Today's Zaman, Turkey
April 10 2015

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan's program at Washington-based
Brookings Institute has been canceled, media reports have said.

There are conflicting reports over the chief reason for the
cancellation. Babacan, who is heading Turkey's G20 presidency, is
set to travel to Washington for activities related to Think Tanks 20
next week.

Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV)
told media outlets that Babacan was not informed about the program's
cancellation and that it was TEPAV that decided to hold the program
at the Reagan Building along with a number of other think tanks,
including the Brookings Institution.

Washington saw another Turkish official visit the American capital in
an attempt to lure international investors amid growing concerns over
the state of the Turkish economy. Yigit Bulut, President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan's chief economic advisor, held a meeting with representatives
of leading US firms at the American Chamber of Trade in Washington,
D.C. The president's chief advisor reportedly criticized American
businessmen for sending Kemal DerviÅ~_ and like-minded economists to
Turkey to manipulate the economy. "Don't send new DerviÅ~_es. Turkey
has changed a lot," Bulut is reported to have told the American

DerviÅ~_ was in charge of the Turkish economy after a financial
crisis plunged the economy into an abyss, shattering the confidence
of international investors in 2001. A coalition government then
introduced new regulatory mechanisms to monitor banking systems and
more effective tools for the firm discipline of financial policies.

The Central Bank of Turkey also gained more importance and autonomy,
serving as a balancing force against the governments' potentially
reckless policies.

DerviÅ~_, an experienced economist who also held top spots at the World
Bank, has accepted an offer for the post of deputy prime minister in
charge of economic affairs if the main opposition Republican People's
Party (CHP) comes out on top in the parliamentary elections slated
for June 7. He was named a candidate from Ä°stanbul.

Next week, another leading Turkish official will travel to Washington.

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tanju Bilgic told media outlets
that Foreign Minister Mevlut CavuÅ~_oglu will soon be in Washington
for talks. While Bilgic declined to offer further details about the
foreign minister's agenda, sources have said CavuÅ~_oglu will try to
persuade the American Congress and other administration officials
not to pass a bill that will recognize the 1915 mass killings of
Armenians by the Ottomans during World War I as genocide.

The subject of Armenian "genocide" has been a source of friction
between Turkey and the US, such that Ankara annually lobbies Washington
against officially recognizing the 1915 killings as genocide. This
year is the centenary of the 1915 events and the Armenian diaspora
has launched an international campaign to have it recognized globally.