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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 10-17 December 2012

THIS WEEK:
FOREIGN POLICY
• U.S. approves deployment of Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey
• EU General Affairs Council announces meeting conclusions
• Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan ink MoU on trade
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Unemployment figures up in September
• TPAO detects oil and natural gas in 17 wells
• Çağlayan announces international direct investment inflow data
DOMESTIC

POLITICS
• Ergenekon trial grows bigger amid protests
• Turkish ex-leader’s body shows poison, death cause unclear
• Turkey’s government to update terror law for press freedom
• Turkey seizes drugs, guns, ammo in raid on Kurdish rebels
TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS
• TUSIAD met with the Undersecretary Sanchez
• “World Energy Outlook 2012” report launch in Turkey  

FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. approves deployment of Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an official deployment order on his way to Turkey to deploy two Patriot air defense batteries and 400 American military personnel to Turkey as tensions intensify with neighboring Syria. Panetta landed at the Incirlik air base in Turkey on December 14 as part of a tour that has also taken him to Afghanistan and Kuwait.

The missiles are expected to become operational at the end of January, officials said. In addition, NATO will send Turkey special aircraft that can detect missile launches from Syria.

Iranian army chief of staff Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi warned Turkey over the weekend against stationing NATO anti-missile systems on its territory, saying such a move risks conflict with Syria. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled a planned visit to Turkey following the decision.
~~~
Washington Post, 13 December 2012, Patriot air defense missiles in Turkey to become operational end of January, Dutch PM says
Turkish Press Review, 13 December 2012, Davutoğlu attends a meeting of friends of Syria in Marrakesh
New York Times, 14 December 2012,
ABC News, 15 December 2012, Iran warns turkey over NATO’s missile system
Hurriyet Daily News, 16 December 2012, Ahmadinejad cancels visit to Turkey

EU General Affairs Council announces meeting conclusions

The General Affairs Council of the European Union announced the conclusions of its enlargement and stabilization and association progress meeting on December 11. Stating that the Council strongly encourages Turkey’s work on a new constitution, and the broad, democratic and participatory process put in place for this purpose, which will remain essential for a positive outcome.
~~~
Turkish Press Review, 13 December 2012, EU General Affairs Council announces meeting conclusions
Turkish Press Review, 13 December 2012, Foreign Ministry issues statement on conclusions of EU General Affairs Council
Turkish Press Review, 13 December 2012, French parliament members extend support to Turkey’s EU membership bid

Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan ink MoU on trade

A Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed among the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan on December 12 to promote and facilitate trade and economic cooperation. The MoU, signed during the 7th trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in Ankara, provides for the establishment of a Trilateral Trade Council, which will work to promote foreign investment, enhance and diversify commercial ties and explore possibilities for cooperation in services sectors.
~~~
Dawn, 12 December 2012, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan ink MoU on trade

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Unemployment figures up in September

Unemployment figures in Turkey increased to 9.1 percent in September. Unemployment reached 11.3 percent in urban areas and 4.8 percent in rural areas. Labor force participation rate was 51 percent.
~~~
Anadolu Agency, 17 December 2012, Unemployment figures of Turkey up in September

TPAO detects oil and natural gas in 17 wells

The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has drilled 57 wells across Turkey this year, and found oil in 11 and natural gas in six of them, according to data obtained from the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry. The TPAO also completed oil surveys on eight fields in the Southeastern Anatolia Region and gas surveys in the Thrace Region on three fields.
~~~
Turkish Press Review, 17 December 2012, TPAO detects oil and natural gas in 17 wells

Çağlayan announces international direct investment inflow data

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan announced the International Direct Investment Inflow data for October 2012. Accordingly, the international direct investment inflow into Turkey amounted to $498 million in October this year. $164 million was received from the EU-member countries, with the Netherlands ranking first followed by Germany. The cash capital inflow from Asian countries amounted to $125 million.
~~~
Turkish Press Review, 14 December 2012, Caglayan announces international direct investment inflow data

DOMESTIC POLITCIS

Ergenekon trial grows bigger amid protests

Despite protests both inside and outside the courthouse, the court hearing the Ergenekon coup plot case agreed to merge another indictment with the ongoing case on December 13. A state prosecutor was expected to sum up his case last week against the defendants accused of membership of “Ergenekon,” an alleged underground network of nationalist coup plotters. However, contrary to expectations, the prosecutor did not make his final arguments, instead reading the new indictment. The defendants’ lawyers objected to the newly merged indictment, which centers around a group of suspects accused of providing arms to Ergenekon.

Thousands of protestors, led by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Workers’ Party (İP) and the Turkish Youth Union (TGB), protested the trial in front of the 13th High Criminal Court in Istanbul’s Silivri district.
~~~
Reuters, 11 December 2012, Turkey’s Ergenekon conspiracy trial approaches endgame
Hurriyet Daily News, 14 December 2012, Ergenekon trial grows bigger amid protests

Turkish ex-leader’s body shows poison, death cause unclear

The exhumed body of Turkey’s late President Turgut Özal, who led the country out of military rule in the 1980s, contained poison but the cause of death was unclear, local media reported an autopsy as showing on December 12. Özal died of heart failure in 1993 but was suspected of being poisoned. The body was exhumed in October, after a report commissioned by current President, Abdullah Gül, and the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara recommended subjecting the body to modern-day methods for examination, to finally clear the question mark over his death.
~~~
Reuters, 12 December 2012, Turkish ex-leader’s body shows poison, death cause unclear: media
Wall Street Journal, 13 December 2012, Prosecutor: Turkey’s ex-resident was not poisoned

Turkey’s government to update terror law for press freedom

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Dec. 15 that Turkey’s Anti-Terror Law would be reinterpreted in order to secure press freedom. “We agree on making more up-to-date interpretations of propaganda in articles 6 and 7 [of the Anti-Terror Law, which declares printing announcements of or making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization a crime]. We think an article, a report or a speech may not constitute a crime as long as it does not provoke violence or arming,” Arınç said at the “Future of Media and Communications in Turkey” conference held by the Media Council of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) in Bolu.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 17 December 2012, Turkey’s government to update terror law for press freedom

Turkey seizes drugs, guns, ammo in raid on Kurdish rebels

Turkish security forces backed by helicopters seized an estimated $22.5 million worth of marijuana along with guns and fertilizer in a swoop against suspected Kurdish militants on December 15, officials said. Hundreds of soldiers, police and special forces carried out the coordinated raids in seven villages around the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, seizing drugs, guns, ammunition and ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make explosives, officials said. Turkish officials say the drug trade is a major source of funding for Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.
~~~
Reuters, 15 December 2012, Turkey seizes drugs, guns, ammo in raid on Kurdish rebels

TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS

TUSIAD met with the Undersecretary Sanchez

The USA Working Group of TUSIAD International, chaired by Adnan Nas, had a meeting with an official U.S. delegation which was led by the U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez on December 7, 2012.

The sectors of energy, healthcare, construction/infrastructure, automotive spare parts and aerospace/defense have been raised in the meeting as a topic of bilateral cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. Both parties underlined the opportunities of doing business together in the third countries. Undersecretary Sanchez stressed that Turkey is one of the priority countries for the U.S. Department of Commerce and they attribute much importance to the USA-Turkish Business Council which was established under the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation. Next period’s joint activities were mentioned in the meeting which draw attention to the importance of Public Private Partnerships on infrastructure.

“World Energy Outlook 2012” report launch in Turkey

TUSIAD and International Energy Agency (IEA) will launch the “World Energy Outlook 2012” report in Turkey on December 21, 2012. You can find the full program of the event here.

 

These news items are compiled by TUSIAD Washington Representative Office (TUSIAD-US) from major news publications. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of TUSIAD. To subscribe or unsubscribe from this electronic publication, please send an e-mail to [email protected]. These materials may be reproduced and/or distributed, in whole or in part, provided that its source is properly indicated as “TUSIAD-US Web site: www.tusiad.us”.