Turkey / by Michelle Ryan

A constitutional amendment will reportedly be put forward to give more power to the Turkish president with the potential of a referendum in spring of 2017. The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated during a speech on 19 December 2016. The assassin was heard yelling “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria” as he fired at the ambassador. Russia and Turkey agreed on a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, which will exclude areas of Syria in which both or either country is fighting terrorist organisations. Following the assassination of Russian Ambassador Karlov, widespread reports of internet blackouts and blockages came from throughout Turkey. The Turkish government is reportedly investigating 10,000 internet users on suspicion of using social media to aid terrorist efforts. 39 people were killed in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve. Turkish President Erdogan has blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) for a blast in Kayseri that killed 13 soldiers. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) claimed responsibility for twin explosions at a football stadium in Istanbul that killed 44 people. The dollarisation risk for the Turkish economy has reportedly eased. Turkey’s banking supervisory and regulatory framework has been found up to the standards of the European Union (EU). The Turkish government stated that in 2017, it will introduce a stimulus package of up to $71 billion aimed at creating 600,000 new jobs in the public sector. The Financial Stability Committee met to discuss the private sector’s management of foreign exchange risks. Turkey’s trade deficit shrank by 11.7 per cent during 2016.

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