Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the European Union to allow Ukraine to gain membership under a special procedure immediately as it defends itself from invasion by Russian forces. Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Russian delegations convened to hold peace talks in the Gomel region of Belarus yesterday. After the 6-hour talks, both sides agreed to hold a second round of negotiations to achieve a ceasefire soon. The Ukrainian delegation demanded Russia withdraw all troops in Ukraine including Kyiv, Crimea, and Donbas, according to a statement from the Ukrainian Presidential Office. The Kremlin, meanwhile, announced that their demands wouldn’t be announced to the public and negotiations would proceed behind closed doors. Each delegation will consult with the head of state of their country before the next meeting.
As the two groups met, Russian forces bombed civilian areas in the city of Kharkiv, and a massive explosion was seen at the regional administration office.
Turkey will use its authority over the Turkish Straits under the 1936 Montreux Convention to prevent the Russia-Ukraine conflict from further escalating, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, President Erdogan said Turkey won’t give up on either Russia or Ukraine but will close the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus to all war vessels.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinked spoke over the phone to discuss recent developments and the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. “I reaffirmed U.S. condemnation of Russia’s actions and emphasized that we will continue our close coordination in support of Ukraine, its sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” Blinken said on his Twitter account.
The Turkish economy, which grew by 11% as a result of exports and domestic demand when pandemic restrictions were eased, is now the country among the G-20, OECD, and the EU states with the highest growth rate, according to Treasury and Finance Minister Nurettin Nebati. The business world, which wasn’t surprised by the growth rate, interpreted this as quite valuable but emphasized the importance of sustainable growth.
The Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) Turkey Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) dropped by 0.1 points to 50.4 points in February, compared to the previous month.
The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) will release retail and wholesale prices in Istanbul for January (12.00 pm).
The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BBDK) will release the banking sector figures for January (2.00 pm).
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The total number of Turkish citizens who married foreigners increased from 22,737 to 28,654 in 2021, compared to the previous year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).