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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 10 February 2014

This week:

Foreign Policy

  • Erdogan struggles with Merkel’s skepticism on Turkish EU bid
  • Turkey Leader Rallies Voters—In Germany
  • Turkey-Israel relations ‘close’ to normalization: FM Davutoğlu
  • New British envoy pledges dedication to stronger ties with Turkey

Domestic Politics

  • Amid Flow of Leaks, Turkey Moves to Crimp Internet
  • Turkey’s top business group warns that Internet bill violates rights
  • Turkey’s New Internet Law Draws Criticism
  • Turkish PM hints at legal action against ‘gang’ within the state
  • Freedom Houses releases report on press crackdown in Turkey
  • Head of Turkish bars union writes letter to President Gül over Internet bill
  • Whose Turkey Is It?

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey Outlook Cut by S&P Citing ‘Hard Landing’ Risk
  • Turkey Struggles to Protect Its Lira
  • Turkish Industrial Production Rose in December
  • Turkey’s Tribulations
  • Turkey 2nd top plastic producer in Europe
  • Turkey mulls getting power from Balkans

Foreign Policy

Erdogan struggles with Merkel’s skepticism on Turkish EU bid

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan urged Angela Merkel to throw Germany’s full weight behind his country’s bid to join the European Union but there was no sign the chancellor had been swayed from her skeptical stance on Turkish membership.
~~~
Reuters, 4 February 2014, Erdogan struggles with Merkel’s skepticism on Turkish EU bid

Turkey Leader Rallies Voters—In Germany

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied thousands of cheering supporters in Germany, home of the world’s largest Turkish diaspora, as he sought to shore up support ahead of a 17-month electoral marathon at home.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 4 February 2014, Turkey Leader Rallies Voters—In Germany

Turkey-Israel relations ‘close’ to normalization: FM Davutoğlu

Turkey and Israel are the closest they have been to a normalization of bilateral relations since the Mavi Marmara incident, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 9 February 2014, Turkey-Israel relations ‘close’ to normalization: FM Davutoğlu

New British envoy pledges dedication to stronger ties with Turkey

Britain’s new Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore, who recently replaced Ambassador David Reddaway, presented his credentials to President Abdullah Gül on Feb. 4, as he underlined his country’s firm support for Turkey’s EU membership bid.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 4 February 2014, New British envoy pledges dedication to stronger ties with Turkey

Domestic Politics

Amid Flow of Leaks, Turkey Moves to Crimp Internet

The government has moved to more aggressively control the flow of information online by passing — in a late-night parliamentary session on 5 February — a new set of laws that would make it easier for government bureaucrats to censor the Internet.
~~~
New York Times, 6 February 2014, Amid Flow of Leaks, Turkey Moves to Crimp Internet

Turkey’s top business group warns that Internet bill violates rights

Turkey’s top business group has warned that a bill including controversial arrangements concerning the “protection of private life” on the Internet might have negative results on human rights, in a statement sent to the Family and Social Policies Ministry, which proposed the bill.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 5 February 2013, Turkey’s top business group warns that Internet bill violates rights
Turkish Industry and Business Association, February, TUSIAD Statement on Internet Legislation

Turkey’s New Internet Law Draws Criticism

A law passed by Turkey’s parliament Wednesday gives the government extensive new controls over the Internet amid a growing corruption scandal, leading critics to cry foul over curtailed freedoms.
~~~
Time, 6 February 2014, Turkey’s New Internet Law Draws Criticism

Turkish PM hints at legal action against ‘gang’ within the state

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted that legal action would be taken against what he calls the “illegal gang within the state,” repeating his government’s determination to eradicate the “parallel state.”

Also repeating his criticism against the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), Erdoğan said all top businesses in Turkey would be audited, refuting claims that certain businesses had been targeted for tax inspections. “Like a little shopkeeper who undergoes routine auditing, you will also be controlled. You might in the past have gotten different things from earlier governments but you won’t be able to do so with us,” he said.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 9 February 2014, Turkish PM hints at legal action against ‘gang’ within the state

Freedom Houses releases report on press crackdown in Turkey

The report catalogues the Turkish government’s actions to suppress freedom of speech, which have intensified since the emergence of a major corruption scandal in December 2013.
~~~
Freedom House, 3 February 2014, Democracy in Crisis: Corruption, Media, and Power in Turkey

Head of Turkish bars union writes letter to President Gül over Internet bill

Metin Feyzioğlu, the head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), has written a letter to President Abdullah Gül over the controversial Internet law.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 9 February 2014, Head of Turkish bars union writes letter to President Gül over Internet bill

Whose Turkey Is It?

Someday Erdogan will be gone, but Turkey’s system will still be a work in progress. Democratization takes a long time, and as Gezi Park and other global movements have proved, part of the process is figuring out what kind of country its citizens want.
~~~
New York Times, 5 February 2014, Whose Turkey Is It?

Economy & Energy

Turkey Outlook Cut by S&P Citing ‘Hard Landing’ Risk

Turkey’s credit rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Standard & Poor’s, which said there’s a growing risk of a “hard economic landing” as reserves decline and policy makers spar over interest rates.
~~~
Bloomberg, 7 February 2014, Turkey Outlook Cut by S&P Citing ‘Hard Landing’ Risk

Turkey Struggles to Protect Its Lira

The currency has lost a third of its value against the dollar, since the Federal Reserve in Washington began making noises last May about cutting back on its stimulus program, prompting investors to move their money from risky emerging markets to the United States in anticipation of higher interest rates there. More recently, the steady exit of foreign money has been more of a stampede, with about half the lira’s decline occurring since mid-December, as political turmoil engulfed the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and violence raged in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
~~~
New York Times, 9 February 2014, Turkey Struggles to Protect Its Lira

Turkish Industrial Production Rose in December

Turkey’s industrial production rose more than expected in December, indicating that economic activity remained strong in the last quarter of the year.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 10 February 2014, Turkish Industrial Production Rose in December

Turkey’s Tribulations

Much has been written recently about an incipient crisis in the so-called emerging markets, with special focus on Turkey, until recently a star performer. The lira is down 30% since the beginning of 2013. Last week the central bank more than doubled short-term rates to as much as 12% in a bid to stem the decline. It helped, briefly, but the slide resumed again this week.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 5 February 2014, Turkey’s Tribulations

Turkey 2nd top plastic producer in Europe

Turkey’s plastic production increased to 8.1 billion tons in 2013, making it the second largest plastics producer in Europe, and the seventh worldwide.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 7 February 2014, Turkey 2nd top plastic producer in Europe

Turkey mulls getting power from Balkans

Turkey is in talks with Romania and Bulgaria over providing electricity through submarine power cables in a bid to feed the soaring energy need in the Istanbul and Thrace regions.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 4 February 2014, Turkey mulls getting power from Balkans

 

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