TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 2 July 2013
• EU delays Turkey membership talks but commits itself to opening talks on a new policy chapter
• Turkey will cut imports of Iranian crude 22% to meet sanctions
• Turkey’s Foreign Minister to meet UN chemical weapons expert
• May foreign trade deficits expands
• Turkey’s political conflict takes a toll on economy
• Turkey seeks to tighten grip on Twitter
• Turkey security kills one in fresh Kurdish clash
EU delays Turkey membership talks but commits itself to opening talks on a new policy chapter
EU foreign ministers, on June 25, have backed a German proposal to postpone further EU membership talks with Turkey for about four months amid the “undemocratic” handling of the protests. It said, however, that Turkey’s path to the EU remains open.
The European Union decision is being treated as a diplomatic victory by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who claimed the four-month postponement was only a technicality and that Brussels had committed itself to opening talks on Chapter 22 in Turkey’s accession talks.
Washington Post, June 24, 2013 Turkey, European Union on the outs over protests
Businessweek, June 25, 2013, Turkey EU entry talks delayed at least four months amid protests
BBC, June 25, 2013, EU delays Turkey membership talks after German pressure
Voice of America, June 25, 2013, EU delays Turkey membership talks over protest crackdown
Turkey will cut imports of Iranian crude 22% to meet sanctions
As the U.S. extended exemptions to sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program to countries dependent on Iranian crude for another six months from June, Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS (TUPRS), Turkey’s only oil refiner, decided cut imports of crude oil from Iran this year 22 percent to 5.6 million tons, or 105,000 barrels a day, to comply with sanctions. TUPRS Chief Executive Officer Yavuz Erkut said on June 27 that “Iran is Turkey’s largest supplier but we have diversified crude oil sources and the decrease in Iran supplies is being compensated for by purchases from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”
Businessweek, June 28, 2013, Turkey will cut imports of Iranian crude 22% to meet sanctions
Turkey’s Foreign Minister to meet UN chemical weapons expert
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, the head of a U.N. investigation team, is meeting Ahmet Davutoğlu in Ankara on June 27 for talks expected to center on Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
Washington Post, June 27, 2013, Turkey’s Foreign Minister to meet UN chemical weapons expert
May foreign trade deficits expands
Foreign trade deficit expanded by 14.8% to $9.9 billion in May.
Turkey’s political conflict takes a toll on economy
Weeks of anti-government protests in Turkey have put the country’s financial markets under pressure with the stock market dropping sharply and the Turkish lira hovering at record lows against the U.S. dollar. Analysts warn that Turkey’s decade of unprecedented economic growth could now be at risk, with the world economy facing uncertainty and questions being raised over the sincerity of the Turkish government’s pro-market stance. ~~~
Voice of America, June 27, 2013, Turkey’s political conflict takes a toll on economy
Turkey seeks to tighten grip on Twitter
Turkish authorities are investigating people who allegedly insulted state officials or incited riots on social media, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on June 27, in a sign the government is intent on meting out punishment over the massive protests that swept the country in June.
Turkey said on June 26 that it had asked Twitter to set up a representative office inside the country, which could give it a tighter rein over the microblogging site it has accused of helping stir weeks of anti-government protests.
Reuters, June 26, 2013, Turkey seeks to tighten grip on Twitter after protests
Washington Post, June 27, 2013, Turkey investigates social media ‘insults’ from protest crackdown, proposes curbs on military
Turkey security kills one in fresh Kurdish clash
Turkish security forces shot and killed at least one person in the southeast of the country on June 28, according to local news reports, ending a six-month period in which there were no deaths in the country’s Kurdish conflict. The incident occurred as the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was seeking to regain control of the agenda while mass protests continue in the country.
Financial Times, June 29, 2013, Turkey security kills one in fresh Kurdish clash
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