The NATO Summit backdrop after Erdoğan-Biden meeting, the opposition leader’s call on HDP for a single candidate against Erdoğan, a journalist convicted over terror charges, the minimum wage determination discussions and gummy bears breaking the internet…
Here is what you need to know what is going on in Turkey Today
1- Turkey’s agreement to lift its veto on Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership in exchange for concessions generated a positive response from pro-government media in Turkey, while the White House Statement on the Erdoğan-Biden meeting tells a different. Aegean and Syria in the statement but not F-16. Besides, Finland and Sweden already called out a victory on day one. Read Murat Yetkin’s analysis on the NATO Summit backdrop.
2- Turkey’s main opposition leader called on the Kurdish issue-focused People’s Democracy Party to support a single nominee against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The HDP and left-wing parties are pursuing an alliance for parliamentary elections,” Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in an interview with Birgun newspaper, referring to the pro-Kurdish party. “It would be more appropriate to field a joint candidate for the presidential elections.” Bloomberg
3- Minimum wage determination committee convened amid rising inflation erodes household’s living standard. The cost of living of a single employee has increased to 8,313 Turkish Lira (TRY), which is 4,061 TRY higher than the minimum wage. Bianet
4- Spain’s BBVA shifts to hyperinflation accounting in Turkey. Spanish Bank BBVA which holds an 86 percent stake in Garanti said restating inflation-adjusted numbers from January 1 had a negative impact on the group’s net attributable profit in the first quarter. The BBVA group announced that as of Jan. 2022, the accounting records for Garanti BBVA will switch to hyperinflation accounting in Turkey. The impact of restating inflation-adjusted numbers from Jan. 1 onwards would be reflected in second-quarter results, it said. Reuters
5- Turkey holds the key to unlocking the Black Sea grain deal, Ukraine says. Kyiv official says a proposal under discussion would mean no need to de-mine waters to get grain moving. Ukraine is looking to Turkey for security guarantees that would unlock a deal with Russia to allow millions of tons of grain to be shipped through the Black Sea to a hungry world. A government official in Kyiv told POLITICO a plan is under discussion that would open up blocked Ukrainian ports for ships loaded with grain, without the need to de-mine the waters in the area. A security guarantee provided by Turkey or another state — likely one within NATO — is now the crucial missing piece of a deal, and if all sides can agree, a plan could be finalized within days, the official said. Politico
6- About 140,000 tonnes of grain were exported from a terminal in the occupied Ukrainian port of Sevastopol last month, according to a Financial Times analysis. 1/3 of it went to Turkey, Laura Pitel of Financial Times reports
7- Journalist Abdurrahman Gök who photographed the university student Kemal Kurkut being shot by police in 2017 sentenced to prison over terror charges. Bianet
8- For those who are curious about why Turkey’s internet is talking about gummy bears, it is because former Mayor of Ankara Melih Gökçek claimed that large reserves of “jelibon”, that is the Turkish name for the material that gummy bears, jelly beans are made of, were discovered in Adana, adding that he does not know what “jelibon” means. It clearly resonated a rare element to be found for Gökçek who broke the internet with gummy bear memes. As a context, before election season, Turkish officials usually announce discovery of new raw material reserves using the announcement as an election promise.