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Alejandra Pousa

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  1. The Turkish Statistics Institute has published the inflation rates for November as follows: TÜFE (CPI - Consumer Prices Index) November 2021 November 2020 November 2019 Comparison with last month 3.51% 2.30% 0.38% Comparison with Dec.2020 19.82% 13.19% 11.01% Comparison with November 2020 21.31% 14.03% 10.56% Average of last 12 months 17.71% 12.04% 15.87% Source: TÜIK
  2. After having hit agonizing lows against the dollar, and having lost 45% of its value this year, the Turkish lira painfully bounced back a bit on Wednesday, now being 38% weaker than at the end of last year. Criticized at all levels, President Erdoğan addressed the country on Wednesday, after the cabinet meeting, to double down on the unorthodox economic strategy of keeping low-interest rates, he says, will stop soaring inflation, spur exports and growth, and prevent a currency meltdown. Benefiting from a weak lira, sectors like machinery, cars, and textiles produced a 10% growth this year. Mr. Kavcioğlu, recently appointed Central Bank Governor, explained that by bringing the current account deficit to a surplus, financial and price stability would be achieved. In an economy that is heavily reliant on imports and foreign funding, this 10% is a drop in the ocean especially taking into account a $167.- billion short-term external debt. Meanwhile, if inflation goes on running high in America, the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise the interest rates and cut back on its monthly assets purchase. Coinciding with Nomura Bank's analysis, investor Mark Mobius commented that countries with debt in dollars like Egypt, Romania, Turkey, and Sri Lanka were most at risk of an exchange rate crisis given the Fed's prospects of higher interest rates. '' The companies we own in Turkey are having earnings in dollars, euros, and, with a weaker Lira, they are doing better because their costs are much lower''. Interestingly enough, Mr. Kavcioğlu met yesterday with United Arab Emirates officials for preliminary talks regarding a swap agreement, as a source of hard currency to build reserves and support the ailing lira. Source: CNBC
  3. The Union of Petrol Stations has announced the following increase in prices: Petrol Ankara 9.74 tl İstanbul 9.69 tl İzmir 9.76 tl LPG Ankara 8.05 tl İstanbul 8.00 tl İzmir 7.88tl Minutes later, the EPDK (Energy Market Control Office) announced that such news is false. Source: CNN
  4. Mayor Tancu Ozcan introduced two surprising topics to be voted at the Municipal Assembly of Bolu: foreign nationals wishing to get married to another foreigner in Bolu, will now have to pay a whopping TL100,000.- for the service, and a price of USD 2.5.-/m2 for the provision of water. Both initiatives were unanimously approved. Foreigners under a refugee status will pay the same fees as a national, whereas foreigners residing in Turkey with a residence permit will pay higher prices for both services. Payments will be accepted in Turkish Liras but calculated according to the USD value of the day. Source: NTV
  5. Mr. Elvan, President of the Turkish Treasury, declared today that the foreign currency market is only regulated by offer and demand and discredited the rumors that say the government tries to keep foreign currency values high to incentivize exports. Meanwhile, surveys put the U.S. dollar at 9.97.-tl, inflation estimates at 19.31% by the end of this year and the TÜFE index at 15.61 (12 months). Source: NTV
  6. Minister Koca announced on Twitter that, as of today, people who have had a second dose of Pfizer 6 months ago are eligible for a 3rd booster shot. The groups to be prioritized are: 60+ 16-60 with preexisting conditions Health workers He also pointed out that attaining a fully vaccinated 70% of the population was still the target versus today's 59% in order to reach immunity. Source: Twitter
  7. The Turkish Statistics Institute announced yesterday the changes in inflation and Consumer Prices Index as follows: TÜFE (CPI - Consumer Prices Index) October 2021 October 2020 October 2019 Comparison with last month 2.39% 2.13% 2.00% Comparison with Dec.2020 15.75% 10.64% 10.59% Comparison with October 2020 19.89% 11.89% 8.55% Average of last 12 months 17.09% 11.74% 16.81% Some economists had projected a 20.01% climb for October, while the Central Bank adjusted the year end- inflation forecast from a previous 14% to an 18.4%. Source: TUIK
  8. While economists dismiss the claim that recent interest rate cuts will help to tame inflation, Turkey's Central Bank governor, S. Kavcioglu, argues that they will help stabilize soaring inflation by erasing the chronic current account deficit. He added that if Turkey could become a center of production and expand its exports thanks to a cheaper currency, then the exchange rate would turn to normal. Roger Kelly, an economist covering Turkey at the European Bank for Reconstruction, said Kavcioglu's statement made some sense but that the idea that current account balance could be achieved rapidly based on a weak lira and selective financing for exporting sectors, rather than productivity-enhancing structural reforms, seems short-sighted. "In the short to medium term, a weak lira would be highly inflationary and present significant challenges to the servicing of the extensive external liabilities of Turkey's corporates.'' Source: Financial Times
  9. October 29th is a national holiday in Turkey -Republic Day- therefore, the Stocks Exchange and banks will be closed. On October 28th, banks will be open until 13.00hs. Many banks will go on assisting their clients through their client service telephone lines. Source: NTV
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/594456
  13. Yes, it is sad. Yet remember we are pointing out what might happen when you come across crooks. We are also going through some kind of ''property earthquake'' and will feel the tremors for a while which does not mean this situation will necessarily go on.
  14. A new trend seems to be hitting Turkey and now prefers Antalya and other touristic areas as a valid backdrop: The property is being advertised as ''Sahıbın'den'' (directly from the owner''. When the deal is about to be closed or the price discussed, you are asked for one month rent in advance, one month as a guarantee, and a commission for the realtor you have never seen and who will never show up and no one produces any proving paper that a real estate agent has been part of the process. The traditional pre-printed contracts you could buy at any stationer's have become an endangered species being replaced by new ones which feature weird conditions in the price adjustment section. At the courts, the readjustment by Tüfe (cost of living index) trumps anything the creative leaser might have come up with. The ''you need to vacate the property because my elderly parent/newlywed son will occupy it''. Not only do owners ignore that by law they will not be able to rent the property for the next three years to other people than the mentioned relatives, but if sued by the former lessee, they have to pay the equivalent of 12 months rent as compensation, plus the court fees. And, as usual, brought about by this tendency some people have of becoming lawyers overnight, beware of the discrepancies between the leaser being Mr. X in the contract, and the owner on the deed being former Ms. A, who inherited the property from her father, and is now happily married to Mr. X. They will argue that, because they are married, no power of attorney is needed for Mr. X to be able to sign in place of his wife. The news is that, if you agree to close the deal, you have a completely invalid lease in your hands.
  15. 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
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