Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2018

Turkey's turmoil and how it measures up against other emerging markets

JULY 12, 2018 / 7:57 PM / UPDATED 18 HOURS AGO
Marc Jones
5 MIN READ

LONDON (Reuters) - Turkey’s financial markets are being battered. The lira is at a record low after slumping more than 20 percent this year, Istanbul’s stock market has just had its worst day in over two years and investors are dumping the country’s bonds.

Below are a series of graphics that illustrate the scale of the turmoil and show how Turkish assets now compare to those in other heavyweight emerging markets.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Turkey says Greece flouts international law by not extraditing coup suspects

APRIL 17, 2018 / 9:41 PM / UPDATED 11 HOURS AGO
Reuters Staff

1 MIN READ

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey accused Greece on Tuesday of violating international law by not extraditing eight Turkish soldiers Ankara believes were supporters of a failed coup attempt in 2016.

Turkey and Greece are at odds over various issues. Ankara is fuming over a Greek refusal to return the soldiers, who fled to Greece shortly after the coup bid in July 2016 and asked for political asylum. The two NATO allies were most recently at loggerheads over a flag hoisting in the Aegean Sea.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag called on Greece to abandon what he said were provocative moves in order to avoid “unwanted events” in the Aegean.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Hundreds of refugees, migrants cross into northern Greece

By Associated Press April 17 at 5:37 AM

The Washington Post

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greek authorities say hundreds of refugees and other migrants have crossed the land border with Turkey in the past two days, with illegal crossings in the area increasing significantly following Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria.

Police said Tuesday they detained 370 people the previous day who had crossed the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, and another 140 people on Sunday.

The land route from Turkey into northeastern Greece has become increasingly popular as conditions deteriorate on Greek islands, long the preferred route, where strict controls are now imposed on movement and camps are overcrowded.

Authorities have noted a surge in arrivals across the Evros, with 1,658 people detained in March compared to 586 in February and 262 in March 2017.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

America should work with Turkey, not terrorists, in Syria


The Washington Post

Serdar Kılıç, Washington

The writer is ambassador of the Republic of Turkey

The April 6 editorial “A gift to America’s enemies” claimed that Turkey is “irrationally bent on annihilating” Syrian forces, led by Kurds, “who have collaborated with the United States in fighting” Daesh.

The PKK and its Syrian branch the PYD/YPG are terrorist organizations that victimized the Kurdish people above all. As Daesh (also known as ISIS) does not represent the Muslims, the PYD/YPG does not represent the Kurds.

Turkey hosts 3.5 million Syrians from all faiths and ethnicities, including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians and Armenians. The brutal Assad regime let the PYD/YPG widen its reign of terror to the areas these Syrians had to flee. A cynical cohabitation in these areas has emerged, similar to the one the regime had with Daesh. The PYD/YPG has never been an opposition element but an accomplice of the regime.

Turkey is the only country that fought with regular forces against Daesh in Syria and that took on another terrorist organization that was heavily entrenched in the mountainous terrain of Afrin. The Turkish Armed Forces showed an exemplary sensitivity for the protection of civilians. The liberated Afrin city center, which was left unscratched, stands in extreme contrast with the utter devastation caused in Raqqa by the PYD/YPG.

There is no room left for irresponsible tactical role-playing on the ground. It is time to see it all from a strategic perspective. The United States should rely on its decades-long alliance with Turkey, but not with a terrorist organization, while tackling the complexities of the Syrian conflict. This is essential for the future stability and security of the region.

Erdogan, Rouhani agree to maintain Turkey, Iran, Russia cooperation in Syria

APRIL 17, 2018 / 4:05 PM / UPDATED 16 HOURS AGO
Reuters Staff

1 MIN READ

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani agreed on Tuesday to maintain the cooperation between Turkey, Iran and Russia for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, a source in Erdogan’s office said.

Erdogan also told Rouhani in a telephone call that actions to increase tensions in the region should be avoided, after U.S., British and French forces carried out air strikes on Syria over the weekend.Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Turkey taking 'huge strides' away from European Union: top EU official

APRIL 17, 2018 / 5:04 PM / UPDATED 10 HOURS AGO
Alastair Macdonald
5 MIN READ

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Turkey is moving rapidly away from the path of European Union membership, the top EU official in charge of negotiations said on Tuesday, as Brussels delivered its harshest criticism yet of what it sees as Ankara’s shift toward authoritarianism.

While couched in diplomatic language, the European Commission’s annual report on Turkey’s progress toward membership blamed Ankara for a broad, collective and disproportionate crackdown after a failed 2016 coup attempt.

It warned that years of progress toward European Union standards in human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law were being reversed and that Turkey had seen a weakening of local democracy as presidential powers increased.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tsipras Fights on All Fronts as Greece Back in the Spotlight

By Elena Chrepa
16 Απριλίου 2018, 8:00 π.μ. EEST Updated on 16 Απριλίου 2018, 3:20 μ.μ. EEST
Economy remains priority in the final race to bailout exit...
...But concerns rising on Turkey, Macedonia, looming election

Bloomberg

Consider what Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is up against.

As Greece prepares to free itself from an eight-year European bailout, its 43 year-old premier is confronting challenges at home and abroad. On the domestic front: preparations for post-bailout economic life and the first general election since the end of the program, including feuds with both allies and rivals. On the foreign-policy front: increased tensions with traditional rival Turkey and regional instability stemming from a dispute over a neighboring country’s name.

Tsipras’s ability to navigate through all this could determine just how stable the country and its region will be in coming years, experts say, and the European Union, the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are all watching with interest.

“The wo

Turkey warns Greece after flag is hoisted on disputed islet

By Associated Press April 16 at 8:01 AM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s prime minister has warned Greece to refrain from “provocations” after a Greek flag was hoisted on a disputed, uninhabited islet in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Monday that the Turkish coast guards removed the flag from the island off the coast of the Aegean resort of Didim.

Yildirim said the incident was similar to one in 1996 when the two NATO allies went to war over the uninhabited Imia islets — Kardak in Turkish — which both Turkey and Greece claim.

Yildirim says “our advice to Greece would be to stay away from provocations and agitations ... We are determined to give the necessary response to such fait accomplis.”

In Athens, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzannakopoulos said the government had no knowledge of the incident and described the remarks made by Yildirim as “provocative and reprehensible.”

“I think Mr. Yildirim should be more careful,” Tzannakopoulos said. “We call on Turkey to return to a path of respect for international law ... They should take an initiative to de-escalate the tension.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trash-Talking Toward Conflict?


The New York Times

By Nikos Konstandaras

Mr. Konstandaras is a columnist at the newspaper Kathimerini and a contributing opinion writer.

April 8, 2018
ATHENS — In a rapidly intensifying war of words, government officials of the nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been exchanging insults and threats in the past few weeks, recalling conflicts from a shared and bloody history. Relations have rarely been rosy, but the speed with which they have worsened, and the level of vitriol, have raised fears that the two heavily armed neighbors may be trash-talking their way to new conflict.

Adding to those concerns is the awareness that the two most credible mediators between the two sides — the United States and the European Union — appear to have little leverage with Turkey.

Greece and Turkey have played decisive roles in each other’s history, and this determines their relations today. The Greeks rebelled against almost four centuries of Ottoman rule in 1821 and, after years of war (and foreign intervention), won their freedom with the declaration of the Greek state in 1830. Turks commemorate Sept. 9, the date on which Turkish troops entered Izmir in 1922 after routing a Greek invasion force, ending millenniums of Greek presence in Asia Minor and leading to the declaration of a modern, secular Turkey.

Turkey’s Double ISIS Standard

Foreign Policy Blog
Ankara claims to oppose the Islamic State. Its actions suggest otherwise.
BY AHMET S. YAYLA, COLIN P. CLARKE | APRIL 12, 2018, 4:43 PM

he decline of the Islamic State, nearly four years after its emergence, was the result of an aggressive military campaign to combat the group spearheaded primarily by the United States. That has not stopped Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu from writing an article for Foreign Policy to take credit for the group’s demise, insisting that Turkey’s actions in northern Syria have helped lay the groundwork for a sustainable peace.

What he neglected to mention is that it was Turkey’s actions, or perhaps the lack thereof, that helped fuel the rise of the Islamic State in the first place. The two most commonly cited factors leading to the growth of the Islamic State are the Syrian civil war and the government of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and its persecution of Sunni Arabs in Iraq. But another significant part of this story is the negligence exhibited by the Turkish state.

UPDATE 2-Turkey's Erdogan lashes out at investors over tumbling lira

APRIL 12, 2018 / 2:29 PM / UPDATED 18 HOURS AGO
Reuters Staff

3 MIN READ

(Adds graphic, central bank governor)

By Tuvan Gumrukcu

ANKARA, April 12 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at international investors on Thursday, saying that no one could use exchange rates to bring the country to heel - casting a slide in value of its currency, the lira, as a foreign conspiracy.

His comments came after the lira plumbed record lows for five straight trading days, a sell-off that Erdogan and his ministers called an economic attack by outside forces.

The lira’s slide - it is down 8 percent against the dollar so far this year, one of the worst performances among emerging markets - reflects the gulf between Erdogan and international investors over monetary policy. Erdogan, an economic populist and a self-described “enemy of interest rates” wants to see lower borrowing costs despite double-digit inflation.

“Do not worry, Turkey continues on its path with determined steps, nobody can discipline us based on exchange rates,” he said in a speech in Ankara. “The rise in exchange rates has no reasonable, logical or by-the-book explanation.”

Economists say the lira’s slide is a reflection of entrenched inflation and wage growth and that interest rates needs to be raised to arrest its fall.

The lira was at 4.0970 to the dollar at 1321 GMT. On Wednesday, it set a record low of 4.1944. It was trading at 5.0475 against the euro after reaching a record low of 5.1914 on Wednesday.

The lira has faced some pressure from growing tension between the United States and neighbouring Syria and from a sell-off in the Russian rouble, the currency of a major trading partner and a fellow emerging-market heavyweight. But investors say most of Turkey’s problems are home-grown.

Markets are looking ahead to the central bank’s next policy-setting meeting on April 25. The bank’s reluctance to raise rates at its last two meetings has heightened the perception that it is less than independent.

The central bank is following developments in inflation and will tighten monetary policy further if that is deemed necessary, the governor of the central bank, Murat Cetinkaya, said on Thursday, comments that appeared to give the currency some relief.

Data released on Wednesday showed the current account - a broadly defined measure of trade that includes services and investment income - recorded a deficit of $4.152 billion in February.

That was less than the $4.2 billion forecast in a Reuters poll but an increase of more than 60 percent from the same period a year earlier. Analysts said it affirmed Turkey’s vulnerabilities on the balance of payments front.

Additional reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu in Ankara and Ezgi Erkoyun in Istanbul; writing by David Dolan; editing by Robin Pomeroy, Larry King

Friday, March 30, 2018

Turkey says will take action if militants do not leave Syria's Manbij

MARCH 28, 2018 / 8:09 PM / 2 DAYS AGO
Reuters Staff

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will take action if militants do not withdraw immediately from Syria’s Manbij region and areas in the country east of the Euphrates, Turkey’s National Security Council said on Wednesday.

Turkey, which stormed the northern Syrian town of Afrin last week after a two-month offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, has repeatedly threatened to push its operations further east to Manbij where U.S. troops are stationed.

Expanding Turkey’s military campaign into the much larger Kurdish-held territory further east, which President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to do, would risk confrontation between the NATO allies who have been at loggerheads over the U.S. policy in Syria and other issues.

“In the meeting, it is stated that the terrorists in Manbij should be removed from the area, otherwise Turkey will not hesitate to take initiative by itself as it did in other regions,” the statement from the security council, chaired by Erdogan, said.

It said the same approach also applied to the militants on Syrian soil at the east of Euphrates, without elaborating where that would specifically apply to, or who it might target.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the state, and has been infuriated by the support Washington has provided the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

The Council said it also expected Iraq’s government to prevent the PKK operating in Iraq, especially in towns of Sinjar and Qandil. If that was not possible Turkey would prevent them itself, the council added.

“In the meeting it is stated that aside from Syria, Turkey expects Iraq to prevent operations by the separatist terrorist organization in its territory and if it is not possible Turkey will prevent them by itself,” the council statement said using the term it applies to PKK.

On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraqi armed forces would prevent Kurdish militants based in northern Iraq from staging cross-border attacks against Turkey during a phone call with his Turkish counterpart.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Greeks vent fury over soldiers being 'held hostage' in Turkey

Defence minister says arrests have aggravated already strained ties between two countries

The Guardian

Protesters have taken to the streets of northern Greece demanding the release of two Greek soldiers detained by Turkey, amid rising tensions between the two countries.

Greece’s defence minister, Panos Kammenos, described the pair as “hostages” and ordered border patrols to be stepped up along the heavily defended land frontier the two nations share.

Sgt Dimitris Kouklatzis, 27, and Lt Angelos Mitretodis, 25, were seized 11 days ago after allegedly being found in a “forbidden military zone” deep in Turkish territory. The soldiers say they inadvertently strayed across the frontier in bad weather.

Last week a court in the Turkish border town of Edirne, where the two are being held in a high-security prison, rejected a plea for their release pending further investigation.

Friday, March 2, 2018

2 Greek soldiers on patrol accidentally stray into Turkey

By Associated Press March 2 at 4:35 AM

The Washington Post

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greece says two of its soldiers on patrol on the Greek-Turkish border accidentally strayed into Turkey and have been taken to the city of Edirne by Turkish authorities.

The Greek army said Friday the two-man patrol strayed into Turkish territory on Thursday because of bad weather, and that Greek and Turkish authorities were in contact with each other and were undertaking procedures for the two to be returned to Greece.

Most of the Greek-Turkish border is marked by a river, and a fence runs along much of the land section. Some parts, however, aren’t clearly marked, and the area where the soldiers strayed was reportedly in woodland.

Although NATO allies, relations between Greece and Turkey are often strained.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Turkey's Erdogan tells crying girl, 6, she'd be honored if killed in battle: report

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/27/turkeys-erdogan-tells-crying-girl-6-shed-be-honored-if-killed-in-battle-report.html


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last weekend raised eyebrows when he called a visibly emotional girl, 6, onstage during a military rally and talked about the possibility of her becoming a martyr.

The New York Times reported Monday that Amine Tiras, a first grader and cadet, was in the crowd during the Saturday event. At some point Erdogan called on  Tiras and she was “lifted into the air” and sent towards him.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The United States and Turkey should fix their relationship—Before it’s too late

ORDER FROM CHAOS
Amanda SloatFriday, February 16, 2018

The Brookings Institute

Editor's Note: It is positive that Washington is going to Ankara this week. Engagement by America’s three most senior national security officials with their Turkish counterparts in the same week sends a strong signal about the seriousness with which the United States takes this relationship. At the same time, U.S. officials must express their concerns about Turkish actions that are contributing to fractious ties. This piece originally appeared on Foreign Policy.

American diplomats are out in force in Turkey this week. On Sunday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster met in Istanbul with Ibrahim Kalin, his nominal counterpart. On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli in Brussels on the margins of the NATO ministerial summit. Later this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to visit Ankara for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The new geopolitics of Turkey, Syria, and the West


Kemal Kirişci
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brookings Institute
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/02/14/the-new-geopolitics-of-turkey-syria-and-the-west/

As the turmoil in Syria enters its seventh year, its adverse geopolitical consequences stretch far beyond the Middle East. Developments in Syria have affected Turkey, too. Before the Arab Spring, Turkey was a rising star in its neighborhood, but has become a troubled nation in the years since. Its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is increasingly cited as a model for authoritarians around the region and the world, and if tensions between Turkey and the West lead to a fracture, more adverse geopolitical consequences could follow.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Turkey Is Out of Control. Time for the U.S. to Say So.

There’s a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces. The administration should make clear that it won’t tolerate any more bad behavior—now.

By ERIC EDELMAN and JAKE SULLIVAN February 13, 2018

Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria, the once unthinkable prospect of a direct clash between Turkish and American soldiers has become alarmingly real. Turkey’s current fight, against U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in the northwestern Syria territory of Afrin, is destabilizing enough. But the real risk will come if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan follows through on his repeated promises to press further east toward the Kurdish-controlled and U.S.-patrolled city of Manbij. The only way to prevent a conflict is for U.S. policymakers to adopt a clear and tough-minded approach to Turkey now, before things get worse.

Greece, Turkey Try to Calm Tensions After Aegean Sea Crash

The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked to calm tensions after Greek coast guard vessel is damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in Aegean Sea.
Feb. 13, 2018, at 4:58 p.m.

US News

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-02-13/erdogan-warns-greece-cyprus-over-gas-search-aegean-islets

By DEREK GATOPOULOS and SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked late Tuesday to calm escalating tensions after a Greek coast guard vessel was damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in the Aegean Sea, the site of a boundary dispute.

A government official in Athens said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim spoke by telephone about the circumstances of the boat crash. The official asked not to be named pending an official announcement.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Turkey slams Cyprus for gas search, blocks rig with warships

Cyprus was split into an internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974.
The ministry said the Cyprus government was acting like "the sole owner of the island" and warned it would be responsible for any consequences.
Published 6:02 AM ET Sun, 11 Feb 2018

CNBC

Turkey's foreign ministry has criticized Cyprus for a "unilateral" offshore hydrocarbons search after Turkish warships prevented a rig from reaching an area off Cyprus where it's to start exploratory drilling for gas.