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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 4 November 2013

FOREIGN POLICY

  • Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses
  • Turkey, Iran signal thaw in ties amid mutual concern on Syria
  • Turkey asks U.S. to extend pricing on Raytheon missile bid –sources

ECONOMY & ENERGY

  • Energy needs trump Turkey-Israel tension
  • Turkey says aware of Iraqi concern on Kurdish oil projects
  • Turkey and Japan sign formal agreement to build second nuclear plant in Sinop

DOMESTIC POLITICS

  • Turkish lawmakers end taboo on head scarves
  • Amid debate, Turkey unveils rail tunnel under Bosporus
  • Turkish Republic celebrates its 90th anniversary
FOREIGN POLICY
Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses
Hundreds of al-Qaeda recruits are being kept in safe houses in southern Turkey, before being smuggled over the border to wage “jihad” in Syria.These foreign jihadists have now largely eclipsed the “moderate” wing of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is supported by the West. Al-Qaeda’s ability to use Turkish territory will raise questions about the role the Nato member is playing in Syria’s civil war.
~~~
The Telegraph, 30 October 2013, Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses

Turkey, Iran signal thaw in ties amid mutual concern on Syria
Turkey and Iran said on 1 November they had common concerns about the increasingly sectarian nature of Syria’s civil war, signaling a thaw in a key Middle Eastern relationship strained by stark differences over the conflict.
~~~
Reuters, 1 November 2013, Turkey, Iran signal thaw in ties amid mutual concern on Syria

Turkey asks U.S.

to extend pricing on Raytheon missile bid –sources
Turkey has asked the United States to extend the pricing on Raytheon Co’s Patriot missile defense system proposal, a sign that Ankara is keeping its options open in case its talks with the preferred Chinese supplier fall through.
~~~
Reuters, 28 October 2013, Turkey asks U.S. to extend pricing on Raytheon missile bid –sources

ECONOMY & ENERGY
Energy needs trump Turkey-Israel tension
Turkey and Israel’s political divergence in the past few years is of little concern to businessmen, especially when some of the world’s largest natural gas deposits are at stake.Israel, together with Cyprus, sits on more than 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to U.S. Geological Survey assessments. That’s enough to meet natural gas needs for 2,400 years in energy-starved Turkey, which relies on Russia for 60% and Iran for 20% of its imports.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 1 November 2013, Energy needs trump Turkey-Israel tension

Turkey says aware of Iraqi concern on Kurdish oil projects
Turkey is aware of Iraq’s concerns about Iraqi Kurdistan’s energy projects and will take them into account, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on 1 November, after the semi-autonomous region said it would build a second oil pipeline to Turkey.The pipeline, by offering a route to Western markets, may encourage northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to seek greater independence from Baghdad, with which it has been at loggerheads over oil-production contracts and revenue sharing.
~~~
Reuters, 3 November 2013, Turkey says aware of Iraqi concern on Kurdish oil projects

Turkey and Japan sign formal agreement to build second nuclear plant in Sinop
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe signed on Oct. 29 the official agreement for building Turkey’s second nuclear plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 30 October 2013, Turkey and Japan sign formal agreement to build second nuclear plant in Sinop

DOMESTIC POLITICS
Turkish lawmakers end taboo on head scarves
A decadeslong taboo in Turkey was broken on Thursdaywhen four female lawmakers from the ruling party attended Parliament wearing Islamic-style head scarves, marking the latest shift from the country’s staunchly secular tradition.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 31 October 2013, Turkish lawmakers end taboo on head scarves

Amid debate, Turkey unveils rail tunnel under Bosporus
Officials cut the ribbon on a $4 billion, 8.5-mile rail tunnel that runs almost 200 feet below the Bosporus seabed, part of a broader project called the Marmaray meant to bind Europe and Asia closer together, ease congestion in the city and, in more grandiose visions, eventually form part of a trade route between Europe and China.
~~~
New York Times, 29 October 2013, Amid debate, Turkey unveils rail tunnel under Bosporus

Turkish Republic celebrates its 90th anniversary
The celebrations of the Turkish Republic’s 90th Anniversary were kicked with a ceremony at the Anıtkabir mausoleum of the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in the capital Ankara.

The official recognition of the Turkish Republic took place on Oct. 29, 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. On that day, the new name of the nation and its status as a Republic was declared. After the declaration and a vote in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, revolutionary statesman and founder of the Turkish Republic Ataturk was unanimously elected as the first president of the Republic of Turkey. Since then, Turkey celebrates its Republic Day every year on Oct. 29.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 29 October 2013, Turkish Republic celebrates its 90th anniversary

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