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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 23 June 2014

This week:

Foreign Policy

  • President Gül meets with US envoy Ricciardone in Istanbul
  • Iraq Breakup Made Easier by Turkey’s Détente With Kurds
  • Turkey expresses concern over withdrawal of Patriots
  • Turkey reshuffles key envoys

Domestic Politics

  • Landmark ruling frees Turkish officers in Sledgehammer case
  • A challenger in Turkey

Economy & Energy

  • First tranche of Kurdish Iraqi oil revenue deposited in Turkey’s Halkbank: Minister
  • Israel accepts 1st delivery of disputed Kurdish pipeline oil
  • The great airspace race: Can Turkish Airlines continue to soar?

Foreign Policy

President Gül meets with US envoy Ricciardone in Istanbul

Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with outgoing U.S. ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone on June 20 in Istanbul.

Ricciardone’s tenure in Turkey will end in July. The Obama administration has nominated John Bass, the former ambassador to Georgia and a special assistant to Secretary of State John Kerry, to replace the outgoing envoy as the United States’ envoy to Ankara.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 20 June 2014, President Gül meets with US envoy Ricciardone in Istanbul

Iraq Breakup Made Easier by Turkey’s Détente With Kurds

The neighbor that a decade ago was most intent upon keeping Iraq together is now allied with its most ardent separatists—the Kurds—removing a key obstacle to the dismemberment of Iraq as Sunni Muslim extremists gain territory
~~~
Time, 19 June 2014, Iraq Breakup Made Easier by Turkey’s Détente With Kurds

Turkey expresses concern over withdrawal of Patriots

Turkey believes the withdrawal of the Patriot anti-ballistic missile systems that have been deployed by three prominent NATO countries on its soil, would be inappropriate and draw reaction.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 23 June 2014, Turkey expresses concern over withdrawal of Patriots

Turkey reshuffles key envoys

A long-awaited decree reshuffling the Foreign Ministry’s key diplomats has been finalized with appointments to crucial posts like Moscow, Tehran, Rome and Madrid. One of the most important reshuffles is the appointment of deputy undersecretary Ömer Önhon, who was responsible for the Middle East, particularly Syria, to Madrid as Turkey’s ambassador. Önhon had to leave Damascus, where he was Turkey’s ambassador, after Ankara broke ties with the Bashar al-Assad regime in 2011.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 23 June 2014, Turkey reshuffles key envoys

Domestic Politics

Landmark ruling frees Turkish officers in Sledgehammer case

Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM), the highest legal authority in the country, made a unanimous decision on June 18, ruling that the lower courts’ verdict — convicting retired and serving military officers of plotting a coup to bring down the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in 2003 under a plan code-named “Sledgehammer” — had violated their right to fair trial. Since this landmark decision, all 237 officers behind bars in relation to the Sledgehammer case have been released.
~~~
Al-Monitor, 20 June 2014, Landmark ruling frees Turkish officers in Sledgehammer case

A challenger in Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, finally has a challenger in August’s presidential elections. The main opposition parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP), just announced an agreement to nominate the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, as their joint presidential candidate.
~~~
Indian Express, 20 June 2014, A challenger in Turkey

Economy & Energy

First tranche of Kurdish Iraqi oil revenue deposited in Turkey’s Halkbank: Minister

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said the third tanker carrying oil from the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan has departed Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, announcing payments from the oil sales are now being transferred to Turkey’s state-run Halk Bank.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 23 June 2014, First tranche of Kurdish Iraqi oil revenue deposited in Turkey’s Halkbank: Minister

Israel accepts 1st delivery of disputed Kurdish pipeline oil

A tanker delivered a cargo of disputed crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan’s new pipeline for the first time on Friday in Israel, despite threats by Baghdad to take legal action against any buyer.
~~~
Reuters, 20 June 2014, Israel accepts 1st delivery of disputed Kurdish pipeline oil

The great airspace race: Can Turkish Airlines continue to soar?

Turkish Airlines has gone from strength to strength in recent years, adding new routes across Europe and Asia as well as expanding into Africa. But with many ambitious competitors also expanding across the Gulf and the Middle East, can the Turkish aviation vision continue to soar? John Defterios spoke to the airline’s CEO, Temel Kotil, to find out.
~~~
CNN, 23 June 2014, The great airspace race: Can Turkish Airlines continue to soar?

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