What matters on Thursday, February 9

Turkey’s disaster management agency, AFAD, said 12,873 people were killed and 62,937 others were injured in 10 cities after Monday’s two strong earthquakes. More than 6,000 buildings collapsed due to the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude quakes that occurred in the space of fewer than 10 hours.

Reuters reported that President Tayyip Erdogan admitted there were problems with his government’s initial response to a devastating earthquake in southern Turkey, amid anger from those left destitute and frustrated over the slow arrival of rescue teams. Across southern Turkey, people sought temporary shelter and food in freezing winter weather and waited in anguish by piles of rubble where family and friends might still lie buried. Rescuers were still finding some people alive. But many people have complained of a lack of equipment, expertise, and support to rescue those trapped – sometimes even as they could hear cries for help. Erdogan, who visited Kahramanmaras, announced that TRY 10,000 in monetary aid will be provided for earthquake victim families at the first stage.

Twitter has been restricted in Turkey on Wednesday, the Netblocks internet observatory said, two days after a major earthquake that killed more than 12,000 people in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Twitter Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a tweet on Wednesday that the company had been informed by the government of Turkey that full access to the social media platform in the country will be re-enabled “shortly”. The opposition harshly criticized the government as Twitter access is a vital lifeline during the disaster.

Istanbul’s stock exchange operator suspended trading until February 15 and canceled all yesterday’s trades in the wake of devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday. The tremors rocked Turkey and Syria in the early hours of Monday, with hundreds of buildings collapsing and the combined death toll across both countries climbing above 12,000. Turkey’s Borsa Istanbul suspended trading on its equity and derivatives markets within minutes of opening after market-wide circuit breakers stopped the slide in the main index at 7%.

The business world in the 10 cities hit by earthquakes told daily EKONOMI the vital needs for earthquake victims: gas bottle heaters and heating stoves, gasoline and diesel fuel, food, including baby food and bread and hot meals, crane operators, shelter tents, blankets, diapers, and hygiene products. They also said there is a priority problem in meeting the emergency need although aid is being sent to the cities.

Some Organized Industrial Zones have halted operations while others operate with a 25% capacity in the 10 cities hit by earthquakes, according to manufacturers and representatives of the business world. Here are the urgent needs demanded by manufacturers: Electricity and natural gas transmission, reopening of gas stations, generators, heavy equipment, and operators, and coordination in fundamental staple food needs.


The terms of trade dropped by 1.3 points from 82.8 to 81.5 in December, year-over-year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

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


>> The Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) Turkey Manufacturing Export Climate Index rose from 48.5 to 49.5 on January, month-over-month.

>> Turkish Airlines (THY) will have 170 evacuation flights between February 9, 07.00 a.m. and February 10, 07.00 a.m. from the disaster-hit regions. So far, the flag carrier completed 80 flights, evacuating 14,068 people to Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

>> Borsa Istanbul has 381,463 investors from 10 disaster cities, according to daily EKONOMI. Their portfolio size hovers around TRY 56.18bn. Investors in these cities constitute 3.5% of the equity investment portfolio of Borsa Istanbul.


>> Common Policies Text of the opposition is promising

Our Tour’d Horizon Columnist Fatih Ozatay analyses the Common Policies Text announced by the six-party opposition roundtable on January 30 from an economic perspective.

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