News Scan for Turkey, Nov 16th 2016
US dollar reaches new record high at 3.31 against Turkish lira
The U.S. dollar – Turkish lira parity climbed to a new record high of 3.3120 on Wednesday after the sales wave that developed in global bond markets following the U.S. elections, which negatively impacted the currencies of developing countries.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be visiting Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Nov. 16-17 and Nov. 17-18, respectively, presidential sources said Tuesday.
According to the sources, Erdoğan will hold official talks with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and will address the National Assembly of Pakistan in a joint session. It will be Erdoğan’s second visit to Pakistan as president, and he has also previously paid several visits as prime minister. The President will also attend a meeting with businesspeople and Prime Minister Sharif, and will visit Lahore afterwards.
EU criticises Turkey but not ready to halt membership talks
European Union foreign ministers on Monday criticised Turkey’s crackdown on alleged supporters of a failed military coup in July but Austria’s call to suspend Ankara’s EU membership bid failed to garner enough backing.
As the 28 EU foreign ministers met in Brussels, President Tayyip Erdogan said he was ready to hold a referendum on whether to continue the membership talks and reiterated that he would restore the death penalty – a move sure to scupper the EU talks – if his parliament passed such a law.
Turkey has suspended, dismissed or detained at least 110,000 people, including soldiers, judges and teachers, since the coup. Critics of President Tayyip Erdogan accuse him of using it as a pretext to crush dissent, a charge he denies.
Turkish jets hit al-Bab in push to take ISIL’s Raqqa
Turkish jets hit 15 “targets” in the al-Bab area of northern Syria on Sunday in an operation with Syrian rebels that could foreshadow a push on ISIL’s de facto capital Raqqa, the Turkish military said.
Ten defensive positions, command centres and an ammunition store used by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group were destroyed in the raids, the army said in a statement.
Nine Syrian rebels were killed and 52 wounded during clashes in the area, it added.
Boris Johnson urges EU to go soft on Turkey’s plan to reintroduce the death penalty
Boris Johnson stunned his EU foreign minister counterparts this afternoon by calling on the bloc to tone down its opposition to Turkey reintroducing the death penalty, it has been reported.
Diplomats present at the foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels said that Mr Johnson had warned against pushing Turkey “into a corner” over the issue.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed the return of the death penalty this summer after he purged over 100,000 potential political opponents from the country’s civil service and arrested opposition political parties.
Tensions flare as Turkey heads for referendum on new powers for President Erdogan as dissent crackdown continues
Turkey is heading to a referendum on granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan new powers as early as next spring, ratcheting up tensions amid a crackdown on dissent and pro-Kurdish politicians, analysts say.
The courts have arrested over 35,000 people under a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the failed July 15 coup aimed at unseating Erdogan whose defeat the authorities see as a triumph of Turkish democracy. But with 10 MPs from the main Kurdish party and the same number from the opposition Cumhuriyet daily imprisoned this month, critics say the focus of the crackdown has gone well beyond alleged supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Turkey blames for the plot.
The prime political concern of Erdogan following the failure of the coup has been winning support to change the existing constitution to create a presidential system.
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.