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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 18-08-13

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-10-13.08.18 No. 155/18

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

Contents

[A] Turkish Cypriot Press

[01] Devaluation of TL continues Occupation regime's "council of ministers" discusses measures The "assembly" might be extraordinarily convened

[02] Afrika argues that the USA puts condition to Turkey to abandon gas exploration around Cyprus

[03] The occupation regime will sell more Greek Cypriot properties to foreigners

[04] Columnist says that the Turkish Cypriots have chosen to live depended on Turkey

[05] Akansoy: "We should not wait for another spring for a solution"


[B] Turkish Press


[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

[01] Turkey Central Bank to provide all liquidity banks need; Kalin: Turkey's economy is strong

[02] Erdogan: We challenge your dollar operations

[03] Cavusoglu: "US should learn they will not achieve results with sanctions against Turkey"

[04] Albayrak: "No deposits will be seized"; he unveiled Turkey's new economic perspective

[05] Kilicdaroglu says: "Turkey's economic problems are not only economic but also political"

[06] Nationalist MHP leader slams 'attack' on Turkish currency

[07] Columnist outlines Turkey's alternatives on economy

[08] Meral Aksener re-elected as IYI Party leader


[A] Turkish Cypriot Press

[01] Devaluation of TL continues Occupation regime's "council of ministers" discusses measures The "assembly" might be extraordinarily convened

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.08.18) reports that the value of the foreign currencies towards the Turkish lira (TL) has reached record levels as a result of the crisis between the USA and Turkey. TL's devaluation against the dollar, the euro and the sterling pound increased the fear of businessmen that they will go bankrupt and led people to crisis, notes that paper adding that during the closure of the markets on Friday in the occupied area of Cyprus, the dollar had climbed to 7 TL, the euro to 7,7 TL and sterling to 8,50 TL. The dollar in Turkey increased to 7,30 TL last night, while the euro and sterling reached 8,40 TL and 9,20 TL respectively. In the websites of some banks, the sterling increased to 10 TL.

Commenting on the statements made by Turkish Minister of Finance, Berat Albayrak regarding Turkey's "new economic model", Turkish Cypriot economists said that Albayrak's statements included no measures which could "extinguish the fire" of the foreign currencies. They also pointed out that Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus are facing the risk of serious inflation pressure in the short term.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (13.08.18) reports that self-styled foreign minister and "government spokesman", Kudret Ozersay told illegal TAK news agency that the occupation regime's "council of ministers" would meet extraordinarily today to discuss the steps, which will be taken regarding the economic developments in the "country". He said that the "council of ministers" will discuss the issue of extraordinarily convening the "assembly" regarding the economic crisis, because it intends to secure social consensus for the measures it will implement on the economy.

Thechairman of theopposition National Unity Party (UBP), Huseyin Ozgurgun called on the political parties and the organizations to do their duty and criticized the "government", which he accused of continuing its vacations showing as pretext that it waits for a meeting with Turkish officials to be arranged.

Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Liberation Party New Forces (TKP-YG) said that especially the shopkeepers and the small businesses are in a difficult situation because of the increase of the value of the foreign currencies and the prices of electricity. Cakici warned that collective bankruptcies will take place because of the economic crisis and added that they are on the verge of "social explosion".

Moreover, illegal Bayrak (13.08.18, http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=pm-erhurman-holds-press-conference-2) broadcast that "prime minister" Tufan Erhurman and the chairman of the occupation regime's "central bank", Rifat Guney held a press conference this morning before today's extraordinary "cabinet" meeting to discuss possible measures to minimize the impact caused by the "sharp fall" in the value of the TL.

Erhurmansaid that a series of measures in the form of "delegated legislation" or "statutory decrees" will be introduced later this week. Pointing out that the "council of ministers" will be discussing possible measures aimed at preserving the public's purchasing power and preventing the shrinking of the market, Erhurman noted that they will also be deciding on whether to convene the "parliament". "However, the measures will most likely be in the form of statutory decrees or delegated legislation", he added.

In his statements, Guney argued that all the banks operating in the occupied area of Cyprus "are standing strong" and that "there are no problems". He said that the banks are currently operating without any restrictions or limitations and added that should the need arise the "central bank" will be giving all the support the banks might require or need.

Under the title "Eyes are in Turkey now", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.08.18) reports that economists and former "ministers of finance" agree that the Turkish Cypriots should ask for more money from Turkey. Former "minister of finance", Zeren Mungan recalled that almost one billion TL for reforms exist in the "protocols", which the regime signed with Turkey. He argued that they could take this money by implementing these reforms. He also expressed the belief that Turkey will support the "public finance" on issues deriving from the use of the TL.

Former "minister of finance", Ersin Tatar said that they should meet with Turkish officials because the breakaway regime implements "programs" which it has agreed with Turkey. He noted that the targets regarding the foreign exchange in these programs have become totally different and added that therefore these programs "are meaningless now".

Under the title "We are in an economic salvation war", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.08.18) reports that it is difficult for the war of sanctions implemented by the USA to end within a short period of time and argues that the crisis could be turned into an opportunity for investments in the field of tourism in the occupied area of Cyprus. The paper writes that 20,000 beds exist in the field of tourism and claims that they should act quickly to increase this number as "the crisis is a unique opportunity".

(I/Ts.)

[02] Afrika argues that the USA puts condition to Turkey to abandon gas exploration around Cyprus

Under the title "Eight conditions from the USA to Turkey", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.08.18) reported that the countries, which the US sanctions hit most, are Iran and Turkey, adding that the USA has 3 conditions to Iran in order not to impose sanctions against them and 8 conditions to Turkey, which is also a NATO ally country.

According to the paper, the USA demanded the following conditions from Turkey in order not to impose sanctions:

The immediate release of 20 agents involved in the initiative of the 2016 July 15 coup including pastor Brunson. The USA has given a deadline to Ankara until Wednesday (August 15th) for the release especially of Brunson.

Turkey to enforce a comprehensive embargo to Iran.

Not to purchase the S400 from Russia.

Ankara's Palestinian policy to be revised.

To abandon natural gas and oil exploration around Cyprus.

To consent for Halkbank's punishments.

Ankara to close the file of demanding Fetullah Gulen's extradition.

To grand licenses to American companies in critical quarries that Turkey possesses.

(DPs)

[03] The occupation regime will sell more Greek Cypriot properties to foreigners

Under the title "They will overcome the crisis by selling Greek Cypriot properties to foreigners", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.08.18) reported that Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has replied to the demand of the building contractors and real estate agents' unions on the issue of the purchase of immovable property by foreigners for increasing the flow of money in the occupied area of Cyprus and contributing to economic growth.

Baybars stated that they are carrying out some work now for exiting from the economic crisis and that they will make an arrangement according to which they will increase the number of the detached houses that foreigners have the right to purchase in the occupied area of Cyprus from one to two and the number of apartments from two to three. She said that their target is to complete this work by the end of the week and then to pass the arrangement from the "council of ministers".

Columnist Sener Levent commented on the issue in his article in Afrika (12.08.18) under the title "More foreigners than the foreigners". Wondering which the status recognized [by the occupation regime] to the Greek Cypriots in the occupied area of the island is, Levent writes, inter alia, the following:

"Does a Greek Cypriot not have the rights which the British, the French and the Russians have here? [] Let us see those from Turkey. Which is their status? I am not asking about those who acquired citizenship. They have anyway abundantly taken what they would take. Moreover, they have not taken two detached houses, three apartment and things like that. [They have taken] Hotels. Villas. Fields and plots of lands of many donums . They are the ones who took everything which had been stolen with the force of arms from the Greek Cypriots. To whom do you think that the properties which will be sold to foreigners now belong? [] To Greek Cypriots of course. [] Behold another law now. Foreigners will be able to acquire two detached houses or three apartments on the Greek Cypriot lands-booty. Russians will acquire, British will acquire, everybody will acquire. However, the real owners, the Greek C ypriots will not be able to acquire. []"

(I/Ts.)

[04] Columnist says that the Turkish Cypriots have chosen to live depended on Turkey

Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.08.18), columnist Ali Baturay comments on the relations of the Turkish Cypriots with Turkey and the information that Turkey has cut the aid it was providing to the regime in the field of education. Baturay notes that establishing good relations with Turkey does not necessarily mean that they should be totally depended on Ankara, adding that "if one side is absolutely depended on the other side, the development of the model of 'the one who gives orders' and the 'one who implements the orders' will start rather than a good relation". "When you have an absolute need, you are obliged to do things which they ask you, even though you do not like it", he writes adding that they have many times seen this situation in their relations with Turkey. Noting that Turkey determines the fate of the "TRNC governments" even though these are elected by the "people", the columnist says:

"[] If the TRNC governments are directed from Turkey through a remote control, or if they are roped up and when the rope lefts over they walk and when the rope is straightened they stop, is the TRNC a state? Then, are the TRNC governments a government? Then, is it not everything pretended? Then, are those who say that 'the TRNC is a subordinate administration' unfair?

The blame is on us. We have not tried to stand on our own feet. We have not said: 'let us gain less but let us administrate ourselves, let us produce, let us support investments, let us remain standing'. We have said: 'let some ones give us and let us be relaxed'. Instead of choosing an honorable life, we preferred the life of 'being in need', 'a parasite'. And now we are complaining. Many people do not want a solution to be reached in Cyprus. They say that when there is a solution, we will be obliged to renounce some things. They say that the solution has some 'costs', strike fear and prefer to live the 'parasite' life. Now we are not in the position of complaining for the fact that the foreign currency crisis in Turkey influenced us much more and of the fact that the government there cut us the money for education. We are the ones who have chosen living like this.

In spite of all of these, however, I want to recall the Turkish officials that children who are their own citizens also exist among those who are waiting for education and I call on the Turkish officials to reason. There can be no revenge through education. All children will be punished and not only a politician or a party. If a politician or a party has a fault, let the voters in their own country punish them".

(I/Ts.)

[05] Akansoy: "We should not wait for another spring for a solution"

Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (13.08.18) publishes an interview with Asim Akansoy, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, who stressed they cannot wait another spring for a solution.

Evaluating the Cyprus negotiation process, Akansoy noted that as long as the incidents are being seen through a nationalistic frame, the solution process is losing its dynamically growing. He further said that the Guterres framework offers the opportunity to both sides to make a progress, but there is a lack of confidence between the leaders, claiming that Anastasiades could not take a step and show leadership in the opening of Akinci on the territorial issue at the Mont Pelerin negotiations.

Noting that the nationalists are the reason for the division of the island, Akansoy added that this island has been divided by the effect of those who are drunk with great nationalist discourses. He stressed: "The solution is a reality and a necessity". He also said that it is necessary to work harder and jointly, warning on the wasting of time.

(DPs)


[B] Turkish Press

[01] Turkey Central Bank to provide all liquidity banks need; Kalin: Turkey's economy is strong

According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-central-bank-to-provide-all-liquidity-banks-need/1229458), Banks' liquidity needs will be provided by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), the bank announced on Monday. "In the framework of intraday and overnight standing facilities, the Central Bank will provide all the liquidity the banks need," the bank said in a written statement.

It added: "Banks will be able to borrow foreign exchange deposits in one-month maturity in addition to one-week maturity. If needed, the Central Bank may increase lenders' current foreign exchange deposit limits -- $50 billion -- and improve utilization conditions. To provide banks flexibility in their collateral management, the Central Bank revised discount rates for collaterals against Turkish lira transactions, said the statement."

The bank added: "Through this regulation, the discounted value of banks' current unencumbered collaterals is projected to increase by approximately 3.8 billion Turkish liras ($555.4 million)." The Central Bank also raised foreign exchange deposit limits for lira transactions of lenders from 7.2 billion ($8.2 billion) to 20 billion ($22.8 billion).

The Central Bank also lowered Turkish lira reserve requirement ratios by 250 basis points for all maturity brackets, and reserve requirement ratios for non-core FX liabilities by 400 basis points for up to three-year maturities.

The bank also announced that it will continue its intermediation in the foreign exchange deposit market.

"Accordingly, through the intermediation of the Central Bank, banks will be able to borrow from and lend to each other at the FX deposit market as per the rules set by the Implementation Instructions on the Foreign Exchange and Banknotes Markets," it added.

It said: "Banks will continue to purchase foreign bank notes from the Central Bank via foreign exchange transactions within their pre-determined limits at the Foreign Exchange and Banknotes Markets."

The bank also said that it raised the maximum average maintenance facility for foreign exchange liabilities to 8%.

"With this revision, approximately 10 billion Turkish liras ($1.46 billion), $6 billion, and $3 billion equivalent of gold liquidity will be provided to the financial system," it added.

Market depth and price formations will be monitored by the Central Bank closely, which will take all necessary measures to protect financial stability, if needed, said the bank.

On the same issue, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (13.08.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/08/13/turkeys-economy-strong-steps-taken-for-financial-stability-pres-spox-kalin-says) reports that Turkey's economy is strong and no one should pay attention to speculative news and moves, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kal?n said Monday on his official Twitter account. He added that the Treasury, Central Bank, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BBDK), Capital Markets Board (SPK) and other institutions are taking necessary steps for financial stability.

[02] Erdogan: We challenge your dollar operations

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.08.18,http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-we-challenge-your-dollar-operations-135723), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sharply criticized the United States decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports, calling the move as an "operation" and portraying the plunge in the Turkish currency's value as an "economic war" against Turkey.

"It is making an operation against Turkey Its aim is to force Turkey to surrender in every field from finance to politics, to make Turkey and the Turkish nation kneel down", Erdogan said in a speech at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) meeting in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on Aug. 12.

"We have seen your play and we challenge you," he added, referring to the fluctuation of the Turkish Lira against the dollar. ()

The Turkish Trade Ministry called the move "illegal," pointing to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Erdogan stressed that the Turkish economy has not come to the edge of an economic crisis, pointing to the increase in manufacturing, exports and tourism revenues. "They have been trying to achieve what they failed to do through provocations and a coup attempt with money now," he said.

"If you advance upon us by the dollar, we will look for other means to carry on our business," he added.

Relations between Turkey and the U.S. have been tense over a range of issues, from the Syrian conflict to the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Erdogan rejected requests to return Brunson to the U.S., recalling the indictment of terrorism charges against him.

He also accused the U.S. of cooperating with terrorist organizations for its support to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey deems as the offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), who Turkey, the EU and the U.S. identify as a terrorist organization.

Erdogan had warned the U.S. is "changing a strategic NATO partner with a pastor" in his speech in the Black Sea province of Ordu on Aug. 11. "We only bow down before God. It is wrong to try to chasten Turkey for a priest here. I am addressing the U.S. once again: It's a shame. You are changing a strategic NATO partner with a pastor. We will only do whatever justice requires," he had said.

[03] Cavusoglu: "US should learn they will not achieve results with sanctions against Turkey"

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-should-learn-they-will-not-achieve-results-with-sanctions-against-turkey-top-diplomat-135738), the United States has to learn that it can't achieve results with sanctions, threats and pressure on Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Minister has said, reiterating that Ankara is ready to find a solution to the ongoing row through dialogue and diplomacy.

"It's impossible for us to accept these sanctions and threats. Our expectation from the U.S. is to remain loyal to our traditional friendship and our NATO alliance," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an address to the Turkish Ambassadors during an annual conference in Ankara on Aug 13.

()

"The U.S. is in a confusion. 'Should we resolve this problem with Turkey or should we maintain it until November elections?'" Cavusoglu said, referring to mid-term polls for the U.S. Congress.

The Minister stressed that the U.S. should learn that they will not achieve any results with sanctions while calling for more dialogue and diplomacy. "Turkey has done enough to repair ties", he said, underlining that the culture of compromise requires both sides' steps for resolving questions.

Cavusoglu also recalled that the U.S. has not taken any concrete step on Turkey's extradition request for Fethullah Gulen, believed to be the mastermind of July 2016 coup attempt and has acted contrary to the alliance regarding the fundamental security issues of Turkey.

[04] Albayrak: "No deposits will be seized"; he unveiled Turkey's new economic perspective

Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (13.08.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/no-deposits-will-be-seized-turkish-finmin-3438590) reports that Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak early Monday vowed to fight "lies" that deposit money would be seized or that foreign currencies in bank accounts would be converted into Turkish liras, saying that no such steps will be taken.

"Deposit money will not be seized. Foreign currencies in bank accounts will not be converted into Turkish liras. However, those lies will be fought off until the end in the judicial sphere," Albayrak tweeted.

Albayrak said an action plan is coming into effect starting early Monday. "Our institutions will take the necessary steps to relax the markets," he said.

Albayrak explained that they prepared the plan together with banks for the real sector, the sector the most affected by recent currency fluctuations. "We will take the necessary steps rapidly, together with our banks and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency," he added.

Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (10.08.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/08/11/new-economic-approach-pledges-tight-monetary-fiscal-policy-central-bank-independence) reported that a new economic path for the Turkish economy devised by Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his team in consultation with all stakeholders, including leading businesspeople, prominent scholars and relevant business associations, was announced on Friday.

Dubbed the new economic approach, which aims to write a new economic story for Turkey, the plan emphasizes strong commitment to tight monetary and fiscal policies to ensure economic rebalancing in the short term and emphasizes the independence of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT). While Turkey's new detailed Medium-Term Program (MTP) will be announced in September, the new economic approach outlines a five-year foundation for the implementation of the program. ()

One of the strong features of the new economic approach will be its sustainability, Albayrak said. He explained that the economic model will be able to generate strong reflexes and strategies while it will promote transformation in accordance with daily necessities.

The Minister further explained the foundational principles of the new economic approach that will guide the implementation of the Turkish economy's macro policies. Strong communication with the markets and ensuring confidence in markets will be the first principle and will be strengthened with realistic policies compliant with market rules.

"Another principle is to ensure the full independence of monetary policies. The independence of the CBRT is of utmost importance. We will prioritize strong stability to enable all the financial sector actors to maintain their operations effectively," Albayrak said.

The Central Bank should closely monitor all the processes to sustain price stability, he added. Moreover, other principles will focus on budgetary balance, tight monetary and fiscal policies and harmonized fiscal and monetary policies. ()

The Minister also previously said that new instruments will be introduced to deepen the Turkish capital markets as the country aims to draw more overseas investments to domestic markets. ()

Albayrak underlined that public spending will be planned according to the criteria predicted by the new economic model. Referring particularly to the incentive systems that are covered by the government budget, if a project manufactures technological products, increases exports, and contributes to reducing the current deficit, and then it will be granted incentive.

"One of the key phrases of this new era is that we will manage the investments and expenditures more effectively in terms of the determined criteria," he said. "Expenditures are coming back to the Treasury and Finance Minister. All Ministries and public institutions will continue on their path in the harmonious way we have underlined."

Albayrak explained that the new economic approach will have three pillars consisting of economic rebalance, sustainable growth and a fairer share of welfare.

While the economic rebalance will cover the period of 2018-2019, sustainable growth is aimed for 2020-2021 and the fairer share of wealth will be the main goal for the period of 2022-2023.

In the first phase, "economic rebalance," Turkey will fight inflation, ensure fiscal discipline and lower the current account deficit to provide economic balance, Albayrak said. "We will recover the environment of confidence and boost productivity and savings," he said adding, "Turkey also will deepen capital markets to diversify sources for financing public debt."

According to the Minister, the fields of strategic growth will be identified, especially those with value-added, strategic and technological output in the second phase which will prioritize sustainable growth. "We will focus on exports and cutting the current account deficit," he added.

In the third phase that will cover 2022 and 2023, economic policies will ensure a fairer share of wealth. To that end, the country's tax system will be also simplified and the government will aim for a productive Turkey, he stressed. Saying that Turkey will start a transformation process in its tax system, Albayrak explained that this would result in a fairer tax system.

The number of indirect taxes will be cut, while the government will fight the underground economy and bring down unemployment. The last and most supporting element of this three-pillar approach will be the qualified human resource that will be a key in the successful implementation of all phases.

He added that skilled human resources and a strong society will support the three main phases of Turkey's new economic perspective.

Albayrak also announced that a new financial regulatory authority will be established in the upcoming period. The legislative framework has been prepared and will be presented to the Parliament in October. The new financial authority will work to enhance Turkish financial markets and will implement best global practices. ()

[05] Kilicdaroglu says: "Turkey's economic problems are not only economic but also political"

Under the title "Turkey is skidding, main opposition CHP leader says", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-is-skidding-main-opposition-chp-leader-says-135678) reports that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu stated that the Turkish Lira's loss of value is a result of wrong political decisions made by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), adding that the economic problems Turkey currently faces are "not only economic but also political".

"If the Turkish Lira is now only a piece of paper against foreign currencies, its reason is the one-man regime," Kilicdaroglu posted on his official Twitter account on Aug. 9.

"The crisis Turkey is experiencing today is not only an economic crisis. We have to make the diagnosis right. This crisis is a political crisis. That is why we are saying Turkey has not been ruled, it is skidding," he added, criticizing the ruling AKP's economy policy decisions.

He voiced the main opposition's concern over the independence of the Central Bank, stating that in their 16 years of rule, the AKP has made the economy dependent. ()

He accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "intervening in the Central Bank's decisions" and "paving the way for those without foreign exchange earnings to go into debt on foreign currencies".

He also criticized the ruling AKP's construction policies, stating Erdogan "gave pro-government contractors a Treasury guarantee over foreign currencies".

[06] Nationalist MHP leader slams 'attack' on Turkish currency

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/nationalist-mhp-leader-slams-attack-on-turkish-currency-135690), Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader on Aug. 10 said that the attacks on currency aim to weaken Turkey. Devlet Bahceli wrote on Twitter that the increase in currencies rate against Turkish lira was caused by "cruel tyrannies and despotic sanctions" that aims to the "fall of Turkey".

His remarks came hours after U.S. President Donald Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by raising steel and aluminium tariffs on its NATO ally. "Economic terror is being created on the pretext of a pastor," Bahceli said referring to American pastor Andrew Brunson who is under house arrest in Turkey.

"The unfinished treason on July 15 [failed coup in 2016] is being restructured."

Bahceli called on the Turkish people to unite against "the artificial jump" and embrace the Turkish lira. "We need to be in solidarity. We need to show clearly and categorically that the artificial jump in currencies cannot take this country as hostage," Bahceli added.

The MHP leader argued that the increase in currencies was "a political and diplomatic blackmail" and not based on economy. "We cannot and will not be submissive", he added.

[07] Columnist outlines Turkey's alternatives on economy

Under the title "An important week for Turkey", columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/murat-yetkin/an-important-week-for-turkey-135725), reports that this week is important for Turkey not only for its economy and the prosperity of the people but for its key political relations with the United States.

Yetkin argued that the rift with the U.S. is not the only reason for the currency fever, but interventions by the Trump administration have been used as a weapon to further weaken the lira, with the purpose of putting political pressure on Erdogan.

Secondly, Erdogan has a point when he said Turkey is not without alternatives. The remark is similar to that of Ismet Inonu, the Turkish Prime Minister of 1964, who in reply to a threatening letter by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson (because of a crisis in Cyprus) said, "A new world could be found and Turkey can take its place in it."

Turkey was not established with the help of the U.S. and will not cease to exist without its help.

Columnist outlines what would be Turkey's alternatives:

"The first question is, would Turkey still be a part of NATO, the Western defence alliance, while being at odds with the U.S.? If Turkey is out of NATO, that would be a tremendous gain for Russia for example, and a loss for EU countries, which heavily depend on NATO for their defence, especially when considering their fear of Russia.

The second question is about the EU economies. If the Turkish economy goes down, in which way would it influences the EU banking system, imports and exports?

The third question: Turkey is still a candidate for the EU, but only on paper. Their political relations are not good at all. If alliance relations between Turkey and the U.S. will be damaged, what could be the political implications of that to Turkish-EU relations?

Would Russia, China, and perhaps Iran be reliable partners for Turkey? Both Russia and Iran have been historical rivals in the region for centuries, even before the U.S. was even a dream. In a way, the near history of Turkey is wars with Russia and alliances with the Western powers against it, and vice versa, alliances with Russia against the Western powers, then the United Kingdom and France. And China is the rising power in global geopolitics but Turkey may not be an indispensable partner for it in Beijing's relations with the U.S. and the EU.

If Trump and Pence think that when they threaten Erdogan with economic and military sanctions they could instigate a popular uprising against him, that means they and their advisers do not even have a clue about the psyche of societies in the old world, including Turkey. It is more likely to serve a rally-around-the-flag factor in this part of the world.

There is not only one opposition party slamming Erdogan for challenging Trump. For example, Meral Aksener of the Good (IYI) Party said, "We will not leave punishing our boy to strangers". On the other hand, Trump, as the leader of the world's biggest economic and military power, has put himself in an unnecessary impasse by linking the preferences of a voter base to the collective anger of a nation, allowing a pastor to squeeze in between them.

There is a lot to be lost in both parties if the brinkmanship-like rift continues. I am not sure whether a call for all to be calm will work at this point."

[08] Meral Aksener re-elected as IYI Party leader

According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.08.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-meral-aksener-reelected-as-iyi-party-leader/1229073), Turkey's Good (IYI) Party will continue to be led by Meral Aksener, who was elected at the party's second extraordinary congress in Ankara on Sunday.

Aksener, the only candidate to run, received 881 votes. The seven remaining votes were ruled invalid. Aksener had 7.2% of the vote in Turkey's last presidential election.

In its first election, the IYI Party made it to Parliament with over 40 Deputies and received 10% of the votes as part of the "Nation Alliance" with the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Felicity Party.

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs/ AM)


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