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Turkey Letter: September 25, 2017

Foreign Policy

  • Trump praises Turkey’s Erdogan as a friend
  • On the eve of Kurdish independence vote, a warning from Turkey
  • Exclusive: Turkey to deploy troops inside Syria’s Idlib- Erdogan
  • Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to cut off oil flow from Iraq’s Kurdish area over referendum
  • Turkey, Iran, Iraq consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum
  • The latest: Putin to visit Ankara, discuss Iraqi Kurds’ vote
  • Germany limits export guarantees to Turkey trade amid rift
  • Ankara will intervene militarily if Turkmens are targeted in Iraq: Turkish FM
  • Erdogan, Putin speak on phone, stress ‘territorial integrity of Iraq, Syria’
  • Turkey will take two steps if Germany takes one to normalize relations- Foreign Minister

Economy and Energy

  • Top bosses urge continuation of trade deal update talks with EU
  • Pessimism starts paying off for Turkey stock bears
  • New chair appointed to Turkey’s foreign economic relations board
  • Kurdish independence vote could affect oil—Energy Journal
  • Turkey’s enemy of interest rates target banks to boost growth
  • Norway’s Statkraft sells unfinished hydropower plant to Turkey’s Limak
  • Turkey targets economic growth of 5.5 percent under medium-term plan – PM

Domestic Politics

  • Gov’t harmonizes six more laws in preparation for presidential system
  • Investigation opened against former CHP deputy over charges of ‘praising’ Gulen network
  • Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas resigns from post
  • Istanbul municipal council to elect new mayor on Sept 28 after Topbas’s resignation
  • Overhaul of university exams out of question for now: Turkey’s higher education board head

 

Foreign Policy

 

Trump praises Turkey’s Erdogan as a friend

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan as a friend despite tensions between the two countries over Turkish security officials involved in street fighting with protesters during a visit to Washington in May.

Reuters, Trump praises Turkey’s Erdogan as a friend, September 21, 2017


Kurds in Iraq vote in historic independence referendum

Kurds seeking independence from Iraq came under intense pressure on Saturday from their powerful neighbor, Turkey, which demanded that Iraqi Kurdistan cancel an independence vote scheduled for Monday.

Washington Post, Kurds in Iraq vote in historic independence referendum, September 25, 2017


Exclusive: Turkey to deploy troops inside Syria’s Idlib- Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will deploy troops in Syria’s northern Idlib region as part of a so-called de-escalation agreement brokered by Russia last month.

New York Times, Exclusive: Turkey to deploy troops inside Syria’s idlib-Erdogan, September 21, 2017


Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to cut off oil flow from Iraq’s Kurdish area over referendum

President Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday Turkey could cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, intensifying pressure on the Kurdish autonomous region over its independence referendum.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to cut off oil flow from Iraq’s Kurdish area over referendum, September 25, 2017


Turkey, Iran, Iraq consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum

Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to consider counter-measures against Kurdish northern Iraq over a planned independence referendum, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

New York Times, Turkey, Iran, Iraq consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum, September 21, 2017


The latest: Putin to visit Ankara, discuss Iraqi Kurds vote

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have spoken over the phone about the contentious Iraqi Kurdish vote in support for independence and stressed the importance of Iraq and Syria’s territorial integrity.

Washington Post, The latest: Putin to visit Ankara, discuss Iraqi Kurds vote, September 25, 2017


Germany limits export guarantees to Turkey trade amid rift

The German government has capped the amount of “Hermes” export guarantees it provides for trade with Turkey at 1.5 billion euros (1.32 billion pounds), a foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday, as a rift between the two NATO powers deepens.

New York Times, Germany limits export guarantees to Turkey trade amid rift, September 22, 2017


Ankara will intervene militarily if Turkmens are targeted in Iraq: Turkish FM

Turkey would intervene militarily if the Turkmen population in Iraq is targeted, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu warned in a televised interview on Sept. 25, amid a series of warnings from Ankara over the independence referendum in northern Iraq.

Hurriyet, Ankara will intervene militarily if Turkmens are targeted in Iraq: Turkish FM, September 25, 2017


Erdogan, Putin speak on phone, stress ‘territorial integrity of Iraq, Syria’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation on the situation in Syria and Iraq on Sept. 25, private broadcaster CNN Türk has reported.

Hurriyet, Erdogan, Putin speak on phone, stress ‘territorial integrity of Iraq, Syria’, September 25, 2017


Turkey will take two steps if Germany takes one to normalize relations- Foreign Minister

Turkey, whose relations with Germany have soured in recent months, will take two steps to normalize bilateral relations if Germany takes one step, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a television interview on Monday.

New York Times, Turkey will take two steps if Germany takes one to normalize relations- Foreign Minister, September 25, 2017


Economy and Energy

 

Top bosses urge continuation of trade deal update talks with EU

Top bosses have called for the continuation of the negotiations for a Customs Union deal update with the European Union due to political tensions, as this deal has brought about many positive developments in many fields rather than only in the area of trade in the last two decades.

Hurriyet, Top bosses urge continuation of trade deal update talks with EU, September 21, 2017


Pessimism starts paying off for Turkey stock bears

After nine frustrating months, Turkey bears are gaining the upper hand. Istanbul stocks are heading for the first monthly decline since November 2016, after posting one of the five best gains globally in 2017.

Bloomberg, Pessimism starts paying off for Turkey stock bears, September 24, 2017


New chair appointed to Turkey’s foreign economic relations board

Nail Olpak was appointed as the new chair of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) on Sept. 22, after Ömer Cihad Vardan resigned from the post due to personal reasons.

Hurriyet, New chair appointed to Turkey’s foreign economic relations board, September 24, 2017


Kurdish independence vote could affect oil—Energy Journal

Kurds have started voting in a historic ballot seeking independence from Iraq, a prospect that could not only upend the region’s delicate geopolitics but also roil the oil market, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal, Kurdish independence vote could affect oil—Energy Journal, September 25, 2017


Turkey’s enemy of interest rates target banks to boost growth

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is encouraging businesses to borrow and spend to power the economic growth that has underpinned his long rule. But after years of expanding credit, some Turks are wary.

Reuters, Turkey’s enemy of interest rates target banks to boost growth, September 21, 2017


Norway’s Statkraft sells unfinished hydropower plant to Turkey’s Limak

Norwegian utility Statkraft has sold a partially-constructed hydropower plant in Turkey to local conglomerate Limak Holding, which will invest some $400 million in the plant and expects to start operations by 2021, the firms told Reuters.

Reuters, Norway’s Statkraft sells unfinished hydropower plant to Turkey’s Limak, September 22, 2017


Turkey targets economic growth of 5.5 percent under medium-term plan – PM

Turkey will target annual economic growth of 5.5 percent in the years 2017-2020, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Monday, unveiling details of the government’s new medium-term programme which he said will be announced in full on Wednesday.

Nasdaq, Turkey targets economic growth of 5.5 percent under medium-term plan – PM, September 25, 2017


Domestic Politics

 

Gov’t harmonizes six more laws in preparation for presidential system

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has accelerated work to amend six different laws related to elections in a bid to harmonize existing legislation for the shift to an executive presidential system, which will fully go into effect after dual elections in 2019.

Hurriyet, Gov’t harmonizes six more laws in preparation for presidential system, September 25, 2017


Investigation opened against former CHP deputy over charges of ‘praising’ Gulen network

The Antalya Chief Prosecutor’s Office has started an investigation on a former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy over charges of “praising the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ]/Parallel State Structure [PDY].”

Hurriyet, Investigation opened against former CHP deputy over charges of ‘praising’ Gulen network, September 22, 2017


Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas resigns from post

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş on Sept. 22 announced that he was stepping down from his post, which he had held for the past 13 years.

Hurriyet, Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbas resigns from post, September 22, 2017


Istanbul municipal council to elect new mayor on Sept 28 after Topbas’s resignation

The Istanbul municipal council will meet on Sept. 28 to elect a new provincial mayor, after Kadir Topbaş announced last week that he was stepping down from the post, which he had held for the past 13 years.

Hurriyet, Istanbul municipal council to elect new mayor on Sept 28 after Topbas’s resignation, September 25, 2017


Overhaul of university exams out of question for now: Turkey’s higher education board head

The head of the Higher Education Board [YÖK], Yekta Saraç, said in a recent interview that admission into universities without a national exam was out of the question for now, but the board was considering “simplifying the exam system,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Sept. 22.

Hurriyet, Overhaul of university exams out of question for now: Turkey’s higher education board head, September 22, 2017