What matters on Thursday, May 19

Today is the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day, celebrated on May 19 to memorialize the Founder of the Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s landing at Samsun on May 19, 1919, which is regarded as the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence in the country’s history. Following Ataturk’s wish, the government declared May 19 to be Youth and Sports Day and made it an official holiday in 1938. The day received its present name, the “Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day”, in 1981, on the 100th anniversary of Ataturk’s birth.

It is actually very meaningful to remember such a day in today’s circumstances, where the country is fighting against harsh economic conditions such as high inflation and increasing foreign exchange rates. USD/TRY approached 16.00 after it rose for 10 consecutive days and differentiated negatively. USD/TRY, which saw 15.95 yesterday, is traded at 15.96 this morning.

The market does not expect a sharp decline in the short term similar to the one in December 2021. However, the main agenda item of the market is if the public sector allows TRY to further devaluate. The TRY has already depreciated by 7.5% against the USD since the beginning of May. The market follows if the demand for FX rates is reduced with steps such as a new external FX resource, short-term high-yield bonds or inflation-indexed bonds, or if a new FX resource is provided to the public sector through these methods.

The U.S. and Turkey are “committed to working closely together to face current geopolitical challenges,” according to a joint statement issued after a meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The statement said the top diplomats intend to deepen bilateral cooperation through constructive and open dialogue as envisioned by the U.S. Turkey Strategic Mechanism. “They discussed ways and assessed concrete steps to enhance their cooperation on defense issues, counterterrorism, energy, and food security, combatting climate change and boosting trade ties, while agreeing to intensify consultations on a range of regional issues,” it noted. “They also reiterated their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity against Russia’s unacceptable war. Within this framework, the U.S. and Turkey reaffirmed their support to find a solution to end the war.” Cavusoglu said earlier that talks with the U.S. regarding the sale of F-16 jets to Ankara were progressing positively.

President Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden should not expect Turkey to approve its NATO bid without returning “terrorists”, and Swedish and Finnish delegations should not come to Turkey to convince it to back their membership in the alliance, according to Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden and top officials from his administration repeated that they are confident Ankara’s objection will not be a roadblock to the accession process of the Nordic countries, even though they did not spell out how Turkey’s position could be changed.


No data will be released due to the official holiday.


>> Turkey’s technoparks, which are considered the engine of entrepreneurship, expect the number of local unicorns to increase from six to 10 in a year, according to daily DUNYA.

>> Turkey’s benchmark stock index was slightly down 0.05% to end yesterday at 2,393.61 points. Borsa Istanbul’s BIST 100 index lost 1.22 points from the previous close of 2,394.83 points. The total market value of the BIST 100 was around TRY 1.94tr by market close, with a daily trading volume of TRY 34.07bn.

>> The Participation Banks Association of Turkey (TKBB) and Bosna Bank International (BBI) have signed an agreement to enhance cooperation between the two countries. The two countries will work on transferring knowledge and skills, as well as jointly organizing events and activities, according to a statement from the TKBB.  Cooperation on matters such as participation banking principles and mutual promotion of business and banking institutions will be a priority.


>> The issue of Syrian refugees; where and how will they go?

Syrian refugees have become a domestic issue in Turkey in the 10 years since the Syrian civil war started. Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli analyzes the government’s new approaches to the issue.

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