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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 22 January 2014

This week:

Foreign Affairs

  • Turkish FM Davutoğlu hits back to Syrian FM’s accusations of backing ‘terrorism’
  • EU Sparks Fly Over Turkey’s Civil Rights as Entry Bid Languishes
  • Erdogan tells Turkish ambassadors to spread word of ‘treacherous’ plot
  • Turkish President Gül urges gov’t to re-calibrate Syria policy

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish judicial purge brings corruption investigation to halt
  • Turkey: Contentious Medical Bill Signed
  • Top business group head warns that Turkey may slip into ‘police state’
  • Turkey seizes assets of opposition party’s mayoral candidate
  • Turkey’s major defense contracts await political calm

Economy/Energy

  • Turkey’s Tupras fined $186 mln for abusing market position
  • Interest-Rate Obsession May Doom Turkey’s Erdogan

Foreign Affairs

Turkish FM Davutoğlu hits back to Syrian FM’s accusations of backing ‘terrorism’

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has hit back at Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem’s accusations during the U.N. peace conference in Montreux that Turkey is “backing terrorism.”
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 22 January 2014, Turkish FM Davutoğlu hits back to Syrian FM’s accusations of backing ‘terrorism

EU Sparks Fly Over Turkey’s Civil Rights as Entry Bid Languishes

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced calls to ease curbs on free speech and let judges operate independently in order to breathe fresh life into the country’s languishing bid to join the European Union.
~~~
Bloomberg, 21 January 2014, EU Sparks Fly Over Turkey’s Civil Rights as Entry Bid Languishes

Erdogan tells Turkish ambassadors to spread word of ‘treacherous’ plot

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan ordered his ambassadors to redouble efforts in “telling the truth” to allies that a graft investigation shaking Ankara was nothing other than a treacherous plot to sabotage Turkey’s international standing.
~~~
Reuters, 15 January 2014, Erdogan tells Turkish ambassadors to spread word of ‘treacherous’ plot

Turkish President Gül urges gov’t to re-calibrate Syria policy

Turkey should re-calibrate its Syrian diplomacy and security policies in the face of realities, President Abdullah Gül urged Jan. 14 in his address to Turkish ambassadors convened in Ankara for an annual conference.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 14 January 2014, Turkish President Gül urges gov’t to re-calibrate Syria policy

Domestic Politics

Turkish judicial purge brings corruption investigation to halt

Turkey’s purge of the judiciary and police has brought a corruption investigation shaking the government to a grinding halt and could undermine confidence in state institutions, senior legal figures and the opposition said on 22 January.
~~~
Reuters, 22 January 2014, Turkish judicial purge brings corruption investigation to halt

Turkey: Contentious Medical Bill Signed

Over the objections of human rights and medical groups, President Abdullah Gul signed a measure into law on Friday that makes it a crime to administer emergency first aid without government authorization. Critics contend that the law could be used by the police and prosecutors to intimidate and punish doctors and other medical workers for treating protesters wounded in demonstrations against the government, like those in Turkey last year.
~~~
The New York Times, 17 January 2014,

Top business group head warns that Turkey may slip into ‘police state’

Turkey’s top business group has issued a staunch warning to the government on respecting the rule of law in its move to reform the judiciary, expressing concerns that the country may slip into a “police state.”
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 15 January 2014, Top business group head warns that Turkey may slip into ‘police state’

Turkey seizes assets of opposition party’s mayoral candidate

Turkish authorities seized the assets of Mustafa Sarigul, the main opposition party CHP’s candidate for Istanbul mayor, an official said on Friday, ahead of a crucial local election due to take place in March.
~~~
Reuters, 17 January 2014, Turkey seizes assets of opposition party’s mayoral candidate

Turkey’s major defense contracts await political calm

The political turbulence that has shaken Turkey since the Dec. 17 corruption investigations began has unnerved the country’s defense procurement bureaucracy and industry, with insiders expressing divided opinions over how the turmoil may affect major programs.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 21 January 2014, Turkey’s major defense contracts await political calm

Economy/Energy

Turkey’s Tupras fined $186 mln for abusing market position

Turkey’s competition regulator has fined Tupras, the country’s sole oil refiner, 412 million lira ($186 million) for abusing its dominant market position in pricing and contracts.

Tupras is owned by Koc Holding, Turkey’s biggest company which is controlled by one of the country’s most prominent business dynasties.The government has accused the family of sympathising with protesters during anti-government unrest.
~~~
Reuters, 17 January 2014, Turkey’s Tupras fined $186 mln for abusing market position

Interest-Rate Obsession May Doom Turkey’s Erdogan

It is possible that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be undone not by the corruption probe he is suppressing, but by his fixation on low interest rates, writes Marc Champion of Bloomberg.
~~~
Bloomberg, 17 January 2014, Interest-Rate Obsession May Doom Turkey’s Erdogan

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