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Turkey in a Week, January 21st, 2019

On Monday 14th US president Donald Trump posted a tweeter massage stating that, ”We will devastate Turkey if they hit Kurds,” and added, “Likewise do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.” While the government was a lot calmer in response to Trumps’s threat, the opposition was furious. The presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın contended with a respond stating that it was a grave mistake to identify Kurds with the PKK, and its Syrian extension PYD/YPG, and that Turkey was fighting terrorists, not the Kurds and that Turkey would protect Kurds and other Syrians from terror threats.

Trump said that the US will be creating a 32 kilometers long safe zone on the Syrian border. However, it is not clear that who would be settling and who would be policing the border since the US has decided to withdraw from Syria. The president Trump also argued that Russia, Iran and Syria has mostly benefited from the US military presence in Syria and urged to stop the wars without end.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously given a similar talk, arguing that Turkey has every right to defend itself against terrorists but US also intends to protect those who fought alongside her in Syria.

On Tuesday, after Trump’s tweets, president Erdoğan and the US president had talks over phone. It is told that the talk was on bilateral relations, developments in Syria as well as the prospects of the referred safe zone on the Syrian border.

Meanwhile during these comments and contacts the exchange rate in dollars have oscillated strongly after a stable flat movement since November.

The Turkish statistical Institute announced the unemployment rates for October. According to the report the number of employed has risen more than a million to reach 3 million 788 thousand. Consequently the unemployment rate has risen 1.3 points to 11.6 per cent. The non agricultural unemployment rate was 13.6 per cent while youth unemployment rate has increased 3 points and reached 22.3 per cent. The same rate for the labor force between 15 to 64 years old has risen 1.4 point and reached 11.9 per cent. The share of informal employment scored a 33.7 per cent.

The overall unemployment rate corrected for seasonal effects was announced to be 11.5 per cent.

The opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called the Bar Association of Turkey to object to former prime minister Binali Yıldırım to run for İstanbul mayor as JDP’s candidate without resigning from his current post as parliamentary speaker and reminded that this act is unconstitutional.

The parliament has passed a new law regulating the movie sector intending to end the disputes between the producers and the theater managers. Several promotions familiar in movie theater venues were regulated and benefits were distributed between the producer and the management. The advertising and trailer durations were also regulated. The regulation also created a commission made up of 8 people who would decide on the disputes as well as public support for the movie industry.

A strange meeting was witnessed between pianist Fazıl Say and the president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Say has been a fierce opponent to the current government and was targeted by conservative anger mostly from JDP’s voter base. President Erdoğan has attended a concert by Say and the two had met and talked at the end of the occasion.

On January 19th, Journalist Hrant Dink was remembered on the 12th anniversary of his assassination. Filiz Ali, the daughter of Sabahattin Ali who has disappeared while under arrest in 1948 made a speech during the event.



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