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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 14 April 2014

This week:

Foreign Policy

  • Turkey condemns ‘Armenian genocide’ resolution in U.S. Senate
  • US Ambassador Ricciardone meets with ruling AKP officials in Ankara
  • Turkey becomes a top 15 military spender

Domestic Politics

  • Turkey’s humbled secular opposition seeks to shed elitist image
  • Turkish Court Overturns Part of Law on Judiciary, Loosening Government’s Grip
  • Turkey Slightly Loosens Grip on Social Media
  • Turkey accuses Twitter of “tax evasion”, calls for local office
  • Turkey’s Erdogan vows to ‘liquidate’ treachery at home and abroad
  • Turkish government shapes ‘urgent action plan’ in wake of local polls

Economy & Energy

  • Moody’s cuts Turkey’s outlook, sending Turkish assets down
  • Turkish growth to be hit by rate hikes, exchange rate – IMF
  • Israel in talks with Egypt, Turkey on major gas export deals

Foreign Policy

Turkey condemns ‘Armenian genocide’ resolution in U.S. Senate

Turkey condemned on Friday a U.S. Senate committee resolution branding the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces during World War One as genocide and warned Congress against taking steps that would harm Turkish-American ties.
~~~
Reuters, 11 April 2014, Turkey condemns ‘Armenian genocide’ resolution in U.S. Senate

US Ambassador Ricciardone meets with ruling AKP officials in Ankara

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone held a meeting with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Head Mehmet Ali Şahin in Ankara on April 14.

The two discussed the latest developments in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cyprus, Palestine, Israel, Ukraine, and Turkey-U.S. relations, according to reports.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 14 April 2014, US Ambassador Ricciardone meets with ruling AKP officials in Ankara

Turkey becomes a top 15 military spender

Turkey has replaced Canada to become the world’s 14th top military spender in 2013, according to figures released on April 14 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The report said Turkey’s military expenditure totaled $19.1 billion last year, a share of 2.3 percent of GDP, which ranked it in 14th place in the list, up from 16th the previous year. Between 2004 and 2013, Turkey’s military spending increased by 13 percent in real terms.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 14 April 2014, Turkey becomes a top 15 military spender

Domestic Politics

Turkey’s humbled secular opposition seeks to shed elitist image

Chastened by its failure to dent Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s domination at the ballot box, Turkey’s main opposition is looking to the conservative religious heartland it long shunned and trying to shed its image as bastion of an old secular elite.
~~~
Chicago Tribune, 9 April 2014, Turkey’s humbled secular opposition seeks to shed elitist image
Wall Street Journal, 8 April 2014, Turkey Opposition Embattled After Big Election Loss

Turkish Court Overturns Part of Law on Judiciary, Loosening Government’s Grip

Turkey’s highest court on Friday overturned the provision of a new law that gave the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan greater control over the judiciary, a law that critics said harmed the country’s separation of powers and was part of a broader effort on the part of Mr. Erdogan to push back against a corruption investigation.
~~~
New York Times, 11 April 2014, Turkish Court Overturns Part of Law on Judiciary, Loosening Government’s Grip

Turkey Slightly Loosens Grip on Social Media

Turkish telecommunications companies have stopped intercepting traffic to public Internet address books run by Google Inc. and other firms, an Internet monitoring firm said, in what appears to be a slight loosening of the country’s ongoing social media crackdown.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 8 April 2014, Turkey Slightly Loosens Grip on Social Media

Turkey accuses Twitter of “tax evasion”, calls for local office

Turkey urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish tax on Monday in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battled a corruption scandal.
~~~
Reuters, 14 April 2014, Turkey accuses Twitter of “tax evasion”, calls for local office

Turkey’s Erdogan vows to ‘liquidate’ treachery at home and abroad

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday local elections had given him a mandate to “liquidate” the enemies he sees as contriving a corruption scandal and would go after their international activities and sources of funding.
~~~
Reuters, 8 April 2014, Turkey’s Erdogan vows to ‘liquidate’ treachery at home and abroad

Turkish government shapes ‘urgent action plan’ in wake of local polls

The Turkish government has determined five priority areas in the wake of the March 30 local polls, placing the fight against corruption and eradicating the parallel structure within the state on the top of the list. These also include measures to provide assurance to Turkey’s Western allies that the democratization process will continue with more reforms.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 11 April 2014, Turkish government shapes ‘urgent action plan’ in wake of local polls

Economy & Energy

Moody’s cuts Turkey’s outlook, sending Turkish assets down

Turkish assets fell on Friday after Moody’s cut its sovereign rating outlook to negative, citing political turbulence, external financing pressure and weaker growth prospects.
~~~
Reuters, 11 April 2014, Moody’s cuts Turkey’s outlook, sending Turkish assets down

Turkish growth to be hit by rate hikes, exchange rate – IMF

Turkish economic growth will slow more than previously expected this year because of higher borrowing costs, a weaker lira and a sharp fall in private consumption, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF forecast real gross domestic product growth of 2.3 percent this year, rising to 3.1 percent in 2015. In its previous report last October it had predicted 2014 growth of 3.5 percent.
~~~
Reuters, 8 April 2014, Turkish growth to be hit by rate hikes, exchange rate – IMF

Israel in talks with Egypt, Turkey on major gas export deals

Israel’s drive to export its new-found natural gas could help to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a precious alternative to Russian gas.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 14 April 2014, Israel in talks with Egypt, Turkey on major gas export deals

 

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