US President Joe Biden and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid yesterday. The meeting lasted nearly one hour. The leaders discussed their continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression, as well as the importance of removing Russian obstacles to the export of Ukrainian grain, according to a statement from the White House. “They also talked about the importance of maintaining stability in the Aegean and Syria,” the statement read. President Biden reiterated his desire to maintain constructive bilateral relations, and the leaders agreed on the importance of continued close consultations between the governments.
The Pentagon is backing Turkey’s modernization plans for its F-16 fighter jet fleet, Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs said yesterday. Speaking on a call with National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, Wallander called Ankara a highly capable, highly valued, strategic NATO ally, noting that strong Turkish defense capabilities contribute to strong NATO defense capabilities. “So, the US Department of Defense fully supports Turkey’s modernization plans for its F-16 fleet. These plans are in the works,” she told reporters. Wallander said the modernization of the fleet is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security. The Turkish government requested the F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021.
The legislative proposal for the 2022 Central Government Budget Law and related additions was enacted after being approved by the Parliament. With the law, a total of TRY 880.47bn will be added to the central government’s budget for this year.
The hike in minimum wage will be valid by July and the tax exemption will also be implemented for the new minimum wage figure in line with an agreement reached by the parties at the Minimum Wage Determination Commission meeting held under the presidency of Labor and Social Security Minister Vedat Bilgin yesterday. Bilgin said he ‘hopes’ the commission work to release results today.
The economic management and business world convened at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Economic Council. Vice President Fuat Oktay said they support all ideas, activities, and investments to reduce the dependence of exports on imports to the commercialization stage. Oktay also called on businesspeople to support the intermediate goods localization move. TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarciklioglu emphasized the importance of the public-private sector dialogue in reforms.
Exports increased by 15.3% to USD 18.98bn and imports jumped 43.5% to USD 29.58 in May, compared to the previous month, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The Services Producer Price Index (S-PPI) climbed by 89.96% in May, compared to the same month last year, according to TurkStat. The S-PPI surged by 6.94% on a monthly basis.
The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and the Central Bank will release weekly monetary and banking statistics (2.30 p.m.).
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Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli analyses the joint air defense system to be set up in the Middle East and Turkey’s place in it.