Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Country


Reputation Activity

  1. Confused
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Incidence of Inflation on Prices in Turkey   
    The following is a list of the increments in prices:
    Natural Gas                                                + 25% MTV tax                                                      + 25% Tax on property                                         + 18% Tax on Inheritance                                     + 36.20% Electricity                                                   less than 150kw/hour +50%  more than 150kw/hour +125% Osmangazı bridge toll                               369 tl (two way) Sultan Selim bridge toll                               38 tl (two way) Şehitler bridge toll                                       16.50tl (two way) Sultan Mehmet bridge toll                           16.50tl (two way) Avrasya tunnel toll                                        53 tl Osmangazi (Ist.-Izmir)                                459tl Marmaray                                                      +23% IETT cards                                                     +36% Metrobus                                                       +36% Minibus                                                          +36% Taxis                                                               +36% Tax on mobile phone                                   +36.20% Registering foreign mobile                           2.732tl Rent (maximum inc. rate)                             19.60%  LPG                                                                 8.9% Gas                                                                 4.9% Cigarettes/Alcohol                                        25% Driving fines                                                   19 - 25% Private health policies                                  Outpatients covered up to 5,000tl Driving licenses                                             9.11% First residence payment                               1,033 tl SGK - monthly payment                                1,200 tl Source: Bloomberg
  2. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Omicron in the U.K. and the U.S. Update   
    192,290 daily cases were reported yesterday across the U.K. with the highest number, 5305-5770 in the area of London. Approximately 90% of all cases are attributed to Omicron. It is now almost certain that the new variant breaks thru vaccinations, 39% of infected people having had 2 or 3 doses, but being protected against severe disease. The number of hospitalizations (still much shorter periods than with Delta) have slightly risen and there are no alarming jumps in the number of deaths.
    As for symptomatology during the first few days after infection, headache, fatigue, and a runny nose were the main complaints (all three in 65% of the cases), while sore throat and sneezing were present in around 56% of the cases. In terms of severity, these cold-like symptoms versus severe respiratory symptoms seen during the Delta wave are quite reassuring.
    Source: Zoecovidstudy
    On December the 25th, the CDC reported that 58.6% of the total cases for the U.S. were now Omicron, this variant now displacing Delta very rapidly. 441,278 new cases and 1,627 deaths were registered up until 27/12. The figure for hospital admissions remained considerably low, 8,494, by comparison to the same date last year (14,903). 70+ population registered the most hospitalizations.
    Source: CDC
  3. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Omicron Case Figures in Turkey   
    The number of Covid cases in Turkey has increased above 30,000/daily, thus marking the beginning of what seems to be an upward trend since last October.
    Minister F.Koca attributed more than 10% of said cases to the new variant and once more underlined the importance of getting booster shots as well as masking and avoiding crowded places.
    The new Turkish vaccine, Turkovac,  has already been approved for emergency use. Appointments for boosters with any of the three shots, Turkovac, Sinovac, and Pfizer are available for those who have been vaccinated three months ago.
    Source: TRT Haber
  4. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Evolution of Omicron Variant in the U.K. and South Africa   
    With now (14/12/21) a total of 2,217 total confirmed cases reported in Europe to the ECDC Omicron may well be positioned to become the dominant variant of this new wave that has Europe as the epicenter. Having a closer look at the U.K. and South Africa may give us an idea of what to expect in the following months.
    According to the Zoe study, 200,000 new daily infections were registered more than half of them being asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. 50% of all new infections recorded in London have been confirmed were of the Omicron variant. Only ten cases needed hospitalization. The individuals were diagnosed on or before admission. These people are spread around the country and are a mix of age ranges between 18 to 85 years. The majority had received 2 doses of vaccination.  Dr. Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at UKHSA said: '' It is increasingly evident that Omicron is highly infectious and there is emerging laboratory and early clinical evidence to suggest that both vaccine-acquired and naturally acquired immunity against infection is reduced for this variant. It is therefore absolutely critical that we all do everything that we can to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant''
    According to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, doctor Javid, no variant has spread this fast being able to predict a dramatic increase in the following weeks. Dr. Hopkins pointed out that the transmission rate could be estimated in 2.4 days, that is to say, that every 2 or three days the number of cases will double so this variant is eight times more contagious than Delta.
    As for South Africa, there are two major differences with the U.K. that are worthwhile pointing out: a younger population and a higher naturally acquired immunity (after infection with Covid). Based on 211,000 cases, Discovery Health conducted a study that shows the following preliminary results:
    Two-dose Pfizer vaccination provides significant protection against hospitalization in individuals with Omicron variant infection: individuals who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had 70% protection against hospital admission in this same period. While protection against hospital admission reduced from the highs of 93% in South Africa's-Delta driven wave, 70% is still regarded as very good protection and it is maintained across all ages and a range of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and other vascular diseases. Omicron reinfection risk is significantly higher compared to prior variants. Risk of severe disease and hospitalization is significantly lower in Omicron as compared to other variants.  
    Source: The Guardian
  5. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, What We Need to Know about Omicron Variant   
    On November 24th, South Africa reported to the WHO the identification of a new variant, B 1.1.529. On November 26th, B 1.1.529 was designated a variant of concern by the WHO based on South Africa's epidemiological data that indicated an increase in infections, in the area. On December 1st, the first case was reported in the U.S.
    A total of 182 cases have been reported so far in several European countries, as well as in Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil, Israel, Japan, and Nigeria. Globally, there are 486 confirmed cases reported by 38 countries.
    What concerns the WHO, the CDC and the EHC is the number of spike protein substitutions which could potentially suggest increased transmissibility and reduced susceptibility to vaccine sera and monoclonal antibody therapeutics. They also coincide in pointing out it is too early to come to conclusions since research is underway all over the world.
    What is certain is that the number of cases is too low to understand how Omicron's clinical spectrum differs from previously detected variants. All cases for which there is available info were either asymptomatic or mild and most of them were travel-related.
    As for Turkey, Minister Koca declared on Dec. 5th after meeting with the Coronavirus Advisory Board, that no cases of the variant have been detected yet. Dr. Alper Şener, a member of the above board, pointed out yesterday that taking into account the speed at which omicron cases rose in South Africa, it is logical to think it will reach Turkey. Coinciding with other colleagues, he added that sufficient research data is not available yet.
  6. Like
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, New Measures to Sanction Shady Taxi Drivers   
    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
  7. Like
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Renting Market In Turkey   
    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
  8. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Facts About Mu Variant   
    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
  9. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Refuting Myths about COVID-19 and Vaccinations   
    Yesterday astronomers spotted light from behind a black hole for the first time. They were not trying to prove Einstein (1915 general relativity paper) right, yet again, but in discovering this, they confirmed how space is warped, bending light and twisting magnetic fields. This is an observable fact that does not change. It can be also measured but will definitely not change.
    General relativity is a theory about gravity -the best we have so far. It does not mean it was Einstein's hunch, but the way facts were interpreted by him and by science. Theories, or the way they are interpreted, may change. A hypothesis is an idea that has not been proven yet. If enough evidence supports a hypothesis, it can become accepted as a theory, i.e. a valid explanation of a phenomenon. Data are used to suggest, confirm or disconfirm a theory. Take for instance the fact that there have been 125,000 breakthrough covid-delta cases in the US. If we think these are actual human lives at risk, the sheer number grows right in front of our eyes. If we consider 350 million doses have been administered in America, the first figure becomes a tiny fraction of those who have been vaccinated. A better understanding of the data helps scientists adjust or find better theories.
    Credible scientific ideas are not set in stone. Accepted scientific knowledge is not accepted because it is certain but because it is the one that has survived all possible critiques and is out there for everybody's assessment. Science is thus a process based on continual revision that changes the way we think about the world. And this is why medical research papers are published and stay in the open for revision. (The Lancet, Pubmed, CDC, NHS, WHO).
    The mythology around covid and vaccines is so vast and florid...so instead of refuting legends, here go some ''scientifically proven'' (the trendy oxymoron these days) facts:
    Efficacy of a vaccine: the degree to which it prevents disease and possibly also transmission, under ideal and controlled circumstances. 90% efficacy in a trial may reasonably predict 90% reduction in cases.
    Effectiveness: How well a vaccine performs in the real world. Underlying chronic illnesses, age, how the vaccine is stored, can all reduce how effective it is at preventing disease.
    Covid vaccines prevent severe illness, reduce hospitalization, and deaths. No, there is no iron clad guarantee we will be 100% immune.
    Breakthrough cases: A small percentage of fully vaccinated people will still get Covid if exposed to the virus. For any vaccine, there are, have been and will be breakthrough cases. It typically takes about two weeks for the body to build protection after vaccination.
    Mutations: There are at least 7 variants of concern. Viruses mutate. That is what they do. And at some point, there is the possibility of a new variant appearing and not being affected by the immunologic barrier created by the current vaccines.
    Source: Gavi
  10. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, How Other Countries are Riding the COVID-19 Delta Variant Wave   
    Torn between protecting lives and livelihoods, as well as keeping their political images afloat, most governments are struggling to get people vaccinated as soon as possible. It is no secret now, that immunization is the only way to keep new infections at bay, and that the more the virus circulates, the more the probabilities of its mutating into a version fitter for survival, and hence more prone to outsmart the barrier that the current vaccines provide.
    The Delta variant, though not necessarily more devastating, is by far more contagious: the viral load of an individual suffering from Delta is estimated to be 1,000 times higher than common Covid. This viral load peaks at approximately 3.7 days from exposure to detection, during the phase when individuals present no symptoms. This means that we can make others sick more quickly, more efficiently and that the time frame of PCR tests should be shortened to 48 hours.
    As for populations, everyone is completely fed up with masking, social distancing, and any other preventive measures. Vaccine hesitancy, brought about by the different levels of distrust with which such measures are met, and the inability of different authorities of translating scientific jargon into something meaningful, add to the list of factors that complicate the already difficult situation.
    So, how are Europe and the U.S.coping with Delta?
    Currently undergoing a rise of 125% in cases per 100,000 per week with 80% of infections attributable to Delta.
    Macron's proposed compulsory vaccination for health workers plan met with 100,000 people taking to the streets to oppose it. As of today, the first phase of the health pass (digital evidence of certificate or negative pcr) comes into force with hefty fines and even prison for noncompliance.
    A target of 50 million first dose jabs to be administered until the end of August.
    Vaccination of the 12-17 group as of June 1st: only 20% showed up to receive the first dose and thus will not be fully protected until the end of October.
    Currently undergoing the perfect storm: Easter holidays; end of term student vacations; low rate of full vaccination (only 7.2%), and relaxation of preventive measures.
    Official figures say the strain accounts for 11% of cases which was met with skepticism by the experts who put the figure at 32% at least.
    Delta is now dominant in four main regions and many of them are considering reinstating measures to contain the spike in infections in the +15-30 group.
    To make matters worse, 40% of +60's are not fully vaccinated as well as 25% of the 40's-60's group who have only had one dose.
    On Monday, and despite the rise in infections - some 50,000 daily cases-, restrictions have been lifted, including masking and social distancing.
    69% of the population have received one jab and 52% are fully vaccinated.
    Whether betting strongly on herd immunity or high vaccination rates and perhaps hoping Covid has become a manageable threat, England is opening its economy. The government is being accused of recklessly exposing the population and running the risk of creating the conditions for the emergence of a new vaccine defense evading variant.
    The U.S.:
    83% of cases are now caused by Delta, strain which has been identified in all 50 states.
    49% of the population is fully vaccinated but the increase in infections is more dramatic in areas with relaxed precautions and higher vaccine hesitancy.
    Hospitalizations have increased. The majority are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people. The CDC reported that preliminary data suggested that 99.5% of deaths were unvaccinated people thus confirming Scottish findings: this strain is twice as likely to lead to hospitalization.
  11. Like
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Tax Cuts on Bank Deposits in Turkey   
    In order to encourage lira savings, deposits of up to 6 months have now a lower tax, from 15% it went down to 5%, while tax on deposits of up to one year has gone from 12% to 3%. Accounts of more than a year tenure are not subject to taxes.
    This is the third time these measures have been extended since September 2020. They will remain in force until the end of July.
    Source: Hürriyet
  12. Thanks
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, April 29th-May 17th Lockdown in Turkey   
    In order to lower the number of infections, President Erdoğan, after finishing the cabinet meeting, addressed the population to announce the following:
    Starting on April 29th at 19.00 and ending on May 17th at 05.00 there will be a lockdown. Supermarkets will close on Sundays and operate during the other days of the week between hours to be determined. People are requested to do their shopping at places closest to their homes only.  Restaurants and cafes will go on operating on a delivery basis. Government officials will work from home. Unless exempted (essential items manufacturing facilities, food industry,etc) all workplaces will return to working from home. Kindergardens, grades 8 and 12 as well as all other levels of education, will stop face to face lessons and all exams will be postponed. Intercity travel will require permissions and buses will run at a 50% capacity. Having reserved accommodation constitutes no exemption. People over 65 as well as those who, though younger, suffer from incapacitating chronic illnesses and have no one to help them, can call 112, 156, 155. These are the telephone numbers of emergency, police and jandarma. Apart from the usual personnel, there are ''Vefa'' groups ready to assist housebound people. He also added that there has been a number of people who were asked to pay for vaccines and intensive care unit services, both at public and/or private hospitals and encouraged the population to immediately apply to the Ministry of Health or S.G.K. and denounce these illegal acts since no payment should be demanded.
    Source: Hürriyet
  13. Like
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Turkey Extends Lock Down to cover Sovereignity Day   
    Covering all the country, as of  07.00 p.m. on Thursday and ending on Monday at 05.00 a.m., a partial lock down will cover Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during which markets, grocery stores, bakeries and butchers will serve their customers from 10.00 a.m. till 05.00 p.m. These stores should be the ones closest to home. Banks, courier companies and PTT will be closed.
    Source: Daily Sabah
  14. Like
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Vaccination Appointments in Turkey for Those Over 55 Years of Age   
    Minister  Koca announced via Twitter that anyone over 55 years of age can, as of today, get their vaccination appointment on the phone, dialling 182 or on the internet via MHRS.
    Source: Cumhurriyet
  15. Sad
    Meral reacted to Alejandra Pousa for news, Warning Against the Use of Quick Covid Test Kits   
    Dr. Haluk Eraksoy, president of the Istanbul University Hospital department of Infectious Diseases and Dr Cenap Sarialioğlu, from the Pharmacists Chamber, warned the population against the use of quick Covid test kits.
    Because of the technique used, those tests tend to give false results, whether positive or negative. ''In order to properly measure antibodies in blood the best technique to use is Elisa and such tests are performed at hospitals'', said Dr Eraksoy.
    There are approximately 100 different brands in the market and even though they have been banned for sale at pharmacies, people still get them on the internet to avoid going to health centers for fear of contagion and even to avoid having to disclose positive results.
    Source: Cumhurriyet
  16. Confused
    Meral reacted to Morag Thomson for news, Possible Scrapping the PCR Test for Foreign Travellers Coming to Turkey   
    Mehmet Nuri Ersoy (the Culture and Tourism Minister) stated that Turkey will continue to demand a negative PCR test from travellers entering Turkey until 15 April. After that date, the number of cases (in the country) will be assessed. If there is a decrease the restriction will be lifted for that country. 
    To date 11.03 million vaccine doses have been administered across Turkey.
     Source: Daily Sabah
    COVID-19 Vaccinations are being given in a series of groups. You can see the chart which displays the progress of the vaccination plan, and when you can expect to be eligible for vaccination here:
    COVID-19 Vaccination Timetable
    Groups for which vaccinations have been completed are displayed in green.
  17. Like
    Meral reacted to Morag Thomson for news, COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Turkey   
    As stated by the Turkish Ministry of Health, they are now vaccinating people aged between 75 and 80. So if you fall between these ages and you wish to receive the vaccine, it is important to ensure that your details are on the Enabiz website. If you miss your slot you will have to wait until the end of the programme to be vaccinated.
    Vaccinations are being given in a series of groups. You can see the chart which displays the progress of the vaccination plan, and when you can expect to be eligible for vaccination here:
    Completed vaccinations by groups are displayed in green.
  18. Like
    Meral reacted to Morag Thomson for news, COVID-19 Vaccine Update for Turkey   
    As previously stated the Turkish Government has started the roll out of their vaccination programme. GOV.UK states that if you have valid residency then you will be eligible for the vaccine. However, you must first register with the Turkish service through the Enabiz website, as your details may not be included in the system. Even if you are already registered on the Enabiz system, you may still need to request a vaccine through their website. Once you are on the website there is a page with English instructions on how to proceed.
    Vaccinations are being given in a series of groups. You can see the chart which displays the progress of the vaccination plan, and when you can expect to be eligible for vaccination here:
    Completed vaccinations by groups are displayed in green.
  • Create New...