The U.S. believes Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine this week, but is still holding out hope diplomacy can prevail, according to U.S. National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan. Speaking to the U.S.-based broadcaster CNN, Sullivan said, “The way they have built up their forces, the way they have maneuvered things in place, makes it a distinct possibility there will be major military action very soon. And we are prepared to continue to work on diplomacy, but we are also prepared to respond in a united and decisive way with our allies and partners should Russia proceed.” Many countries, including Turkey, have started to issue warnings to their citizens residing in Ukraine. The Turkish Foreign Ministry recommended citizens residing in Ukraine refrain from traveling to the regions near the eastern borders of the country unless necessary.
Turkey’s new economic model, called the “Turkey Economy Model: New Steps and Inflation Measures,” which is built on investment, employment, production, and export, was launched by the Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati on February 12.
As part of the new model, Turkey will work with banks and over 1,500 jewelers beginning on March 1 to transfer ‘under the mattress’ gold to the financial system. “People can easily and safely deliver their gold savings through jewelers and banks to the financial system, and they can withdraw their savings physically whenever they want,” said Nurettin Nebati.
The new economic model will also provide three new support packages worth a total of TRY 60bn, including an investment support package of TRY 25bn, an export support package of TRY 25bn, and a business expenditures support package of TRY 10bn.
Within the frame of the model, a new mobile application will be introduced on March 1 to fight against inflation. With the application, people will be able to track products and their prices, easily search through sales points, category, and product filters, calculate the total cost of their shopping, see a map of the cheapest and closest sales points, and find producers and sales points that contribute to the inflation decrease. The government will also organize a team that will more tightly audit prices.
Moreover, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attended the launch meeting for the new economic model online, stated that the Value-Added Tax (VAT) levied on basic food products will be reduced from 8% to 1% through the VAT system simplification program.
President Erdogan will pay an official visit to the UAE on February 14-15 per the invitation of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders will attend the signing ceremony of 12 agreements after one-on-one and inter-delegation meetings. The agreements to be signed span various fields, including investment, trade, defense, transportation, agriculture, and health.
One of the most important developments of this week will be the Monetary Policy Committee’s (PPK) interest rate decision. The PPK, which kept the policy rate steady in January following four successive cuts, is expected to keep the interest rate steady at this meeting as well.
No critical data will be released in the country today.
The Ministry of Treasury and Finance will reissue 2-year (581 days) maturity semiannually fixed coupon bonds and 3-year (1,218 days) semiannually CPI-indexed government bonds.
IN OUR MAGAZINE THIS WEEK:
>> On the cover: McDonald’s Turkey General Manager Oguz Ucanlar is on our cover this week. “Our prices will always remain below inflation. We will sacrifice our margin to reach more consumers, but we will not impose more prices on them,” Ucanlar says. You can read more on pages 8-9.
>> Professor Ilter Turan says Ukraine is one problem among many. You can read more in our Geopolitics section on page 10.
>> Q&A: Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmus, Deputy Chairman of the AK Party, Former Minister of Culture and Tourism, and Former Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey. P. 11.
>> Chief Economist Gunduz Findikcioglu: Losing touch with reality. You can read the details on pages 12-13.
>> Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli analyses who won in the Ukraine diplomacy process on page 14.