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TUSIAD Turkey Letter, 6-13 November 2012

THIS WEEK:
TOP STORY
• Turkey mulls defensive measures on Syrian border
FOREIGN POLICY
• Erdoğan speaks at Bali Democracy Forum
• Turkey searches Armenian plane bound for Syria
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Iraq says Exxon to quit oilfield, ends Turkey TPAO deal
•Turkey welcomes dividing Azerbaijan’s share in TANAP
•Turkey issues warning against natural gas efforts with Cyprus
• Turkey to spend $5.6b liras on dams in next 5 years
DOMESTIC POLITICS
• To cool protest, Turkey set to allow use of Kurdish in courts
TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS
• Institut du Bosphore annual seminar 

TOP STORY

Turkey mulls defensive measures on Syrian border

Syria pulled both Turkey and Israel closer to military entanglements in its civil war on November 12, bombing a rebel-held Syrian village a few yards from the Turkish border in a deadly aerial assault and provoking Israeli tank commanders in the disputed Golan Heights into blasting a mobile Syrian artillery unit across their own armistice line. The escalations came hours after the Syrian opposition announced a broad new unity pact in Doha. The United Nations reported 11,000 refugees had fled within 24 hours, mostly to Turkey, after the escalations.

The attack on the Turkish border, by what Syrian witnesses identified as a Syrian MIG-25 warplane, demolished at least 15 buildings and killed at least 20 people in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain.

Turkey is drawing up contingency plans with the NATO military alliance to fortify its border with Syria. Last week, Turkish officials raised the idea of stationing Patriot surface-to-air missiles along the Syrian border that would effectively create a no-fly zone, but has not yet made any formal requests. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated on Nov. 12 that NATO will defend Turkey, saying “Turkey can rely on NATO solidarity, we have more plans in place to defend and protect Turkey, our ally, if needed.”
~~~
Reuters, 7 November 2012, Turkey to ask NATO for Patriot missiles: report
New York Times, 7 November 2012, Turkey considers deploying missiles near Syria
CNN, 10 November 2012, Turkey mulls defensive measures on Syrian border
New York Times, 11 November 2012, With eye on aid, Syria opposition signs Unity Deal
AlJazeera, 12 November 2012, NATO ‘ready’ to help Turkey deal with Syria
Reuters, 12 November 2012, NATO chief says alliance will defend Turkey over Syria
New York Times, 12 November 2012, New mayhem on 2 borders as Syrian opposition unifies

FOREIGN POLICY

Erdoğan speaks at Bali Democracy Forum

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while speaking at the Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia, criticized major international institutions, and argued that capital punishment “is legitimate in certain situations,” referring to the recent court ruling in the case against Norwegian-mass murder Breivik, and sparking debates that he might consider reinstating capital punishment in Turkey.

Erdoğan criticized the UN for its inaction on certain issues, including Syria and the Israel-Palestine stalemate. Calling for reform, Erdoğan stated that the current UN Security Council structure was blocking action on Syria, and that the five veto-wielding permanent members meant that it was up to five countries “to decide on the fate of humanity.” Erdogan, who called last month for reform of the council, said: “The Syrian regime is encouraged by this bottleneck in the international system.”

He went on to issue harsh criticisms against the IMF for what he called its “bitter” prescriptions and called for the reform of OSCE

and OECD.
~~~
Anadolu Agency, 9 November 2012, Yeri geldiği zaman idamın haklılık sebebi var
The Nation, 9 November 2012, Turkey, Afghanistan lead calls for UNSC reform
Hurriyet Daily News, 10 November 2012, Upset with world, PM stages all-out bashing

Turkey searches Armenian plane bound for Syria

An Armenian cargo plane heading to Syria landed in Turkey on Nov. 8 to be searched before it was released to fly on to the battle-scarred city of Aleppo in the second such instance in as many months. The latest search signals Turkey’s resolve to control shipments to its southern neighbor as it seeks to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from acquiring arms and other resources to fight the opposition
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 8 November 2012, Turkey searches Armenian plane bound for Syria

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Iraq says Exxon to quit oilfield, ends Turkey TPAO deal

Exxon Mobil has informed the Iraqi government it wants to pull out of a $50 billion oil project, and Baghdad expelled Turkey’s state oil operator from another contract on Nov. 7, both signals of trouble in Iraq’s petroleum policy.
~~~
Reuters, 7 November 2012, Iraq says Exxon to quit oilfield, ends Turkey TPAO deal

Turkey welcomes dividing Azerbaijan’s share in TANAP  

Turkey welcomes dividing some of SOCAR’s share in the Trans-Anatolian gas project (TANAP) between BP, Statoil and Total, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız said Nov 8. Yıldız said the participation of foreign companies in implementing TANAP project helps attract more foreign investments.
~~~
Turkish Weekly, 8 November 2012, Turkey welcomes dividing Azerbaijan’s share in TANAP project

Turkey issues warning against natural gas efforts with Cyprus

The Eastern Mediterranean’s potential gas reserves continued to raise diplomatic tension as Turkey issued a stern warning to those firms willing to partner with the Republic of Cyprus to reach offshore reserves. Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yıldız suggested that companies pursuing exploration agreements in Cyprus could be frozen out future energy partnerships with Ankara.
~~~
Forbes, 5 November 2012, Turkey issues warning against natural gas efforts with Cyprus

Turkey to spend $5.6b liras on dams in next 5 years

Turkey will spend about 10 billion liras ($5.6 billion) over the next five years on the Southeast Anatolia Project, a chain of hydro-electric dams and irrigation systems in the mainly Kurdish southeast. The plan would increase land under cultivation in the region more than six times, increasing farm areas to 2 million acres when completed in 2017. The government will start allocating money for the project from the budget in 2013, ending the practice of transfers from the unemployment benefit fund. The project is also expected to create more than 3 million jobs in the southeast, where the government is offering incentives such as cheaper energy, free land and cuts in payroll taxes paid by employers.
~~~
Bloomberg, 12 November 2012, Turkey to spend $5.6b liras on dams in next 5 years

DOMESTIC POLITICS

To cool protest, Turkey set to allow use of Kurdish in courts

Six of Turkey’s leading Kurdish politicians joined hundreds of jailed militants and activists in a hunger strike to call for PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan to be allowed to see lawyers. The Turkish government, seeking to defuse a potential crisis over the eight-week strike, said it would propose legislation to allow the use of Kurdish language in courts if the prisoners abandoned their protest. The move, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, comes amid reports by Turkey’s main medical association that some of the protesters are at risk of death.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 6 November 2012, To cool protest, Turkey set to allow use of Kurdish in courts

Reuters, 10 November 2012, Kurdish politicians join militants’ hunger strike in Turkey

TUSIAD HIGHLIGHTS

Institut du Bosphore annual seminar

The annual seminar of Institut du Bosphore entitled “Europe in Crisis: Impact, Challenges and Opportunities for France and Turkey” was held November 8-9, 2012 in Istanbul. Founded with TUSIAD’s initiative in Paris, Institut du Bosphore aims to improve the bilateral relations between Turkey and France. Speeches were made by TUSIAD Chair Ümit Boyner, Member of European Parliament and Chair of Delagation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee Helene Flautre, and Brookings Institution Vice President Kemal Derviş all made remarks at the conference.

 

 

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”.