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  1. New Measures to Sanction Shady Taxi Drivers

    By Alejandra Pousa, 01/10/21

    Given the number of complaints of passengers in all major cities, the Ministry of Interior has issued a circular covering all provinces stating that taxi drivers unwilling to pick up passengers will be sanctioned including the revocation of their licenses.
    Taxi drivers may say that the trip you want to make is too short; the area you are going to is subject to traffic jams; it is rush hour (!); they also tend to prefer people who look like tourists or start the meter at the taxi rank (which is forbidden) on their way to picking the passenger up. Another thing they do is, if you have hailed a passing taxi, got into their car and a chauffeur at the nearest rank sees this, they cross their vehicle to intercept yours and start a heated argument.
    The circular also encourages taxi users to document and share their complaints with the police, the local Şöferler Odası, and the municipality. In Istanbul, for example, the police have been conducting undercover surveillance operations both on taxis and short distance buses this last month.
    The first measure we should take is documenting the license number and taxi company logo on both doors. Checking the meter reads 0 tl, recording the conversation on our phones, and calling the police (155) are some of the things we can do to substantiate our claims.
    Source: Ministry of Interior

  2. U.S. Travel Restrictions to Be Lifted Early November

    By Alejandra Pousa, 24/09/21

    Jeff Zients, the White House pandemic coordinator announced that the U.S. will be lifting travel restrictions on fully vaccinated international travelers in early November. Before boarding, proof of having been vaccinated at least 14 days prior to flying will have to be presented.
    Unvaccinated nationals will have to produce a negative test result performed the day before traveling and will be tested again after arrival. They will also have to supply the authorities with contact tracing information.
    Source: The New York Times

  3. Travelling to the U.K. - Petition

    By Alejandra Pousa, 23/09/21

    Anyone traveling from Turkey to the UK will have to quarantine and have two PCR tests on entering said country even after having been fully vaccinated. Shots administered here are not recognized in spite of the fact that Turkey is now on the amber list and that Turkish certificates are valid in the EU.
    We invite you to consider signing the petition to the U.K. Parliament at the following link:

  4. Renting Market In Turkey

    By Alejandra Pousa, 07/09/21

    When I first came to Turkey I rented for a couple of years. The owners of the property were a retired couple for whom the income of this rent was crucial to their making a decent living. Some time into my first Ankara winter, the combination boiler broke down and had to be replaced. Neither the old couple nor I made enough money to be able to buy a new one. We had a very cordial meeting and decided to join forces: I would find and buy a second-hand appliance and pay for the installation while they would save money to buy a new one in a year. Both parties kept our word and, to my surprise, a year later I had a brand new top-of-the-range boiler in my kitchen. Apart from that, whenever inflation spiked or the rent lagged behind it, we had our çay and börek meeting and agreed on the figure that would keep both our necks comfortably above the water level, independently from any index in the market.
    Today, with the academic year starting; the inflation brought about by the pandemic; countless couples getting married after Covid lockdowns; the ''kentsel dönüşüm'' by which old buildings at risk of collapsing are forcibly pulled down and new buildings take a year to be erected; seasonal tourism; increase in the number of refugees, Istanbul is seeing a 300% rise in rent prices -a percentage echoed by Ankara and Izmir- the above mentioned traditional Turkish goodwill seems to have left the building.
    Turkish property law is a bit more lenient with the renters. When a rent contract is close to its expiration date, it can be renewed over the following years for a maximum period of 10. Prices are adjusted using the TÜFE index (consumer prices).
    These days landlords want the highest prices they can get and try to escape the indexes' ceiling, which is illegal. They can then resort to a couple of tricks. The first one is informing the renter to vacate the property since he needs it for a newlywed child or an elderly parent. . He can legally assign the right of usage to members of his family but the law clearly states that, after the renter has left, the owner cannot rent the property for the following three years. The second one is suing (kira tespit davası) to get the courts to conduct an appraisal of the prices in the market/neighborhood. This will only prosper after more than 5 years of renting and, even so, owners are not aware that such proceedings take between 2 to 2.5 years to reach a sentence. On the other hand, the prices set by the judges will tend to be tolerant of the renter's economic situation.
    Source: NTV

  5. Facts About Mu Variant

    By Alejandra Pousa, 03/09/21

    CNN Turk, echoing an article that appeared in The Guardian, unnecessarily set off an alarm on Mu variant. So far, known facts are as follows:
    The Who declared Mu variant of interest on August 30th (that is, different enough to be systematically monitored) not a variant of concern. Mu appeared in Colombia in January this year. The prevalence is 31% when compared to the number of Delta cases in that country. Even though it is also responsible for cases in Ecuador, the prevalence in that country has now declined to 0.1% versus Delta. 2,000 cases have been reported in the U.S. but Delta is responsible for 99% of cases - ''not even close to being dominant'' according to Dr. Fauci from the CDC. There isn't enough information yet to draw conclusions about its ability to evade the immunologic resistance created by the vaccines. Pfizer has launched a study on it and preliminary data show no evidence it can escape vaccine-induced protection. Data from a study by the University of Quito, Ecuador, would indicate that, just like the Kent variant, this mutation is likely to be one of rapid transmission when compared to the original coronavirus strain. Cases have also been reported in South Korea and parts of Europe. Sources: The Washington Post/WHO

  6. Inflation for August - Turkish Statistics Office

    By Alejandra Pousa, 03/09/21

    The TÜİK (Turkish Statistics Office) has announced the following figures for the month of August
    TÜFE (CPI - Consumer Prices Index)    August 2021 August 2020 August 2019 Comparison with last month  1.12%  0.86%  0.86% Comparison with Dec.2020 11.65%  7.29%  7.35% Comparison with August 2020 19.25% 11.77% 15.01% Average of last 12 months 15.78% 11.27% 19.62% Source : TÜIK

  7. Academic Year 2021-22 - Covid Preventive Measures

    By Alejandra Pousa, 20/08/21

    At the end of the Cabinet meeting, President Erdoğan confirmed that teachers at all academic levels, all other school personnel, and university students who have not received a covid vaccine yet will be pcr tested at least twice a week. Said PCRs can be performed at state owned hospitals for free.
    The obligation of showing your HES pass when entering any closed and crowded venue will go on.
    Source: CNN

  8. Turkish Covid Certificates Accepted By EU

    By Alejandra Pousa, 20/08/21

    As of today, the EU will accept the Turkish Covid certificate ensuring travel to and within the block, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
    EU Covid certificates are proof that a person has:
    been vaccinated (EMA approved vaccs.) received a negative test result recovered from Covid It is issued in digital or paper format, has a QR code, and is both in English and in the national language.
    If you hold a Turkish certificate (similar to the above in format and content - printable and storable in your phone's HES) for two doses of Biontech (EU approved), the last dose received more than 14 days ago, you will no longer be subject to extra pandemic-related measures.
    Unvaccinated people will have to take a test and those who received Sinovac will be subject to entry requirements at the destination country.
    Source: Hürriyet

  9. Academic Year 2021-22

    By Alejandra Pousa, 16/08/21

    Both the Minister of Education of Turkey and the Minister of Health have confirmed that all schools will teach five days a week on a face to basis.
    Classes are starting on 31/08 for the first graders and on 06/09 for elementary, middle, and high schools. Teachers will start working on 31/08. Provided the vaccination campaign goes according to plan, universities would be starting 13/09.
    As for preventive measures against Covid, masking and social distancing will go on; schools will provide masks to those who need them and vaccination will go to reach the highest number possible of young people. Though not confirmed yet, proof of vaccination and/or PCR tests might be requested.
    Source:  TRT Haber

  10. 4th Dose of Vaccines in Turkey

    By Alejandra Pousa, 16/08/21

    Amid several misleading rumors, Dr. Koca clarified the following on Twitter:
    + 15 can now get their vaccination appointments. + 12 suffering from chronic conditions which could make them more susceptible to Covid, can now get their vaccine appointments. Anyone who has had a positive PCR result can be vaccinated 1 month after having had said result. Those traveling abroad to countries that do not accept Sinovac certificates, can have a first and a second shot of Biontech (21 days between each dose). Source:  Cumhürriyet

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