Statements indicating a military operation into Northern Iraq; Foreign exchange rate continues to rise; Erdoğan-Zelensky meeting

Statements indicating a military operation into Northern Iraq; Foreign exchange rate continues to rise; Erdoğan-Zelensky meeting

Last week, there were three issues on Türkiye’s agenda:

Statements signaling a military operation against terrorist organization in northern Iraq, an unstoppable rise in foreign exchange rates and the meeting between President Erdoğan and his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky.

Statements indicating a military operation into Northern Iraq

The first message regarding a large-scale military operation targeting PKK targets in northern Iraq came from President Erdoğan. After the cabinet meeting, Erdoğan said, “Inshallah, issues concerning the Turkish borders with Iraq will be permanently resolved this summer.” Erdoğan also said that Türkiye is “determined to establish a security corridor along its borders with Syria, extending 30–40 kilometers in depth… We are ready to bring new nightmares to those who think they can bring Türkiye to its knees with terrorist formation along its southern borders.”

Yaşar Güler, Minister of National Defense, in an interview with Hürriyet Newspaper, stated the following:

“As our President mentioned, our determination to establish a security corridor along our borders, extending 30–40 kilometers in depth, is absolute (…) Why 30–40 kilometers in depth? Because this is the distance at which terrorists are located and pose a threat to our country. If we keep terrorists at least 30–40 kilometers away from our borders, both our people and our borders will be safe (…) This summer, by completing the circle that will secure our border with Iraq, we will resolve the terrorism issue.”

Güler also addressed the issue of cooperation with the Iraqi government in the fight against terrorism: “We proposed two years ago to establish a joint operations center with Iraq, and they responded positively, but we have not yet taken a step in this regard. This issue will be again on our agenda at the meeting in Baghdad.”

In the interview, Güler also responded to a question about the perspectives of the US and Russia on Türkiye’s military operations:

“When it comes to the security of our country, we do not ask anyone anything and take the necessary actions (…) No one should forget that the Republic of Türkiye is a great state. We did not seek permission from anyone, nor will we (…) The US continues to support the PKK/YPG/Syrian Democratic Forces terrorist organization under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Fighting one terrorist organization using another terrorist organization is unacceptable. (…) We are the only army engaged in a direct fight against the ISIS terrorist organization. We constantly reiterate our offer to the US to jointly combat the ISIS terrorist organization.”

Foreign exchange rate continues to rise

The rise in foreign exchange rates continues. The depreciation of the Turkish lira and the increase in inflation, including basic food items, persist.

The latest foreign exchange rates are as follows:

1.00 US Dollar = 32.091266 Turkish Lira

1.00 Euro = 35.068288 Turkish Lira

Mehmet Şimşek made a post on his social media account regarding the increase in foreign currency:

“The upgrade from Fitch, raising Türkiye’s long-term foreign currency debt rating to B+ from B and the outlook to positive from neutral, reflects the strength of Türkiye’s sound economic policies.

We are committed to maintaining sound policies and implementing structural reforms.

– Attaining price stability remains our top priority.

– Growth rebalancing is well underway; domestic consumption is moderating, and net exports are strengthening.

– Current account deficit is narrowing more rapidly than anticipated and is on track to fall to well below 3% of GDP this year.

– The share of Turkish lira deposits in total deposits has risen by 12 percentage points since August. This trend will continue as confidence in our program grows.

– Restoring fiscal health is also a key objective. The fiscal impulse is expected to recede later this year, and income policies should start becoming more supportive. We are committed to reducing the fiscal deficit, including earthquake-related expenditures, to under 3% of GDP next year.

It’s important to bear in mind that achieving price stability takes time. Post local elections this month, Türkiye will have a long period without elections to pursue the medium-term program, which also includes reforms that will boost productivity and enhance competitiveness.

The recent volatility in the FX market should be viewed as temporary. The CBRT is committed to anchoring inflation expectations using all the tools at its disposal. We will continue to tighten fiscal policy to help the CBRT reduce inflation.

In sum, the program we have unveiled in September is working as expected.”

However, in spite of Şimşek’s statements, the rise in the dollar and the depreciation of the Turkish lira continue.

Erdoğan-Zelensky meeting

The meeting between President Erdoğan and his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky took place at the Dolmabahçe Office and was closed to the press.

Following the meeting, Erdoğan and Zelensky held a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Zelensky. President Erdoğan made a call for a peace summit and said “We are ready to host”:

“I extend our ‘get well soon’ wishes to both countries due to the missile attack near the region where Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Mitsotakis were. (…)

“We have contributed as much as we could to end the war through negotiations Since the beginning. We are also ready to host a peace summit which includes also Russia.”

In our talk, we also exchanged views on issues concerning the stability of the Black Sea, such as export corridors and navigation safety. As you know, the Black Sea initiative prevented a global food crisis by enabling the delivery of nearly 33 million tons of grain to those in need. That agreement was also made in this very hall. If there is an intention to reach a new agreement among the parties, we are ready to provide support, as we did before. (…)

Despite the war, we are pleased with the stable course of our bilateral trade. We agreed to increase our efforts to reach the $10 billion target. The Free Trade Agreement entering into force will undoubtedly give a new impetus to these relations (…) We will also strongly support Ukraine’s reconstruction. In this regard, we held the Ukraine Reconstruction Forum in Istanbul last January. I have no doubt that our companies will be preferred by the Ukrainian government to take on more responsibilities in the future.”

During the question-answer session of the press conference, Erdoğan responded to question “Who can provide the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory?” as follows:

“We believe that Russia will respect Türkiye’s stance upholding peace. Without this, ensuring such a peace isn’t possible. But at least, we will consider ourselves to have fulfilled our duty as Türkiye.”

Zelensky emphasized that their priority is to strengthen Ukraine’s security. He noted that they achieved “serious humanitarian results” through President Erdoğan’s mediation, and then said he provided a list of Crimean Tatars under pressure of Russia.

Zelensky shared that he briefed President Erdoğan on preparations for a global summit at the leaders’ level. Zelensky stated that the summit would take place in Switzerland and emphasized “Türkiye should be involved both in the peace summit and in the implementation of this peace plan.”

Zelensky also said that they agreed on certain agreements on defense industry and specific agreements for companies.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


May 2024