Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Jewish nation-state bill disregards norms of universal law, Palestinians’ rights, Turkey says

July 20, 2018

The Jewish nation-state bill passed by the Israeli parliament early Thursday disregards the norms of universal law and the rights of Palestinian-origin Israeli citizens, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The law announcing Jerusalem, occupied by Israel, as the capital city is null and void in the eyes of the international community,” the ministry said, adding that promoting Jewish settlements that have been repeatedly deemed unlawful by the United Nations is also “unacceptable.”

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

Giving the right of self-determination only to Jews is “the product of an outdated and discriminatory mentality” and the law “eliminates the vision of a two-state solution,” the ministry warned.

The ministry also called on the international community to respond to Israel’s bid to cover up ongoing occupant and unlawful activities in Palestine.

Vice President Fuat Oktay also lashed out at the bill and said it hurts the rule of law and cannot be accepted by the Republic of Turkey.

Presidency Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın also criticized the bill, saying that Turkey condemns the move in the strongest terms and it is unacceptable to accept this racist step aiming to legally erase the people of Palestine from their homeland.

The controversial legislation officially defines Israel as the “national homeland of the Jewish people.”

The law, which passed with a 62-55 backing, is defined as a “basic law,” granting it quasi-constitutional status.

Opponents to the law say it marginalizes the country’s Arab minority. One clause downgrades the Arabic language from official to “special” standing.

Israel’s Arab citizens number some 1.8 million, about 20 percent of the 9 million population.

Early drafts had gone further in what critics at home and abroad saw as discrimination towards Arabs, who have long said they are treated in Israel as second-class citizens.

Clauses that were dropped after political wrangling would have enshrined in law the establishment of Jewish-only communities.

“This controversial law is another attempt to obliterate the Arab-Palestinian identity and to institutionalize and legitimize apartheid policies rather than promoting peace,” Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said in a statement.

Hamdallah also said the law, which refers to the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, “is the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution.”

The European Union on Thursday also said it was concerned about the new Israeli law.

“We are concerned, we have expressed this concern and we will continue to engage with Israeli authorities in this context,” a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini told a news briefing.

“We’ve been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution from becoming a reality should be avoided,” she said.

https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/07/19/jewish-nation-state-bill-disregards-norms-of-universal-law-palestinians-rights-turkey-says

Related:

Advertisements

EU to curb steel imports after Trump tariffs

July 18, 2018

The European Union will launch measures on Thursday designed to prevent a surge of steel imports into the bloc following the U.S. imposition of tariffs on incoming steel and aluminum, the EU’s official journal said.

EU manufacturers of the products ranging from hot and cold rolled sheets, plates, coated steel and tubes include ArcelorMittal, Voestalpine and Tata Steel. (Reuters)

The European Commission has proposed a combination of a quota and a tariff to counter EU concerns that steel products no longer imported into the United States would instead flood European markets.

The measures are the third part of the EU’s response to U.S. tariffs. It has also imposed tariffs on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of U.S. imports, including bourbon and motor bikes, and has launched a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization

The quotas for 23 steel product categories have been set at the average of imports over the past three years, with a 25 percent tariff set for volumes exceeding those amounts. These quotas are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

The main exporters of steel to the EU are China, India, Russia, South Korea, Turkey and Ukraine.

The Commission said that the EU steel industry was “in a fragile situation and vulnerable to a further increase in imports”, with U.S. tariffs reducing its capacity to sell there making them even more vulnerable.

“In the absence of provisional safeguard measures, it is likely that the situation will develop into actual serious injury in the foreseeable future,” the EU official journal said.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement that the bloc was faced with no choice given the threat of serious harm to EU steelmakers and workers, but that EU markets would remain open with traditional trade flows.

The Commission will continue its investigation, which was launched on March 26, until the end of the year. The provisional safeguards can be in place for up to 200 days.

Imports of 28 products increased by 62 percent from 2013 to 2017, most noticeably in 2016 and with further rises this year. However, for five products, imports did not increase, leading the Commission to exclude them from its measures.

For 12 steel product categories, imports from countries including China, Russia and Ukraine are already subject to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties. The Commission said it would consider suspending or reducing them to avoid the imposition of “double duties”.

EU manufacturers of the products ranging from hot and cold rolled sheets, plates, coated steel and tubes include ArcelorMittal, Voestalpine and Tata Steel.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

U.S. State Department in talks with Turkey to sell Patriot system

July 16, 2018

The U.S. State Department is negotiating a potential deal to sell Turkey the Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system as an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system Turkey has agreed to purchase, an official said on Monday.

Image may contain: one or more people, sky and outdoor

FILE PHOTO: U.S. soldiers stand beside a U.S. Patriot missile system at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, October 10, 2014.. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

U.S. Ambassador Kaidanow, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, told reporters that a delegation of U.S. government officials at the Farnborough Airshow was holding meetings with allies in the hopes of bolstering U.S. defense trade.

She said the U.S. State Department was in talks with Turkey and “trying to give the Turks an understanding of what we can do with respect to Patriot.” She did not say if the delegations were meeting at the air show.

Turkey has attracted criticism from NATO allies over its planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, which could jeopardize Ankara’s purchase of Lockheed Martin made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.

“Ultimately we are concerned that by purchasing these systems from the Russians it will be supportive of some of the least good behavior that we have seen from them (Russia) in various places including Europe but also elsewhere,” Kaidanow said.

She said Washington wanted to ensure that systems acquired by U.S. allies “remain supportive of the strategic relationship between us and our allies, in the case of Turkey that is Patriots.”

In April, the Trump administration rolled out a long-awaited overhaul of U.S. arms export policy aimed at expanding sales to allies, saying it would bolster the American defense industry and create jobs at home.

Reporting by Mike Stone in Farnborough; Editing by Mark Potter

Reuters

Assad regime forces targeting Idlib could destroy Astana accord, Erdoğan warns Putin

July 15, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Saturday told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the accord aimed at containing the Syrian conflict would be destroyed if Assad regime forces advance towards Idlib.

In a phone call with Putin, Erdoğan said the regime attacks on Syrian civilians in Daraa were “worrying” and warned against expanding the attacks to Idlib.

The Turkish president also said encouraging the Syrian opposition to attend the upcoming Astana talks on July 30-31 is important to prevent negative developments in Idlib.

Image may contain: 2 people

The two leaders agreed to have a bilateral meeting at the BRICS meeting in Johannesburg.

Starting June 19, regime and Russian bombardment pounded opposition areas in Daraa and in the neighboring province of Quneitra, ostensibly protected by an internationally agreed ceasefire.

The onslaught came to an end with the July 6 ceasefire.

Regime forces now hold more than 80 percent of Daraa province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor that relies on a network of sources inside the country.

Syria’s conflict has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011.

https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/07/14/assad-regime-forces-targeting-idlib-could-destroy-astana-accord-erdogan-warns-putin

Fitch downgrades Turkey’s debt rating to ‘BB’

July 14, 2018

International credit rating agency Fitch Friday downgraded Turkey’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to ‘BB’ from ‘BB+’ and changed the outlook to “negative” from “stable.”

Image may contain: sky

The report said widening current account deficit (CAD), rising inflation and the impact of the deterioration in exchange rate on the private sector poses risks to macroeconomic stability.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Friday that the new government’s economic action plan prioritizes steps to reduce inflation and devise fiscal policies that will contribute in the fight against inflation.

In a separate statement, Albayrak assured the markets that the independence of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) and its decision-making mechanisms cannot be the subjects of speculation.

The report said a sustained reduction of inflation would require an increase in the credibility and independence of monetary policy and tolerance of a period of weaker economic growth.

Fitch experts forecasted the CAD to widen to 6.1% of GDP in 2018, driven by higher fuel prices and higher household consumption. The fall in the lira, combined with Fitch’s forecast of lower oil prices and the ongoing tourism recovery, will cause the deficit to narrow to 4.1% in 2019.

The agency said Turkey’s moderate government debt is a strength and it forecasted to remain as a government debt ratio stands at 28.1 percent of GDP, which is well below the current peer median of 44.5%.

“Debt/revenue of 83.8% was almost half the current peer median, reflecting the large revenue base. Contingent liabilities, which are rising from a low base (driven primarily by PPPs), are unlikely to have a material impact on public finances over the forecast period, but pose a risk over the medium term.”

“Turkey is a large and diversified economy with a vibrant private sector. Human Development and Doing Business indicators as measured by the World Bank, are in excess of the ‘BB’ median. GDP per capita is double the peer median, although the volatility of economic growth is well in excess of peers reflecting a vulnerability to regular domestic and external shocks.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/07/13/fitch-downgrades-turkeys-debt-rating-to-bb

NATO leaders embrace reality, welcome Erdoğan

July 13, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made his international debut at NATO as the leader of Turkey’s new presidential system on Wednesday. The alliance leaders gave Erdoğan a very warm welcome and promised added momentum in the fight against terrorism in the south, with special emphasis on Turkey.

Flanked by Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and the new Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, the former chief of staff of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), Erdoğan was the center of attention.

Image result for erdogan, photos

Scenes of President Donald Trump embracing Erdoğan, Erdoğan having warm discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Teresa May as well as other leaders hit the international media, demonstrating that Western leaders have realized that the democratically elected Turkish leader has massive popular support and is here to stay.

It is clear that the climate in Europe against the Erdoğan administration has started to change in a positive way. So far, so good.

That was reflected in the NATO summit communique, which put special emphasis on Turkey’s security concerns and the ongoing threat of terrorism, especially on its southern borders.

“We remain concerned that Turkey has been hit three times in the last four years by missiles launched from Syria. We continue to monitor and assess the ballistic missile threat from Syria,” the NATO declaration said. Pointing to Syria’s inventory of short-range ballistic missiles, the declaration said the range of these missiles “covers part of NATO’s territory and some of our partners’ territories.”

NATO also vowed to provide Turkey with “tailored assurance measures” aimed at guaranteeing the alliance’s security. “Tailored assurance measures for Turkey to respond to the growing security challenges from the south contribute to the security of the alliance as a whole and will be fully implemented,” the declaration said. “We have increased the strength of the NATO Response Force, and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) is ready to deploy on short notice,” it added.

The fact that Turkey is preparing to take on a new and bigger role in the transatlantic alliance with its command of the VJFT in 2021 – along with France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Britain – shows Ankara is strongly entrenched in Western defense; thus, the claims that Turkey is steering away from the West are nonsense.

Turkey has and will always contribute to the Western defense system with all its assets and resources; yet, unfortunately the attitude of some Western countries has been to keep Turkey at a distance, forcing Ankara to step back and reason with them. The efforts of some Western countries to oust Erdoğan have alienated not only the Ankara administration but also the Turkish people.

Let’s hope this trend is now in the past and that a new chapter is set to begin.

Commentary
By İlnur Çevik

https://www.dailysabah.com/columns/ilnur-cevik/2018/07/13/nato-leaders-embrace-reality-welcome-erdogan

Turkey’s Gulen movement on the rise in Germany

July 13, 2018

After Turkey’s foiled coup attempt in 2016, many supporters of exiled Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen were driven out of the country. But in Germany, the movement is increasingly gaining influence, writes Gunnar Köhne.

    
Fethullah Gulen (picture-alliance/dpa/Fgulen.Com)

When the Turkish government crushed an attempted coup on July 15, 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric in self-imposed exile in the United States. There were plenty of rumors about Gulen’s involvement in the incident, yet the authorities in Ankara have so far failed to present conclusive evidence to prove this.

It is undisputed, however, that Gulen supporters previously held many positions in the Turkish state apparatus, which they used to their own advantage, and which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) tolerated. That is, until Erdogan and Gulen had a falling out.

Read moreFrom ally to scapegoat: Fethullah Gulen, the man behind the myth

After Turkey’s foiled coup, Erdogan ordered an unprecedented purge of the state apparatus. Some 100,000 civil servants were fired and 40,000 jailed. Most of these individuals are suspected members or sympathizers of the Gulen movement, or Hizmet. Tens of thousands were forced to flee the country. Many of the 800 Gulen-affiliated schools across the world, and in Turkey, were forced to close. Turkish authorities pressured Muslim countries in particular, such as Kosovo and Malaysia, to shut down these schools and expel Turkish teachers.

German authorities indifferent

In Germany, meanwhile, the situation is much more hospitable for Gulen supporters. They enjoy wide-ranging support from German media, political figures and even the country’s Christian churches, as DW research reveals. Above all, Gulen supporters are seen as victims of Erdogan’s relentless purge — even though Gulen himself espouses a rather conservative version of Islam that champions “an islamization of life and all its institutions,” as he writes in one of his books.

Read moreGermany investigates possible anti-Gulen spies

The German government has admitted that “the organizational structure of the Gulen movement is nontransparent.” Even so, Bruno Kahl, who heads the country’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, deems the movement an innocuous “civil association for the purpose of religious and secular education.”

Logo for the BND (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Kappeler)Germany’s foreign intelligence service has deemed the Gulen movement an innocuous ‘civil association’

In 2014, Rhineland-Palatinate’s then-state interior minister, Roger Lewentz, initiated the creation of a working group linking various state-level intelligence services to look into the Gulen movement. It found “a lack of evidence to suggest the movement poses a threat to Germany’s political order.” Nevertheless, Lewentz underlined that Gulen’s publications contained controversial passages regarding “religious freedom, what role religion should be play in public life, and the treatment of atheists.”

Read moreA dark time for democracy in Turkey

That same year, Baden-Württemberg’s state intelligence service published a comprehensive and critical report about the Gulen movement on its website. Following Turkey’s foiled coup, the report was taken down. Asked for an explanation for this, the agency told DW the report had never been intended for the public. It is hard to believe, however, that nobody noticed a supposedly confidential report with politically sensitive information had mistakenly been put online for two years. A more plausible explanation is provided by the Baden-Württemberg state parliamentary party of the conservative Christian Democratic Union. It claims that following the Turkish coup attempt, Turkish authorities had used the intelligence report to pressure their German counterparts to crack down on the Gulen movement.

In hiding in Germany?

Ulla Jelpke, a member of the Left Party who holds a seat in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, accuses the government of protecting the Gulen movement and even those members suspected of having committed crimes in Turkey. Jelpke belongs to the Bundestag’s Committee on Internal Affairs and Community and has filed numerous inquiries into the government’s handling of the Gulen movement. While critical of the movement, she opposes extraditing its members to Turkey because they would not be guaranteed a fair trial. “But we could take them to court here,” she said.

Ulla Jelpke (picture alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrczenka)Left MP Jelpke says the German government is protecting Gulen supporters

Turkey claims large numbers of those responsible for the coup attempt fled to Germany in the summer of 2016. In June, Turkish newspapers published the Berlin address of Adil Oksuz, an alleged mastermind of the coup. He is accused of having commanded officers loyal to Gulen. Photographs prove he was present on an Ankara air force base during the night prior to the coup attempt. Turkish authorities have demanded he be extradited, but the German government says that while it has launched an investigation of its own, it is unaware of Oksuz’s whereabouts. According to German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, Berlin’s authorities have taken Oksuz to safety.

Back on the rise

The Gulen movement denies any involvement in acts of violence and stresses its only aim is to foster dialogue and education. It has seen its German support base shrink since the Turkish coup attempt. Three of 30 Gulen-affiliated schools across the country had to close because Turkish parents in particular opted to remove their children. And about half of all 170 German Gulen-affiliated private tuition institutions were shut. But a gradual reversal of this trend can now be observed. Wilhelmstadt high school, in Berlin’s Spandau district, has reported numbers of registered pupils are on the rise. Irfan Kumru, who heads the association running the school, also told DW several new child care centers are planned. “They are in great demand,” he said.

Read moreRecep Tayyip Erdogan: The sultan of 21st-century Turkey

That is because, among other things, the 14,000 Gulen sympathizers who fled to Germany will welcome schools and child care centers run by fellow Hizmet supporters. Not only that. A Berlin-based association of Gulen sympathizers called Refugee Support Action (Aktion für Flüchtlingshilfe) assists the new arrivals in legal matters, in finding language courses, jobs and places to live. Apparently, most of their asylum applications filed in Germany are successful.

Suspected Gulen supporter being taken to jail in Turkey (picture-alliance / ZUMAPRESS.com)The Turkish government has jailed thousands of suspected Gulen supporters in the wake of the failed coup

‘Secret dual structure’

A former Gulen functionary, meanwhile, told German public broadcaster ARD the country’s authorities should not be deceived by the movement, which he likened to a “sect.” He claimed the Gulen movement is characterized by a “secret dual structure” with a facade that hides its true nature. “The real power lies with the imams, not those who head the associations,” the former Gulen figure explained. “The imams are brought in from Turkey using a variety of pretexts, pretending they are journalists or accountants.”

Hizmet intends to counter these accusations by making its inner-workings more transparent. Ercan Karakoyun, who heads the Foundation for Dialogue and Education (Stiftung Dialog und Bildung), has been working tirelessly to portray the Gulen movement to German media as a democratic alternative to Erdogan’s authoritarian state system.

Not even Germany’s churches seem concerned about the Gulen movement. The Protestant Church, for instance, enlisted Gulen members to join Berlin’s planned “House of One” project, where Jews, Christians and Muslims will be able to worship side by side under one roof. And Germany’s Catholic Herder publishing house has been selling books by Gulen and his followers for many years. The publisher told DW that Gulen “organizes and guarantees a certain number of books are printed and sold.” In other worlds: Gulen pays for Herder to publish the books. Unsurprising really, as Karakoyun explained, because “Germany is becoming our new hub.”

https://www.dw.com/en/turkeys-gulen-movement-on-the-rise-in-germany/a-44652895

.

Netanyahu to Putin: Assad is safe from us, but Iran must quit Syria

July 13, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told Russia that Israel would not seek to topple its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Moscow should encourage Iranian forces to quit Syria, a senior Israeli official said.

Netanyahu conveyed the message in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the official said.

Israel has been on high alert as Assad’s forces advance on fighters in the vicinity of the Golan Heights, much of which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Israel worries Assad could let his Iranian and Hezbollah reinforcements entrench near Israeli lines or that Syrian forces may defy a 1974 Golan demilitarization.

Israel is seeking Russia’s help to get Iran to remove its forces from Syria. (AP)

“They (Russia) have an active interest in seeing a stable Assad regime and we in getting the Iranians out. These can clash or it can align,” said the Israeli official.

“We won’t take action against the Assad regime,” the official quoted Netanyahu as telling Putin in Moscow.

David Keyes, a Netanyahu spokesman, denied that the prime minister made that statement to Putin.

Asked to summarize Israeli policy on Syria, Keyes said: “We don’t get involved in the civil war. We will act against anyone who acts against us.”

The Israeli official who requested anonymity said Russia was working to distance Iranian forces from the Golan and had proposed that they be kept 80 km away but that this fell short of Israel’s demand for their full exit along with that of Tehran-sponsored militias.

Russian officials had no immediate comment on the meeting.

Since turning the tide of Syria’s civil war by intervening militarily in 2015 on Assad’s behalf, Russia has turned a blind eye to scores of Israeli airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah deployments or arms transfers, while making clear it wanted Assad kept immune.

Israeli Cabinet ministers threatened this week to fire on Syrian forces that enter the Golan buffer zone set up as part of a 1974 UN-monitored armistice. The UN last month renewed the mandate of its Golan observer force UNDOF and on Wednesday called on all parties to abide by the armistice.

“There should be no military forces in the area of separation other than those of UNDOF,” a UN spokesman said.

Israel has signaled openness to eventual ties with Assad, a tacit acknowledgement that he is re-consolidating power as he routs Syria’s fighters.

Under Assad family rule, Syria held direct negotiations with Israel in the US in 2000 and indirect talks mediated by Turkey in 2008. Netanyahu’s government has made clear it would not now cede the Golan and has been lobbying for US recognition of Israel’s claim of sovereignty there.

On June 24, Israel’s military said it launched a Patriot missile at an incoming drone from Syria, which turned away unscathed. A Syrian commander said the drone was engaged in local operations.

On July 6, Israel struck a Syrian post that it said had shelled the Golan buffer zone.

Hours after conferring with Netanyahu about Iran’s presence in Syria, Putin received Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that Velayati handed Putin letters from Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that the letters dealt with bilateral relations and the situation in the region, but refused to elaborate.

“Our opinion is known that Iran needs to leave Syria — that is not something new for you,” Netanyahu said at the start of Wednesday’s talks in the Kremlin.

The Iranian presence in Syria is expected to top the agenda of Monday’s summit in Helsinki between Putin and US President Donald Trump. Both the US and Israel want Iran to pull out from Syria, but Russia has warned it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1337956/middle-east

Reuters and AP

‘Playing with fire’: Lira tumbles after Erdogan cabinet picks — Son-in-law chosen to head treasury and finance ministry

July 10, 2018

Analysts unnerved after Turkish president picks son-in-law for key economic post

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces his cabinet. © Getty

By Adam Samson in London

Turkey’s currency has fallen sharply from Monday’s peaks after President Erdogan’s decision to pick his son-in-law for a key financial role inflamed investor angst that the country will slide further away from economic orthodoxy.

The lira traded at TL4.69 in early London action, strengthening from lows of TL4.75 struck late in the New York trading day on Monday. But the currency has plummeted 3.9 per cent from this week’s high of TL4.512 hit less than 24 hours ago.

In fixed income, the price on Turkey’s 10-year foreign-currency bond maturing in October 2028 slipped to 93.8 cents on the US dollar, from 95.2 cents on Monday, according to Bloomberg data.

Piotr Matys, strategist at Rabobank, said that “the risk that Turkey could be heading for a full-scale currency crisis, after barely avoiding it only a few months ago when the lira was falling precipitously, has resurfaced.”

“[Mr Erdogan] is playing with fire putting his son-in-law in charge of the government coffers,” added Charles Robertson, chief economist at emerging market focused Renaissance Capital. “Who will be the voice of reason in his cabinet? The temptation to follow still more unorthodox policies is surely growing.”

This week’s tumult has come amid mounting angst over the policies that will enacted by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was inaugurated on Monday after last month’s election victory.

Analysts had been keenly awaiting the leader’s cabinet decision for clues on how Mr Erdogan will balance his own unorthodox economic views — including an aversion to high interest rates — with investor demands for a more mainstream approach.

The stakes for Turkey are high: strategists are increasingly concerned about the spectre of a hard landing for the economy. Inflation is running above 15 per cent, and expected to heat up further in coming months. The lira has tumbled 19 per cent for the year to date, leaving it as one of the worst performing emerging market currencies during a period that has broadly been bearish for the asset class.

Mr Erdogan’s move to appoint Berat Albayrak, husband of his daughter, to head Turkey’s powerful new treasury and finance ministry has only added to fears that the president will pursue a policy of high growth with little concern over causing the economy to overheat.

That concern was sharpened after it became clear that former Turkish deputy prime minister Mehmet Simsek, one of the most prominent figures in Turkey’s orthodox economic wing, would not be given a cabinet post.

Mr Matys said:

By giving Mr Albayrak such a prominent role at such a crucial time for Turkey and ousting market friendly Simsek and [former finance minister Naci Agbal], President Erdogan reignited market concerns that the new administration may implement unorthodox policies, which include lowering inflation by cutting interest rates.

Esther Maria Reichelt, analyst at Commerzbank, added that investors should not have been surprised that Mr Erdogan would have taken “direct control of crucial policy areas immediately, and without much involvement of qualified domain experts.”

She added: “ . . . in all likelihood, much more [currency] volatility awaits.”

https://www.ft.com/content/0702d32c-840b-11e8-96dd-fa565ec55929

Destroying Iran deal would have unforeseeable consequences, China’s Li Keqiang warns

July 9, 2018

China’s Premier Li Keqiang warned on Monday of unforseeable consequences if a nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran were torn up, adding that the nuclear deal should be upheld.

Image may contain: 1 person

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang gestures as he holds a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

He was speaking at a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Merkel also expressed her support for the deal, which has been rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Reuters