, October 16, 2017


Turkey’s Central Bank vows tight policy until inflation improves

Turkey’s Central Bank will maintain its tight monetary policy until the inflation outlook has shown a significant improvement, its chief stated on Oct. 12

Hurriyet, Turkey’s Central Bank vows tight policy until inflation improves, October 12, 2017 


Enterprise becomes Turkish Airlines’ car rental partner

Turkish Airlines announced on Oct. 11 that it signed a new agreement with Enterprise Holdings, the world’s largest car rental company. “Turkish Airlines passengers can easily rent a car from the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands through the official website of the airline and its mobile apps,” the national flag-carrier said in a press release, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Hurriyet, Enterprise becomes Turkish Airlines; car rental partner, October 12, 2017


Turkey’s hybrid car sees 8-fold boost in third quarter of 2017

Turkey’s total electric and hybrid car sales increased by 805.6 percent to 2,763 in the first nine months of 2017, compared to 300 in the first nine months of 2016, according to Turkey’s Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Association.

Hurriyet, Turkey’s hybrid car sees 8-fold boost in third quarter of 2017, October 13, 2017


Domestic Policy

 

Turkey’s leading business group TÜSİAD denies ‘silent, passive’ criticism

The head of the Turkish Business and Industry Association (TÜSİAD) has responded to criticism from Turkey’s main opposition party over “remaining silent” in the face of rights violations, .

Hurriyet, Turkey’s leading business group TÜSİAD denies ‘silent, passive’ criticism, October 15, 2017


Gov’t decided to extend state of emergency for three more months: Deputy PM

The government on Oct. 16 decided to extend for a further three months Turkey’s state of emergency, which was first imposed after last year’s failed coup attempt, spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ has stated.

Hurriyet, Gov’t decided to extend state of emergency for three more months: Deputy PM, October 16, 2017


Turkey arrests 30 more officers in coup probe

Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have arrested 30 members of the armed forces and issued arrest warrants for 40 more as part of an ongoing investigation into last year’s failed coup attempt blamed on a U.S.-based Muslim cleric.

Washington Post, Turkey arrests 30 more officers in coup probe, October 10, 2017


Over 300 migrants detained in Turkey’s north, east

More than 300 migrants were detained on Oct. 15 in two separate police operations in northern and eastern Turkey, according to a police source.

Police detained 206 migrants while they were on a bus, which was stopped along the Amasya-Samsun road in the Black Sea province of Amasya.

Hurriyet, Over 300 migrants detained in Turkey’s north, east, October 1, 2017


Turkey sentences Wall Street Journal reporter to more than two years in prison

A court in Turkey has sentenced a Wall Street Journal reporter to more than two years in prison on terrorism charges over an article, the newspaper said in a statement Tuesday, in a case that highlighted the Turkish government’s escalating clampdown on press freedoms.

Washington Post, Turkey sentences Wall Street Journal reporter to more than two years in prison, October 10, 2017


German journalist stands trial in Turkey on terror charges

A German journalist who was arrested in Turkey denied terror-related accusations as a trial against her opened in a Turkish court Wednesday.

Mesale Tolu, a German citizen with Turkish roots, stands accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda and being a member of a banned left-wing group, the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party.

Washington Post, German journalist stands trial in Turkey on terror charges, October 11, 2017


Press cards of 889 journalists cancelled in 2016: Justice Minister

The press cards of a total of 889 journalists have been canceled in Turkey, according to statistics released by Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül upon a parliamentary question by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Ömer Fethi Gürer.

Hurriyet, Press cards of 889 journalists cancelled in 2016: Justice Minister, October 15, 2017


Presidential security begins using Turkey-made weapons after Erdogan’s call to give up Sig Sauer

Turkish presidential security personnel began using Turkey-made weapons on Oct. 13, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on to halt using the U.S.-made Sig Sauer guns within the police forces, in a decision that came after the latest spat between the two allies over mutual suspension of visa services.

Hurriyet, Presidential security begins using Turkey-made weapons after Erdogan’s call to give up Sig Sauer, October 13, 2017


Turkish Constitutional Court to ask Prime Ministry’s permission for hearing on former top soldier

The Turkish Constitutional Court has decided to ask for authorization from the Prime Ministry for the hearing of former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ in the controversial Ergenekon case.

Hurriyet, Turkish Constitutional Court to ask Prime Ministry’s permission for hearing on former top soldier, October 13, 2017


Law allowing muftis to perform marriages will pass in the parliament: Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended the new legislation that allows “muftis,” religious officials of the government, to register and conduct marriages amid fierce opposition arguing the implementation of such regulation would lead to a rise in the number of illicit and child marriages.

Hurriyet, Law allowing muftis to perform marriages will pass in the parliament: Erdogan, October 13, 2017