EGF Turkey File, October 2011

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Insights into Turkish Domestic and International Politics

October 2011

Key Points:

  • Turkey's economy continues to flourish in comparison with other developed economies on its European periphery. The country gained over a million jobs and clocked an 11 percent growth rate in the first quarter of 2011 while its GDP grew by 8.8 percent.
  • Germany's Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, leant his support to the Turkish accession bid to the EU, saying that the EU should be "fair to Turkey in the negotiation process."
  • Ankara continues its condemnation of Syrian violence against opposition and activist members, and according to a number of reports, is now hosting a group of former Syrian soldiers called the Free Syrian Army.
  • A large earthquake in the Van province has exacerbated Kurdish-Turkish relations with claims of bias being leveled at the government for the manner of its response to the disaster in the mainly Kurdish region.
  • Turkish Security Forces (TSK) continue their assault on PKK strongholds in Iraq after a devastating attack in mid-October that left 24 TSK soldiers dead. On October 28, police arrested a number of pro-Kurdish BDP Party members in and around Istanbul, including member of the intra-party constitutional commission, Buşra Ersanli.
  • Azerbaijan and Turkey finally conclude a natural gas supply agreement following two years of negotiations, while BOTAS informs Gazprom that it will not renew a key existing gas supply contract with Russia.
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