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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 06 October 2014

Foreign Policy
• Boots on the ground in Syria ‘if the US strategy includes going after Assad,’ says Turkish PM
• UK jihadist prisoner swap reports ‘credible’
• Turkey Expands War Powers
• Biden Apologizes to Turkish President
• Turkey will fight terror but not for temporary solutions: Erdoğan
• NATO Ready to Defend Turkey From Violence in Syria

Economy and Energy
• Turkey, US ‘allies but further Transatlantic talks are futile’
• Lira leads the way in emerging-currency devaluation
• Turkey, Russia agree on gas flow increase

Domestic Politics
• Gov’t sets up new committee to coordinate Kurdish process
• Turkish Constitutional Court strips Internet authority of right to close websites

 

Foreign Policy

Boots on the ground in Syria ‘if the US strategy includes going after Assad,’ says Turkish PM
Ground troops can be used in the operation targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as part of a comprehensive strategy also targeting the Bashar al-Assad regime, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has reportedly said.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 6, 2014, Boots on the ground in Syria ‘if the US strategy includes going after Assad,’ says Turkish PM

CNN, October 6, 2014, Turkey willing to put troops in Syria ‘if others do their part,’ Prime Minister says

UK jihadist prisoner swap reports ‘credible’
Reports that UK jihadists were involved in a prisoner swap between Islamic State (IS) and Turkey are “credible”, Whitehall officials have told the BBC. The Times alleges that Shabazz Suleman, 18, and Hisham Folkard, 26, were among as many as 180 IS fighters traded for 46 Turkish hostages.
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BBC News, October 6, 2014, UK jihadist prisoner swap reports ‘credible’

Turkey Expands War Powers
Turkey’s parliament voted on Thursday to expand the government’s authority to order cross-border military operations, as Syrian Kurdish militia warned that Islamic State insurgents were close to overrunning a strategic town near the border.
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Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2014, Turkey Expands War Powers

Biden Apologizes to Turkish President
A diplomatic rift between Turkey and the United States was patched over late Saturday after the American vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., officially apologized to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for remarks suggesting that Turkey helped facilitate the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.
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New York Times, October 4, 2014, Biden Apologizes to Turkish President

Turkey will fight terror but not for temporary solutions: Erdoğan
Turkey will not allow coalition members to use its military bases or its territory in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) if the objective does not also include ousting the Bashar al-Assad regime, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted on Oct. 1. His words came just a day before Parliament is set to vote on a mandate to allow the deployment of foreign troops on Turkish soil.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 1, 2014, Turkey will fight terror but not for temporary solutions: Erdoğan

NATO Ready to Defend Turkey From Violence in Syria
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization stands ready to defend the integrity and borders of all members on its eastern flank and will stand by Turkey if violence spills over from Syria, the bloc’s new secretary-general said Monday.
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Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2014, NATO Ready to Defend Turkey From Violence in Syria

Economy and Energy

Turkey, US ‘allies but further Transatlantic talks are futile’
Despite the good business and trade relations between Turkey and the United States, it is not the right time to begin talks about including Turkey in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) process with Europe, according to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 2, 2014,

Lira leads the way in emerging-currency devaluation
The United States’ Federal Reserve (FED) will cut its bond-buying program as part of plans to end a program that served to support its country’s economy since the global crisis and will slowly increase interest rates.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 6, 2014, Lira leads the way in emerging-currency devaluation

Turkish government snubs Fitch despite outlook affirmation
Turkish markets are breathing a sigh of relief, after international credit ratings agency Fitch affirmed Turkey’s investment-grade ratings despite previous worries over a downgrade. However, the government still criticized the agency for “not appreciating Turkey’s success.”
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 5, 2014, Turkish government snubs Fitch despite outlook affirmation

Turkey, Russia agree on gas flow increase
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom said Oct. 1 it has agreed with Turkey to increase the capacity of the Blue Stream underwater gas pipeline to 19 billion cubic meters (bcm), from 16 bcm.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 1, 2014, Turkey, Russia agree on gas flow increase

Domestic Politics

Gov’t sets up new committee to coordinate Kurdish process
The Turkish government has moved to set up a body to better coordinate the Kurdish peace process, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said, amid uncertainty over how the ongoing unrest in northern Iraq and Syria will affect the stalled process.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 1, 2014, Gov’t sets up new committee to coordinate Kurdish process

Turkish Constitutional Court strips Internet authority of right to close websites
The Constitutional Court has ruled as “unconstitutional” the Telecommunications Directorate’s (TİB) authority to close websites within four hours on the basis of national security, protecting public order, or preventing crime.
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Hurriyet Daily News, October 2, 2014, Turkish Constitutional Court strips Internet authority of right to close websites