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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 21 April 2014

This week:

Foreign Policy

  • Advanced U.S. Weapons Flow to Syrian Rebels

Domestic Politics

  • Erdogan’s Political Ally Signals Split in Turkey
  • Turkey increases spy agency’s powers
  • Turkish ruling party wants Erdogan presidential bid: officials
  • Turkish PM Erdoğan slams judiciary, promises ‘cleaning’
  • Don’t let politics get you down, President Gül tells TÜSİAD
  • Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet
  • Peace and Democracy Party launches autonomy practices in two provinces

Economy & Energy

  • Turkish central bank optimistic on growth, looser policy seen
  • Turkey will soon have to sell Northern Iraqi oil, says Energy Minister Yıldız
  • Turkey to seek discount in Russian gas price – minister
  • Employment in Turkey resisting against low foreign inflow and growth
  • Turkish women form ‘only a quarter’ of workforce

Foreign Policy

Advanced U.S. Weapons Flow to Syrian Rebels

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have supplied Syrian rebel groups with a small number of advanced American antitank missiles for the first time in a pilot program that could lead to larger flows of sophisticated weaponry, people briefed on the effort said.

Officials familiar with the report have said that weapons are delivered through neighboring Turkey and Jordan, where they are then vetted to rebel outfits operating in Syria.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 18 April 2014,

Domestic Politics

Erdogan’s Political Ally Signals Split in Turkey

President Abdullah Gul ruled out speculation that he would swap posts with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s August elections, signaling a growing split between the two old allies and injecting new uncertainty into the political process.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 18 April 2014, Erdogan’s Political Ally Signals Split in Turkey

Turkey increases spy agency’s powers


Turkey’s parliament on Thursday approved a bill that increases the powers and immunities of the country’s spy agency. It’s the latest in a string of moves that critics say is undermining the country’s democracy.
~~~
Washington Post, 17 April 2014, Turkey increases spy agency’s powers

Turkish ruling party wants Erdogan presidential bid: officials

Turkey’s ruling party would overwhelmingly back Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s candidacy in the nation’s first direct presidential election, senior officials said on Thursday, a move his opponents fear would feed his autocratic instincts.
~~~
Reuters, 17 April 2014, Turkish ruling party wants Erdogan presidential bid: officials

Turkish PM Erdoğan slams judiciary, promises ‘cleaning’

Showing no let-up, Turkey’s prime minister has continued on the warpath against his erstwhile ally Fethullah Gülen, vowing to liquidate aspects of Gülen’s “parallel structure” in the judiciary while accusing the movement of allying with the Armenian lobby.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 15 April 2014, Turkish PM Erdoğan slams judiciary, promises ‘cleaning’

Don’t let politics get you down, President Gül tells TÜSİAD

Turkish President Abdullah Gül has called on Turkish business leaders to remain optimistic despite political tensions in the country, asking them to work together to move the Turkish economy forward in spite of recent challenges.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 17 April 2014, Don’t let politics get you down, President Gül tells TÜSİAD

Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

Twitter will close some accounts in Turkey but will not for now set up an office there as the government wants, a senior Turkish official said late on Monday after talks over a dispute which saw the government ban the site for two weeks.
~~~
Reuters, 15 April 2014, Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

Peace and Democracy Party launches autonomy practices in two provinces

The major force in the Kurdish region, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has launched practices preparing the ground for possible autonomy in the southeastern provinces of Hakkari and Şırnak.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 15 April 2014, Peace and Democracy Party launches autonomy practices in two provinces

Economy & Energy

Turkish central bank optimistic on growth, looser policy seen

Turkish economic growth will fall just short of the central bank’s 4 percent target this year and inflation will peak in May, governor Erdem Basci said on Thursday, giving an upbeat view of the economy a week before a rate-setting meeting.
~~~
Reuters, 16 April 2014, Turkish central bank optimistic on growth, looser policy seen
Hurriyet Daily News, 17 April 2014, Turkey’s Central Bank sees inflation ‘decently’ above target at year-end

Turkey will soon have to sell Northern Iraqi oil, says Energy Minister Yıldız

Turkey will soon need to start exporting oil from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) because its storage tanks at the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan are almost full, according to Energy Minister Taner Yıldız. “We will be in a position to send this oil to world markets once the tanks are full. We can’t keep this in tanks,” Yıldız said.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 21 April 2014, Turkey will soon have to sell Northern Iraqi oil, says Energy Minister Yıldız

Turkey to seek discount in Russian gas price – minister

Turkey will seek a discount in the price of gas it buys from Russia in talks with the deputy head of state-controlled Gazprom next week when he visits Ankara, Turkey’s energy minister said on Friday.
~~~
Reuters, 18 April 2014, Turkey to seek discount in Russian gas price – minister

Employment in Turkey resisting against low foreign inflow and growth

While the current account deficit of the last three months has reached $16.5 billion, only one-fifth of it was financed by new capital flow. Employment is surviving because of the construction and services sectors, but unemployment is around 9 percent
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 21 April 2014, Employment in Turkey resisting against low foreign inflow and growth

Turkish women form ‘only a quarter’ of workforce

Turkish women constitute only a quarter of the country’s 27 million-strong working population, new figures have shown, prompting calls for a change in social attitudes.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 19 April 2014, Turkish women form ‘only a quarter’ of workforce

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