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Turkiye in May 2023

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Turkiye in May 2023

May 2, 2023

  1.  Türkiye Neutralizes Daesh/ISIS leader al-Qurayshi in Syria (Anadolu Agency). The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has been following the so-called leader of Daesh, code-named Abu Hussein al-Qurayshi, for a long time.
  2.   Türkiye’s Homegrown 5th-Generation Fighter Jet Named KAAN (Daily Sabah). TAI has developed the fifth-generation aircraft intending to replace the F-16 aircraft in the inventory of the Air Forces Command, which is planned to be phased out starting in the 2030s. The project was launched in 2016. 
  3.  Türkiye’s Kilicdaroglu Pulls Ahead of Erdogan in Latest Polls as Campaign Heats up (Al-Monitor). The Istanbul-based pollster TEAM, which released its April report over the weekend, places the opposition’s presidential candidate at 47.4% and Erdogan at 44.4% in the first round on May 14. But, according to the poll, a runoff two weeks later will likely end with Kilicdaroglu beating Erdogan by 5%.

May 3, 2023

  1.  Türkiye Discovers High-quality Petroleum in Country’s East (Anadolu Agency). Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a fresh discovery of a new oil reserve in the country’s eastern region. At an opening ceremony of the Karapinar solar power plant and other newly-completed projects in central Konya province, Erdogan said that his country would no longer depend on others for energy but rather become an energy exporter.  
  2.  How Do The UK and EU View The Elections in Turkiye? (BBC Türkçe). In an interview with BBC Turkish, Turkish foreign policy expert Dr. Natalie Martin said, “The CHP’s nationalist stance and Kemalist past mean that it has not always adopted a fully progressive position. However, Kılıçdaroğlu, the party’s leader, is certainly much less arrogant than Erdoğan. That is why he is viewed as a more predictable leader by both the EU and the UK.” She added, “It will be much easier to negotiate with him regarding EU relations, Syria policy, and NATO. This is because it is truly challenging for politicians in Brussels and London to deal with unpredictable and irrational responses from politicians.”

May 4, 2023

  1. Turkish and Syrian Foreign Ministers may Meet Next Week (Daily Sabah). Speaking to Turkish broadcaster NTV, Türkiye’s top diplomat said the date of the ministerial level meeting was not final yet but was highly likely before May 14 elections in Türkiye…Çavuşoğlu highlighted the need for “concrete results” from the Constitutional Committee, which convened eight times before.
  2.  Ankara: We Expect a Clear Stance from Damascus on the Terrorist “PKK” (Anadolu Agency). Turkish presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, has stated that Turkiye expects a clear stance from Damascus on issues such as combating terrorism, ensuring the safe return of refugees to their homeland, and promoting the political process.
  3.  Turkish Inflation Eases to 16-Month Low Ahead of Key Elections (Daily Sabah). The consumer price index (CPI) has almost halved since reaching a peak in October, easing to an annual 43.68% last month, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said Wednesday.

May 5, 2023

  1. Turkish Opposition Figure Ali Babacan Defends YPG Terrorists (Daily Sabah). With a little over a week left until Türkiye’s much-anticipated presidential and parliamentary polls, a top figure of the six-party opposition coalition has sparked controversy by refusing to classify the terror group PKK’s northern Syria-based affiliate YPG as a terrorist organization… “Even if they appear similar in their roots, there is a difference between the two (PKK and YPG). Many European nations don’t recognize it as a terror group. The PKK and the YPG could be of the same source. Still, terrorism has a definition, not just Türkiye’s exclusive description but an international definition,” Babacan argued.
  2. Over 1M Turkish Expats Vote in Türkiye’s May 14 Elections (Daily Sabah). More than 1.1 million Turkish citizens residing abroad have cast their votes to elect the country’s new president and parliamentary representatives in the historic May 14 polls, according to the Supreme Election Board (YSK).
  3. Jailed Leader of Pro-PKK HDP Endorses Kılıçdaroğlu in Turkish Vote (Daily Sabah). Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), now facing closure over its links to the PKK terrorist group, voiced his support for the opposition bloc’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for the upcoming Turkish elections.

May 8, 2023

  1.  Turkish Foreign Minister Says Türkiye Rejected US Proposal to Send Russian S-400 Defense System to Ukraine (Anadolu Agency). The US claimed the S-400 system excludes Türkiye from the F-35 fighter jet program, but at the same time the US proposed to Türkiye to give control of the system to the US or another country, including Ukraine, as it tries to fight off Russian forces, said Mevlut Cavusoglu… Asked about returning to the F-35 program, Cavusoglu said Ankara does not want to return to the program but rather wants back from Washington the money it paid for fighter jets before it was out of the program. In contrast, its jets were never delivered.
  2.  Kılıçdaroğlu to Open EU Doors for Syrians if Grant Funds are Excluded  (Daily Sabah). Speaking on KRT TV, opposition presidential candidate Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated that he would send back Syrian refugees within two years at the latest if he wins the upcoming elections this month. “We will build their homes, roads, schools, and kindergartens. Our contractors will build these. We will do it with the funds from the European Union,” Kılıçdaroğlu said…Kılıçdaroğlu further said that he would agree with the “legitimate government” in Syria and would “immediately” mutually open embassies with Damascus.

May 9, 2023

  1.  Türkiye Says Meeting on Syria at Level of Heads of State Likely This Year (Anadolu Agency). In a televised interview, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said in the next stage after Wednesday’s quadrilateral meeting on Syria between Ankara, Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus, “it plans to hold a meeting at the level of heads of state.” “That will very likely be done in 2023,” he added.
  2.  Turkiye Elections: A Kilicdaroglu Election Win Could Overhaul Syria Policy (Al-Monitor). Imdat Oner, a Jack D. Gordon Institute policy analyst, told Al-Monitor that Turkiye’s Syria policy would change under Kilicdaroglu. “Turkiye’s Syria policy would largely depend on dialogue and diplomacy with Assad,” he said. “The opposition aims to partially withdraw from Syria to address the security situation and stabilize the region while ensuring the safety of border areas. 
  3. Çavuşoğlu Says US Can’t Save Terrorists in Syria and Iraq (Daily Sabah). Some opposition parties pledged to end military operations in Syria and Iraq… Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu lashed out at the opposition over the pledge on Monday and said neither the United States nor any other country would be able to save terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The U.S. gives military equipment and training to the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian wing, the YPG, under the pretext of assistance to fight against Daesh, another terrorist group.
  4.  Turkish Lira Experiences World’s Highest Fluctuations a Week Before Elections (Al Sharq Business). Currency traders anticipate a high probability that the lira will decline 25% to 26% against the dollar by the end of the third quarter, as per Bloomberg calculations based on the prices of options for purchasing and selling contracts.

May 11, 2023

  1. Kilicdaroglu’s Map of Turkiye and China: US and EU Factions Fight (Yenisafak). The opponent of Erdogan said, “We will reorient Türkiye; we will correct its course. How did we go from linking Turkiye to China to prioritizing relations with the West?”

May 12, 2023

  1.  The First Shot Was Carried Out with GÖZDE Ammunition (Yenisafak). The first firing tests of GÖZDE ammunition, delivered within the scope of the “Modern Ammunition Supply Project” signed with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), were carried out from the F-16 and AKINCI SİHA platforms, and the target was hit with high precision.
  2.  The Trade Volume between Türkiye and The UAE Will Double The 25 Billion Dollar Target (Star). Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkiye-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Business Council Chairman Tevfik Öz stated that thanks to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (KEOA), which entered into force between the two countries, the trade volume, which was approximately 10 billion dollars by the end of 2022, will reach 25 billion dollars in 5 years. He said they were waiting for it to arrive.
  3.  Turkiye Elections: Presidential Candidate Ince Withdraws from The Race (Al-Monitor). Ince said that he was withdrawing for his country’s sake but stopped short of endorsing any candidate. “Let there be no excuses. Otherwise, when they lose the election, they will blame us on the morning of the election; they have no excuse,” he said, in an apparent jab at the main opposition party. “I’m doing this for my country.”

May 15, 2023

  1. Voting Has Ended in the Turkish Presidential and Parliamentary Elections (Anadolu Agency). More than 64.1 million people were registered to vote, including over 1.76 million who cast their ballots abroad and 4.9 million first-time voters. In addition, 191,885 ballot boxes were set up for voters in the country.
  2.  People’s Alliance Ahead in Türkiye’s Parliamentary Elections (Daily Sabah). The alliance, which consists of the AK Party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the New Welfare Party (YRF), and the Great Unity Party (BBP), received 50.66% of the votes, with 273 potential lawmakers. Meanwhile, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) led Nation Alliance obtained 34.45% of the vote, with 167 potential lawmakers.
  3.  The Results of the Turkish Elections.. 98% of the Boxes Are Sorted, and Erdogan Addresses his Supporters from Ankara (Syria TV). Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the candidate of the People’s  Alliance, fell below 50% after counting 98% of the boxes. At the same time, the vote for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the opposition, reached 45%, which increases the possibility of the country going to a run-off in the presidential elections on the 28 of this month in the event that none of the candidates obtained 50% of the votes + one vote.

May 16, 2023

  1. Erdoğan Wins Over 49% of Vote in Turkish Elections (Daily Sabah). The Supreme Election Council (YSK) announced on Monday that all ballot boxes were opened in Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections while a small number of overseas ballots were still not available. The council announced President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won 49.51% of the vote and confirmed a runoff vote, scheduled for May 28.
  2. Oğan ٍSeeks Assurances to Support Candidates in Türkiye’s Runoff (Daily Sabah). Sinan Oğan, a minor presidential contender who surprised Türkiye with his performance in the country’s groundbreaking elections on Sunday, seeks firm assurances to endorse a candidate in the upcoming runoff vote… Oğan said he is “very comfortable” with playing the role of kingmaker and that he was confident he would get the 2.8 million people who voted for him to support the candidate he endorses.
  3. Türkiye’s Stock Market Declined Sharply as the Opportunity for a Rerun of the Presidential Elections Advances (Bloomberg). As a result, the BIST 100 stock index fell by 6.4%, marking the most significant drop since early February, as the country appears headed for a runoff of its presidential elections. Traders at the Istanbul Stock Exchange described the runoff elections as one of the “worst results for the financial market.” The index fell 6.4% at 9:55 am Istanbul time before trading was halted.
  4. Waiting for An Agreement with Türkiye… The File of Kurdistan’s Oil Exports is Still Pending (SNA Business). In a statement on Sunday, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, said , “The Kurdistan Regional Government has fulfilled all its obligations based on the agreement, and is awaiting a final agreement between the federal government and the Turkish government to resume exporting the Kurdistan Region’s oil.”

May 17, 2023

  1. One Day After the Elections, 3 Turkish Soldiers were killed in Operation Against PKK Terrorists in Türkiye (Daily Sabah). Three members of gendarmerie forces were killed, and a village guard was heavily injured during a counterterrorism operation in southeastern Türkiye, the Interior Ministry reported on Tuesday.
  2. Sinjar: Four PKK Members Killed, Injured in Turkish Airstrike (Bas News). A Turkish army drone launched an airstrike on Tuesday, targeting the headquarters of a Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) affiliated armed group in Sinjar, with multiple casualties reported… the Kurdistan Region’s Counter-terrorism Unit also confirmed the attack and explained the airstrike killed three members of the Sinjar Resistance Unit (YBS) and wounded another.
  3. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Faces an Uphill Struggle in Turkish Runoff (Daily Sabah). His six-party alliance now needs to accomplish seemingly impossible electoral gymnastics to unseat Erdoğan, who needs a slight boost to extend his two decades in power, either as prime minister or president, to 2028.
  4. Turkish Corporate Bonds Fell to Lowest Level in 6 Months (Asharq Business). Omotund Lawal, head of emerging market corporate debt at Barings, said the next five years would be very difficult for Turkey, saying, “There is a risk that the government will resort to measures such as restricting foreign exchange operations for individuals or companies, in an attempt to control in the exchange rate, making it difficult for companies with foreign currency liabilities to service their debts.

May 18, 2023

  1. Why the Kurdish Vote is Decisive in Turkiye’s Election (New Arab). With much of the Kurdish electorate throwing their support behind Erdogan’s rival Kilicdaroglu, Turkey’s largest minority group could sway the outcome of the crucial run-off election amid frustration with Erdogan’s 21-year-long rule.
  2. Türkiye Announces the “Neutralization” of PKK Leadership North of Raqqa (Enab Baladi). Today, Wednesday, May 17, the Turkish authorities announced the “neutralization” of leadership in the “Kurdistan Workers’ Party” (PKK) and the “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), in the areas controlled by the “Self-Administration” in northern Syria.
  3. Five Civilians Were Injured in a Turkish Airstrike on Ain Essa, North of Raqqa (Ronahi TV). On Wednesday morning, the Turkish occupation army carried out intensive attacks on the countryside of Ain Issa district, causing civilian casualties, in addition to causing massive material damage…The director of the National Hospital in the city of Raqqa, Ibrahim al-Omar, talked about the health status of the injured and the operations performed for them, stressing that their condition is stable.

May 19, 2023

  1. Turkey Lashes Out at US Over Warship Anchored in Cyprus (Al Monitor). In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Washington of disrupting the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean. “The steps taken in the region by the US which disrupt the balance at the expense of the Turkish Cypriot side damage [United States’s] long-standing neutral position”…The US destroyer USS Arleigh Burke is docked at Cyprus’ main Limassol port, according to The Associated Press.
  2. Kilicdaroglu Courts Anti-Refugee Vote with Dubious Claim of ’10 Million’ Migrants (The New Arab). Turkish opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu has made an anti-migrant video in the run-up to the second round of presidential elections on 28 May. He accused the government of incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of allowing “10 million” refugees into the country… The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says there are around 3.9 million refugees in Turkey, 3.5 million of whom have fled the conflict in neighboring Syria.

May 20, 2023

  1. President Erdoğan Discusses Türkiye’s Runoff Vote With Oğan (Daily Sabah). President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is meeting with ATA Alliance leader Sinan Oğan in Istanbul ahead of the upcoming runoff elections on May 28, presidential sources said Friday.
  2. Record Inflows Lift Türkiye’s FX-protected Lira Scheme to $120B (Daily Sabah). T​​ürkiye’s government-backed scheme that seeks to encourage foreign currency conversion by safeguarding Turkish lira deposits from depreciation saw a record inflow in the week before last Sunday’s elections, according to data from the country’s banking watchdog.

May 22, 2023

  1. Turkiye’s New Parliament:  50 Shades of Nationalism, Conservatism (Al Monitor). Turkiye’s new parliament after the May 14 elections may look more diverse and colorful, featuring members from 18 parties. However, nationalist and conservative forces on either side of the aisle have gained unprecedented weight in the legislature…Nationalist and conservative parties on either side of the aisle hold more than 400 seats. Women won 121 seats, the largest number thus far, but in another landmark, candidates who openly target women’s rights made it to Parliament inside Erdogan’s alliance.
  2. PKK /YPG Seeks ‘Revenge’ Against Erdoğan In Turkish Elections (Daily Sabah) If President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is defeated in May’s presidential election, the PKK/YPG terror group will have taken its revenge for Turkish military operations in Syria, a member of the terror group has declared. Speaking to a propaganda network based outside of Türkiye, Salih Muslim, one of the key leadership figures in PKK’s Syria affiliate YPG, revealed the terrorists’ discomfort over Turkish counterterrorism operations that have been ongoing against PKK/YPG and Daesh in northern Syria since 2016. “The Turkish army has been in the field since 2016,” Muslim recalled, and referring to the runoff vote on May 28, he added, “Now we have an opportunity in our hands. It’s the first time we have such a thing happening in elections.”
  3. Umit Ozdag Loses His Parliamentary Seat, and His Party Is “Under the Limit” (Enab Baladi). The head of the extremist Turkish nationalist “Victory” party, which is hostile to Syrian refugees, Umit Ozdag, lost his seat in parliament after being his party’s candidate from the state of Gaziantep. The “Victory” party obtained 2.25% of the votes in the Turkish parliamentary elections, and could not pass the 7% threshold to enter parliament, according to the unofficial preliminary results.
  4. Erdogan: We Will Return a Million Refugees and Reject Assad’s Request to Withdraw from Syria (Syria TV). In an interview with CNN Turk, President Erdogan of Turkiye unequivocally stated that Turkiye “will sustain its presence in northern Syria.” Furthermore, he responded to Bashar al-Assad’s request for withdrawal by declaring that it “will not be accepted. This is because we share over 900 kilometers of borders, and a constant threat of terrorism emanates from these borders to our country. Therefore, our sole motivation for maintaining a military presence at the borders is to combat terrorism.”

May 23, 2023

  1. Third-place Sinan Ogan Backs President Erdogan In Türkiye’s Runoff Vote (Anadolu Agency). Speaking to reporters on Monday, Ogan said: “I declare that we will support the candidate of People’s Alliance, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the second round of the presidential election.” He called on his supporters to back Erdogan in the runoff: “We had all kinds of consultations before making the last decision. We have taken this decision because we believe that our decision is the right decision for our country and nation.”
  2. Over One Million Turks Voted Abroad in Türkiye Runoff Election (Daily Sabah). A total of 1,153,842 people voted abroad for Türkiye’s presidential election runoff within two days, according to the Supreme Election Council (YSK).
  3. Founders of Turkish Future Party Resign Amid Allegations of Racism Against Refugees (Syria TV). Eleven founding members of the Turkish opposition “Future Party” (Gelecek) declared their resignation, citing discrepancies between the party’s “objectives” and its involvement in policies perceived as racist against refugees. Turkish media reported on Monday the news of these resignations from the “Future” Party, led by former Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. 
  4. Türkiye Working to Repatriate Syrians to Assad-Controlled Cities (Daily Sabah). Ankara and Damascus are starting talks for the return of Syrian refugees to areas under the Assad regime’s control, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said, as anti-refugee rhetoric takes over opposition circles ahead of Türkiye’s presidential runoff.

May 24, 2023

  1. Türkiye Nabs 11 Spying for Mossad in Istanbul Bust (Daily Sabah). On Tuesday, Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) said it had caught 11 people, including two Turkish nationals, who were spying for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. The group was helmed by Selçuk Küçükkaya, who was tasked with gathering intelligence on a company and 23 individuals with trade ties to Iran and targeted by Israel. 
  2. Turkey Elections: Currency Fears Grow Ahead of Presidential Runoff (Al Monitor). Turkish markets remain on edge ahead of Sunday’s presidential election runoff as apprehension builds up that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reelection would spell deeper economic woes and send the Turkish lira into a new tailspin. 
  3. Defense Minister Akar: 19 Terrorists Neutralized in Northern Syria on Monday Night (Anadolu Agency). Akar emphasized their ongoing efforts, adhering to the principle of “the terrorists’ location is the target.” He reported that their soldiers had penetrated areas in northern Iraq and Syria, previously deemed inaccessible by the terrorists, and ventured into territories considered off-limits.

May 25, 2023

  1. Anti-refugee Turkish Politician Backs Kılıçdaroğlu in May 28 Runoff (Daily Sabah). Ümit Özdağ, the leader of the far-right Victory Party (ZP), Wednesday endorsed opposition candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for Sunday’s presidential runoff over Kılıçdaroğlu’s pledge to send back millions of refugees in Türkiye.
  2. Details Uncovered Regarding ISIS Operation Spanning Three Provinces, Based in Istanbul (Anadolu Agency). It was disclosed that individuals deemed high-ranking organization members were among the 12 suspects apprehended after technical and physical surveillance. Furthermore, these suspects were allegedly operating on behalf of the terrorist organization, according to the teams from the Istanbul Anti-Terrorism Branch.
  3. Ukraine Attacks Russian Warship Guarding TurkStream Pipeline (Daily Sabah). Three Ukrainian uncrewed speedboats carried out an unsuccessful attack against the Russian warship Ivan Hurs in the Black Sea near the Bosporus, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

May 26, 2023

  1. Over 1.89M Expats Vote in Türkiye’s Presidential Runoff Election (Anadolu Agency). According to Türkiye’s Supreme Election Council, more than 1.89 million people – 1,895,430 – cast their votes at Türkiye’s foreign missions and customs gates as of 10 a.m. local time (0700GMT) on Thursday. In the May 14 elections, 1,839,470 Turkish citizens abroad went to the polls to vote in both presidential and parliamentary elections. As a result, the number of voters in the presidential runoff has increased by 55,960.
  2. Turkish Immigration Administration Announces the Total Number of Foreigners in the Country at 4,990,663 People (Zaman Al Wasl). A statement issued by the Presidency of the Migration Department, according to the Anadolu Agency, stated that the number of Syrians in the country under temporary protection amounts to 3,381,429 people.
  3. Akar Says Turikye Will Continue Military Operations in Syria, Amid Calls for Withdrawal (Syria TV). On Wednesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar declared that his country’s military operations in northern Syria and Iraq “will continue until the last terrorist is eradicated.” This announcement comes just days after the Syrian regime’s foreign minister urged Turkiye to withdraw its forces from northern Syria as a step towards normalization.
  4. Erdogan’s AK Party Split on Economic Plan as Turkiye Runoff Looms (New Arab). Days before Turkiye’s runoff presidential election, insiders say there is disagreement and uncertainty within Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government over whether to stick with what some call an unsustainable economic program or abandon it.
  5. HDP Supports Kılıçdaroğlu, Despite His U-turn Ahead of Turkish Vote (Daily Sabah). Leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its new offshoot, the Green Left Party (YSP), held a news conference on Thursday, announcing their support for Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the May 28 elections. However, Kılıçdaroğlu has also received support from a far-right party contradicting the HDP’s policies.
  6. Turkish Security Arrests ISIS Leaders in Istanbul (Enab Baladi). The Turkish “TRT haber” website said that the Turkish security authorities carried out a security campaign on May 24, during which they arrested 12 people suspected of belonging to the “Islamic State” organization after an investigation it had previously launched into the activities of the organization, which is on its “terrorism” lists.

May 29, 2023

  1. Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wins Presidency (Syria TV). The head of the Supreme Electoral Commission, Ahmed Yanar, announced that Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the presidential elections, according to preliminary, non-final results. The results show that Recep Tayyip Erdogan won 51.91 percent of the total votes, while Kamal Kilicdaroglu got 48.09 percent.
  2. Kilicdaroglu Acknowledges Defeat “Implicitly” and Vows to Continue the Struggle (Sky News Arabiya). Speaking from the headquarters of the People’s Party in the capital, Ankara, the Turkish opposition candidate avoided congratulating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the victory while revealing that “the country’s problems will continue,” in what appears to be an indirect admission of defeat. Several state leaders congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on winning a new Presidential Term before the results were officially announced. 
  3. What Does Erdogan’s Victory Mean for Turkiye and the World? (Sky News Arabiya). The Associated Press considered several mainly internal challenges that Erdogan faced before the end of his term. After his re-election, it may continue with him, including a severe cost of living crisis that experts blame on the government’s mismanagement of the economy. At the same time, Erdoğan believes that low-interest rates tame inflation, contrary to traditional economic theory, and pressure the central bank to reverse his view. In addition, observers considered that Turkey had witnessed criticism regarding the status of public freedoms, a point exploited by the opposition, which threatened to return Ankara to a more democratic path. Turkey is also reeling from the aftermath of a powerful earthquake that devastated 11 southern provinces in February. Erdogan’s government has been criticized for its late and stalled response to the disaster and lax enforcement of building codes that exacerbated the losses.
  4. Cavusoglu: Quartet Meeting Soon on Syrian Regime Normalization (Syria TV). Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, revealed that delegates from Syria, Russia, Turkiye, and Iran are due to convene shortly. The meeting aims to establish a road map for normalizing relations between Ankara and the Syrian regime.

May 30, 2023

  1. All-Embracing Erdoğan Emerges Winner of Türkiye’s Most Critical Vote (Daily Sabah). The only winner is Türkiye; President Erdoğan said in his election victory speech as the veteran leader’s new tenure ushers in a new era in Türkiye after a presidential race watched by the world.
  2. Willing to Promote Healthy Relations with Türkiye, Chinese Leader Congratulates Turkish President Over Reelection (Anadolu Agency). Extending greetings to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his historic reelection on Sunday, China’s President Xi Jinping Monday said he is willing to “promote sustained, healthy, and stable development” of China-Türkiye bilateral relations.
  3. Turkish Opposition Quiet Amid Crushed Dream of Erdoğan Defeat (Daily Sabah). “I am here! I am here,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu angrily declared as he slammed the desk in a video he released on social media after he narrowly lost the first round of presidential elections on May 14 to incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was still there on Sunday evening after losing the runoff to Erdoğan but appeared less confident at a news conference as the vote count neared the end.
  4. Turkiye: Facing Western Pressure to Enforce Sanctions on Russia (Al Mayadeen). Turkish presidential spokesperson, Ibrahim Kalin, verified that Western nations have been applying pressure on Turkiye for approximately a year and a half, urging the implementation of sanctions on Russia. However, he clarified that Turkey has not yielded to these pressures and has abstained from enforcing unilateral sanctions on Russia since the inception of the military operation in Ukraine.
  5. How Erdogan’s Reelection Will Shift Turkiye’s Foreign Policy Goals (Al Monitor). Erdogan’s desire to build a legacy as an above-party national leader requires him to sustain and nurture the notion of a strong Turkey in foreign policy.

May 31, 2023

  1. Biden Links Turkey’s F-16 Sale with Sweden’s NATO Bid in Call to Erdogan (Al Monitor). US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Turkiye’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday about Sweden’s bid to join the NATO alliance and Turkey’s request to overhaul its US-made fleet of F-16 fighter jets.
  2. FM Çavuşoğlu and Blinken Discuss Türkiye-US Defense Cooperation and Sweden’s NATO Bid (Daily Sabah). The two ministers also discussed preparations for the upcoming Strategic Mechanism meeting, cooperation in the defense industry, as well as the Istanbul grain deal. Several sticking points, largely Ankara’s concerns over the harboring and tolerance of PKK/YPG and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) terrorists in Sweden, have held up [Sweden’s] membership process. Türkiye demands their extradition and effective cooperation against these groups to greenlight Stockholm’s bid.
  3. Turkish Airlines Becomes World’s 8th Most Powerful Airline (Daily Sabah). According to a survey, Türkiye’s national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, has become the world’s eighth-strongest airline brand with 78.1 points. Shooting like a meteorite, Turkish Airlines jumped 23 places from a year ago right into the top 10, the Brand Finance survey showed…Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) was the strongest airline brand this year with 85 points.

 

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