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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 23 March 2015

Foreign Policy

  • Top business group hopes to ‘energize’ Turkey’s EU bid
  • Turkey and EU agree to update Customs Union
  • 74 US senators urge Kerry to address press freedom in Turkey
  • Turkish PM: Shaking Hands with al-Assad, Hitler is the Same
  • Turkey and EU Drifting Apart, says Independent Turkey Commission

Economy and Energy

  • Foundation Laid for Pipe to Carry Azeri Gas to EU
  • Turkish markets, lira firmer on Fed meeting
  • Turkey’s Central Bank leaves rates unchanged amid pressure

Domestic Politics

  • Renewing Call to End Turkey Conflict, Kurdish Rebel Leader Hails ‘New Era’
  • Erdoğan reiterates denial of Kurdish problem in Turkey
  • Gov’t to form monitoring committee for Kurdish peace process
  • CHP leader highlights democracy for his decision to run internal elections

Foreign Policy

Top business group hopes to ‘energize’ Turkey’s EU bid
“We want to energize the EU process, which is currently in deep freeze partly due to the global economic crisis,” Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) head Cansen Başaran Symes said during her first foreign trip with the group’s top officials.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 21, 2015, Top business group hopes to ‘energize’ Turkey’s EU bid, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/top-business-group-hopes-to-energize-turkeys-eu-bid.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79970&NewsCatID=338

Turkey and EU agree to update Customs Union
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the European Union have quietly decided to upgrade the Customs Union which, in the long run, might serve to stop “corruption allegations” and also boost the country’s competitiveness.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 19, 2015, Turkey and EU agree to update Customs Union, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-and-eu-agree-to-update-customs-union.aspx?PageID=238&NID=79863&NewsCatID=412

74 US senators urge Kerry to address press freedom in Turkey
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, along with 73 other United States senators, wrote a letter on March 18 to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to urge the State Department to immediately address issues “stemming from of the intimidation of journalists and censorship of the media” in Turkey.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 19, 2015, 74 US senators urge Kerry to address press freedom in Turkey, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/74-us-senators-urge-kerry-to-address-press-freedom-in-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79884&NewsCatID=510

Turkish PM: Shaking Hands with al-Assad, Hitler is the Same
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a weekend interview that Washington would have to talk with al-Assad eventually if peace was to be forged, in comments that drew a strong rebuke from Ankara, which said there was nothing to negotiate with al-Assad.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 17, 2015, Turkish PM: Shaking Hands with al-Assad, Hitler is the Same, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-shaking-hands-with-al-assad-hitler-is-the-same-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79789&NewsCatID=338

Turkey and EU Drifting Apart, says Independent Turkey Commission
Rather than drawing closer together, the EU and Turkey are drifting apart due to growing authoritarianism in the latter, stuttering growth, and a faltering Kurdish peace process, non-governmental organization the Independent Turkish Commission warned on March 17.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 17, 2015, Turkey and EU Drifting Apart, says Independent Turkey Commission, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-and-eu-drifting-apart-says-independent-turkish-commission.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79809&NewsCatID=351

 

Economy and Energy

Foundation Laid for Pipe to Carry Azeri Gas to EU
Turkey made the groundbreaking ceremony for the $10 billion Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Project (TANAP) project to pipe Azeri gas to Western markets on March 17, in line with a plan which could help the EU reduce its dependence on Russian energy even as Moscow touts its own alternative.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 17, 2015, Foundation Laid for Pipe to Carry Azeri Gas to EU, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-azerbaijan-to-start-work-on-new-mega-gas-pipeline-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79790&NewsCatID=348

Turkish markets, lira firmer on Fed meeting
Turkish markets recovered on March 19, with the Turkish Lira at its firmest in two weeks and stocks rallying as investors back into emerging markets after the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) sounded a cautious tone on the timing of rate hikes.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 19, 2015, Turkish markets, lira firmer on Fed meeting, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-markets-lira-firmer-on-fed-meeting.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79898&NewsCatID=344

Turkey’s Central Bank leaves rates unchanged amid pressure
Turkey’s Central Bank left interest rates on hold on March 17 as the lira’s slide to record lows risked stoking inflation, resisting pressure from political circles to cut rates ahead of a June election.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 17, 2015, Turkey’s Central Bank leaves rates unchanged amid pressure, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-central-bank-leaves-rates-unchanged-amid-pressure.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79793&NewsCatID=344

 

Domestic Politics

Renewing Call to End Turkey Conflict, Kurdish Rebel Leader Hails ‘New Era’
The jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan on Saturday renewed a call for his fighters to disarm and end a long conflict with Turkey, hailing a “new era” in relations between Turks and Kurds.
~~~
New York Times, March 21, 2015, Renewing Call to End Turkey Conflict, Kurdish Rebel Leader Hails ‘New Era’, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/world/europe/renewing-call-to-end-turkey-conflict-kurdish-rebel-leader-hails-new-era.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1

Erdoğan reiterates denial of Kurdish problem in Turkey
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeated his recent claim that there is no Kurdish problem in Turkey, simply stating that not recognizing identities is the problem.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 17, 2015, Erdoğan reiterates denial of Kurdish problem in Turkey, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-reiterates-denial-of-kurdish-problem-in-turkey-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79819&NewsCatID=338

Gov’t to form monitoring committee for Kurdish peace process
The government has decided to establish a monitoring committee of five to six persons to oversee the implementation of the Kurdish peace process, a senior government official has said, noting that the final decision on its composition and mandate will be given next week by the prime minister.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 18, 2015, Gov’t to form monitoring committee for Kurdish peace process, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/govt-to-form-monitoring-committee-for-kurdish-peace-process.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79871&NewsCatID=338

CHP leader highlights democracy for his decision to run internal elections
The leader of Turkey’s main social democratic party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has said he has decided to run internal elections in his party before finalizing his candidacy for the upcoming parliamentary elections in order to highlight the meaning of democracy, in a rare move in Turkish politics.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, March 19, 2015, CHP leader highlights democracy for his decision to run internal elections, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-leader-highlights-democracy-for-his-decision-to-run-internal-elections.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79902&NewsCatID=338