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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: November 24, 2014

Foreign Policy

  • Widening Turkey-EU gap worries bosses group
  • Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain
  • Amid Mutual Suspicion, Turkish Premier Visits Iraq

Economy and Energy

  • IMF urges structural reforms for Turkish economy
  • US direct investments in Turkey falling short
  • Turkey massively expands food exports to Russia
  • Bagdad to restart oil flow to Turkey after Arbil deal
  • Construction forges ahead in debt, industry left behind

Domestic Politics

  • Turkish gov’t to visit with Öcalan, intends to form ‘secretariat’ soon
  • Reluctant deputies challenge ruling AKP at Turkish Parliament

Foreign Policy

Widening Turkey-EU gap worries bosses group
Turkey’s leading business group has noted its worry over the divergence in perception between Turkey and the European Union, adding that there was “no alternative” to joining the bloc to guarantee a secular and pluralist democracy.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 20, 2014, Widening Turkey-EU gap worries bosses group

Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain
Turkey and the United States smoothed over some differences in the fight against Islamic State during a weekend visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, but the talks heralded little in the way of deeper military cooperation between the NATO allies.
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Reuters, November 24, 2014, Turkey, U.S. ease strains on Islamic State but differences remain
White House, November 22, 2014, Statement to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Erdogan

Amid Mutual Suspicion, Turkish Premier Visits Iraq
The visit by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the first from a Turkish prime minister in nearly four years, was a vivid example of a scramble taking place all across the Middle East, as former adversaries are seeking to mend relationships, or at least try to work together, at a time of unprecedented crisis.
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New York Times, November 20, 2014, Amid Mutual Suspicion, Turkish Premier Visits Iraq

Economy and Energy

IMF urges structural reforms for Turkish economy
Despite continued growth in Turkey’s economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the country’s government must put forward structural reforms to continue economic momentum.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 24, 2014, IMF urges structural reforms for Turkish economy
International Monetary Fund, November 21, 2014, IMF Executive Board Concludes 2014 Article IV Consultation with Turkey

US direct investments in Turkey falling short
Turkey attracted a mere $160 million in foreign direct investments (FDI) from the U.S. in the first nine months of 2014, the president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) has said, in a ceremony to mark the opening of the Istanbul office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 18, 2014, US direct investments in Turkey falling short

Turkey massively expands food exports to Russia
Turkey’s food exports to Russia surged over the first nine months of the year, with white meat exports, poultry and seafood increasing by 447 percent, Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker has stated.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 24, 2014, Turkey massively expands food exports to Russia

Baghdad to restart oil flow to Turkey after Arbil deal
Iraq’s government will restart the transport of oil to Turkey for the first time since March after it settled a long-lasting revenue row with the regional Kurdish government last week, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said at an energy conference in Rome on Nov. 19.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 19, 2014, Bagdad to restart oil flow to Turkey after Arbil deal

Construction forges ahead in debt, industry left behind
The Central Bank announced last week that, as of end of September, the Turkish private sector’s long-term loans have reached $164 billion and short-term loans have reached $112 billion.  Turkey’s total outstanding external debt is approaching $402 billion, more than 50 percent of Turkey’s national income. Also, 40 percent of these loans have to be renewed and paid back within 12 months, which imposes a significant amount of fragility and pressure on Turkey’s economy.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 24, 2014, Construction forges ahead in debt, industry left behind

Domestic Politics

Turkish gov’t to visit with Öcalan, intends to form ‘secretariat’ soon
A date will soon be set for the visit of a parliamentary delegation to the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, according to Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Pervin Buldan.  Buldan also voiced her expectation that the government would soon take steps to form “secretariat team” for Öcalan.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 21, 2014, Turkish gov’t intends to form ‘secretariat’ for Öcalan soon

Reluctant deputies challenge ruling AKP at Turkish Parliament
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been facing difficulties in gathering enough deputies to conduct its legislative work in Parliament, mainly due to the reluctance of 71 MPs who will not run for reelection in June next year.
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Hurriyet Daily News, November 24, 2014, Reluctant deputies challenge ruling AKP at Turkish Parliament