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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 18 February 2015

Foreign Policy

  • US, Turkey vow to jointly fight ISIL financing
  • Obama administration to allow sales of armed drones to allies
  • Currency Warriors Get Boost at G-20 Meeting
  • Syria conflict: US and Turkey near Syrian rebels deal
  • Turkey’s image in foreign press not positive, says Babacan
  • Turkey-EU parliamentary meeting delayed a month amid cool relations
  • Joint Statement Following the 2015 U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission
  • Turkey and the Euro-Atlantic community: Turbulence and ties of interest
  • We were on good terms with Obama, says Turkish President Erdoğan

 

Economy and Energy

  • Turkish finance minister urges fight against inflation
  • Top EBRD delegation to visit Turkey to discuss investment priorities

 

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish government pushes security bill amid opposition’s outcry
  • Gov’t, HDP at odds after hopeful week on Kurdish issue
  • Thousands protest murder of Özgecan Aslan

Foreign Policy

 

US, Turkey vow to jointly fight ISIL financing

The United States and Turkey have agreed to conduct a joint effort to cut the funds financing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while G-20 member states have also committed to further cooperation against terror financing.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 10, 2015, US, Turkey vow to jointly fight ISIL financing, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-turkey-vow-to-jointly-fight-isil-financing.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78151&NewsCatID=359

 

Obama administration to allow sales of armed drones to allies

The Obama administration will permit the widespread export of armed drones for the first time, a step toward providing allied nations with weapons that have become a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism strategy but whose remotely controlled power to kill is intensely controversial.

~~~

Washington Post, February 17, 2015, Obama administration to allow sales of armed drones to allies, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-cracks-open-door-to-the-export-of-armed-drones-to-allied-nations/2015/02/17/c5595988-b6b2-11e4-9423-f3d0a1ec335c_story.html

 

Currency Warriors Get Boost at G-20 Meeting

The world’s top finance leaders on Tuesday in effect backed currency depreciation as a tool for promoting growth by signaling strong support for aggressive easy-money policies aimed at boosting the fragile global economy.

~~~

Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2015, Currency Warriors Get Boost at G-20 Meeting, http://www.wsj.com/articles/g-20-leaders-back-aggressive-stimulus-1423587402

 

Syria conflict: US and Turkey near Syrian rebels deal

Turkey and the US have reached a tentative agreement to train and arm moderate Syrian opposition forces taking on Islamic State (IS) militants.  The US state department said that a deal had been reached “in principal” and would soon be signed.

~~~

BBC, February 17, 2015, Syria conflict: US and Turkey near Syrian rebels deal, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31511376

 

Turkey’s image in foreign press not positive, says Babacan

Turkey’s image in foreign press has not been positive for the last 1.5-2 years, but the country’s turn with the G-20 presidency provides a good opportunity fix this, said Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan Feb. 11.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 11, 2015, Turkey’s image in foreign press not positive, says Babacan, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-image-in-foreign-press-not-positive-says-babacan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78236&NewsCatID=344

 

Turkey-EU parliamentary meeting delayed a month amid cool relations

A planned joint parliamentary meeting between Turkey and EU representatives was postponed for a month due to lawmakers’ busy agenda, the Turkish co-chair of the joint commission has said, after a European lawmaker accused Ankara of delaying the event in order to avoid criticism.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 11, 2015, Turkey-EU parliamentary meeting delayed a month amid cool relations, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-eu-parliamentary-meeting-delayed-a-month-amid-cool-relations.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78207&NewsCatID=510

 

Joint Statement Following the 2015 U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission

Representatives of the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Turkey met on February 12, 2015, for the eleventh U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) meeting. The eleventh meeting of the EPC focused on exploring ways to expand bilateral trade and investment, identifying opportunities for commercial cooperation in third countries, and strengthening collaboration in science, technology, energy, and global health.

~~~

U.S. Department of State, February 13, 2015, Joint Statement Following the 2015 U.S.-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/02/237492.htm

 

Turkey and the Euro-Atlantic community: Turbulence and ties of interest

2014 was another year characterized by turbulence in Turkish relations with Europe and the United States. In Turkey’s neighborhood, large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory fell under the control of the Islamic State group and Russia annexed Crimea. While the regional chaos and insecurity raised friction between Ankara and its Western allies, it also paved the way for some degree of policy convergence.

~~~

The Brookings Institution, February 11, 2015, Turkey and the Euro-Atlantic community: Turbulence and ties of interest, http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2015/02/11-turkey-euroatlantic-community-kirisci#.VN9ch4Yqixg.twitter

 

We were on good terms with Obama, says Turkish President Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he was on good terms with U.S. President Barack Obama in the past, but things have begun to change.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 16, 2015, We were on good terms with Obama, says Turkish President Erdoğan, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/we-were-on-good-terms-with-obama-says-turkish-president-erdogan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78392&NewsCatID=510

 

 

 

 

Economy and Energy

Turkish finance minister urges fight against inflation

Turkey needs to maintain its fight against inflation until it falls below an annual rate of 5 percent for good, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said Feb. 18 in an interview on Turkish news channel CNN Türk.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 19, 2015, Turkish finance minister urges fight against inflation, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-finance-minister-urges-fight-against-inflation-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78537&NewsCatID=344

 

Top EBRD delegation to visit Turkey to discuss investment priorities

A senior delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), led by President Sir Suma Chakrabarti, will visit Turkey on Feb. 19-20 to discuss the bank’s investment priorities in Turkey with senior government officials, members of the business community and civil society organizations.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 17, 2015, Top EBRD delegation to visit Turkey to discuss investment priorities, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/top-ebrd-delegation-to-visit-turkey-to-discuss-investment-priorities.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78467&NewsCatID=344

 

 

Domestic Politics

 

Turkish government pushes security bill amid opposition’s outcry

The leaders of all three opposition parties represented in parliament, as well as grassroots groups, have upped the ante to prevent the adoption of a controversial homeland security bill, as the General Assembly finally began debating the motion yesterday after previous discussions were postponed.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 17, 2015, Turkish government pushes security bill amid opposition’s outcry, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-government-pushes-security-bill-amid-oppositions-outcry.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78495&NewsCatID=338

 

Gov’t, HDP at odds after hopeful week on Kurdish issue

A recent thaw between the government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that had fostered hopes of progress on the Kurdish issue has given way to renewed pessimism after the prime minister criticized the party for opposing a security draft.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 17, 2015, Gov’t, HDP at odds after hopeful week on Kurdish issue, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/govt-hdp-at-odds-after-hopeful-week-on-kurdish-issue-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78500&NewsCatID=338

 

Thousands protest murder of Özgecan Aslan

Around 15,000 people marched in the southern province of Mersin on Feb. 18 to protest the brutal murder of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan. The group gathered in and around the campus of Çağ University, where Aslan was studying psychology, and included students, families and other people from neighboring provinces.

~~~

Hurriyet Daily News, February 18, 2015, Thousands protest murder of Özgecan Aslan, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/thousands-protest-murder-of-ozgecan-aslan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78520&NewsCatID=341