What matters on Monday, February 28

The Russia-Ukraine conflict, which was underestimated by many for a long time, turned from a threat to a reality on the morning of February 24, with Russian military forces entering Ukraine. Global leaders from the U.S., the UK, the European Union (EU), Canada, and Japan announced various sanctions on Russia such as removing the country from the SWIFT international payment system. Many European countries have also closed their skies to Russian aircraft. Apart from U.S., Italian, and the EU financial assistance to Ukraine, the EU will also finance for the first time the the purchase and delivery of weapons and others to the country, according to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The EU will also ban the Russian state-owned television network Russia Today and news agency Sputnik. Amidst all of this, Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet for potential talks at a venue on the Belarusian border with Ukraine, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the phone on Saturday that Ankara was making efforts towards a cease-fire to avoid any further loss of life. Moreover, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a phone call yesterday to discuss a possible cease-fire and the growing humanitarian situation, including the evacuation of civilians. 

Turkey will implement all provisions of the Montreux Convention given the situation in Ukraine constitutes a ‘war’, Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turkey. However, he reiterated that Turkey can’t block all Russian warships accessing the Black Sea due to a clause in the pact exempting those returning to their registered bases.

Due to the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture has limited bean, olive oil, and red lentil exports in order to ensure food access and supply security in Turkey. 

Regarding economic data for the week, the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) will release PMI data for February on Tuesday morning. PMI, which has been above 50 since last May, fell to its lowest value in the last eight months in January but was still slightly above the threshold with 50.5 points.

The Trade Ministry will announce provisional foreign trade data for February this week. In January, we saw an increase of 17% in exports and 55% in imports. Current indicators suggest that the uptrend will continue over the next few months. 

The most critical data to be released this week is February inflation, which will be announced on Thursday morning. If we were in a normal period, growth would be the most important indicator. However, current inflation and the high cost of living, at their peak of the last two decades, have made inflation data more important than ever.


The Turkish economy grew by 9.1% in the last quarter of 2021, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Thus, the economy ended 2021 with 11% growth.

Exports increased by 17.2% to USD 17.58bn and imports jumped 54.2% to USD 27.84bn in January compared to the same month of the previous year, according to TurkStat.

The Services Producer Price Index (S-PPI) jumped 71.63% in January year-on-year, according to TurkStat. The S-PPI climbed by 13.09% in January on a monthly basis.

The Central Bank will release monthly money and banking statistics for January (2.30 pm).


>> On the cover: Shell Turkey Country Chairman Ahmet Erdem is on our cover this week. As Erdem says, Shell aims to operate with net-zero emissions by 2050 and Shell’s business portfolio and way of doing business have transformed it into a versatile energy company instead of an oil and gas company. You can read the details on pages 8-9.

>> Professor Ilter Turan: Short and long-term outcomes may be different. P. 10.

>> Q&A: Ali Arif Akturk, Energy Specialist and Former Head of the Natural Gas Purchase Department of BOTAS. P. 11.

>> Our Chief Economist Gunduz Findikcioglu examines ‘The consequences of Ukraine’ on pages 12-13.

>> Zeynep Gurcanli: Ukraine: The first step towards the new international order. You can read the details on page 14.

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