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TUSIAD Turkey Letter: 25 June 2013

THIS WEEK:
FOREIGN POLICY
• Obama and Erdoğan discuss Syria, Turkish protests
• EU delays Turkey membership talks after German pressure
• Turkey protests puts strain on Syria planning
• Turkey’s Erdoğan welcomes Hamas leaders
• Snowden says UK spied on G20 politicians, including Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek
DOMESTIC POLITICS
• Öcalan presents peace process proposals
ECONOMY / ENERGY
• Turkey-Kurdistan pipeline to be completed by fall  

FOREIGN POLICY

Obama and Erdoğan discuss Syria, Turkish protests

President Obama spoke by phone on June 24 with Prime Minister Erdoğan of Turkey. The President and Prime Minister discussed developments in Syria, including the regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, our shared commitment to pursuing a political solution, the need to provide additional support to the Syrian Coalition and the Supreme Military Council to improve their effectiveness, and the importance of close bilateral cooperation on contingency planning and counterterrorism efforts. The Prime Minister also described the situation in Turkey. The two leaders discussed the importance of nonviolence and of the rights to free expression and assembly and a free press.
~~~
White House, 24 June 2013, Readout of President Obama’s call with Prime Minister Erdoğan of Turkey
Reuters, 25 June 2013, Obama, Turkey’s Erdoğan discuss Turkish protests, Syria

EU delays Turkey membership talks after German pressure

EU foreign ministers have backed a German proposal to postpone further EU membership talks with Turkey for about four months until after a progress report on its EU bid is presented in October. The EU-Turkey talks had been scheduled to resume this Wednesday.

EU decision came after criticisms of Germany, Austria and the Netherlands of Turkey’s crackdown on anti-government protests.
~~~
Financial Times, 20 June 2013, Germany blocks Turkey’s bid to join EU
Washington Post, 24 June 2013, Turkey, European Union on the outs over protests

Turkey protests puts strain on Syria planning

As the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey are increasing steadily, Turkey protests might be putting a strain on the planned U.S. action against the Syrian government

The protests rocking Turkey this month have given new life to old grievances among those opposed to Erdoğan, and his active support for the Syrian rebels is on the list. Now, as the United States needs Turkey’s help to get weapons into the hands of those fighters, Erdoğan faces the threat of more street protests the moment he pursues unpopular policies.

The rising number of Syrian refugees has skyrocketed Turkey’s ranking among the most important refugee-hosting countries from 59th to 10th in 2012, a study by the United Nations refugee agency showed yesterday.
~~~
Hurriyet Daily News, 20 June 2013, Turkey refugee ranking skyrockets within a year
Washington Post, 20 June 2013, Turkey protests put strain on Syria planning

Turkey’s Erdoğan welcomes Hamas leaders

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 18 welcomed Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh for meetings in the Turkish capital.
~~~
The Jerusalem Post, 19 June 2013, Turkey’s Erdoğan welcomes Hamas leaders
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Turkey-PM-Erdogan-welcomes-Hamas-leaders-317006

Snowden says UK spied on G20 politicians, including Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek

Documents leaked by US former spy Edward Snowden appear to show that Britain spied on foreign delegates including fellow NATO member Turkey at G20 meetings at the time, the Guardian reported on June 17. Turkey says it has contacted British authorities to inquire about “unacceptable” newspaper allegations that Britain spied on its Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek’s emails and phone calls when he was in London in 2009.
~~~
The Telegraph, 17 June 2013, Turkey demands answers on ‘scandalous’ British G20 spying allegations

DOMESTIC POLITICS

Öcalan presents peace process proposals

Jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Öcalan said the peace process to end three decades of conflict had entered a second stage with his fighters’ withdrawal from Turkey and he had presented the Turkish government with new proposals.

During the second stage, Öcalan expects the government to enact reforms to boost the rights of the Kurdish minority, which makes up some 20 percent of Turkey’s 76 million population.

Öcalan, held on an island jail south of Istanbul, met on June 24 with a delegation from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). In a statement issued by the BDP on Tuesday, he said he was determined to push ahead with the process.
~~~
Reuters, 21 June 2013,
Reuters, 25 June 2013, Jailed Kurdish rebel leader presents peace process proposals

ECONOMY / ENERGY

Turkey-Kurdistan pipeline to be completed by Fall

A pipeline that would carry oil from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish border is scheduled for completion by October, Kurdistan’s minister of natural resources said on June 19.
~~~
Wall Street Journal, 19 June 2013, Turkey-Kurdistan pipeline to be completed by fall

 

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