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
Russia's National Welfare Fund accounts for almost 12% of GDP
Police arresting activists ahead of Saturday’s demonstration in support of Navalny
Biden seeking a five-year extension to START II missile treaty
Russian consumer confidence index drops q/q, y/y in 4Q20
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 MPs pass protectionist food law in violation of EU rules
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
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
Albania needs reforms for e-commerce to thrive, says World Bank
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
Bosnia's exports in 2020 amounted to BAM10.5bn, trade deficit to BAM6.3bn
Bulgaria's Biodit first company to IPO on new BEAM market
Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
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
Romania government to pursue “ambitious” timetable for justice reforms
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
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
D’S Damat franchise deals ‘show Turkey’s hard-pressed mall operators becoming their own tenants’
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
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 Khamenei menaces private citizen Trump with image of aircraft shadowing blond golfer
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?
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
Mongolia's PM quits amid protests over treatment of mother with coronavirus and newborn baby
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
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
Turkey’s top business leaders are reportedly pressing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to beef up his economic support plan to help companies through the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and perhaps announce a strict lockdown to curb the worryingly fast spread of the outbreak in the country.
Erdogan nine days ago announced a Turkish lira (TRY) 100bn ($15.4bn) plan of support that includes tax cuts and loan payment deferrals. However, given that Turkey has a $750bn economy, critics see it as far from enough, with Moody’s having earlier this week warned that the country of 82mn is likely to be hit harder by the economic effects of the pandemic than any other G20 economy. That ominous warning is even more worrying taken together with the fact that an increasing number of academics are claiming that Turkey has done too little, too late to fight its COVID-19 outbreak and—in the words of columnist and scholar Cengiz Candar—“could be heading to the brink of catastrophe”.
The new pressure on Erdogan to do more has been brought to bear by board members of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (Tusiad) in a letter sent to the president, according to Bloomberg.
The contents of the letter have not been made public, but the news agency quoted a source as saying that Tusiad’s main concern was a lack of guidance from the government on how long the economy would be operating under a slowdown.
“Their call to the Turkish leader shows growing discomfort among the country’s most influential businesses as they seek support to offset the weakening demand at home and in export markets led by Europe,” the source was cited as saying.
The Tusiad board is said to have discussed recommending that the government announce a strict, national lockdown to more quickly slow the spread of the virus. Such a measure, while a hard medicine to swallow, would enable businesses to plan for a defined period of slowdown in the expectation of an accelerated rebound.
Istanbul’s mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on March 26 called for a full curfew in Turkey’s business and cultural capital.
Hundreds of thousands of companies across the country have already shut down in the face of the pandemic but observers are anxious that millions of Turks are still forced to mingle while they journey to inessential jobs—the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has called on the Erdogan administration to address this difficulty by providing workers with paid leave. Imamoglu pointed out that more than a million people had used public transport in Istanbul during the most critical period in the attempt at driving back the coronavirus.
One worrying episode that resulted from Turkey’s shutdown of almost all flights as part of its fight against the pandemic has stranded around 2,000 people at Istanbul Airport. More than half of the travellers stuck at the airport, one of the world’s busiest international hubs, were Algerian citizens, while others were from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, according to airport operator IGA. It added that Turkish Airlines and Turkish Red Crescent were providing meals and essentials for the people stuck at the airport, Unverified video footage posted on social media appeared to show scuffles between police and passengers wearing medical masks at an Istanbul Airport terminal building.
Turkey’s officially recorded number of COVID-19 infections rose by 1,196 on March 26 to reach 3,629, with 75 related deaths. The country reported its first infection as late as March 10, but many observers doubt the veracity of the official data.
Reuters on March 26 quoted Sinan Adiyaman, chairman of the TTB, as saying that Turkey’s “[…] test numbers [for COVID-19] are low. We were certainly not prepared. Countries that are ready must have high test numbers”.
The government has insisted it took timely measures to delay the outbreak but Adiyaman said Turkey was slow on some steps, including suspending sports leagues and quarantining those coming from abroad, especially thousands returning this month from an Umrah pilgrimage.
“Around 200,000 people arrived from abroad since the outbreak began, and they were just given a simple fever test and released across Turkey in an uncontrolled manner,” he said. “You cannot fight a pandemic this way.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: