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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 22 January 2013

THIS WEEK:
TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS
• TUSIAD elects new Board in 43rd General Assembly meeting
DOMESTIC POLITICS
• Dozens arrested in police raids
• Man charged in deaths of 3 Kurds in Paris
FOREIGN POLICY
• German, Dutch Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey
• Iraq plans tough steps against KRG, Turkey-based Genel Energy
• Sinirlioğlu wraps up visit to Washington
• Canada to welcome 5,000 refugees from Turkey
• U.S. government delegation to travel to Turkey
• German Chancellor Merkel to visit Turkey
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey boosts arms exports by 43 percent
• Azerbaijan approves law on TANAP agreement with Turkey
• Turkey discusses nuclear energy with France

TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS

TUSIAD elects new Board in 43rd General Assembly meeting
TUSIAD held its 43rd General Assembly meeting on January 17, 2013. Members for the 2013-14 term of TUSIAD Board of Directors, High Advisory Council, Auditing Board, and Discipline Committee were elected.

Muharrem Yılmaz was elected as the President of the Board of Directors. Haluk Dinçer, Tayfun Bayazıt, and Memduh Boydak were elected as Vice Presidents.

DOMESTIC POLITICS

Dozens arrested in police raids

The police have arrested 85 people, including leftist lawyers, musicians and human rights activists, in raids against people suspected of having links to an outlawed militant group, Turkish news media reported Friday. A Turkish newspaper, Radikal, reported that those arrested in raids in seven cities were suspected of links to the banned Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front (DHKP/C). Many of the 15 lawyers arrested work with the Progressive Lawyers’ Association, which works with victims of torture and leftist prisoners, according its Web site.

With many of the detained lawyers being well-known human rights defenders, several human rights groups around the world have voiced alarm.
~~~
New York Times, 18 January 2013, Turkey: Dozens Arrested in Police Raids
Voice of America, 18 January 2013, Turkey Rounds Up Human Rights Lawyers

Man charged in deaths of 3 Kurds in Paris

Tens of thousands of people gathered last Thursday in the southern city of Diyarbakır to mourn the deaths of three Kurds murdered in Paris last week, an outpouring that some said amounted to the largest political gathering that the Turkish authorities had ever allowed the Kurds to stage.

The reason for the killings remains unclear, but they were widely perceived as an effort to derail the talks, which for the first time involve Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of PKK, who has been held in an isolated island prison since his capture in 1999.

A man who had served as an occasional driver for a prominent Kurdish separatist was charged on Jan. 21 with the killings. The Paris prosecutor’s office gave the driver’s name as Ömer Güney, 30, and said he had been born in Turkey. It said that he was under investigation over whether he had carried out the killings as part of a terrorist group, and that he was likely to be detained pending trial.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told lawmakers in Ankara that groups hostile to the talks shouldn’t be able to “dynamite the process.” “The public and the media should act in a patient and responsible way,” he said.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 15 January 2013, Leaders Support Turkey-Kurdish Talks
Voice of America, 17 January 2013, Debate Roils in Turkey Over Responsibility for Paris Triple-Homicide
New York Times, 17 January 2013, Crowds Gather in Turkey to Honor 3 Kurds Killed in Paris
New York Times, 21 January 2013, Man Charged in Deaths of 3 Kurds in Paris

FOREIGN POLICY

German, Dutch Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey

Four batteries of Patriot missiles arrived in Turkey on Jan. 21 as part of a NATO mission to protect the Turkish border from any spillover of the conflict in neighboring Syria. Two of the batteries arrived from Germany while the other two arrived from the Netherlands. The U.S. Patriots “are in Incirlik still,” Peter Woodmansee, missile defense chief of the U.S. European Command, stated. “They will move to Gaziantep once the Turkish military finishes preparing the site. I estimate in another five to seven days or so,” he added.
~~~
Reuters, 21 January 2013, NATO Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey to counter Syria risks
Defense News, 21 January 2013, NATO: German, Dutch Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey

Iraq plans tough steps against KRG, Turkey-based Genel Energy

Turkey is concerned with the security conditions and political tensions in Iraq after attacks on Kurdish party bureaus following an assassination of a deputy. “We fiercely condemn terror attacks on different targets, including the bureaus of the KDP and KYB,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement yesterday.

Iraq plans tough measures against the country’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) region and foreign oil companies working there, including Turkey-based Genel Energy, to stop “illegal” crude exports in an escalation of its standoff with the autonomous enclave, the oil minister said in an interview on Jan.16. Abdul Kareem Luaibi said Baghdad intends to sue Genel Energy – the first company to export oil directly from the KRG territory – and may slash the government’s allocated budget to the region unless it halts what he rejected as smuggling.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 17 January 2013, Iraq plans tough steps against KRG, Turkey-based Genel
Hurriyet Daily News, 17 January 2013, Turkey concerned with security and political tension in Iraq

Sinirlioğlu wraps up visit to Washington

Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland summarized the January 14 meeting between Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Deputy Secretary Bill Burns. Nuland stated “Syria, Iraq, the importance of international solidarity in Iran and efforts to promote Middle East peace process were discussed. They also discussed U.S. continuing support for Turkey’s efforts to combat terrorism and to deepen justice and rule of law in Turkey and to bolster U.S.-Turkish economic ties.”

Sinirlioğlu also had a chance to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Beth Jones, and Special Envoy for Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual.
~~~
Department of State, Daily Press Briefing: January 15, 2013

Canada to welcome 5,000 refugees from Turkey

Canada will resettle up to 5,000 refugees currently in Turkey by 2018, the country’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced during his visit to Turkey.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 16 January 2013, Canada to welcome 5,000 refugees from Turkey

U.S. government delegation to travel to Turkey 

On January 23-31, 2013, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development will send a delegation of senior U.S. officials to Turkey and Jordan. Throughout the trip, the delegation will meet with senior government and humanitarian officials, the Syrian Opposition Council and others to discuss the humanitarian situation in and around Syria and ways the United States can provide additional support. The delegation includes: Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Anne C. Richard; USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, Nancy Lindborg; and Ambassador Robert Ford.
~~~
Department of State, 22 January 2013, U.S. Government Delegation to Travel to Turkey and Jordan

German Chancellor Merkel to visit Turkey

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay a one-day official visit to Ankara on Feb. 25. Prior to her visit German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich will have discussions in Turkey Feb. 5 to 7, a visit scheduled recently, according to diplomatic sources. Turkey-European Union relations, visa liberalization for Turkish nationals, bilateral economic relations and Syria are expected to top the agenda.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 18 January 2013, German Chancellor Merkel to visit Turkey

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Turkey boosts arms exports by 43 percent

Turkish defense companies increased their exports to a strong $1.3 billion dollars last year, a 43 percent increase over 2011, according to new figures. Most of the exported products were spare parts for airplanes and helicopters, turbojets and armored war vehicles. The United States topped the list of buyers by purchasing a massive $490 million worth of defense exports from Turkey over the year. The United Arab Emirates followed the U.S. at $101 million, while Saudi Arabia came third with $99 million in purchases.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 21 January 2013, Turkey boosts arms exports by 43 percent

Azerbaijan approves law on TANAP agreement with Turkey

The Azerbaijani government approved on Jan. 18 a law regarding the agreement with Turkey on the Trans-Anatolian natural-gas pipeline project (TANAP).

It is expected that TANAP will begin its work in 2018. The yearly volume of gas supplied as part of stage two of the Shah Deniz gas field project will be 16 billion cubic meters, 6 billion cubic meters of which will be supplied to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe. At a later stage it is expected that TANAP capacity will be gradually increased to 31 billion cubic meters a year by 2026.
~~~
Fox Business, 18 January 2013, Azerbaijan Approves Law on TANAP Agreement with Turkey

Turkey discusses nuclear energy with France

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said that French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq and he discussed nuclear power plants in their meeting in Istanbul. Following his meeting with Bricq last week, Yıldız said that Bricq and he took up energy issues. “We are aware of technological developments in France. We shared energy productivity and road maps of Turkey with him. We also know about nuclear technologies in France,” he said.
~~~
Anadolu Agency, 16 January 2013, Turkey discusses nuclear energy with France

 

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”.