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Trump's Trade Step Shows U.S. Can Hit Turkey Where It Hurts

President Donald Trump’s decision to strip some Turkish exporters of their preferential trade status is taken from a playbook that’s been effective in the past. American officials are pressing Ankara to abandon its longstanding agreement to buy a Russian air defense system. The last time Washington ratcheted up pressure on its NATO ally to force it to yield on a key issue -- and release a long-held American pastor -- it drove the Turkish economy to the brink of collapse, and it’s not fully recovered. Monday’s trade move “is a political step aimed at preventing Turkey from purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia,” Ilter Turan, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, said by phone on Tuesday. “The U.S. is clamping down on Turkey’s potential to increase its exports to the U.S. market, knowing that it will hurt the country’s economy.”

New Troy Museum Opens in Turkey During the "Year of Troy 2018"

NEW YORK (October 22, 2018) – The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced the opening of the Troy Museum as part of the 2018 “Year of Troy” celebrations, marking 20 years since the archeological site was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the world’s most important contemporary museums and selected from more than 150 projects by an internationally respected jury in the National Architectural Design Competition, the Troy Museum officially opened this month. One of many initiatives undertaken to commemorate the “Year of Troy,” the museum is expected to draw one million tourists in its first year alone.

Goldman Fund Buys Turkey, Argentina Debt, Says Rout Overdone

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is buying Turkish and Argentinian government debt as it bets on the worst-performing emerging markets to offer some of the more profitable bond trades this year. The money manager has taken an overweight position in the two nations’ dollar bonds, according to Philip Moffitt, Asia-Pacific head of fixed income at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The rationale: these notes have been “decimated” by investors fleeing a rout in emerging markets even though the two nations’ finances remain robust.

  • Published in Turkey

Turkey Sees 22% Spike in Property Sales from Foreign Home Buyers

Turkey saw a 22% spike in home sales to foreign buyers in 2017, according to a year-end report from the Turkish Statistical Institute, or Turk Stat. Despite Turkey’s spiral into authoritarianism under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, foreigners continued to snap up homes in Istanbul and the capital city, Ankara—thanks in part to a new decree offering citizenship in exchange for luxury home purchases. In January 2017, the government enacted a new initiative whereby foreigners could get Turkish citizenship in exchange for buying a home for the equivalent of US$1 million or more.

  • Published in Turkey

Archaeologists Home in on Homeric Clues as Turkey Declares Year of Troy

Rüstem Aslan, Troy’s chief archaeologist, grows more animated as he enters the fenced-off area just beyond the southern gate of the ancient city’s ruins. To him it offers tantalising clues that may add to the evidence that this was the scene of the war detailed in Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. “Priam, Achilles, Hector: [whether] they lived and died here, we cannot prove that 100%,” said the affable Aslan, who started working at the site as a student in 1988. “But if you work inside for 30 years, night and day, winter or summer, surrounded by this landscape, you can feel it. You start to believe.”

Why is Turkey Buying the S-400 Russian Missile Defence System?

Turkey, which boasts the second-largest army in NATO, announced last week, on Tuesday, it had inked a deal to buy an S-400 (NATO version SA-21 Growler) missile defence system for $2-3 billion from Russia. The deal led NATO members to question Turkey's move and what it means for their alliance with NATO. The parties did not share the details of the S-400 agreement due to its sensitivity. But according to initial agreements, next year Turkey will receive two S-400 missile batteries from Russia and in the next two years will produce two batteries on Turkish soil. The agreement dates back to November 2016, however, at the end of April 2017, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made it clear that they were in talks with Russia regarding the S-400s and negotiations about joint production and costs have picked up steam since then.

Turkey's Syrian Refugees Carve Out Their Own Opportunities

Gaziantep, Turkey - A group of Syrian children already well versed in the language of despair now have a chance to learn a vocabulary of hope at the Excellence Education Centre in Turkey's Gaziantep. In a bright and colourful classroom, the kids enthusiastically recite some of the Turkish phrases they'll need in their new homeland from a curriculum designed by the centre's owner, Asmaa Joha. "When I would look into the eyes of Syrian children, I was feeling afraid," explains Asmaa. "I wondered how they would feel when they got older, and if I had done my duty and served them well as a teacher."

President Erdogan Tells BBC: EU Wastes Turkey's Time

Turkey will find it "comforting" if the EU says it cannot be accepted as a member, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the BBC. Speaking to HARDtalk's Zeinab Badawi, he said Turkey was "able to stand on its own two feet". He also denied the country had jailed 150 journalists, saying only two people with press cards were in prison. Meanwhile, Turkey extended the detention of the local director of Amnesty International and nine others. Idil Eser was detained on 5 July during a digital security and information management workshop, along with seven other rights activists and two foreign trainers. The 10 are accused of being members of an "armed terrorist organisation" - although Amnesty says it is unclear which one. Their detention has raised alarm internationally, increasing fears that freedom of expression is being suppressed under President Erdogan.

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