Published On: Mon, Jul 31st, 2017

News Scan for Turkey, July 31st 2017

Turkey and US in new row over terror support

Ankara and Washington have been engaged in a fresh debate over terrorism support, after a top U.S. official claimed there was a link between Turkey and the presence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria’s Idlib.

Turkey has strongly condemned remarks by Brett Mc- Gurk, U.S. special envoy for the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while also recalling the U.S. support to Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it says is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), hence a terrorist group.

“Our reaction to the statements of Brett McGurk, in which he associated Turkey with the presence of terrorist organizations in Idlib was brought to Mr. McGurk’s attention at a high-level démarche and his statements, which could be characterized as provocative, were protested,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said in a written statement on July 30.–row-over-terror-support.aspx?pageID=238&nID=116133&NewsCatID=510

Turkish tourism income up almost 9 pct from 2016: TurkStat

With more foreigners visiting Turkey, the country’s tourism income rose year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said Monday.

Turkey earned more than $5.4 billion from April to June, up by almost 9 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the data. TurkStat said that 81.3 percent of the income (excluding GSM roaming and marina service expenditures) was received from foreign visitors while the rest came from Turkish expats.

The number of visitors who left Turkey in the first quarter reached nearly 8.9 million, an 18.3 percent increase when compared to the same period last year.

Of them 7.7 million were foreign visitors, who made up 86.6 percent of the tourists who departed from Turkey in the first quarter, Turkstat added. Nearly 1.2 million Turkish expats also left Turkey in the first quarter, making for 13.4 percent of the foreign visitors.

UN agency launches ‘Help’ site for refugees in Turkey

A new multi-lingual website offering refugees in Turkey information about rights, services and obligations was launched on Monday.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Turkey said its “Help” website would strengthen its outreach to millions of asylum-seekers and refugees in the country. It said the website — available in Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and English — would serve as the UNHCR’s “online interface for information intended for asylum-seekers and refugees in Turkey”.

“Help will enable both the Syrian and non-Syrian population to reach information across a range of themes asked most by asylum-seekers and refugees, from registration and refugee status determination procedures to education and livelihoods,” the UNHCR added.

‘Such mistake won’t happen again’, says Turkey’s minister on blacklisting of German firms

At a meeting in his party’s provincial office in Denizli on Saturday (July 29), Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci gave statements about the latest row with Germany regarding the request by Turkey for 681 German firms to be investigated in connection to failed coup of 2016.

The list, which included business giants, such as Daimler and Siemens, had been initially submitted to Interpol by Turkey with the request of investigation into these firms as Turkey ‘had suspected they might be financing groups linked to terror’.

Germany’s Die Zeit reported that there was also a separate request of Turkey from Germany for 68 German firms operating in Turkey to be investigated. The request was declined by German federal police on July 21st as the charges claimed by Turkey were not found to be ‘credible enough to launch an investigation on’ and authorities in Turkey later withdrew the request, reports said.

Farmers in Turkey’s Thrace feel neglected as government opens way for imported wheat

Farmers in Turkey’s Thrace are upset as their wheat was sold for less than 1 TL (0.28 USD) per kilo. Farmers in southern and Aegean provinces began their harvest earlier during the year and were able to sell their wheat for 1.2 TL per kilo. By the time it was harvest season in Thrace, however, the price of wheat went down to 0.80 TL (80 Kuruş).

Since the decrease in the price of their produced wheat was mainly due to the government’s last minute regulation which lowered the customs tarriff on wheat from 130% to 45%, opening the way for more imported wheat to enter the country’s market with lower prices.

It’s a step considered by the local farmers of the northwestern region of the country as a blow on ‘domestic agriculture’.

Farmers to take to streets unless current policies revised, association warns

Farmers may soon hit the streets unless the sector’s deep problems are resolved, a leading association has warned, adding that the agricultural sector has become a scapegoat in explaining why the inflation rate is so high.

The head of the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB), Şemsi Bayraktar, harshly reacted to a number of policies which he said have been putting huge pressure on farmers.

“Food prices have been accused of being the main reason behind the skyrocketing inflation rate. While their share is nearly 3 percent, what is behind the remaining 8 percent? Why should, for instance, the impact of the transportation costs not be voiced? Nobody is talking about this,” he said at a press meeting in Ankara on July 31.

Turkish inflation cooled for the second straight month in June, showed the data in early July, as a drop in food prices led to a lower-than-expected 10.9 percent increase in annual consumer prices. The data marked a further fall from the 8.5-year peak of the 11.87 percent hit in April.

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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