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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 22 July 2013

THIS WEEK:

FOREIGN POLICY
• Turkey alarmed at Syrian border fighting
• Turkey rebukes Armenia for land claim
• Erdoğan criticized world’s “double standards” on Egypt
• President Gül’s phone diplomacy on Middle East
DOMESTIC POLICY
• Protests continue in Turkey
ECONOMY & ENERGY
• Turkey becomes 4th largest donor of international assistance
• Gas feud may raise Cyprus partition option
• Turkey runs a budget surplus of 3.1 billion liras 

 

FOREIGN POLICY

Turkey alarmed at Syrian border fighting

A Turkish teenager was killed and two other people were wounded near Syria’s border by stray bullets fired during renewed clashes between Syrian rebels and Kurdish gunmen, an official said on July 17. Turkey’s military said it fired into Syria in retaliation for bullets that struck Turkish territory. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Davutoḡlu has voiced concern over the spillover of violence from the war in neighboring Syria and called again on the United Nations Security Council to act as this incident marked the first deadly spillover from the Syrian conflict in two months.
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Washington Post, July 17, 2013, Turkey fires into Syria after stray bullet from battle across border kill 1 Turkish teenager
Voice of America, July 18, 2013, Turkey alarmed at Syrian border fighting
Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2013, Turkey Opens Fire Into Syria

Turkey rebukes Armenia for land claim

The prosecutor general of Armenia, Aghvan Hovsepyan, recently said Armenia should regain its lost territories as the 100th anniversary of the 1915 killings at the hands of the Ottomans approaches. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had expressed fury at Hovsepyan’s declaration that the border between Turkey and Armenia has never been legally established and that lost Armenian land should be returned to Armenia. “Armenia should know the limits of its capacity,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned Yerevan on July 17, referring to territorial claims recently made Hovsepyan, as he paid a one-day visit to neighboring Azerbaijan at a critical time.
~~~
Hürriyet Daily News, July 19, 2013, Turkey rebukes Armenia for land claim

Erdoğan criticizes world’s “double standards” on Egypt

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan accused Western and Arab nations of “double standards” for failing to condemn the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. “Countries which embrace and care about democracy should not behave with double standards towards these kinds of events and should say something is wrong when it is wrong,” Erdoğan told Western, Arab and other ambassadors late on July 18.
~~~
Reuters, July 19, 2013, Turkey’s Erdoğan slams world’s ‘double standards’ on Egypt

President Gül’s phone diplomacy on Middle East

President Abdullah Gül on July 21 talked on the phone with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Gül and King Abdullah II discussed the recent developments in Cairo where Gül and Abbas’ conversation was focused on the Middle East peace process. Abbas called Erdoğan to inform him about the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry in the region towards reviving the frozen peace talks between Israel and Palestine along with the efforts for a national reconciliation in between the parties in Palestine. Reportedly, Erdoğan reiterated Turkey’s support to the righteous struggle of the Palestinian people in the upcoming period in Middle East peace process
~~~
Turkish Press Review, July 22, 2012, Gul’s phone diplomacy on Middle East

ECONOMY & ENERGY

Turkey becomes 4th largest donor of international assistance

Turkey has become the fourth largest government donor of humanitarian assistance across the world in 2012, contributing over $1 billion, which is 0.13 percent of its national wealth, according to a recent survey. Official development assistance (ODA) from Turkey has grown substantially in recent years, almost doubling between 2011 and 2012, said The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report 2013, conducted by an international organization named Development Initiatives. Turkey’s humanitarian assistance increased to $1 billion in 2012, making up over 40 percent of total official development assistance across the world and ranking it the 4th largest donor that year, according to the report. “It is likely” that much of this went to the surrounding region, especially due to the escalating Syrian crisis, the report says.
~~~
Hürriyet Daily News, July 19, 2013, Turkey becomes 4th largest donor of international assistance
BBC, July 17, 2013, Turkey fourth biggest donor country

Gas feud may raise Cyprus partition option

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay on July 20 said Cyprus’ formal partition may come up as an option in renewed talks to reunify the ethnically divided island if Greek Cypriots don’t share newfound gas deposits with breakaway Turkish Cypriots. Turkey strongly objects to a search for mineral deposits by the government in the Greek Cypriot south which is internationally recognized, but not by Ankara. Greek Cypriots say both sides can share in the potential bounty after a reunification accord is achieved. Long-running peace talks that stalled last year are expected to resume this autumn.
~~~
Businessweek, July 20, 2013, Turkey: Gas feud may raise Cyprus partition option

Turkey set to overshoot budget targets as elections approach

Turkey is likely to overshoot its budget deficit targets this year as the government spends in the run-up to elections to help keep the economy growing, economists said on July 22. Growth this year is widely expected to fall short of a 4 percent government target with domestic demand remaining weak after falling sharply last year, private sector investment declining and the global environment offering little support.
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Reuters, July 22, 2013, Turkey set to overshoot budget targets as elections approach

DOMESTIC POLICY

Protests continue in Turkey

Istanbul became the scene of clashes between riot police and small groups of protesters once again on Saturday night, July 21, after security forces fired tear gas, water cannons and plastic pellets to disperse anti-government demonstrators. The police appeared to be trying to stop people from attending the wedding of two opposition activists in the park. Erdoğan’s remarks last week about banging of pots and pans in a cacophonous display of defiance also seemed to provoke the protestors as after hearing Erdoğan’s comments “Pots and pans, these are a crime,” the protestors went back to the streets.
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CNN, July 21, 2013, Clashes, tear gas, pot-banging: New protests sweep Istanbul

 

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