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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 30 December 2013

This week:

Foreign Affairs

  • EU urges Turkish government to be clean on graft case
  • Turkey lashes out at EU ‘interference’ in corruption scandal
  • Turkey’s Erdogan and year of ‘foreign plot’
  • Turkish corruption probe hurts foreign relations

Domestic Politics

  • Corruption Scandal Is Edging Near Turkish Premier
  • Turkey needs to lean back toward EU, top business group chair says
  • Under Mounting Pressure, Turkey Premier Shuffles Cabinet
  • Turkey vows no cover-up despite purge of graft investigators
  • Turkish prosecutor says he has been pulled off investigation of high-level graft
  • Turkish Court Blocks Erdogan Attempt to Get Ahead Of Growing Corruption Scandal
  • Turkey: Army will not get involved in politics

Economy/Energy

  • Erdogan Says Corruption Allegations Undermine Turkey’s Economy
  • Turkey’s Economic Vulnerability Exposed as Graft Divides
  • Turkey overtakes China as No. 1 buyer of U.S. cotton

Foreign Affairs

EU urges Turkish government to be clean on graft case

Turkey has come under criticism from key European figures for the way it is handling a gripping corruption investigation.

Elmar Brok, who chairs the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on the Turkish government not to intervene in the judiciary process, a day after a top European commissioner touched on the issue.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 29 December 2013, EU urges Turkish government to be clean on graft case

Turkey lashes out at EU ‘interference’ in corruption scandal

Turkey’s government, engulfed by a corruption scandal, hit out at the European Union on Sunday for “interfering”, as the crisis widened the fault lines between the country and its neighbours and former allies.

The cabinet of the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has looked increasingly isolated by the scandal, and has accused both the United States and Gulf countries of plotting against him.
~~~
Telegraph, 29 December 2013, Turkey lashes out at EU ‘interference’ in corruption scandal

Turkey’s Erdogan and year of ‘foreign plot’

For Mr Erdogan, 2013 was the year of the foreign plot, writes James Reynolds of the BBC

The prime minister was unwilling to consider the alternative – that some of his fellow citizens might have real grievances against the way he governed.
~~~
British Broadcasting Corporation, 26 December 2013, Turkey’s Erdogan and year of ‘foreign plot’

Turkish corruption probe hurts foreign relations

Diplomats sounded out by Al-Monitor in Ankara are trying to gauge now what all this will mean for Erdogan’s political future, coming at a time when he hoped to strengthen his political base in local elections at the end of March and get elected president in July 2014.

Diplomats also appeared united in the belief that most of the current leaders in the Middle East are unlikely to be shedding too many tears for Erdogan as he faces these difficulties. Many of these leaders have a personal animosity toward him, which is mostly the result of Erdogan’s own bellicosity toward them in the past.
~~~
Al-Monitor, 27 December 2013, Turkish corruption probe hurts foreign relations

Domestic Politics

Corruption Scandal Is Edging Near Turkish Premier

A corruption investigation that has encircled the Turkish government moved an ominous step closer to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, as three top ministers whose sons have been implicated abruptly resigned — and one of them, on his way out the door, said Mr. Erdogan should step down as well.
~~~
New York Times, 25 December 2013, Corruption Scandal Is Edging Near Turkish Premier

Turkey needs to lean back toward EU, top business group chair says

Turkey needs to revive its European Union (EU) bid in order to actualize structural reforms that are needed to maintain democratic standards in the country and raise its slowing economic growth rate, the chairman of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) Muharrem Yılmaz said.

Yılmaz also warned about ensuring the independence of the judiciary amid concerns on the government’s intervention in the judiciary, particularly after the issue of the regulation lifting investigation secrecy.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 27 December 2013, Turkey needs to lean back toward EU, top business group chair says

Under Mounting Pressure, Turkey Premier Shuffles Cabinet

In a late-night news conference after an unscheduled meeting with President Abdullah Gul, Mr. Erdogan announced a broad new cabinet lineup. Mr. Erdogan’s cabinet shake-up—with 10 new cabinet members—was earlier and broader than had been anticipated.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 25 December 2013, Under Mounting Pressure, Turkey Premier Shuffles Cabinet

Turkey vows no cover-up despite purge of graft investigators

Turkey’s president pledged on Tuesday there would be no cover-up in a high-level corruption case, despite a government-ordered purge of police investigating it that drew protests at home and a caution from the European Union.
~~~
Reuters, 24 December 2013, Turkey vows no cover-up despite purge of graft investigators

Turkish prosecutor says he has been pulled off investigation of high-level graft

A Turkish prosecutor accused police Thursday of obstructing his pursuit of a high-level graft case, adding to public scrutiny of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government as it hunkered down defiantly.
~~~
Washington Post, 26 December 2013, Turkish prosecutor says he has been pulled off investigation of high-level graft

Turkish Court Blocks Erdogan Attempt to Get Ahead Of Growing Corruption Scandal

A Turkish court blocked a government attempt to force police to disclose investigations to their superiors, officials said on Friday, setting back Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s effort to manage fallout from a high-level corruption scandal.
~~~
Reuters, 27 December 2013, Turkish Court Blocks Erdogan Attempt To Get Ahead Of Growing Corruption Scandal

Turkey: Army will not get involved in politics

Turkey’s military has said it does not want to get involved in “political arguments”, amid a major political corruption scandal.

The Turkish army’s statement comes in response to a suggestion in the media by an ally of the prime minister that the corruption scandal might be a plot to trigger a military coup.

Turkey has a history of military takeovers but its power has been curbed during Mr Erdogan’s decade in power.
~~~
British Broadcasting Corporation, 27 December 2013, Turkey: Army will not get involved in politics

Economy/Energy

Erdogan Says Corruption Allegations Undermine Turkey’s Economy

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said graft allegations against government officials and businessmen are hurting the economy, escalating a counterattack on what he described as a “gang” within the state bureaucracy.
~~~
Business Week, 29 December 2013, Erdogan Says Corruption Allegations Undermine Turkey’s Economy

Turkey’s Economic Vulnerability Exposed as Graft Divides

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan entered the last week of 2013 reeling from a corruption probe that has splintered his party and highlighted economic vulnerabilities as investors unload the nation’s risk.

“The Turkish economy is vulnerable due to its dependency on borrowed money from abroad and the size of the current-account deficit,” Anthony Skinner, head of analysis at Maplecroft, a global risk and strategic forecasting consultancy in Bath, U.K., said by e-mail yesterday. “There is little to suggest that this crisis will be resolved quickly,” and “investors will continue to seek to sell the Turkish lira.”
~~~
Bloomberg, 30 December 2013, Turkey’s Economic Vulnerability Exposed as Graft Divides

Turkey overtakes China as No. 1 buyer of U.S. cotton

Turkey has overtaken China as the biggest buyer of U.S. cotton, U.S. data showed on Friday, as Chinese buyers have boosted their purchases of lower-taxed yarn and cut back on buying raw cotton.
~~~
Reuters, 27 December 2013,

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