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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 31 March 2014

This week:

Domestic Politics

  • Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Gains Ground in Turkish Elections
  • Erdogan targets enemies after poll triumph
  • ‘This is only the beginning,’ CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu says, warns of ‘witch-hunt’
  • Turkey Muzzles YouTube, Media Ahead of Elections
  • Turkey’s FM implies espionage from within ministry over Syria leak

Foreign Policy

  • US, EU officials react to Turkey’s YouTube ban
  • Vladimir Putin is first world leader to congratulate PM Erdoğan over local poll win
  • Turkey, Israel likely to sign compensation deal after local elections: Deputy PM
  • Turkey vows ‘any measures’ against Syria threats

Economy & Energy

  • Government Victory in Turkey Offers Respite From Turmoil
  • Turkey to be peaceful in nuclear use: President Gül

Domestic Politics

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Gains Ground in Turkish Elections

Turkey’s prime minister appeared to have scored a decisive victory in local elections seen as a referendum on his rule over an increasingly divided country, setting the stage for a possible run for president.

Exit polls showed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, winning a comfortable plurality of votes nationally, but the margin of victory and his party’s control of major cities was unclear early Monday. Two polls showed the party registering 46% of the vote with 80% of the ballots counted, with the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, securing 28%.
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Wall Street Journal, 31 March 2014, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Gains Ground in Turkish Elections

Erdogan targets enemies after poll triumph

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan looked a step closer to a presidential bid and to gaining the upper hand in a bitter power struggle on Monday, casting strong local election results as a mandate to hunt down enemies within the state “in their lair.”
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Reuters, 31 March 2014, Erdogan targets enemies after poll triumph

‘This is only the beginning,’ CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu says, warns of ‘witch-hunt’

Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has evaluated his Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) results in the March 30 local elections as a “start,” while warning of a possible “witch-hunt” after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s aggressive victory speech.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 31 March 2014, ‘This is only the beginning,’ CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu says, warns of ‘witch-hunt’

Turkey Muzzles YouTube, Media Ahead of Elections

The Turkish government blocked YouTube and restricted local media, drawing international outrage days ahead of critical local elections seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule.

The move on Thursday, which comes a week after Mr.

Erdogan’s government shut access to Twitter, was condemned by policy makers in Washington and Brussels. The ban, which blocked Turkish media from broadcasting the content of an audio leak, consolidated Turkey’s place in a small club of nations with draconian Internet censorship rules, including China, Syria and North Korea.
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Wall Street Journal, 27 March 2014, Turkey Muzzles YouTube, Media Ahead of Elections

Turkey’s FM implies espionage from within ministry over Syria leak

The leak of a recording of top security officials discussing possible military action in Syria to the video-sharing website YouTube is a violation of confidentiality of the State of the Republic of Turkey, thus no one and no institution will be immune from being investigated over the incident, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 28 March 2014, Turkey’s FM implies espionage from within ministry over Syria leak

Foreign Policy

US, EU officials react to Turkey’s YouTube ban

Officials from the United States and the European Union have reacted to the Turkish government’s move to block access to YouTube, hours after leaked recordings of a key security meeting were published on the video sharing website.

Marie Harf, U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson, has answered a question on the issue during the press briefing March 27. Harf repeated that Washington is against any violation of free speech and calls Ankara to unblock access to YouTube, as well as Twitter.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 27 March 2014, US, EU officials react to Turkey’s YouTube ban

Vladimir Putin is first world leader to congratulate PM Erdoğan over local poll win

Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to congratulate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) victory in the local elections.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 31 March 2014, Vladimir Putin is first world leader to congratulate PM Erdoğan over local poll win

Turkey, Israel likely to sign compensation deal after local elections: Deputy PM

A compensation deal with Israel over the Mavi Marmara raid is likely to be signed after the March 30 local elections, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said on March 25, signaling a long-awaited thaw between the two countries.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 25 March 2014, Turkey, Israel likely to sign compensation deal after local elections: Deputy PM

Turkey vows ‘any measures’ against Syria threats

Turkey is ready to take any measures, including cross-border military operations into war-torn Syria, against threats to its national security, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 26 March 2014, Turkey vows ‘any measures’ against Syria threats

Economy & Energy

Government Victory in Turkey Offers Respite From Turmoil

The Turkish government’s decisive victory in local elections provided a brief respite to months of political and economic turbulence, triggering a market rally Monday despite opposition allegations of ballot-rigging and warnings of a coming crackdown by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against his detractors.
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Wall Street Journal, 31 March 2014, Government Victory in Turkey Offers Respite From Turmoil

Turkey to be peaceful in nuclear use: President Gül

Turkey strongly supports the right to use nuclear energy in peaceful ways, President Abdullah Gül said yesterday at a nuclear security summit in The Hague.

Gül emphasized that Turkey needed to diversify its energy supply sources and have nuclear plants in its energy basket.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 25 March 2014, Turkey to be peaceful in nuclear use: President Gül