What matters on Thursday, February 16

Two women were pulled from the rubble in Kahramanmaras and a mother and two children were rescued in Antakya yesterday, as rescue efforts shifted to getting relief to survivors nine days after a deadly earthquake. Rescuers could be seen applauding and embracing each other as an ambulance carried away a 74-year-old woman rescued in Kahramanmaras, and earlier in the day, a 46-year-old woman was rescued in the same city, close to the epicenter of the quake. Later on, a woman and two children of her were pulled from the rubble in Antakya, 228 hours after the earthquake, Anadolu news agency reported.

The details of the TRY 50bn solidarity package announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday to support the quake-hit cities are becoming clear. The Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) announced its recommendation to cancel the debts of commercial customers consisting of individuals and real persons who were killed due to earthquakes. TBB also recommended postponing the credit debts and installments of individual and real person commercial enterprises, which are located in Adiyaman, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Malatya, and Osmaniye as well as Islahiye and Nurdagi districts of Gaziantep, for six months without charging an interest rate.

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) prepares to announce a housing construction campaign to permanently solve the shelter issue in 10 cities hit by quakes, according to daily EKONOMI. TOBB President Rifat Hisarciklioglu along with chairpeople of 365 chambers and commodity exchanges held an online meeting with Trade Minister Mehmet Mus to discuss the campaign. Two different models are evaluated for the campaign, which is expected to be announced next week.

Turkish stocks surged almost 10% yesterday as measures launched by authorities to prop up the market sent traders rushing into equities after a week-long closure, according to Financial Times. The benchmark BIST 100 index soared 9.9% yesterday, the biggest rise since 2008, according to Refinitiv data. Every sector advanced sharply with dozens of stocks hitting or approaching the 10% increase limit imposed by the exchange. The big rally came after authorities suspended trading last Wednesday after the February 6 earthquake set off intense volatility and a sharp drop in share prices.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg travels to Turkey today to express solidarity and discuss further support on last week’s devastating earthquakes. At a news conference following the two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg said he will hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Moreover, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Turkey this weekend to review ongoing US efforts to aid the Turkish government’s response to two earthquakes that devastated the country’s southeast, the State Department said yesterday. Blinken will visit Incirlik Air Base on February 19 “to see firsthand U.S. efforts to assist the Turkish authorities responding to the devastation caused by the February 6 earthquakes,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

From there, he will travel to the capital Ankara to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and other senior officials “to discuss continued U.S. support to Turkey and the Turkish people after the devastating earthquakes, as well as ways to further strengthen our partnership with Turkey as a valued NATO Ally,” said Price.


The Central Bank will release the Residential Property Price Index for December (2.30 p.m.).

The Central Bank will announce the weekly monetary and banking statistics (2.30 p.m.).


>> Turkey’s new campaign for earthquake victims, named Turkey One Heart, raised over TRY 114bn. Companies, institutions, organizations, and individuals make donations to the campaign via a joint live broadcast through 200 television and 500 radio channels,

>> Isbank’s financial leasing subsidiary Is Leasing provided USD 19m financing for the renewable energy project of SERTAVUL RES.

>> The Producer Price Index of Agricultural Products jumped 142.83% in January, compared to the same month last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). The index rose by 11.08% on a monthly basis.

>> The number of paid employees in the manufacturing, construction, trade, and services sectors increased by 7.2% from 13.79 million to 14.79 million in December, year-over-year, according to TurkStat.

>> The central government budget balance posted a TRY 32.24bn deficit in January. The central government budget posted a TRY 30.04bn surplus in January 2022.


>> Where was TRY 685bn spent?

Our Eco Analysis Columnist Alaattin Aktas addresses the special communication tax, which is known as the earthquake tax in the public.

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