[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week`s roundup to email@example.com by Sunday night of every week.]
Goldman warns fresh lira drop could wipe out Turkish banks' capital buffers Goldman Sachs has warned that if the lira drops to 7.1 against the dollar, it risks eroding Turkish banks' excess capital, with those with lower capital levels the most at risk. Yapi Kredi appears to have the weakest capital levels, while Akbank and Garanti have the strongest.
Turkey’s economic headache bigger than Brunson standoff, US problems Barin Kayaoglu writes that massive domestic spending and private companies borrowing extensively from abroad are more to blame for the lira's decline against the dollar than political factors such as the Brunson affair.
Turkey to set out ‘new economic model’ as lira tumbles In an emailed statement to The Financial Times, Turkey's finance ministry said it planned to hold this year's budget deficit to less than two percent of gross domestic product and reduce the current account deficit, adding that it did not foresee a problem arising from volatile exchange rates.
Erdogan’s Road Map Out of Market Meltdown Is Full of U-Turns Financial analysts tell Bloomberg their recommendations for Turkey to avert economic crisis: raise interest rates and discontinue fiscal stimulus (TD Securities) or raise interest rates and increase government spending to support growth (Capital Economics).
Understanding the Failed Deal With Turkey That Sparked Trump’s Fury Amberin Zaman writes that prior to the imposition of US sanctions on Turkey's interior and justice ministers, Trump believed that he had a deal with Turkey that would lower the fines levied on Halkbank and free a senior executive currently imprisoned in the United States in exchange for Turkey's letting Andrew Brunson walk free. However, when Erdoğan made extra demands that the Halkbank case be dropped entirely, Trump was furious and imposed sanctions.
US, Turkey meet without apparent resolution of pastor’s case A meeting on Wednesday between US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal centering on the detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson and the new US sanctions on Turkey failed to yield results.
Turkey to freeze assets of two US ministers as retaliation to sanctions: Erdoğan In a speech at the AKP congress for its women's organization, Erdoğan said that: "Today I am instructing my friends that we will freeze the assets of US secretaries of justice and interior in Turkey, if they exist".
U.S. sanctions could hurt Turkish economy but strengthen Erdogan Soner Cagaptay writes that while US sanctions will damage Turkey's economy, they are unlikely to make a dent in Erdogan's popularity among his supporters, as they view him as the only one capable of restoring Turkey's greatness.
İYİ Party: Trump Towers Should Be Confiscated The IYI Party's spokesman has said that in response to sanctions, the AKP "should confiscate assets of US ministers and secretaries, Trump Towers. Purchase of airliners of eleven billion dollars from the United States should be halted”. The CHP also supported the AKP against US sanctions.
Syria: Turkey must stop serious violations by allied groups and its own forces in Afrin Amnesty International says that Syrian rebel groups armed and supported by Turkey are committing serious human rights violations in Afrin, including forced disappearances, torture, looting, and confiscation of property. The Syrian government and the YPG have also been accused of trapping evacuees in the al-Shahba region, and not letting them return to Afrin or move onwards to Aleppo.
Turkish-backed groups rename Afrin’s main square after Erdogan Turkish-backed rebels have changed the names of two squares in Afrin from Kurdish names to Arabic ones, and have changed the name of the city's main square to "Recep Tayyip Erdogan Square."
Syrian Kurds say Afrin liberation main topic in any negotiations A senior commander of the SDF has said that the liberation of Afrin is a top priority in any negotiations with the Syrian government.
Erdogan’s Ottomania In an in-depth look at the different facets of Ottomanism, M. Hakan Yavuz writes that the reimagined Ottoman-Islamic identity is the key to understanding the New Turkey as envisaged by Erdoğan. However, he says there are two competing veins of Ottomanism in Turkish politics: the culturally and religiously pluralist (although still maintaining an emphasis on Islam) variety first pioneered by PM Turgut Özal in the 80s, and that of Erdoğan and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, which is more exclusivist and both politically and socially Islamist.
Erdoğan vows freedom of thought from now on Murat Yetkin writes that while Erdoğan's recent statements about ensuring freedom of thought are a good thing if true, they are confusing considering the fact that the AKP is not newly coming into power and setting everything right. He says that there are two possible interpretations of Erdoğan's statement: one is that Erdoğan means to say that conditions were not right for full freedom of thought prior to the presidential system; the other is that "freedom of thought" was referring to a limited portion of religious expression.
CHP threatens Turkey-wide protests if MP not released The CHP is demanding the release of its member of parliament, Enis Berberoğlu, who was sentenced to twenty-five years in jail last year for leaking information to the press about Turkish arms shipments to Syrian rebel groups. Berberoğlu was re-elected on 24 June, and the party argues that he thus has parliamentary immunity once again.
Turkish travel association seeks to extend Booking.com ban to Airbnb, Expedia, Skyscanner The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies is taking legal action against twenty online reservation and travel sites, including Airbnb, Agoda, and Expedia, claiming that the sites are in unfair competition with Turkish businesses.
Turkey’s Opposition Lost to Erdogan, Then It Lost Its Mind Selim Sazak writes that all four Turkish opposition parties are in crisis over their leadership and direction after losing the 24 June elections. He adds that opposition voters are also growing tired of in-fighting and mishaps from the parties' leadership.
Turkish monuments wheeled out of town before flood ‘washes history away’ Five-hundred-forty-year-old Artuklu Hamam is the latest historical monument to be wheeled out of Hasankeyf before what remains of the old town is submerged under water. Three thousand residents have also been moved out of the area. While Islamic-era monuments are being moved, other ruins from the site's 10,000+ year old history are not. The government says that tourists will be able to participate in "underwater tours" of what is left of the submerged site.
Nuriye Gülmen Detained in Bodrum Nuriye Gülmen and Mehmet Dersulu have been detained after traveling to Bodrum to support Engin Karataş, a teacher dismissed by decree who has been campaigning to get his job back.
Three resignations from Turkey’s Good Party Three founding members of the IYI Party have resigned, citing a disagreement with the IYI Party's strategy during the elections and a need for new leadership.
Iraq, Turkey bring up alternative border gate to bypass Kurdistan Turkish and Iraqi authorities are continuing talks to open a new border gate between the two countries that will circumvent the Kurdistan region and also serve as a shortcut from Turkey to Sinjar.
Erdogan closing net on Turkish Cypriots The Turkish government has begun arresting and initiating legal proceedings against opposing voices in Northern Cyprus. These include detaining two Turkish Cypriot "Academics for Peace,” lawsuits against an opposition newspaper, and police harassment over songs and books. Northern Cyprus is judicially independent from Turkey, and Turkish Cypriots have begun demanding explanations from the country's leaders.
Turkey set to open first cultural center in China Turkey will open its first Yunus Emre Institute, a Turkish cultural and language center, in China, as interest in Turkish culture in China rises alongside bilateral trade between the two countries.
Turkey to continue buying gas from Iran in line with long-term deal: Minister Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said that Turkey will continue buying natural gas from Iran, one of its key energy suppliers, in accordance with a long-term contract between the two countries that is set to expire in 2026.
Culture and History
10 Turks ordered to be killed for each Greek during Cyprus violence: Report A Greek daily has published reports with new details about the events in the 60s and 70s that led up to the division of Cyprus, including several unaccounted-for atrocities committed by the Greek side, such as mass executions, rapes, and plundering of Turkish villages.
The Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust The Daily Sabah provides an overview of the efforts made by Muslim diplomats and humanitarians to save Jews during the holocaust, including Selahattin Ülkümen, a Turkish consul on the island of Rhodes who managed to save fifty people before the Germans bombed the consulate in retaliation.
Turkey’s serial killers, from the nail pounder to the well digger A photo gallery of Turkey's most (in)famous serial killers.
‘Türk dizilerinde sansürün nereden geleceği belli olmuyor’ The official fines against scenes in Turkish series that are found to be "immoral" have led to an equal, if not greater, level of self-censorship in the television sector. The fact that there is no official standard for what will be fined has led to high levels of automatic self-censorship, due to uncertainty as to whether a scene will be fined. Censorship also creates double standards, both based on series' popularity (series with higher rating are at less risk of fines, and can thus be more liberal in their scenes), and character creation (female characters who cheat on their husbands must be portrayed as "bad" characters, while this standard does not apply for male characters).
El-Fatiha Hüsnü Mahalli writes that not only have opposition parties, primarily the CHP, done nothing to prevent Erdoğan from taking control of the countries' institutions, but Turkish society as a whole does not react (aside from talking, often about superficial scandals) despite multiple economic mishaps and violations of their rights. He condemns society's inaction, citing the fact that in several Arab countries, people take to the streets as soon as prices rise. He emphasizes that in this regard, the whole of society is responsible for the worsening situation in Turkey.
'İmza' savaşları The CHP continues to debate the number of MP signatures calling for an extraordinary congress to discuss party leadership and internal problems. The CHP Deputy Leader Muharrem Erkek has released a statement denying the original claim of 630 signatures, saying that the actual count is a total of 618, with a valid total of 605 notarized signatures. Although the counting continues, the CHP says that so far, the calls for a congress have not attained the required majority (622 signatures).
CHP, kimden oy isteyecek? Ayşe Yıldırım writes that the CHP has been in crisis long before the 24 June elections, citing as examples its voting to allow parliamentary immunity to be lifted and its inability to protect vote boxes during the 16 April referendum. She adds that CHP leadership has preferred to prepare for the local elections as if nothing is wrong instead of heeding calls for a congress to discuss its internal problems. She writes that rather than debating who will be the next party leader and wasting time counting signatures, the CHP should be addressing the serious concerns of both its members of parliament and electorate if it wants to receive votes in future elections.
Mülteci projesinde pilot il Eskişehir Eskişehir, Adana, Sakarya, Konya, Denizli, Samsun, and Erzurum have been selected as pilot cities for a project focused on improving the data on non-Syrian refugees in Turkey, as well as improving their ability to support themselves through suitable jobs.
Asbestli koyda denize giriyorlar! A ship that has been left on the shores of Bozcaa for five years was set out to sea and sunk last April, against the wishes of residents and environmental groups. However, the ship's material contained asbestos, which contaminated both the nearby water and shores. The municipality insists that there is no risk to public health.
Seri katil cezaevinden çıktı ve yine öldürdü! Hamdi Kayapınar, a serial killer convicted of six murders who styled himself as a "hunter" and his victims as "prey," was released from prison in 2017 after serving sixteen years. This week, he was accused of killing yet another man in Kayseri.
Osmanlı ve Cumhuriyet anayasalarında insan hakları Hüsnü Öndül writes that during the nineteenth century, Ottoman authorities, bureaucrats, and intellectuals had begun to improve their understanding of human rights, as evidenced in constitutional texts from that period. The most progressive constitution of the Ottoman period was the "Kanun-ı Esasi" signed by Abdulhamit II, which he then suspended a few months later for a duration of thirty-one years. For the period after the formation of the republic, the 1961 constitution is considered to be the most progressive in terms of liberties. Howover, Öndül writes that all of the republican constitutions, even the "most progressive," do not take into account the rights of one group: the Kurds.
Temmuz ayında en az 195 işçi yaşamını yitirdi At least 195 workers (eight women and 187 men) lost their lives due to work-related injuries during the month of July, the highest monthly number this year. During the first seven months of 2018, at least 1,103 workers have died from work-related injuries.
Belediye Başkanı'ndan nükleer tepkisi: Sinop'u gözden çıkarmışlar The mayor of Sinop, Baki Ergül, spoke with the BBC regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in the municipality, saying that a referendum should before proceeding with construction. He says that Sinop is not an industrial town, and draws its tourism revenue from its pristine environment. He also reminds readers that nuclear power plants pose both the cancer risks and the risks to the environment, especially for fish, which are also an important source of revenue.
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