Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
Consumer confidence index drops q/q, y/y in 4Q20
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
Russia’s grain harvest may fall to 131mn tonnes in 2021 from 133mn tonnes in 2020
ING: Russia balance of payments: supportive of ruble in the near-term, but risks for 2H21 mount.
Western Balkans and Ukraine urged to scrutinise coal subsidies
Oligarchs trying to derail Ukraine’s privatisation programme, warns the head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Poland
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
BALKAN BLOG: US approach to switch from quick-fix dealmaking to experience and cooperation
Corona-induced slump in global clothing sector dragged down Albania’s 2020 exports
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Turnover rose on Bosnia's two stock exchanges in 2020 while prices fell
Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegrins say state administration is most corrupt institution
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
Romania’s central bank cuts monetary policy rate by 25bp to 1.25%
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovenia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
ISTANBUL BLOG: Biden must find a way to work with Trump’s strongman pal Erdogan
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Iran’s technology minister indicted for failing to properly implement internet censorship
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent say Biden national security nominees
TEHRAN BLOG: Will Biden bet on a quick return to the Iran nuclear deal?
Tehran Stock Exchange chief quits amid “Black Monday” fury
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
A 44,000-square metre plot of land located alongside the controversial Canal Istanbul mega infrastructure project and owned by Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s mother, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, has been rezoned into a tourism and trade area, according to Turkish daily Sozcu.
In December, the newspaper reported that the sheikh’s mother had bought the land in question after in November 2018 establishing a company in Turkey.
The value of the land has jumped to Turkish lira (TRY) 20-25mn ($2.9mn-$3.6mn) from the TRY12-13mn it was valued at when Nasser bought it, according to the publication.
The worth of the land is now set to rise by at least fivefold following the release of the zoning plan that transforms the potential for its use, the daily also noted.
Do we hear a gasp or two among readers? Well, you can’t expect us to tell a “dog bites man” story here, no matter the tingling sensation, but let’s just mention that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law and finance minister, Berat Albayrak (below), surely cannot be behind Sheikha Mozah’s successful real estate investment. Not a chance. A most impudent notion.
A 13,000-sqm plot of land owned by Albayrak alongside the Canal Istanbul project, as well as a 3,000-sqm plot in the vicinity owned by Albayrak’s father, Sadik Albayrak, have also been rezoned for tourism and trade use, according to another Turkish daily, Cumhuriyet.
Albayrak’s father reportedly bought his land back in 2003 while Berat Albayrak purchased his in 2012 after father-in-law Erdogan announced Canal Istanbul as his “crazy project” (“crazy” as in “crazy wow” rather than “nuts” though environmentalists, among others, contend the project is actually “crazy sad”).
In February, Albayrak blocked, via court rulings, access to an online news report on his acquisition of land by the project. However, a new wave of news reports have broken following the release of the latest master plan for the locality in question.
Also taking column inches is the sorry fate of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu (below) who, according to a Turkish court ruling, must pay TRY556,000 in compensation to Erdogan and some of his relatives after publicising documents that he claimed showed the president’s family hid money offshore in a company based on the Isle of Man.
Erdogan, meanwhile, using another obtained court ruling, has been busy seizing FX worth TRY565mn from the Istanbul Municipality held at government-run lender Vakifbank to pay a debt owed by the former administration of the municipality to a contractor, MET-GUN Insaat.
The money was borrowed abroad by CHP mayor Ekrem Imamoglu for metro construction. MET-GUN was a leading contractor for the municipality when it was controlled by Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
It is rather notable that while Erdogan seized Imamoglu’s hard currency, he paid the contractor in lira.
Vakifbank said on July 16 that it would sue Imamoglu for statements he had made against it. Such seizures result from court rulings and lenders must apply them, the bank added.
The banking law in Turkey has a particular article with broad scope that came into force after the banking industry in the country collapsed following the Turkish crisis of 2001—under it, pretty much saying anything negative about the banks is a crime.
Imamoglu’s close friend and Fox Turkey anchor-man, Fatih Portakal (below), is also in trouble under the banking law after he implied in a tweet that Erdogan might seize bank deposits.
Last but not least, there’s the tale of one Ahmet Sariduman (looking quite pleased with himself, below), who fired his good self from the position of general manager of Ankara Municipality’s subsidised bread production company, of which he is also board chairman, and paid himself TRY36,000 in severance for the dismissal. Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas revealed Sariduman’s fancy footwork on July 17 at a long city council session on corruption.
P.S. If you've not yet had your fill of dastardly deeds and bizarre contortions, catch up with the Wushu Federation story from Ahval.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: