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Turkey Letter: 12 September 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey Aims to Send Aid Convoy to Aleppo
  • EU Officials Confident of Completing Turkey Deal
  • EU to Provide Debit Cards, Cash to Refugees in Turkey as Part of Migration Deal
  • Kurdish Role a Sticking Point as U.S., Turkey Discuss Raqqa Operation
  • Three Turkish Soldiers Killed in ISIS Missile Attack
  • German Lawmakers Get Permission to Visit Turkey-Based Troops
  • Turkey working with Council of Europe on post-coup prosecutions

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey’s Güler Sabancı named seventh most powerful woman in world
  • Turkey becomes one of world’s top drone makers
  • Slowing Growth in Turkey May Prompt Central Bank to Ease Further
  • Turkey’s Battle to Ease Bank Funding Drought in Three Charts
  • Zorlu Enerji of Turkey Considers Power Plants in Iran

Domestic Politics

  • 50 injured by PKK car bomb in east Turkey
  • Prominent Thinkers Urge Turkey to End Writers ‘Witch Hunt’
  • Turkey Suspends Thousands of Teachers, Wages ‘Biggest Campaign’ Against Kurds
  • Turkey Arrests More Generals, Businessmen as Post-Coup Crackdown Continues
  • Tables Have Turned for Some Media in Turkish Crackdown
  • Turkey opts out of daylight saving

Foreign Policy

Turkey Aims to Send Aid Convoy to Aleppo

Turkey aims to send more than 30 trucks of food, children’s clothes and toys to the Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday, with a truce negotiated between the United States and Russia due to come into effect at sundown, officials said.

New York Times, Turkey Aims to Send Aid Convoy to Aleppo, September 12, 2016


EU Officials Confident of Completing Turkey Deal

European Union officials said Friday they are confident they can find a way to remove the last key hurdle to Turkey’s bid for visa-free access to the bloc amid a push to improve strained ties in the aftermath of July’s failed military coup.

Wall Street Journal, EU Officials Confident of Completing Turkey Deal, September 9, 2016


EU to Provide Debit Cards, Cash to Refugees in Turkey as Part of Migration Deal

As many as one million refugees in Turkey will receive debit cards and monthly cash transfers to help pay for food and housing under a new €348 million ($393 million) humanitarian program from the European Union announced on Thursday.The EU’s largest-ever humanitarian program is part of a €3 billion package of assistance the bloc promised Turkey to support some three million refugees the country hosts, mainly from Syria.

Wall Street Journal, EU to Provide Debit Cards, Cash to Refugees in Turkey as Part of Migration Deal, September 8, 2016


Kurdish Role a Sticking Point as U.S., Turkey Discuss Raqqa Operation

Turkey supports plans to drive Islamic State out of its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa but U.S.-backed Kurdish militia fighters should not be at the core of the operation, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Thursday.

New York Times, Kurdish Role a Sticking Point as U.S., Turkey Discuss Raqqa Operation, September 8, 2016


Three Turkish Soldiers Killed in ISIS Missile Attack

Three Turkish soldiers were killed and four were wounded in a missile attack Tuesday by Islamic State in northern Syria—the first Turkish casualties caused by the militants in Turkey’s two-week-old incursion into Syria.

Wall Street Journal, Three Turkish Soldiers Killed in ISIS Missile Attack, September 7, 2016


German Lawmakers Get Permission to Visit Turkey-Based Troops

Turkey has granted German lawmakers permission to visit the troops it has deployed in the country, ending a dispute that had threatened to upset Germany’s participation in the anti-Islamic State coalition.

Wall Street Journal, German Lawmakers Get Permission to Visit Turkey-Based Troops, September 8, 2016


Turkey working with Council of Europe on post-coup prosecutions

A delegation from Turkey’s justice ministry has met with the Council of Europe to review European human rights standards and conventions as Ankara prepares to prosecute those it holds responsible for a failed July 15 coup, the head of the CoE said.

Reuters, Turkey working with Council of Europe on post-coup prosecutions,  September 6, 2016


Economy & Energy

Turkey’s Güler Sabancı named seventh most powerful woman in world

Sabancı Holding Chair Güler Sabancı has been named the seventh most powerful woman in the world in the latest list by Fortune magazine. Serpil Timuray, who leads Vodafone’s vast Africa, Middle East, Asia and Pacific (AMAP) business, ranked 23rd in the 2016 list.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s Güler Sabancı named seventh most powerful woman in world, September 12, 2016


Turkey becomes one of world’s top drone makers

Turkey has become one of the world’s leading drone producers and is now targeting the production of up to four tons of drones in weight, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü has told state-run Anadolu Agency. “Our aim is to produce 3.5-4 tons of armed drones in weight and to equip them with high quality weapons and cameras,” Özlü said.

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey becomes one of world’s top drone makers, September 12, 2016


Slowing Growth in Turkey May Prompt Central Bank to Ease Further

Turkey’s economic growth slowed in the second quarter, as spending by households and private companies weakened even before the disruption caused by July’s failed coup. Gross domestic product expanded 3.1 percent in the April-to-June period, compared with 4.7 percent in the previous quarter and a median estimate of 3.7 percent in a Bloomberg survey. Seasonally adjusted output rose 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, Turkstat said Friday. It’s the first time that growth has lagged estimates since the third quarter of 2014.

Bloomberg, Slowing Growth in Turkey May Prompt Central Bank to Ease Further, September 9, 2016


Turkey’s Battle to Ease Bank Funding Drought in Three Charts

Attempts by Turkish policy makers to alleviate a funding shortage in the country’s banking system are so far having limited success. They’ve lowered the rate at which lenders can borrow money overnight by 50 basis points to 8.5 percent in two steps since an attempted coup in July, and reduced reserve requirements twice. The evidence so far shows the impact on the real cost of bank financing has been limited, with the rates lenders pay to attract three-month deposits falling only eight basis points in the four weeks through Aug. 19.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Battle to Ease Bank Funding Drought in Three Charts, September 7, 2016


Zorlu Enerji of Turkey Considers Power Plants in Iran               

Turkish electricity producer Zorlu Enerji may build gas-fired power plants in Iran as Turkey’s eastern neighbor seeks to attract investors after decades of economic sanctions.

Bloomberg, Zorlu Enerji of Turkey Consider Power Plants in Iran, September 6, 2016


Domestic Politics

50 injured by PKK car bomb in east Turkey

Turkish authorities are accusing Kurdish militants of detonating a car bomb that wounded 50 people in front of the ruling party’s municipal headquarters Monday in the eastern city of Van. Van Governor Ibrahim Tasyapan told state-run Anadolu news agency that 46 civilians and four police officers were wounded in the attack at a police check point outside the party offices.

Washington Post, 50 injured by PKK car bomb in east Turkey, September 12, 2016


Prominent Thinkers Urge Turkey to End Writers’ ‘Witch Hunt’

About 40 prominent academics and authors from around the world are urging Turkey’s government to end what they say is the persecution of the country’s own writers and professors voicing a differing point of view.

New York Times, Prominent Thinkers Urge Turkey to End Writers’ ‘Witch Hunt’, September 11, 2016


Turkey Suspends Thousands of Teachers, Wages ‘Biggest Campaign’ Against Kurds

Turkey is waging the largest operation in its history against Kurdish militants and the removal of civil servants linked to them is a key part of the fight, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, as more than 11,000 teachers were suspended.

New York Times, Turkey Suspends Thousands of Teacher, Wages ‘Biggest Campaign’ Against Kurds, September 8, 2016


Turkey Arrests More Generals, Businessmen as Post-Coup Crackdown Continues

Turkish authorities on Thursday issued warrants for six generals and several other military officials, as well as 16 businessmen in connection with the July failed coup attempt, state-run media reported.

Voice of America, Turkey Arrests More Generals, Businessmen as Post-Coup Crackdown Continues, September 8, 2016


Tables Have Turned for Some Media in Turkish Crackdown

Turkey has detained around 100 journalists for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, at one time one of Mr. Erdogan’s most important allies and now his biggest foe, as well as more than 35,000 of the imam’s other alleged supporters in the government.

Wall Street Journal, Tables Have Turned for Some Media in Turkish Crackdown, September 6, 2016


Turkey opts out of daylight saving

Turkey has decided it will no longer follow daylight saving time (DST) and won’t turn back clocks by an hour in the autumn. An announcement in the official government gazette Thursday said the country won’t push clocks back October 30th for the winter period.

Washington Post, Turkey opts out of daylight saving, September 8, 2016