Turkey In Turmoil After Tanks Roll Out To Stop Deadly Protests; Stocks Tumble

Turkey In Turmoil After Tanks Roll Out To Stop Deadly Protests; Stocks Tumble (ZeroHedge, Oct 8, 2014):

While geopolitics has largely dropped of the front news page, replaced by updates on the global Ebola epidemic (which until recently was considered nothing but fearmongering by those who prefer to avoid reality ews until it is far too late), things in the Middle East are getting worse, and while the US attack against ISIS has achieved absolutely nothing (in fact, the revelation of US strategies may have facilitated the incursion of ISIS into the town of Kobani, a mostly Kurdish city in north Syria), the latest geopolitical hotspot over the past few days has become NATO member Turkey (we provided a big picture summary in “Turkey, The Kurds And Iraq – The Prize & Peril Of Kirkuk“). It is here that violent clashes broke out across the southeast of the nation with several people reported dead and curfews imposed, as the region’s Kurdish people protested the advance of Islamic State just across the border with Syria.

As Bloomberg reports, demonstrators clashed with police and in some areas with members of local Islamist groups, according to Turkish media. Haberturk website said that five people were killed in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s largest Kurdish city. A curfew was imposed there at 10 p.m. local time as well as in Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Van, according to Hurriyet newspaper.

The reason for the anger:  Syrian Kurdish fighters are battling to prevent Islamic State militants from overrunning Kobani, a mostly Kurdish city in north Syria a couple of miles south of the Turkish border. Kurds have blamed the Turkish government for not doing enough to help the Kurds of Kobani.

As a result, Twitter is overrun with photos such as the following:

But while people are expendable, even in the most banana republic, surging assets aren’t, and while the regional violent protests would likely be ignored, it is the impact they are having on local stocks that has gotten the world’s attention. To wit: the Turkish lira weakened for a second day and Turkish stocks dropped to a five-month low as nervous traders took profits following the breakout of deadly clashes:

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From Bloomberg:

The lira depreciated 0.8 percent against the dollar to 2.2929 at 1:14 p.m. in Istanbul, sinking the most among 24 emerging market currencies tacked by Bloomberg. The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index (XU100) retreated 2 percent to the lowest since April 30 at the midday break. Trading in Turkish equity and debt instrument markets restarted today after closing at midday on Oct. 3.

Kurds in the southeast are protesting the government’s limited response to Islamic State militants threatening the town of Kobani just across the Syrian border. Haberturk website said at least 15 people were killed in the violence. A curfew was imposed there at 10 p.m. local time yesterday, as well as in Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Van, according to Hurriyet newspaper, which put the death toll at 14.

“The protests are clearly taking a toll on the lira,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a currency strategist at Swissquote Bank SA in Geneva, said in e-mailed comments. “There is an increase in geo-political risk perception. A close above 2.28 liras may increase the depreciation momentum, and Fed minutes are likely to support this trend.”

The yield on the nation’s 10-year debt jumped for the first time this month, rising 10 basis points to 9.74 percent. The Borsa’s 14-day relative strength index fell to 26, the lowest since June 2013. A level below 30 indicates to some technical analysts that a security or index is oversold and is poised to rise.

“If Turkey intervenes militarily, the negative impact on financial markets could continue,” Ozgur Altug, chief economist at BGC Partners in Istanbul, said by e-mail.

Because that’s really what matters: financial markets. Who cares about the collateral damage such as countless human lives lost to serve someone’s bigger agenda.

 

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