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Turkey Letter: 26 September 2016

Foreign Policy

  • Erdoğan, Biden meet in New York
  • Erdogan, at United Nations, Defends Turkey’s Move Into Syria
  • Erdogan Blasts U.S. for Ties to Cleric, Support for Kurds
  • Turkey wants to join U.S.-led operation against Islamic State in Raqqa: Erdogan
  • Turkey’s Erdogan says U.S. sent weapons to Kurdish fighters in Syria
  • The aftermath of Turkey’s failed coup threatens its ties with Western allies
  • Erdogan sees ‘ulterior motives’ in U.S. case against gold trader
  • Alleged Attacker at Israeli Embassy in Ankara Is Shot by Security

Economy & Energy

  • Turkish Lira, Markets Slump After Moody’s Cuts Rating to Junk Status
  • Turkey Cuts Overnight Lending Rate
  • Erdogan to Turkey’s Central Bank: Nice Rate Cut, Do More Please
  • Turkey may cut growth target after failed coup despite new measures, Simsek says
  • Turkey Makes It Easier to Borrow After Coup Attempt Hurts Demand
  • Post-Coup Purge Leaves Turkey’s Market Regulator Paralyzed
  • Turkey runs $1.64-bln budget surplus
  • Turkey Housing Agency Sees Record Business Worth $2.5 Billion

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s top business group lobbies in Germany to restore confidence
  • Turkey’s Erdogan Says Central Bank Must Be Cleansed of Gulenists
  • Inter-party commission agrees on mini Turkish Constitution change
  • Turkey labour ministry sacks 785 employees since failed coup: minister
  • Turkey dismisses almost 28,000 teachers over terrorism links: deputy PM

 

Foreign Policy

Erdoğan, Biden meet in New York

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Sept. 21 on the sidelines of ongoing U.N. General Assembly meetings.

Hurriyet Daily News, Erdoğan, Biden meet in New York, September 22, 2016


Erdogan, at United Nations, Defends Turkey’s Move Into Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey defended his decision to send ground troops into Syria on Tuesday, saying that his military’s incursion had helped establish “peace, balance and stability in a region taken over by hopelessness.”

New York Times, Erdogan, at United Nations, Defends Turkey’s Move Into Syria, September 20, 2016


Erdogan Blasts U.S. for Ties to Cleric, Support for Kurds

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the U.S. of failing to live up to its obligations on two issues of vital importance to Turkey by backing Kurdish fighters it considers terrorists and harboring an aging cleric it accuses of fomenting a failed coup.

Bloomberg, Erdogan Blasts U.S. for Ties to Cleric, Support for Kurds, September 23, 2016


Turkey wants to join U.S.-led operation against Islamic State in Raqqa: Erdogan

Turkey wants to join the United States in a military operation to push Islamic State from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, as long as it excludes Kurdish rebel forces, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Reuters, Turkey wants to join U.S.-led operation against Islamic State in Raqqa: Erdogan, September 25, 2016


Turkey’s Erdogan says U.S. sent weapons to Kurdish fighters in Syria

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States of supplying more weapons to Kurdish fighters in northern Syria this week, saying Washington had delivered two plane loads of arms to what Ankara considers a terrorist group.

Reuters, Turkey’s Erdogan says U.S. sent weapons to Kurdish fighters in Syria, September 23, 2016


The aftermath of Turkey’s failed coup threatens its ties with Western allies

More than two months after a rump military group and its backers tried to overthrow the elected government of Turkey — bombing the parliament, sending tanks into the streets and only narrowly failing in an attempt to kidnap the president — the Turkish government last week sent Washington its first evidence that an elderly cleric living in rural Pennsylvania was the mastermind of the coup attempt.

Washington Post, The aftermath of Turkey’s failed coup threatens its ties with Western allies, September 21, 2016


Erdogan sees ‘ulterior motives’ in U.S. case against gold trader

President Tayyip Erdogan believes U.S. federal attorneys had ulterior motives in including references to him and his wife in court papers related to their prosecution of a gold trader, Turkish media on Sunday quoted him as saying.

Reuters, Erdogan sees ‘ulterior motives’ in U.S. case against gold trader, September 25, 2016


Alleged Attacker at Israeli Embassy in Ankara Is Shot by Security

A man with a 12-inch knife was shot and wounded Wednesday by police guarding the Israeli embassy in Turkey’s capital, officials said, bringing a swift end to a threat in a country battered by terrorist attacks.

Wall Street Journal, Alleged Attacker at Israeli Embassy in Ankara Is Shot by Security, September 21, 2016


Economy & Energy

Turkish Lira, Markets Slump After Moody’s Cuts Rating to Junk Status

The Turkish lira fell to a seven-week low against the dollar and stocks tumbled Monday after Moody’s Investors Service on Friday downgraded Turkey’s credit rating to junk status following a review that began after the failed coup attempt in July.

Wall Street Journal, Turkish Lira, Markets Slump After Moody’s Cuts Rating to Junk Status, September 26, 2016


Turkey Cuts Overnight Lending Rate

Turkey’s central bank on Thursday cut one of its key rates for the seventh consecutive month to boost economic growth. The Monetary Policy Committee in Ankara said it cut the overnight lending rate to 8.25% from 8.5%, while keeping its benchmark one-week repo rate steady at 7.5% and its overnight borrowing rate at 7.25%.

Wall Street Journal, Turkey Cuts Overnight Lending Rate, September 23, 2016


Erdogan to Turkey’s Central Bank: Nice Rate Cut, Do More Please

Turkey’s central bank did the right thing by cutting interest rates this week and it should continue to do so, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “I believe it will be beneficial to continue this steadily,’’ Erdogan said in an interview Thursday in New York, hours after policy makers cut their overnight lending rate for a seventh straight month.

Bloomberg, Erdogan to Turkey’s Central Bank: Nice Rate Cut, Do More Please, September 23, 2016


Turkey may cut growth target after failed coup despite new measures, Simsek says

Turkey could cut its official target for 4.5 percent growth this year as the impact of a failed coup in July and a worsening security situation take their toll on the economy, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on September 22.

Reuters, Turkey may cut growth target after failed coup despite new measures, Simsek says, September 22, 2016


Turkey Makes It Easier to Borrow After Coup Attempt Hurts Demand

Turks will be given more time to repay some consumer loans as part of a broader effort to revive domestic demand, a key driver of growth in Turkey that has showed signs of slowing since July’s failed coup.

Bloomberg, Turkey Makes It Easier to Borrow After Coup Attempt Hurts Demand, September 22, 2016


Post-Coup Purge Leaves Turkey’s Market Regulator Paralyzed

Listed companies in Turkey are in limbo after a government purge left the country’s market regulator unable to make decisions in the wake of July’s attempted coup. At least 25 companies are awaiting authorization from Turkey’s Capital Markets Board for activities including selling debt and raising capital. The regulator hasn’t published any of its weekly bulletins — where approvals and fines are announced — since July 26, making August the first month without one since 1990.

Bloomberg, Post-Coup Purge Leaves Turkey’s Market Regulator Paralyzed, September 22, 2016


Turkey runs $1.64-bln budget surplus

Turkey’s government ran a budget surplus of 3.6 billion Turkish Liras ($1.2 billion) in August and 4.9 billion liras ($1.64 billion) in January-August, said Finance Minister Naci Ağbal on Sept. 19.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey runs $1.64-bln budget surplus, September 19, 2016


Turkey Housing Agency Sees Record Business Worth $2.5 Billion

Turkey’s government-backed housing agency TOKI will build a record number of residential units worth $2.5 billion by the end of this year, its president said.

Bloomberg, Turkey Housing Agency Sees Record Business Worth $2.5 Billion, September 21, 2016


Domestic Politics

Turkey’s top business group lobbies in Germany to restore confidence

Turkey’s largest business group on Sept. 23 sought to assure German businesspeople on the political and economic stability in the country following the failed July 15 coup attempt.

Cansen Başaran-Symes, chairwoman of the influential Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), said the defeated coup attempt led to confusion among German business partners, but their exchanges in Berlin offered a better picture of the situation.

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s top business group lobbies in Germany to restore confidence, September 25, 2016


Turkey’s Erdogan Says Central Bank Must Be Cleansed of Gulenists

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that any followers of the Gulen religious movement must be removed from the central bank, one of the only major Turkish institutions that hasn’t publicized widespread purges since a failed coup in July.

Bloomberg, Turkey’s Erdogan Says Central Bank Must Be Cleansed of Gulenists, September 23, 2016


Inter-party commission agrees on mini Turkish Constitution change

A commission set up by three political parties represented at parliament has agreed on a seven-article constitutional change, particularly on restructuring judicial bodies, in what they say is an attempt to enhance the independence of the judiciary and to clear it of Gülenist judges and prosecutors.

Hurriyet Daily News, Inter-party commission agrees on mini Turkish Constitution change, September 23, 2016


Turkey labour ministry sacks 785 employees since failed coup: minister

Turkey’s labour ministry has so far sacked nearly 800 employees over links to a U.S.-based cleric blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed coup in July, the minister said on Thursday.

Reuters, Turkey labour ministry sacks 785 employees since failed coup: minister, September 22, 2016


Turkey dismisses almost 28,000 teachers over terrorism links: deputy PM

Turkish authorities have dismissed nearly 28,000 teachers and suspended almost 9,500 others over alleged links to terrorism, a deputy prime minister said on Monday, pursuing a security crackdown followed a failed coup in July.

Reuters, Turkey dismisses almost 28,000 teachers over terrorism links: deputy PM, September 19, 2016