What matters on Thursday, February 17

Today is the day – the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (PPK) will announce the 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 14% at this meeting, according to the Reuters poll.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced new regulations for electricity and natural gas tariffs following the Cabinet meeting yesterday. Here are the new decisions made during the meeting:

>> The low electricity tariffs being applied below 210-kilowatt hours and high electricity tariffs being applied above 210-kilowatt hours will be reevaluated in favor of citizens.

>> Electricity tariffs for commercial use will be implemented on a gradual basis to protect small tradespeople and craftspeople.

>> The electricity subscription for NGOs will be changed from commercial usage status to residential usage status.

>> Natural gas support totaling between TRY 450 and TRY 1,150 will be paid twice a year to 4 million households that comply with the criteria laid out by social help and solidarity foundations.

>> An extra 5% will be added to the support for households wherein there is someone with a chronic disease or those who are on life support. Applications for this support start on February 18 across the country.

>> The number of households that receive electricity support will be raised from 2.1 million to 4 million. The scope and impact of the social security umbrella will also be expanded. A new TRY 15bn social support package is in preparation.

In the meantime, the proposal for the gradual increase of water bills prepared by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI) has been rejected by the majority of votes from the People’s Alliance in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s (IBB) Municipal Council.

Turkey reported more than 94,000 coronavirus cases yesterday. Some 94,176 new coronavirus cases and 271 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours by the Health Ministry. Turkey rose from 10th to 9th place among 192 states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases (over 13.17 million in total), according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at John Hopkins.


The short-term external debt stock rose by 10.2% to USD 125.6bn in December 2021, compared to the end of 2020, according to the Central Bank.

The Central Bank will announce the interest rate decision (2.00 pm).

The Central Bank will release international reserves and foreign exchange liquidity figures for January (2.30 pm).

The Central Bank and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) will release weekly money and banking statistics (2.30 pm).


>> Ukraine is one problem among many

The prevalence of news about Ukraine-Russia has led us to overlook many pressing problems that are already producing conflicts, like the Islamic State, or that are likely to produce conflicts in the foreseeable future.

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