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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 19-26 November 2012

THIS WEEK:
TOP STORY
• Turkey requests Patriot missiles from NATO
FOREIGN POLICY
• Fighting in Gaza leaves U.S. in difficult position with Turkey
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey swaps gold for Iranian gas
• IMF predicts 3 percent growth this year
• Azerbaijan approves TANAP gas pipeline with Turkey
DOMESTIC POLITICS
• Turkey confronts a resurgent Kurdish threat
TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS
• TUSIAD and UNFPA to release joint report on Turkey’s demographic trends

TOP STORY

Turkey requests Patriot missiles from NATO

Turkey has officially asked NATO for the Patriot missile defense system on November 21 after talks about how to shore up security on its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria as the conflict deepens.

NATO is expected to make a decision on November 27. Turkey’s military stated that a delegation of Turkish and NATO officials are surveying sites for possible deployment and that the number of systems to be installed and the number personnel to be deployed would be worked out after the site surveillance. The statement said work toward linking the systems into Turkey’s air defense network is ongoing.

According to an ABC News report, even if NATO quickly approves Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot missiles on its border with Syria, winning parliamentary approval, selecting sites for the air defense batteries and transporting them there means they probably wouldn’t be operational for weeks.

Iranian, Russian, and Syrian officials have all criticized the request. “The installation of such systems in the region has negative effects and will intensify problems in the region,” Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on returning from a trip to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey on November 24. Syria has called Turkey’s request for the Patriot missiles “provocative”, and Russia said the move could increase risks in the conflict.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that any deployment would be purely defensive.
~~~
ABC News, 22 November 2012, Deployment of Patriots to Turkey could take weeks
New York Times, 23 November 2012, Iran criticizes Turkey’s request for NATO Patriot missiles to deploy along border with Syria
Reuters, 25 November 2012, Iran warns Turkey not to deploy Patriot missiles
ABC News, 26 November 2012, Turkey: NATO to survey sites for Patriot missiles
Voice of America, 26 November 2012, NATO to decide on Turkey missile defense

FOREIGN POLICY

Fighting in Gaza leaves U.S. in difficult position with Turkey

The Israeli-Hamas conflict is putting the Obama administration at odds with two of its most important partners in the Middle East, Turkey and Egypt, threatening to undermine other U.S. objectives in the region at a time of political upheaval.

On November 19, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described Israel as a “terrorist state” and condemned the airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. The following day, Erdoğan accused Israel of committing ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. “Israel is occupying Palestinian territory step by step. The Palestinians are using their right for self-defense against the occupation and the ethnic cleansing,” he said.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who visited Gaza along with other ministers from Arab League countries, said prior to his departure that intense efforts were being made to reconcile differences between the Israeli and Hamas sides. “In the light of the new circumstances of the region, it’s clear that countries in the region will not remain silent to the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza,” he told reporters.
~~~
Washington Post, 19 November 2012, Fighting in Gaza leaves U.S. in difficult position with Turkey, Egypt
New York Times, 20 November 2012,  Turkey finds it is sidelined as broker in Mideast
Wall Street Journal, 20 November 2012, Turkey criticizes Israel’s Gaza offensive
Turkish Press Review, 21 November 2012, Erdogan blames Israel for committing ethnic cleansing
Turkish Press Review, 21 November 2012, Davutoglu to Palestinians: “You are not alone in your struggle”

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Turkey swaps gold for Iranian gas

Turkey acknowledged on November 23 that a surge in its gold exports this year is related to payments for imports of Iranian natural gas, shedding light on Ankara’s role in breaching U.S.-led sanctions against Tehran. The disclosure was made by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister and top economic policy maker Ali Babacan in answers to questions from the parliamentary budget committee.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 23 November 2012, Turkey swaps gold for Iranian gas

IMF predicts 3 percent growth this year

Turkey’s economy will grow 3 percent this year and 3.5 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted in its latest review. The IMF also expects inflation to fall to 6.2 percent next year from an estimated rate of 7.5 percent this year.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 22 November 2012, IMF predicts 3 percent growth this year

Azerbaijan approves TANAP gas pipeline with Turkey

Within the framework of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline system (TANAP), an agreement signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan was put to vote at the Azerbaijani Parliament. As a result of voting, the agreement on the natural gas sale to Turkey, transportation of Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe via Turkey and the construction of a gas pipeline for natural gas transportation was ratified.
~~~
Turkish Press Review, 21 November 2012, Azerbaijan approves TANAP gas pipeline with Turkey

DOMESTIC POLITICS

Turkey confronts a resurgent Kurdish threat

The Washington Post reports that the PKK has reemerged as a stronger, better equipped and increasingly organized force that is now in the midst of one of its bloodiest campaigns since the worst days of the conflict in the 1990s. The most recent campaign is presenting a major security risk for Turkey at a time when this strategically vital NATO member is also pushing for a limited international intervention against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who Turkish officials see as being at least partly responsible for the mounting PKK threat.
~~~
Washington Post, 25 November 2012, Turkey confronts a resurgent Kurdish threat

TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS

TUSIAD and UNFPA to release joint report on Turkey’s demographic trends

TUSIAD and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will hold a meeting on November 27 to launch their joint report “Repercussions on Labour, Health and Social Security (Retirement) Systems” to evaluate the effects of demographic developments in Turkey toward 2050.

TUSIAD and UNFPA have been carrying out a joint project entitled “Demography and Management Towards 2050” to analyze demographic changes and the repercussions of these changes on social policy issues since 2009. The project aims to present demographic dynamics in Turkey from the foundation of the Republic to the present day and put forth demographic

projections towards 2050 that reveal potential risks and opportunities that demographic transition processes might bring. These are followed by concrete policy recommendations. The project also purports to assists managers in both the public and the private sector who have responsibilities in investment and management fields to enhance their decision-making and implementation processes.

The project consists of a principal report and four sectoral reports that look into the repercussions of demographic change in the areas of education, employment, health and social security. The principal report and the report on education sector were published in November 2010.

 

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”.