TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 7 January 2013
• U.S. troops arrive in Turkey; rebels battle for airport in Syria
• Erdoğan goes on a five-day Africa tour
• Turkey, Sweden and Brazil form new body
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey to clarify capital markets law to quell concern
• Turkey seeks partnership with Qatar to build third LNG terminal
• Survey: Property investors keen on U.S., Turkey; China stumbles
• Turkey’s former army chief detained over 1997 “post-modern coup”
• Turkey’s Erdoğan rules out amnesty for Kurdish militants
U.S. troops arrive in Turkey
NATO troops started arriving in Turkey on January 4 to man Patriot missile defense batteries. A statement from the U.S. European Command on Friday said that more troops and equipment are scheduled to arrive in southern Turkey over the next few days. Navy Vice Admiral Charles Martoglio, deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, says the Patriot-missile batteries should be operational by the end of January.
CNN, 4 January 2013, U.S. troops arrive in Turkey; rebels battle for airport in Syria
Voice of America, 4 January 2013, NATO deploys missiles to Turkey-Syria border
The Local, 5 January 2013, Germany deploys Patriot missiles to Turkey
ABC News, 7 January 2013, Dutch Patriot missiles shipped out to Turkey
Erdoğan goes on a five-day Africa tour
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started a five-day tour of Africa including Gabon, Niger and Senegal on January 6. During the visit, Turkish businessmen will join business forums in three countries and some cooperation agreements will be signed.
Turkey aims to increase its trade volume with African countries to $50 billion by 2015, Erdoğan told journalists at Istanbul Ataturk Airport before his departure to Gabon. Stating that Turkey considers Gabon a “gateway to boost relations with the African continent, Erdoğan explained “We are doing 2013’s first visit to Gabon. This is the sign that we are taking our relationship one step further. Our government’s primary goal is to prepare the necessary legal framework for our entrepreneurs and to foster them for trade and investment.
Turkish Press Review, 4 January 2013, Erdoğan goes for five day Africa expedition
Turkish Press Review, 7 January 2013, Turkish PM Erdoğan sees $50 billion in African trade
Anadolu Agency, 7 January 2013, Gabon gateway for Africa, Turkish premier says
Turkey, Sweden and Brazil form new body
Turkey, Sweden and Brazil have established the Trilateral Solidarity for Building Peace, a new consultation mechanism to seek solutions to international challenges. Stressing that the international stage is currently characterized by a host of key changes and challenges that affect them all, the foreign ministers of the three nations drew attention to developments in the Middle East in particular, including the Arab awakening and the question of Palestine, the global economic crisis with its political ramifications and other global issues such as terrorism, poverty eradication, climate change, internet freedom and nuclear proliferation in an official statement on the Trilateral Solidarity for
Building Peace. Speaking at a joint press conference, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said although Turkey, Sweden and Brazil were not geographically close, the three countries shared similar perspectives on international policy.
Hurriyet Daily News, 7 January 2013, Turkey, Sweden and Brazil form new body
ECONOMY / ENERGY
Turkey to clarify capital markets law to quell concern
Turkey plans to clarify what is considered criminal under legislation that provides for imprisonment for certain financial commentary, HaberTurk reported, citing Capital Markets’ Board Chairman Vahdettin Ertaş. Turkey’s Capital Markets Law, enacted Dec. 31, stipulates punishment for “those who provide untruthful, wrong or misleading information, start rumors, or provide news, commentary, or prepare reports with the intention of influencing prices, values of capital markets instruments or investor decisions.” Ertaş stated “We were planning to make secondary legislation concerning this article within six
months. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Commerzbank AG said they were reviewing how the new law will affect their business in Turkey.
Bloomberg, 5 January 2013, Turkey to clarify capital markets law to quell concern, HT says
Wall Street Journal, 7 January 2013, Turkey leaves banks scrambling to understand new rules
Turkey seeks partnership with Qatar to build third LNG terminal
Turkey is seeking investment from Qatar to build the country’s third liquid natural-gas terminal, which may be located close to the country’s borders with Greece and Bulgaria, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said. “It will help meet the needs of Greece and Bulgaria and reduce shipments through the straits” of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, Yıldız told reporters while flying to Algeria. The terminal would handle at least 5 billion to 6 billion cubic meters, he said. Qatar, the world’s biggest LNG producer, may carry out a feasibility study for the project and private Turkish companies will probably be involved in its development, according to the minister.
Meanwhile, Algeria and Turkey have decided to renew for 10 years from 2014 an agreement for Algeria to deliver four billion cubic meters of gas annually to Turkey.
Bloomberg, 5 January 2013, Turkey seeks partnership with Qatar to build third LNG terminal
Channel News Asia, 6 January 2013, Algeria, Turkey renew gas deal for 10 years
Survey: Property investors keen on U.S., Turkey; China stumbles
The United States dominates the list of places that global commercial real estate investors would prefer to put their money this year, while China has lost some luster and Turkey has added sparkle, according to a survey of international investors. For the first time since 2001, four of the top five cities that investors said they favor were in the United States, according to an annual survey that the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) released on January 7.
Among emerging markets, Brazil once again was ranked No. 1. China repeated in No. 2. However, Turkey moved up to No. 3 from No. 7 last year. India, which had been third, slipped to No. 4 to tie with Mexico, which moved up from fifth.
Reuters, 7 January 2013, Exclusive: Property investors keen on U.S., Turkey; China stumbles: survey
Turkey’s former army chief detained over 1997 “post-modern coup”
Turkey’s former armed forces chief Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayı was detained on January 3 in an investigation into the military’s role in the 1997 “post-modern” coup. Karadayı was released from custody pending trial the next day after he was questioned by prosecutors over his alleged role in forcing the resignation in 1997 of former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. No trial date has been set.
Yahoo News, 3 January 2013, Turkey’s ex-army chief detained over 1997 “post-modern coup”
Washington Post, 4 January 2013, Report: Turkey’s former army chief freed pending trial over role in ousting government in 1997
Turkey’s Erdoğan rules out amnesty for Kurdish militants
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan ruled out a general amnesty for Kurdish militants on January 5 but said intelligence agents would continue to talk to the rebels’ jailed leader in a bid to end a near three-decade insurgency. Erdoğan’s chief adviser said last week that Turkish officials had been discussing disarmament with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and on Thursday two Kurdish lawmakers paid a rare visit to the militant group’s leader in his island prison. Erdoğan said Turkey was taking a two-pronged approach, with the state intelligence agency talking to the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the government talking to Kurdish politicians.
Reuters, 6 January 2013, Turkey’s Erdoğan rules out amnesty for Kurdish militants
Turkish Press Review, 7 January 2013, Barzani very hopeful and optimistic over government and PKK talks
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