Published On: Sat, Aug 19th, 2017

News Scan for Turkey, August 19th, 2017

Erdoğan tells Turks in Germany not to vote for ‘Turkey’s enemies’ Merkel, Schulz, Greens

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on Turks in Germany to not vote for “enemies of Turkey,” claiming that the main reason for the recent crisis between Ankara and Berlin is the “race for votes” ahead of the general elections in Germany. “Right now in Germany the (Social Democrats) SPD and the (Christian Democrats) CDU are saying, ‘We can get many votes if we batter Turkey.’ I am telling all my citizens in Germany to never support those parties.

Do not support the CDU, the SPD or the Greens. They are all the enemies of Turkey,” Erdoğan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul on Aug. 18. “Give necessary support to political parties that do not engage in enmity against Turkey. It is not important whether they are the first or the second party,” he added. The call prompted a reaction from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who blasted Erdoğan’s remarks as “interference.”

Turkey, Iran shake hands on joint mechanism with Russia in Idlib

Iranian Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri’s meetings with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his three-day visit to Ankara are expected to bear concrete results in Idlib, Syria as the ball is now in the court of experts from the respective countries to discuss minor details, senior diplomatic sources in Ankara told Daily Sabah.

The Turkish and Iranian military chiefs in their meeting in Ankara earlier this week shook hands on a joint de-escalation zone mechanism in Idlib, which would also include the Russian military, high level sources said. The generals came to a mutual understanding for the controversial Syrian town to “easily sort out the issue.”

Economy Minister: Turkey eyes Eurasian Customs Union

Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s remarks on Wednesday stating that the customs union deal with Turkey is not going to be modernized, EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik criticized the German chancellor and called her statements unfortunate. Following Turkey’s reprimand, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Turkey is still considering its affiliation with the European Customs Union but aspires to become a part of Eurasian Customs Union, as well.

Striving to expand its collaboration across the globe, like the recent sectorial partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Turkey has devised an economic partnership agenda that could tie the country to the various regions of the world. To that end, one of Turkey’s largest trade partners, Eurasia emerges as a favorable partner with whom to deepen commercial relations.

US Secretary of Defense to visit Turkey next week

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will travel to Jordan, Turkey and Ukraine later this month, the Pentagon said on Friday. Mattis will begin his trip in Jordan where he will meet with King Abdullah. Jordan is a member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The visit will be Mattis’ first to Jordan as defense secretary.

Iran’s Chief of Staff arrives in Turkey for a three-day long visit Iran’s Chief of Staff arrives in Turkey for a three-day long visit. Mattis will also travel to NATO-ally Turkey where he will meet top Turkish officials, including President Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Secretary Mattis will emphasize the steadfast commitment of the United States to Turkey as a NATO ally and strategic partner, seek to collaborate on efforts to advance regional stability, and look for ways to help Turkey address its legitimate security concerns – including the fight against the PKK,” the Pentagon said in the statement.

Russian minister calls Turkey ‘crucial’ trade partner

Ankara is a “crucial” trade partner for Moscow, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Aug. 18. “Multidimensional cooperation of our countries is developing,” Novak said, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.

Addressing the 86th İzmir International Fair on its opening day, which Russia is attending as a partner country, Novak said Russia and Turkey were enhancing cooperation in several fields including industry, transport, agriculture and construction. “For instance, [bilateral] trade volume increased by 28 percent in the first half of this year,” he said.  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently reiterates that Turkey’s desire is to increase mutual trade volume with Russia up to $100 billion.

After Turkey shot down a Russian military jet over an airspace violation in November 2015, Moscow took several measures against Ankara, including banning imports of Turkish agricultural products and ending visa-free travel for Turks.–.aspx?pageID=238&nID=116906&NewsCatID=345

US, Saudi Arabia plan to remove Turkey from regional equation

Details of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Saudi Arabia visit, immortalized in the public’s memory with his orb and sword dancing photos, have started to emerge.

In Riyadh, it was discussed that Turkey should be completely removed from the Syria equation. The U.S. delegation said, “All relations between Turkey and the Syrian opposition should be cut off. In this regard, initiatives must be redeveloped.” The removal of the Syrian opposition Revolutionaries Forces Coalition (SMDK) in Syria and the Syrian Provisional Government in Gaziantep, which were based in central Istanbul, were among the topics discussed at the same talks.

PM Yıldırım says Turkey not aching for Customs Union update

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Aug. 18 that Ankara was not pushing for an update of the Customs Union amid an ongoing debate over recent remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggesting Berlin would not pursue an update of the agreement.

Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers in the capital Ankara, Yıldırım said the Customs Union update is not an issue Germany can decide on unilaterally. “The Customs Union is not a unilateral agreement. Turkey is not in the mood to suggest to change the Customs Union as soon as possible. Turkey will make a decision according to what its interests require. No matter what happens, we are not in a situation that aches for an update of this Customs Union. They should not worry or get too excited,” Yıldırım said.

Merkel had stated earlier that Berlin would not pursue an update of the Customs Union with Ankara.

compiled by Editor BTT

This is a news-scan from major Turkish papers and internet sites. However, we do not verify above stories neither do we vouch for their accuracy.

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