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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 27 May 2014

This week:

Foreign Policy

  • Biden’s visit to Turkish Cyprus a historical step, says FM Davutoğlu
  • Turkey’s new ambassador presents credentials to Obama
  • Turkish court orders arrest of four Israeli generals over Mavi Marmara
  • Assad’s staying power leaves Turkey frustrated and exposed
  • Turkish PM Erdoğan slams German media, calls for ‘integration’ but ‘no assimilation’ in Cologne
  • German opposition to Turkey’s EU membership rises: poll
  • Turkish PM Erdoğan says foreign hands still ‘pushing a button’ to stop Turkey’s rise

Domestic Politics

  • The Failed Autocrat
  • Turkey Mine Disaster Sparks Opposition Claims of Close Links Between Coal, Politics
  • Clashes between PKK members and security forces end after two days in southeastern Turkey

Economy & Energy

  • Turkey should increase efficiency in manufacturing to accomplish 2023 goals, TÜSİAD leader
  • S&P Affirms Turkey at BB+, Keeps Outlook Negative
  • Erdogan Says Basci’s Paltry Turk Interest Rate Cut Is a Joke
  • First cargo of Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline oil sold to Europe
  • Iraq files arbitration request against Turkey over Kurdish oil

Foreign Policy

Biden’s visit to Turkish Cyprus a historical step, says FM Davutoğlu

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Turkish Cyprus is a historical step as it shows equal treatment to both sides and gives a positive message, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 23 May 2014, Biden’s visit to Turkish Cyprus a historical step, says FM Davutoğlu

Turkey’s new ambassador presents credentials to Obama

After presenting his letter of credence to Obama, Serdar Kılıç officially started his tenure as ambassador to the US. The presentation of credentials to the president is a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an ambassador’s appointment.
~~~
Today’s Zaman, 26 May 2014, Turkey’s new ambassador to US finally presents credentials to Obama

Turkish court orders arrest of four Israeli generals over Mavi Marmara

A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of four Israeli commanders who were allegedly involved in the raid on the the Mavi Marmara aid ship off Gaza in 2010.

An Israeli official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, described the court’s decision as a “ridiculous provocation.” “If this is the message that the Turks want to send to Israel, it was perfectly well understood,” said the official, declining to elaborate further on what this meant for the reconciliation process.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 26 May 2014,

Assad’s staying power leaves Turkey frustrated and exposed

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s certain victory in an election next month, derided internationally as a charade, leaves Turkey facing a bitter truth – its assumption of his quick demise was a costly miscalculation.
~~~
Reuters, 27 May 2014, Assad’s staying power leaves Turkey frustrated and exposed

Turkish PM Erdoğan slams German media, calls for ‘integration’ but ‘no assimilation’ in Cologne

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has addressed some 20,000 supporters in a sports hall in Cologne in the run-up to the presidential elections on May 24, while around 80,000 protested him elsewhere in the German city.

Erdoğan slammed a section of the German media, as well as his political opponents in Turkey, while saying “no to assimilation” like he did in 2008, but also stressed the importance of “integration” and learning German.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 24 May 2014, Turkish PM Erdoğan slams German media, calls for ‘integration’ but ‘no assimilation’ in Cologne

German opposition to Turkey’s EU membership rises: poll

A growing majority of Germans are opposed to Turkey entering the European Union, according to a poll published days after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made a controversial speech to Turks in Cologne.
~~~
Reuters, 27 May 2014, German opposition to Turkey’s EU membership rises: poll

Turkish PM Erdoğan says foreign hands still ‘pushing a button’ to stop Turkey’s rise

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has marked the upcoming anniversary of the Gezi Park protests by slamming the massive demonstrations, while reiterating his previously voiced assertion that “dark hands abroad” are attempting to stop Turkey’s rise.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 27 May 2014, Turkish PM Erdoğan says foreign hands still ‘pushing a button’ to stop Turkey’s rise

Domestic Politics

The Failed Autocrat

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once the darling of the international community, but no more. He is still sometimes praised for stewarding Turkey through impressive economic growth, defanging a Turkish military establishment with a long history of meddling in national politics, and initiating a promising peace process with the country’s restive Kurdish population. But Erdogan’s achievements are now shadowed by his undeniable lurch toward autocracy. Over the last year, he has initiated a harsh crackdown against peaceful protesters, political opponents, and independent media outlets, writes Daron Acemoglu.
~~~
Foreign Affairs, 22 May 2014, The Failed Autocrat

Turkey Mine Disaster Sparks Opposition Claims of Close Links Between Coal, Politics

This month’s mine disaster roiling Turkey is shining a light on the ruling party’s close ties to the industry, with opposition lawmakers accusing the government of allowing companies to get away with lax safety standards and low wages.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2014, Turkey Mine Disaster Sparks Opposition Claims of Close Links Between Coal, Politics

Clashes between PKK members and security forces end after two days in southeastern Turkey

The clashes that had erupted between members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and security forces in southeastern province of Diyarbakır have ended after a two day skirmish.

The government-led initiative to address the long-running Kurdish issue by ending the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the PKK has ground to a halt in recent months. Öcalan began talks with Turkish officials last year to stop the conflict, which has left more than 40,000 people dead over the past three decades. In March 2013, he ordered his fighters to observe a cease-fire, which has tentatively held since then.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 27 May 2014, Clashes between PKK members and security forces end after two days in southeastern Turkey

Economy & Energy

Turkey should increase efficiency in manufacturing to accomplish 2023 goals, TÜSİAD leader

Turkey needs to ramp up its competitive power through efficiency and increase the manufacturing of higher value-added goods to avoid the middle-income trap, the head of Turkey’s leading business organization has said.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 22 May 2014, Turkey should increase efficiency in manufacturing to accomplish 2023 goals, TÜSİAD leader

S&P Affirms Turkey at BB+, Keeps Outlook Negative

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirms its rating on Turkey at BB+, keeping it within junk territory.

The firm said that the country’s policy environment has become “less predictable,” which would jeopardize its resilience to external shocks and hurt long-term growth. S&P also said Turkey’s current-account deficit, which measures trade, is high, despite some narrowing as export growth improves.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 23 May 2014, S&P Affirms Turkey at BB+, Keeps Outlook Negative

Erdogan Says Basci’s Paltry Turk Interest Rate Cut Is a Joke

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the central bank’s decision to cut the key interest rate by a half percentage point last week is a joke and told policy makers to “shape up.”
~~~
Bloomberg, 26 May 2014, Erdogan Says Basci’s Paltry Turk Interest Rate Cut Is a Joke

First cargo of Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline oil sold to Europe

The first cargo of oil piped from Iraqi Kurdistan was sold to European markets and the revenue will be deposited in Turkey’s Halkbank, the autonomous region said in a statement.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said sales from the Turkish port of Ceyhan would continue despite opposition from the federal government in Baghdad, which has threatened legal action against any company involved in “smuggling” Iraqi oil.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 23 May 2014, First cargo of Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline oil sold to Europe

Iraq files arbitration request against Turkey over Kurdish oil

The Iraqi government filed a request on Friday for arbitration against Turkey and pipeline firm BOTAS with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce over the selling of oil from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
~~~
Reuters, 23 May 2014, Iraq files arbitration request against Turkey over Kurdish oil

 

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