• 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