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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 5 May 2014

This week

Foreign Policy

  • TUSIAD Delegation Concludes Washington Visit
  • Turkey press demoted to “not free” in Freedom House report
  • Turkey extends missile defense bids, China offer on hold
  • Turkey builds wall in effort to secure border with Syria
  • Turks to Seek Extradition of Preacher Living in U.S.

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish party keeps term limit, hinting at Erdogan presidency
  • Turkish President Signs Bill Expanding Spy Agency’s Power
  • Turkey dismisses graft case against ex-minister’s son
  • Turkey’s Erdogan: One of the World’s Most Determined Internet Censors

Economy & Energy

  • Fitch: Turkey Risks Balanced; Policy, Adjustment Still in Focus
  • New Inflation Data in Turkey Casts Doubt on Rate Cut This Month
  • Kurdish oil export to world ‘starts in May,’ Arbil and Ankara declare
  • Koç family dominates Turkey’s tax list

Foreign Policy

TUSIAD Delegation Concludes Washington Visit

A TUSIAD delegation led by the President of the Board of Directors Muharrem Yilmaz concluded three days of talks with U.S. officials and opinion leaders in Washington. The TUSIAD delegation had an opportunity to exchange views on U.S. – Turkey economic and political relations and recent developments in Turkey and the region.
~~~
TUSIAD, 2 May 2014, TUSIAD Delegation Concludes Washington Visit

Turkey press demoted to “not free” in Freedom House report

Turkey has been relegated from the league of “Partly Free” countries to the league of “Not Free” countries, according to the latest report from U.S. think tank Freedom House.

The report, titled “Freedom of the Press 2014,” concludes that global press freedom fell to its lowest level in over a decade in 2013, as hopes raised by the Arab Spring were further dashed by major regression in Egypt, Libya, and Jordan, and marked setbacks also occurred in Turkey, Ukraine, and a number of countries in East Africa.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 1 May 2014, Turkey no longer even ‘partly free,’ according to press freedom report
Freedom House, 1 May 2014, Freedom of the Press 2014

Turkey extends missile defense bids, China offer on hold

Turkey has extended the validity of bids in a multi-billion dollar missile defense system tender despite having provisionally awarded the deal to China, a senior Turkish defense official said on Wednesday.
~~~
Reuters, 30 April 2014, Turkey extends missile defense bids, China offer on hold

Turkey builds wall in effort to secure border with Syria

Turkey has started building a new wall along a fragment of its southeastern border with Syria as it struggles against smuggling, illegal migration and the threat from al Qaeda fighters among Syria’s rebel ranks.
~~~
Reuters, 5 May 2014, Turkey builds wall in token effort to secure border with Syria

Turks to Seek Extradition of Preacher Living in U.S.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkey would officially request that the United States extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher in Pennsylvania whose network of followers has been accused of trying to undercut Mr. Erdogan’s government through a corruption scandal.
~~~
New York Times, 29 April 2014, Turks to Seek Extradition of Preacher Living in U.S.

Domestic Politics

Turkish party keeps term limit, hinting at Erdogan presidency

Turkey’s ruling AK Party decided on Friday to maintain a three-term limit for its deputies, the clearest signal yet that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will run in the nation’s first direct election for president in August.
~~~
Reuters, 2 May 2014, Turkish party keeps term limit, hinting at Erdogan presidency

Turkish President Signs Bill Expanding Spy Agency’s Power

Turkey’s president signed legislation on Friday that granted more authority to the national spy agency, a measure that critics say will bolster Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s control over state institutions.
~~~
New York Times, 25 April 2014, Turkish Leader Signs Bill Expanding Spy Agency’s Power

Turkey dismisses graft case against ex-minister’s son

Turkish prosecutors dismissed a case against 60 suspects, among them a former minister’s son and a construction tycoon, in the graft scandal swirling around Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle, media said on Friday.
~~~
Reuters, 2 May 2014, Turkey dismisses graft case against ex-minister’s son

Turkey’s Erdogan: One of the World’s Most Determined Internet Censors

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rode around Google Inc. headquarters last spring in the company’s self-driving car, tried on Google Glass eyewear and vowed to keep digitizing the economy in the country he has ruled since 2003.

Since then, the 60-year-old Mr. Erdogan has turned his democratically elected government into one of the world’s most determined Internet censors.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 2 May 2014, Turkey’s Erdogan: One of the World’s Most Determined Internet Censors

Economy & Energy

Fitch: Turkey Risks Balanced; Policy, Adjustment Still in Focus

Turkey’s willingness to take difficult policy decisions, such as the sharp hike in interest rates in January, and the economy’s capacity for adjustment remain important elements of the ratings assessment, Fitch Ratings says. Overall, the risks to Turkey’s sovereign credit profile remain broadly balanced as reflected in the Stable Outlook on Turkey’s ‘BBB-‘ rating which was affirmed last month.
~~~
Reuters, 1 May 2014, Fitch: Turkey Risks Balanced; Policy, Adjustment Still in Focus

New Inflation Data in Turkey Casts Doubt on Rate Cut This Month

Turkey’s annual inflation rate rose to a two-year high in April, raising questions over whether the central bank will bow to government pressure to deliver a widely expected rate cut later this month.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 5 May 2014, New Inflation Data in Turkey Casts Doubt on Rate Cut This Month

Kurdish oil export to world ‘starts in May,’ Arbil and Ankara declare

Ankara and Arbil have announced plans to sell Kurdish oil stored in the Turkish point of Ceyhan as of the beginning of May, without waiting for Baghdad’s consent.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said they will start exporting oil as of May – with or without the central Iraqi government’s consent, speaking in an interview with Iraqi news outlet Rudaw.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 30 April 2014, Kurdish oil export to world ‘starts in May,’ Arbil and Ankara declare

Koç family dominates Turkey’s tax list

Koç Holding Honorary President Rahmi Koç has outshined Turkey’s top-notch businessmen and media figures to become the biggest taxpayer, according to the top 100 list that was dominated by his family in 2013 as well.

All top six spots in the ranking have been held by Koç family members, who paid around 120 million Turkish Liras’ worth of income tax to the state in 2013, according to 100 top income tax payers list announced by the Finance Ministry’s Income Administration office.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 4 May 2014, Koç family dominates Turkey’s tax list

 

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