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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 19 May 2014

This week:

Foreign Policy

  • Obama phones Gül, extends condolences for Soma
  • German politicians critical of Erdoğan’s pre-vote visit
  • Turkey will ignore ECHR ruling to pay compensation to Greek Cyprus
  • Turkey believes Biden’s visit to Cyprus will lead to momentum in talks

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish Coal Mine Disaster Leaves Deep Scars
  • Turkey Arrests Several Executives Over Mining Disaster
  • Public’s Outrage Over Mine Disaster Casts Harsh Light on Turkey’s Premier

Economy & Energy

  • Ankara, Washington agree on close contact over transatlantic deal
  • Turkey eyes EU customs union as U.S. trade talks progress
  • Lira Resurrection Seen Enduring as Deficit Heals: Turkey Credit

Foreign Policy

Obama phones Gül, extends condolences for Soma

President Obama called President Abdullah Gul of Turkey to offer his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the American people to the Turkish people on the tragic accident at the Soma mine. The President offered that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance that could help those affected, and he reaffirmed the importance we place on our relationship with Turkey, a strong friend and NATO ally.
~~~
White House, 16 May 2014, Obama phones Gül, extends condolences for Soma

Germany says Turkey’s Erdogan welcome despite mounting criticism

Germany has rejected calls for Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to cancel his visit to Cologne on Saturday, when he is due to address almost 20,000 supporters in what could amount to a de facto rally for Turkey’s presidential poll in August.
~~~
Chicago Tribune, 19 May 2014, Germany says Turkey’s Erdogan welcome despite mounting criticism

Turkey will ignore ECHR ruling to pay compensation to Greek Cyprus

Turkey will not pay a fine imposed on the country by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the Turkish military’s 1974 intervention in Cyprus, officials in Ankara have announced.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 13 May 2014, Turkey will ignore ECHR ruling to pay compensation to Greek Cyprus

Turkey believes Biden’s visit to Cyprus will lead to momentum in talks

Turkey believes the visit to be paid by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Cyprus this week is a very positive and important development and can lead to momentum in the ongoing reunification talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 18 May 2014, Turkey believes Biden’s visit to Cyprus will lead to momentum in talks

Domestic Politics

Turkish Coal Mine Disaster Leaves Deep Scars

Days after a suspected explosion sparked a fire in the Soma coal mine, Turkey has been plunged into grief over the nearly 300 deaths. Many families were frustrated with the slow recovery of bodies, and angry at government officials unable to deliver sufficient explanation or comfort.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 17 May 2014, Turkish Coal Mine Disaster Leaves Deep Scars

Turkey Arrests Several Executives Over Mining Disaster

Under pressure from a public angered by the worst mining accident in Turkey’s history, Turkish authorities on Sunday detained 25 people and arrested at least three mining company executives after an initial investigation suggested that the company had failed to heed safety warnings, the local prosecutor’s office said.
~~~
New York Times, 18 May 2014, Turkey Arrests Several Executives Over Mining Disaster

Public’s Outrage Over Mine Disaster Casts Harsh Light on Turkey’s Premier

Mr. Erdogan, whose Islamist party still holds unrivaled power after a decade, has recently stumbled from one political crisis to the next, often deepening public outrage with highhanded remarks and an authoritarian determination. That was the case again in Soma, even while the dead were being buried and bodies were still being recovered.

Mr. Erdogan traveled to Soma on Wednesday and appeared defensive from the start. He suggested that mining disasters were commonplace, even in developed countries, and recited a list of accidents that occurred in Britain in the 1800s — an awkward comparison for a leader who has projected an image of Turkey as a modern democracy.
~~~
New York Times, 16 May 2014, Public’s Outrage Over Mine Disaster Casts Harsh Light on Turkey’s Premier

Economy & Energy

Ankara, Washington agree on close contact over transatlantic deal

Turkey’s top economy officials have repeated Ankara’s strong desire to be included in the transatlantic free trade talks during a meeting with their American counterparts, where parties declared their commitment to work closer for better trade ties.

Turkey has been pressuring to join the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) scheme between the United States and the European Union, arguing the country’s Customs Union (CU) alliance with the latter would cause great damage to its economy if such deal is reached.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 15 May 2014 Ankara, Washington agree on close contact over transatlantic deal

Turkey eyes EU customs union as U.S. trade talks progress

Turkey would find it very hard to continue in a customs union with Europe if the country is excluded from a free trade deal with the United States, but quitting the union is not an option, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Thursday.
~~~
Reuters, 15 May 2014, Turkey eyes EU customs union as U.S. trade talks progress

Lira Resurrection Seen Enduring as Deficit Heals: Turkey Credit

Turkey’s improving balance of trade is helping transform the lira from one of the world’s worst-performing currencies to the best.
~~~
Bloomberg, 13 May 2014, Lira Resurrection Seen Enduring as Deficit Heals: Turkey Credit

 

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