• TUSIAD Board wraps up Washington visit
• NATO approves Patriot deployment in Turkey
• U.S. extends waiver on Iranian embargo
• Turkey tops list for record number of imprisoned journalists
• Turkey to launch second observation satellite
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey third-quarter GDP slows to lowest level since 2009
• IFC plans as much as $2 billion investment in Turkey by 2015
TUSIAD Board wraps up Washington visit
The President of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) Ümit Boyner led a delegation to Washington, DC for talks on U.S.-Turkey relations on December 4-5, 2012.
The TUSIAD delegation met Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez and exchanged views on improving economic relations between Turkey and the United States. The visiting delegation also met Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Dan Burton and discussed prospects for U.S.-Turkey political relations. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx hosted a reception at the Capitol Hill Club for TUSIAD and the delegation had the opportunity to meet with members and their staff. Among the many distinguished guests, Boyner met House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Congressional outreach was sponsored by the Turkish Coalition of America, a leading Turkish-American organization.
TUSIAD President Ümit Boyner spoke at a conference hosted by The Brookings Institution exploring “The Next Phase of the U.S.-Turkey Strategic Partnership.” The event marked the launch of the TUSIAD U.S.-Turkey Forum at Brookings, a partnership focusing on U.S.-Turkey bilateral relations and Turkey’s role in the world. During the event, Professor Kemal Kirişçi was introduced as the “TUSIAD Senior Fellow” at Brookings.
Boyner was invited to Washington to attend the World Bank Knowledge Advisory Commission meeting held on Monday, December 3. The Knowledge Advisory Commission (KAC) is a recently constituted external body whose role is to provide the President and Senior Management of the World Bank with advice on the global development knowledge agenda.
NATO approves Patriot deployment in Turkey
NATO approved Turkey’s request to augment its air defense against a potential cross-border attack from Syria on December 4. The deployment of Patriot systems will likely take place in early 2013, as technical work to determine the number of batteries and sites (to be decided by the SACEUR, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe) as well as the completion of the national approval processes of the countries who will provide the systems.
Germany’s Cabinet approved on November 6 sending German Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey. Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that two batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened. The following day, the Netherlands approved to send two batteries as well as a maximum of 360 troops.
The NATO mission is expected to include up to six batteries, and a U.S. decision to contribute to the process will be decisive in finalizing the plan. Washington strongly supported Turkey’s demand in the NATO but is still silent on its contribution. Both Turkish and American officials recalled that a decision on this issue is yet to be finalized.
NATO, 3 December 2012, Foreign Ministers to focus on support for Turkey, partnerships and Afghanistan
Anadolu Agency, 3 December 2012, Putin: There are no nuclear weapons in Syria
Reuters, 5 December 2012, Russia, Turkey discuss new ideas on Syria – Kremlin
NPR News, 6 December 2012, Germans OK Patriot missiles to defend Turkey
Wall Street Journal, 6 December 2012, Turkey missile deal moves ahead, with limits
Hurriyet Daily News, 6 December 2012, Patriots to come in 2013
ABC News, 7 December 2012, Dutch to send Turkey 2 Patriot systems
Hurriyet Daily News, 7 December 2012, Turkey wants US in Patriots bid
U.S. extends waiver on Iranian embargo
The United States has renewed the 180-day waivers on Iran sanctions to Turkey, China, India and a number of other countries in exchange for their cutting purchases of oil from the Islamic Republic. One day before Turkey’s exemption from U.S. sanctions ended, deputy prime minister announced that the Turkish national oil company, Tüpraş, will further cut its purchases of oil from Iran by 20 percent.
Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats have been in talks with Ankara over the flow of gold from Turkey in exchange for Iranian natural gas, the State Department said on December 4. “We continue, obviously, to consult closely with Turkey – as we do with all the countries – on the scope of U.S. sanctions against Iran,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at a daily briefing. The U.S. Senate last week resoundingly approved a third round of sanctions that target loopholes including the flow of gold from Turkey to Iran in payment for natural gas exports.
Turkey has not received any new request from the United States to reduce the level of its crude oil purchases from Iran and is continuing with its existing level of imports, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told Reuters the following the meetings.
Hurriyet Daily News, 3 December 2012, Turkey cuts Iranian oil to obtain U.S. exemption
Reuters, 4 December 2012, UPDATE 1-U.S. says in talks with Turkey over Iran gas-for-gold
Reuters, 4 December 2012, UPDATE 2-Turkey says Iran gas not covered by US sanctions
Reuters, 5 December 2012, UPDATE 2-Turkey says no new U.S. request to cut Iran oil imports
Hurriyet Daily News, 10 December 2012, US extends waiver on Iranian embargo
Turkey tops list for record number of imprisoned journalists
The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it identified 232 writers, editors, and photojournalists behind bars in the world as of Dec. 1, an increase of 53 from 2011 figures and
the group began counting in 1990. Turkey currently holds more journalists — 49 — than any other country, the group said. Dozens of those imprisoned are Kurdish reporters and editors held on terror-related charges and anti-government plots.
Washington Post, 11 December 2012, Turkey, Iran, China top list as record number of journalists imprisoned globally, group says
Turkey to launch second observation satellite
Turkey’s second home-made earth observation satellite, Gokturk-2, will be launched into space from China on December 19. Gokturk-2 will be the first National Earth Observation Satellite, which has been produced by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and Turkish Aerospace Industries. Gokturk-2 satellite, with 2.5 meters of resolution, will be used for the image requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces as well as other institutions that require satellite images for agriculture, transportation and urban development.
Anadolu Agency, 9 December 2012, Turkey’s second observation satellite to be launched on Dec. 19
ECONOMY / ENERGY
Turkey third-quarter GDP slows to lowest level since 2009
Turkey’s economic growth eased to the slowest pace since 2009 in the third quarter, challenging the government’s year-end growth target and reinforcing expectations that the central bank will cut interest rates. Gross domestic product advanced 1.6 percent on an annual basis after climbing a revised 3 percent in the second quarter and a revised 3.4 percent in the first.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s current-account deficit narrowed for the 12th straight month in October as slowing economic growth curbed demand for imported goods and gold sales to Iran and the U.A.E. boosted exports.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 10 December 2012, Turkey third-quarter GDP slows to lowest level since 2009
Bloomberg, 11 December 2012, Turkey current account gap narrows for 12th month on imports
IFC plans as much as $2 billion investment in Turkey by 2015
International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm, plans to invest between $1.7 billion and $2 billion in Turkey between 2012 and 2015, its fourth largest commitment in the world, under its country partnership strategy.
Bloomberg, 7 December 2012, IFC plans as much as $2 billion investment in Turkey by 2015
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