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Turkey Letter: September 11, 2017

Foreign Policy

  • Amid tension, Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan agree to strengthen ties
  • Senate bill would block U.S. weapons sales to Turkish security
  • Turkish government to launch new aid campaign for Rohingya
  • Turkish-German populism goes beyond electoral crisis
  • Erdogan says U.S. targeting Turkey with Iran-linked prosecutions
  • France’s Macron urges continued EU ties with Turkey
  • Greece warns ending EU talks with Turkey a mistake
  • U.S. requires enhanced screening of cargo from Turkey

 Economy and Energy

  • Turkish economic growth shows strong recovery in second quarter
  • Turkey GDP growth above 5% outdone only by China, India in G-20
  • Turkey’s $200 billion wealth fund paralyzed by internal strife
  • Istanbul drops 12 places in global financial centers index
  • Turkish Lira hits 9-month high as GDP growth rate announced at 5.1 percent
  • Turkey to host 200,000 Chinese tourists by end of 2017: Minister

 Domestic Policy 

  • Turkey: Lawmaker imprisoned on terror charges released
  • CHP mulls legal action against head of Council of State
  • Prosecutors demand 10 years in prison for jailed former HDP-coleader
  • Turkey cautions citizens about travel to ‘anti-Turkey’ Germany
  • Cumhuriyet journalists’ trial continues, colleagues demand their release

Foreign Policy

Amid tension, Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan agree to strengthen ties

U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Saturday and agreed to continue to work toward stronger ties and regional security, Erdogan’s office said, a day after he lashed out at U.S. authorities for indicting one of his ex-ministers.

Reuters, Amid tension, Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan agree to strengthen ties, September 9, 2017


Senate bill would block U.S. weapons sales to Turkish security

 A measure approved Thursday by a Senate committee would block the U.S. government from supporting the sale of weapons to security forces protecting Turkey’s president.

Washington Post, Senate bill would block U.S. weapons sales to Turkish security, September 9, 2017


Turkish government to launch new aid campaign for Rohingya

 The Turkish government will launch a new aid campaign for Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar including temporary sheltering camps and support systems, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ has announced.

Hurriyet, Turkish government to launch new aid campaign for Rohingya, September 11, 2017


Turkish-German populism goes beyond electoral crisis

 Populism and the upcoming elections in Germany are not the sole reasons of the current crisis between Turkey and Germany, according to a prominent scholar.

Hurriyet, Turkish-German populism goes beyond electoral crisis, September 11, 2017


Erdogan says U.S. targeting Turkey with Iran-linked prosecutions

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized U.S. prosecutors for bringing charges against a former Turkish minister accused of laundering money on behalf of Iran, calling it a politically motivated act against Turkey.

Bloomberg, Erdogan says U.S. targeting Turkey with Iran-linked prosecutions, September 11, 2017


France’s Macron urges continued EU ties with Turkey

 French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey remained a vital partner of the European Union and ties should be maintained even if the country had strayed from the EU path, according to a newspaper interview published on Thursday.

New York Times, France’s Macron urges continued EU ties with Turkey, September 7, 2017


Greece warns ending EU talks with Turkey a mistake

 Halting accession talks with Turkey would be a strategic mistake by the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sept. 10, amid a war of words raging between Berlin and Ankara.

Hurriyet, Greece warns ending EU talks with Turkey a mistake, September 11, 2017


U.S. requires enhanced screening of cargo from Turkey

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said on Thursday it is issuing a new security directive requiring enhanced screening of cargo from Turkey.

Reuters, U.S. requires enhanced screening of cargo from Turkey, September 7, 2017


Economy and Energy

Turkish economic growth shows strong recovery in second quarter

The Turkish economy expanded 5.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of the year, official data showed on Sept. 11, showing a strong recovery in investments and exports, helped by the government’s fiscal stimulus measures after growth was hit last year by an attempted coup.

Hurriyet, Turkish economic growth shows strong recovery in second quarter, September 11, 2017


 Turkey GDP growth above 5% outdone only by China, India in G-20

 Turkey maintained economic growth at levels exceeded only by China and India among G-20 economies, as a surge in construction buoyed output.

Bloomberg, Turkey GDP growth above 5% outdone only by China, India in G-20, September 11, 2017


Turkey’s $200 billion wealth fund paralyzed by internal strife

 Days after last year’s failed coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his allies set to work creating a wealth fund to safeguard what is now about $200 billion of assets, including cash, property and shares.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s $200 billion wealth fund paralyzed by internal strife, September 6, 2017


Istanbul drops 12 places in global financial centers index

In a leading index of global financial centers, Istanbul has fallen 12 places to 78th, despite a rise in its rating, among 92 centers across the globe on factors such as infrastructure and access to high quality staff.

Hurriyet, Istanbul drops 12 places in global financial centers index, September 11, 2017


Turkish Lira hits 9-month high as GDP growth rate announced at 5.1 percent

The Turkish currency continued its recovery against the U.S. dollar on Sept. 11, after the country’s official statistics authority announced soaring economic growth. The dollar/lira exchange rate dropped to 3.3986 at around 11 a.m. local time (08:00GMT), down from 3.4080 at Friday’s close, ahead of emerging market peers.

Hurriyet, Turkish Lira hits 9-month high as GDP growth rate announced at 5.1 percent, September 11, 2017


Turkey to host 200,000 Chinese tourists by end of 2017: Minister

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister said on Sept. 11 that he expects 200,000 Chinese tourists to visit the country by the end of this year.

Hurriyet, Turkey to host 200,000 Chinese tourists by end of 2017: Minister, September 11, 2017


Domestic Policy

Turkey: Lawmaker imprisoned on terror charges released

 Turkey’s pro-Kurdish political party has announced the release from prison of one of its lawmakers pending a trial on terror charges.

New York Times, Turkey: Lawmaker imprisoned on terror charged released, September 8, 2017


CHP mulls legal action against head of Council of State

 Turkey’s main oppositional party is planning to take legal action against Zerrin Güngör, the head of the Council of State over her recent remarks targeting the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which has long been complaining about judicial deficiencies in the country.

Hurriyet, CHP mulls legal action against head of Council of State, September 11, 2017


Prosecutors demand 10 years in prison for jailed former HDP-coleader

 Imprisoned former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ, currently in prison on terror-related charges, is facing a sentence of 10 years in jail over “terrorist propaganda” and “defaming the Turkish Republic.”

Hurriyet, Prosecutors demand 10 years in prison for jailed former HDP-coleader, September 11, 2017


Turkey cautions citizens about travel to ‘anti-Turkey’ Germany

 Turkey cautioned its citizens on Saturday to take care when traveling to Germany, citing what it said was an upswing in anti-Turkish sentiment ahead of a German national election later this month.

New York Times, Turkey cautions citizens about travel to ‘anti-Turkey’ Germany, September 9, 2017


Cumhuriyet journalists’ trial continues, colleagues demand their release

The sixth hearing of the trial of 20 executives and journalists from the daily Cumhuriyet, including the daily’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, journalists Ahmet Şık and Kadri Gürsel and cartoonist Musa Kart, continued on Sept. 11 at a courthouse across from Istanbul’s Silivri prison, with media organizations and journalists once more demanding the release of six of their arrested colleagues.

Hurriyet, Cumhuriyet journalists’ trial continues, colleagues demand their release, 11 September 2017