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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 16 December 2013

This week:

Foreign Affairs

  • EU and Turkey agreement on deporting migrants and visas
  • Germany names first ever Turkish-origin cabinet member
  • US, Turkey discuss humanitarian assistance for Syrian refuges out of access
  • Turkish minister’s visit raises hopes of thaw with Armenia

Domestic Politics

  • Enigmatic Turkish cleric poses challenge to Erdogan’s might

Economy/Energy

  • Turkey cashes in on the Iran talks
  • Crude test flows begin on Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkey pipeline

 

Foreign Affairs

EU and Turkey agreement on deporting migrants and visas

Turkey and the EU have signed a deal enabling EU countries to send back illegal migrants who entered the 28-nation bloc via Turkey.

The deal also establishes a roadmap for lifting visa requirements for Turks travelling to the EU. Visa-free status is expected in three years’ time.
~~~
British Broadcasting Corporation, 16 December 2013, EU and Turkey agreement on deporting migrants and visas

Germany names first ever Turkish-origin cabinet member

Deputy leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), Aydan Özoğuz, has been announced as the country’s new state minister for immigration, refugees and integration, thus becoming the first ever Turkish-origin minister to make it to the German federal cabinet.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 15 December 2013, Germany names first ever Turkish-origin cabinet member

US, Turkey discuss humanitarian assistance for Syrian refuges out of access

A U.S. official is having discussions with Turkish officials and civil society organizations in a bid to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees who have been living out of camps in Turkey, mostly on streets, parks or in poor accommodations in urban areas.

“My focus is what the United States and international organizations can do for better work with the Turkish government in providing and expending services to urban refugees in Turkey,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw said Dec. 16, speaking to a group journalists.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 16 December 2013, US, Turkey discuss humanitarian assistance for Syrian refuges out of access

Turkish minister’s visit raises hopes of thaw with Armenia

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made Turkey’s first high-level visit to Armenia in nearly five years on Thursday, raising the prospect of a revival in peace efforts between the historical rivals which stalled in 2010.

Turkey and Armenia signed accords in October 2009 to establish diplomatic relations and open their land border, trying to revive relations frozen by the legacy of the World War One mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
~~~
Reuters, 12 December 2013, Turkish minister’s visit raises hopes of thaw with Armenia

Domestic Politics

Enigmatic Turkish cleric poses challenge to Erdogan’s might

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has won three general elections, weathered summer riots, subdued a meddling army and changed Turkey like few leaders before him in a decade in power.

But a rift with an enigmatic U.S.-based Islamic preacher, whose quiet influence in the police, secret services and judiciary looms large over the Turkish state, threatens to shake his hold on power ahead of elections next year.
~~~
Reuters, 16 December 2013, Enigmatic Turkish cleric poses challenge to Erdogan’s might

Economy/Energy

Turkey cashes in on the Iran talks

Iran was Turkey’s third largest export market in 2012. In fact, Turkey is reportedly exporting more than 20,000 products to Iran right now; among them gold and silver. It turns out that the Geneva deal also loosened sanctions on precious metals.
~~~
Reuters, 12 December 2013, Turkey cashes in on the Iran talks

Crude test flows begin on Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkey pipeline

Test flows in Iraqi Kurdistan’s new crude oil pipeline via Turkey started on 13 December, but no exports have yet been scheduled, energy sources close to the matter said.

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package in late November, infuriating Baghdad which claims sole authority over oil exports and is wary of any move that could extend political autonomy in the region.
~~~
Reuters, 14 December 2013, Crude test flows begin on Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkey pipeline

 

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