TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 17 June 2013

• TUSIAD President meets with Erdoğan over Gezi Protests
• Main opposition party to hold talks in Washington
• March unemployment rate fell to 10.1%
• New thermal plant to be constructed in Turkey 


TUSIAD President meets with Erdoğan over Gezi Protests

TUSIAD President Muharrem Yılmaz had a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 17 to discuss the Gezi Protests and the Turkish economy. In a statement after their meeting, Yılmaz expressed his confidence in the Turkish economy. In regards to the protests, Yılmaz said that a solution could be reached through inclusive democracy and by the rule of law.

Over the weekend, the Turkish authorities had widened their crackdown on the antigovernment protest movement ahead of a rally in support of Prime Minister Erdoğan. Erdoğan rallied hundreds of thousands of supporters in Istanbul on June 16, and defined the protests as “the minority’s attempt to dominate the majority.” As he spoke, police continued to fire tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators in other parts of Istanbul and in several other cities.

In a closed-door meeting with some of the demonstrators on June 14, Erdoğan had offered a plan to wind down the protests. He said he would wait for a court to rule whether his plans for Gezi Park were legal. Even if he won the court case, he would put the decision to a citywide referendum, he said in a speech.

The latest polls demonstrate that Erdoğan still enjoys popular support. A new poll showed that 35.3 percent of people would vote for his party if an election were to be held today, compared with 36.3 in April.
CNN Turk, 17 June 2013, TÜSİAD Başkanı Erdoğan’la görüştü
New York Times, 16 June 2013, Turkey expands violent reaction to street unrest
Washington Post, 14 June 2013, In Turkey protests, splits in Erdoğan’s base
Reuters, 17 June 2013, Turkey could deploy army to quell protests


Main opposition party to hold talks in Washington

A Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegation headed by the party’s deputy head Faruk Logoğlu will pay a visit to Washington in July, ahead of party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit to the U.S. Logoğlu, a former ambassador to the U.S., will hold talks in Washington with the U.S. Congress, State Department and some NGOs. Various issues such as terror, the Gezi Park protests and Syria are expected to be on the agenda during the meetings. The dates of Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit are yet to be determined.
Turkish Press Review, 17 June 2013, Turkish main opposition party to hold talks in Washington in July


March unemployment rate fell to 10.1%

Turkish Statistics Institute announced on June 17 that the March unemployment rate fell to 10.1%.

The Turkish economy grew at 3.7% the first quarter of 2013 white the current account deficit rose to $8.2 billion in April 2013, becoming $51.3 billion or 6.3% of GDP year-on-year.
Wall Street Journal: Turkiye, 17 June 2013, Şubat-Nisan dönemi işsizlik oranı geriledi
Turkish Press Review, 12 June 2013, Turkish Statistical Institute announces Gross Domestic Product data

New thermal plant to be constructed in Turkey

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said in a written statement that the exploration which has been carried out by the Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) in the Dinar district of Afyon for five years had now been completed and they had discovered lignite reserves in the area totaling around 950 million tons. “We aim to build a 3,500-megawatt thermal power plant with an investment totaling $5 billion. It means employment for 6,000 or 7,000 in the plant’s construction and the mining field,” Yıldız said. Turkey’s goal is to generate one-third of its electricity via coal by 2023.
Turkish Press Review, 11 June 2013, New thermal plant to be constructed in Turkey


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 usoffice@tusiad.org. 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

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