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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 4 February 2013

THIS WEEK:
FOREIGN POLICY
•  Deputy Secretary of Defense in Turkey
•  Suicide blast kills U.S. Embassy guard in Turkey
•  Second set of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey go active
•  France vows to rekindle Turkey’s frozen EU bid
ECONOMY / ENERGY
•  Turkey’s debt to IMF ends in May
•  Turkey buys new vessel for oil search
DOMESTIC POLITICS
•  Turkey readies incentives to halt falling birth rate

FOREIGN POLICY

Deputy Secretary of Defense in Turkey

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter arrived on February 4 in Ankara for a series of talks with Turkish officials, including the country’s defense minister, following a deadly suicide attack at a security checkpoint at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

Carter met with Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and other defense officials “to help advance mutual defense cooperation, including NATO-led efforts to address the potential missile threat resulting from the conflict in Syria,” according to a State Department statement. Speaking after their meeting, “This unfortunate incident has again shown us that in the new security environment in which cooperation between countries has become more important than ever, fight against terrorism has great importance and needs cooperation. In this context I would like to mention my firm belief in our current cooperation for fight against terrorism will increase and continue,” Yılmaz said.

“Dr. Carter’s visit will also provide an opportunity to reaffirm America’s strong commitment to Turkey as an ally in confronting international terrorism in the wake of last Friday’s incident at the U.S. Embassy,” the State Department statement said.
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Department of Defense, 3 February 2013, Carter, Turkish defense leaders to meet on security challenges
Anadolu Agency, 4 February 2013, Senior Pentagon official in Turkey
Anadolu Agency, 4 February 2013, Cooperation between Turkey & U.S. became more important than ever

Suicide blast kills U.S. Embassy guard in Turkey

A Marxist group with a history of political violence in Turkey claimed responsibility on Saturday for a suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara the day before, releasing a statement calling the United States “the murderer of the peoples of the world.” The statement, which also denounced U.S. foreign policy, was released by the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). The bombing killed one Turkish security guard. The bomber was identified as Ecevit Şanlı, 30, a convicted terrorist who had twice attacked government facilities in Istanbul but was released from prison under an amnesty program.
~~~
New York Times, 1 February 2013, Suicide Blast Kills U.S. Embassy Guard in Turkey
The Guardian, 1 February 2013, US embassy bombing in Turkey called ‘act of terror’ by Obama administration
Reuters, 2 February 2013, Turkey says tests confirm leftist bombed U.S. embassy
Time, 2 February 2013, The U.S. Embassy Bombing in Turkey: The Unusual Suspects
ABC News, 3 February 2013, Turkey: Embassy Bombers Cling to Cold War Ideology

Second set of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey go active

A second pair of Patriot missile batteries being sent by NATO countries to defend Turkey against possible attack from Syria is now operational, a German security official said. The two German batteries, which have been deployed around the Turkish city of Kahramanmaraş some 100 km (60 miles) from the Syrian border, were in position and ready to use as of late January 28, the German security official said. The final U.S. Patriots are expected to go active in the coming days.
~~~
Reuters, 29 January 2013, Second set of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey go active

France vows to rekindle Turkey’s frozen EU bid

France is expected to submit new proposals to accelerate Turkey’s accession talks with the union as Paris sends strong signals that it is prepared to lift its block on at least one accession chapter during Ireland’s current bloc term presidency.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a statement that if Turkey’s EU accession can’t gain traction, he would start looking towards the SCO. “The Shanghai Five is better and more powerful than the EU and we have common values with them,” he said, referring to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Later, President Abdullah Gül clarified that the Shanghai Five, or SCO, and the EU are not alternatives to each other. “Unfortunately, the negotiation process [with the EU] is not proceeding as we wished due to the prejudiced manners of some member states.
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Voice of America, 30 January 2013, Erdogan Hints at Alternative Federation for Turkey
Hurriyet Daily

News, 31 January 2013, France vows to rekindle Turkey’s frozen EU bid
Hurriyet Daily News, 4 February 2013, Shanghai not alternative but Turkey losing EU patience

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Turkey’s debt to IMF ends in May

Turkey will pay the last tranche of its debt to International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May 2013. The tranche is nearly 431 million USD. Turkey’s debt stock under the 19th stand-by deal with the IMF had been 860 million USD as of January 28, 2013.
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Anadolu Agency, 2 February 2013, Turkey’s debt to IMF ends in May

Turkey buys new vessel for oil search

Turkey’s state-run oil researcher TPAO has bought a seismic vessel to conduct two and three dimensional seismic surveys in Turkish seas, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız announced on Jan. 30. After seven months of talks between the two sides, the TPAO paid around $130 million to Norwegian Polarcus company for the seismic vessel.
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Hurriyet Daily News, 30 January 2013,

DOMESTIC POLITICS

Turkey readies incentives to halt falling birth rate

Turkey plans to offer incentives including free fertility treatment to try to reverse a slowing birth rate after official figures showed the median age of its population has crept above 30 for the first time.

This week, Turkey’s statistics bureau (TUIK) released data showing the median age has risen above 30 for the first time, to 30.1, up from 29.7 in 2011. Population growth slowed from 1.35 percent in 2011 to 1.2 percent last year. No sooner was the data released than the country’s development and finance ministers announced they were working on incentives to try to reverse the trend.
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Reuters, 31 January 2013, Turkey readies incentives to halt falling birth rate

 

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”.