Turkiye in February 2023

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Turkiye in February 2023

1 February 2023

  1. Senator Van Hollen Says No F-16s for Turkey if Sweden, Finland Not Admitted to NATO (Al Monitor). Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen slammed Turkiye as an “unfaithful ally” and called on the Senate to consider efforts to block F-16 sales to the country. The Senator said the United States and the European Union should consider sanctioning Turkiye if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thwarts Sweden’s candidacy for membership in NATO.


2 February 2023

  1. US & Five EU Countries Close Istanbul Consulates After America Warns of Terrorist Threat (Enab Baladi). In addition to Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the Netherlands closing their consulates in Istanbul for security reasons, Bas News reported that France has also temporarily closed its embassies…The US embassy warned its citizens last week of the possibility of terrorist attacks against the background of the burning of the Qur’an in Europe.

3 February 2023

  1. Sweden Tightens Terrorism Laws Amid Tension Over NATO Bid (The New Arab). The new law, which the government hopes will come into force in June, will give authorities much wider powers to detain and prosecute individuals who support terrorist organizations, either through financing or other means.
  2. Turkish Defense Minister Announces Continuing Talks with Assad and Sees Progress on F-16 Issue with U.S. (Al Jazeera). Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that tripartite meetings between Turkiye, Russia and Syria will continue in the coming days at the level of technical delegations. He also pointed to positive progress regarding the purchase of American F-16 fighters…Akar made it clear that Turkiye follows a stable foreign policy based on logic, stressing that the only goal of Turkiye’s military operations in neighboring countries is to eliminate what he described as “terrorist organizations,” secure borders, and prevent the influx of new refugees into Turkiye.
  3. Turkiye Summons Nine Ambassadors of Western Counties (Al Jazeera). The consulates of several foreign countries in Turkiye decided to suspend the work of their employees, under the pretext of the existence of a threat of terrorist acts in the country…Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu accused those countries of waging a “psychological war” against Turkiye that could harm its tourism sector and “seeking to destabilize it,” while a spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party described the Western warnings as “irresponsible.”

9 February 2023

  1. U.S. Carrier George H.W. Bush in Mediterranean to Assist Türkiye with Earthquake Response (Anadolu Agency).   The US military transported two civilian urban search and rescue teams and moved a US carrier in the Mediterranean Sea toward Türkiye, the Pentagon said Wednesday…Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said the George HW Bush carrier in the Mediterranean is also moving toward Türkiye to be in position if Türkiye requests additional assistance.
  2. Over 60 Countries Send Help to Türkiye After Quakes, Erdoğan Says (Daily Sabah). Speaking to reporters in Hatay province, which was devastated after Monday’s earthquakes, Erdoğan noted that many countries are providing different kinds of assistance to help Türkiye. “These include Azerbaijan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and more, and they pledge to provide more support.”
  3. “Earthquake of the Age” in Turkiye:  Millions Need Housing, Tens of Thousands Need Hospitals, and a “Terrifying Number” Remain Trapped Under the Rubble (Al Quds Al Arabi). According to official data, nearly 6,000 buildings were completely destroyed. However, the real number is not only related to the owners of the houses that were completely destroyed, but also almost all the houses located in the areas directly affected by the earthquake, which is a large area of ​​10 Turkish provinces, with an original population of nearly 13 million people.
  4. Türkiye Pushing for Opening Two More Border Crossings for Vital Aid into Syria (Daily Sabah). Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Türkiye is pushing for two more border gates to be opened into northwest Syria, which was devastated following Monday’s earthquakes. Speaking to reporters in a joint news conference with Vice President Fuad Oktay on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said the [Bab al-Hawa] gate is already open, but more is required amid the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.
  5. Germany Calls for Opening All Crossings Between Turkey and Syria and Sends a Message to Russia (Syria TV). On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Analina Berbock – who belongs to the ” Green Party ” – called for the opening of all crossings between Turkey and Syria in order to ensure the flow of aid, following the devastating earthquake…For his part, Rolf Motsenich – leader of the parliamentary bloc of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party – said that Russia bears the duty to help now, adding: “It is said that the Russians have a great influence on the ruling regime in Syria.” He explained, “If Russia is now really ready to provide assistance, it should work to open the border area, which still has closed border stations, in order to deliver humanitarian goods and medical care to the besieged.”
  6. Arab Countries Send Oil Convoys and Aid to The Syrian Regime:  What About the North? (Syria TV). On Tuesday, media outlets close to the Syrian regime reported  that the President of the UAE gave orders to provide $50 million for the relief of those affected by the earthquake in Syria. Likewise, Algeria sent three planes to Syria. An official source at the Iraqi embassy  to the Syrian regime in Damascus  said, “Quantities of oil derivatives, foodstuffs, and humanitarian aid have been sent from Iraq to Syria.” Meanwhile, no international or UN assistance has entered the stricken areas in northwestern Syria.
  7. US Military Ready to Support Relief Efforts in Syria and “Coordinate” with SDF (Syria TV). The US Central Command announced on Wednesday its readiness to provide support for earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria…General Michael Kurilla, commander of US Central Command, explained that “the headquarters of the Central Command has established a working group to accelerate the support process for those affected by the earthquake in both Turkey and Syria.” He added, “The Central Command is coordinating with the US Ministries of Defense and State, the US Agency for International Development, and our partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces in this regard,” pointing out that they are working closely with the command of US Forces in Europe on options for sending support to Turkey.
  8. Syria is Not Under Siege or Sanctions (Syria TV). It is clear that Bashar’s regime is engaged in a public relations campaign, exploiting the tragedy of the Syrians afflicted by the earthquake. The real problem is that part of the Arab and international public opinion has come to believe that Syria is under Western sanctions. Syria as a country is not under any kind of sanctions, neither international, nor American, nor European. No Security Council resolution has been issued based on Chapter VII that puts Syria, the “state,” under siege or sanctions.
  9. Iran’s IRGC Quds Force Commander Travels to Aleppo (CNN Arabic).  The commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Ismail Qaani, arrived in the Syrian city of Aleppo, on Wednesday evening, according to the official Iranian News Agency (IRNA). The agency quoted what it described as an “informed official” as saying that Qaani “visited the affected areas in the city of Aleppo and supervised the work of the Iranian relief cadres present at the rubble removal site”…15 Iranian engineering units are providing assistance to Syrian units and the Iraqi “Popular Mobilization Forces” and others in removing the rubble in Aleppo.
  10. Syria’s White Helmets: War Responders Leading Quake Rescue (Naharnet). Leveraging years of experience gleaned during Syria’s war, the White Helmets are spearheading rescue efforts in the country’s rebel-held north following the powerful earthquake that rocked Syria and Turkey…Cut off from government-held parts of Syria and overlooked by Turkish first responders preoccupied with the disaster on their side of the border, Syria’s hard hit rebel areas have relied almost entirely on the White Helmets for search and rescue operations.

10 February 2023

  1. After Four Days, No UN Earthquake Aid Has Entered Northwest Syria (Syria TV). On Thursday, about six trucks of UN humanitarian aid entered the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey into northwestern Syria, which is a resumption of previous aid provided by the World Food Program and is not related to the earthquake…The director of the media office of the Bab al-Hawa crossing confirmed that so far no aid has been received for those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck northwestern Syria at dawn on Monday.
  2. Syrian National Coalition Condemns UN’s Failure to Provide Aid for Northwest Syria (Etilaf). In an official statement, the Syrian National Coalition condemned the failure of the United Nations and its organizations towards the major catastrophe that befell northwestern Syria due to the earthquake. The National Coalition affirms that access roads to northern Syria are available, not disrupted, and not limited to one road, and that the excuses of the UNHCR are unrealistic.  If roads are damaged,  then helicopters can easily reach the liberated areas of the northwest, which are the areas of Syria most severely affected by the earthquake.
  3. A Custody Battle Over Aid Deprives Northwest Syria During the Height of the Disaster (Syria TV). The UN agencies and their partner institutions on the Turkish side of the border seem to be in a state of neglect, as aid is piled up in their warehouses but they can only enter into northern Syria through Bab al-Hawa, the only crossing authorized by the Security Council. The Syrian regime took advantage of the opportunity to renew its demands for the need to coordinate with Damascus regarding aid. Western countries did not show any willingness to meet the regime’s demands or communicate with it, but the difficulty of sending aid across the border from Turkey serves the regime’s purpose as it tries to exploit the situation.
  4. About 22,000 Killed In Syria and Turkey, with Hopes for Finding Survivors Fading (Al Arabiya). The devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria at dawn on Monday has left about 22,000 people dead in the two countries, in a death toll that is expected to rise. On Thursday evening, the Turkish Vice President announced that the death toll from the earthquake in his country had risen to 17,674, while the number of injured exceeded 72,000. The death toll across Syria as a result of the devastating earthquake reached 3,370, and about 5,300 were injured.
  5. U.S. Will Allow Financial Transactions to Syria for Relief Efforts (U.S. Treasury Department). On Thursday, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Syria General License (GL) 23, which authorizes for 180 days all transactions related to earthquake relief that would be otherwise prohibited by the Syrian Sanctions Regulations. “Our deepest condolences go out to the people of Türkiye and Syria for the tragic loss of life and destruction in the wake of devastating earthquakes,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “As international allies and humanitarian partners mobilize to help those affected, I want to make very clear that U.S. sanctions in Syria will not stand in the way of life-saving efforts for the Syrian people. While U.S. sanctions programs already contain robust exemptions for humanitarian efforts, today the Treasury is issuing a blanket General License to authorize earthquake relief efforts so that those providing assistance can focus on what’s needed most: saving lives and rebuilding.”
  6. $85 Million in American Aid to Those Affected, While France Says No Normalization with Assad (Al Arabiya). The French Foreign Ministry told Al-Arabiya: Our aid passes through the United Nations and through our partners in French and international humanitarian organizations. The US Agency for Development (USAID) announced Thursday that the United States will provide $85 million in aid to Turkey and Syria after the devastating earthquake that struck the two countries on Monday…State Department Spokesman Ned Price stressed that “American aid will not go to the Syrian regime,” adding, “We will transfer aid to Syria through the organizations we work with.”
  7. World Bank to Provide Initial $1.78B for Türkiye’s Recovery after Earthquakes (Anadolu Agency). The World Bank announced Thursday it will initially provide $1.78 billion aid for Türkiye’s recovery and reconstruction efforts in the wake of powerful earthquakes. The assistance aims to help relief and recovery efforts following devastating earthquakes and aftershocks in Türkiye that have already resulted in massive loss of life, injuries, and very significant damages in and around southern Türkiye, it said in a statement.

February 14,2023

 TURKIYE-SYRIA EARTHQUAKE:  Major Consequences for the Region

The past week in the Middle East has been dominated by the effects and aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6. The scale of the devastation is only beginning to sink in with the worldwide audience. Entire cities of Turkiye and Syria have been reduced to rubble, far exceeding the capacity of Turkiye’s local and national government to handle. As of February 13, the death toll has exceeded 37,000 in the two countries and is rising fast as recovery crews excavate the rubble of residential buildings. Tens of thousands are still missing, and most are presumed dead as very few survivors have been rescued from beneath rubble since last Wednesday. What follows is a summary of major takeaways from the first 8 days of the disaster.

Failure of the international disaster response.On Monday, UN Secretary General Guterres announced that he had persuaded Bashar al-Assad to agree to let the UN use two additional border crossings–at Bab al-Salameh and Al Rai–for a period of three months, in addition to the Bab al-Hawa crossing the UN already uses.  However, this step comes too late to rescue the UN’s reputation among many Syrians. The UN agencies sent no earthquake-related aid into NW Syria for the first six days following the quake, even after road access to the Bab al-Hawa border crossing was restored. Syrians in the hardest-hit regions of the northwest were shocked to see no UN assistance at all at a time when dozens of planeloads of UN and other international aid flowed into the regime’s distribution points in Damascus. UN officials made high-profile trips to Damascus and other regime-held territories while avoiding engagement with the 4.5 million people of Northwest Syria.  The World Food Program and WHO in particular made high-profile tours of regime areas and praised the Assad regime’s cooperation in relief efforts. Syrian opposition officials noted that UN agencies in Damascus have been pushing to establish cross-line humanitarian deliveries as an alternative to cross-border support from Turkey, and those agencies appear to be using the disaster relief as a way to achieve this goal.

It would be difficult to overstate the damage the UN’s failure has done to its reputation among Syrians in the earthquake zones and worldwide. Syrian communities have begun protesting to demand investigations of the UN’s neglect and its seeming pro-Assad posture. Syrians inside Turkey are also reporting a tide of Turkish social anger at Syrian refugees and local policies meant to exclude Syrians from receiving earthquake relief in some places. The Turkish cities hardest hit have large Syrian populations, and the death toll of Syrians inside Turkey is approaching 1,000 as of Monday.

Exploitation of the disaster by the Assad regimeAs the reputation of the UN, Turkish government, and Syrian opposition parties suffer, the Assad regime has mounted an organized public relations blitz to depict the regime as the only viable channel for aid going to the stricken areas of northern Syria, both regime- and opposition-controlled. Syrian opposition communities have been dismayed by the high volume of aid deliveries and political outreach from the UAE, Egypt, and other countries to the Assad regime, alongside the Biden administration’s decision on February 9 to waive sanctions for six months on financial transactions going to Assad’s territory, a move that undermines the Caesar Act sanctions against Assad.

Heightened risk of extremism, disease, and insecurity. With the infrastructure of northwest Syria primarily destroyed, and the legitimacy of Turkiye, the Assad government, and the Syrian Interim Government all damaged, Syrian experts now raise concerns that extremists groups such as ISIS could take advantage of the crisis in northern Syria and of popular anger to reestablish themselves and begin conducting terrorist operations. Syrian journalist Ahmad Hassan, for example, said on February 11 that the crisis has created conditions similar to those that allowed for the rise of ISIS before 2014. In addition to security concerns, the collapse of infrastructure and services in Northwest Services also heightens the risk of outbreaks of disease from lack of water, shelter, electricity, hygiene, and medical care in the region, especially if the anemic international relief response does not immediately improve.

15 February 2023

  1. Assad Regime Lies About the Number of Victims in Regime Territory, While Syrian Organizations Document Death of 6,319 Syrians in All Areas (Syria TV). The Syrian Network for Human Rights documented the death of 6,319 Syrians due to the earthquake that struck the region at dawn last Monday, including 2,157 in northwestern Syria, 321 in areas controlled by the Syrian regime, and 3,841 refugees in Turkey….On Wednesday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights issued a report documenting the number of earthquake victims in regime-held areas, recording 321 deaths, demonstrating that the Syrian regime is exaggerating the death toll, as the Ministry of Health in Damascus claimed that 1,414 deaths had been recorded.
  2. 228th Hour Miracle:  Woman and Two Children Rescued After 228 Hours Under Rubble (Daily Sabah). A woman and two children were rescued from the rubble of “Uğur Apartment” on Oymak Street in the central Antakya district of Hatay at the 228th hour of the earthquake. 
  3. Qatar Donates World Cup Mobile Homes to Earthquake Survivors (Naharnet). The gas-rich Gulf nation says it had always planned to donate the mobile homes. They were needed to help house some of the 1.4 million fans who descended on the small country during soccer’s biggest tournament.
  4. Saudi Plane Carrying Aid Lands in Syria for First Time in a Decade (Naharnet). “This is the first plane from Saudi Arabia to land on Syrian territory in more than 10 years,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press.
  5. Guterres Calls on Countries to Fully Fund $397 Million Quake Appeal for Syria ( “I have an urgent message to the international community: the human suffering from this epic natural disaster should not be made even worse by man-made obstacles – access, funding, supplies.”
  6. King Charles Attends a Mourning Tent Raised in London to Honor Syrian Earthquake Victims (Syria TV). The Syrian community in the United Kingdom opened a mourning tent in the capital, London, to honor the victims of the earthquake that struck Syria last week. It was attended by King Charles III , the Foreign Secretary, James Clevery, and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. On Tuesday evening, the Syrian community opened the “Syria House” tent in Trafalgar Square, in central London, for three days, and invited them to join in honoring the earthquake victims, and expressing solidarity with the families of the missing, for a week.
  7. Turkish Stock Exchange Jumps 5.86% After Resumption of Trading (Al Arabiya). The Istanbul Stock Exchange 100 index rose 5.9%, as the benchmark index partially compensated for losses amounting to tens of billions of dollars that followed the double earthquake on February 6 in the southeast of the country, according to “Bloomberg”, and Al
  8. Turkish Opposition:  Turkiye’s Elections Must Be Held on Time, and There is No Need to Postpone Them (Syria TV). Turkish opposition parties stressed their constitutional commitment to holding presidential and parliamentary elections on June 18, after a former official in the Justice and Development Party suggested postponing the elections due to the Kahramanmaraş earthquake in the south of the country.

16 February 2023

  1. Six Billion US Dollars Collected for Donations in Turkiye (Al Jazeera). Turkish, Azeri, and “Turkish Cypriot” channels and radio stations launched a donation campaign in Turkiye to help those affected by the earthquake. And those channels (213 TV stations and 562 radio stations inside and outside Turkey) broadcast a joint campaign called “Turkey is One Heart”, in which Turkish celebrities participated in presenting the campaign live. Over the course of 7 hours of live broadcasting, the campaign received large donations amounting to 115 billion and 146 million and 528 thousand Turkish liras (about 6.1 billion dollars). 
  2. Turkiye: Rescue of a girl who spent 248 hours under the rubble (Al Sharq al-Awsat). A team of miners managed to reach the survivor, who stayed for 11 days under the rubble of the “Atabay” building, after sensors picked up sound signals from under the rubble. The girl was taken to hospital for treatment, as she showed signs of severe fatigue.

17 February 2023

  1. 4,627 Babies Born Since Devastating Earthquake (Daily Sabah). Over the last 10 days since the earthquake, 4,627 babies have been born in the affected provinces of Turkiye, according to information from the General Directorate of Public Health. 
  2. Another Earthquake of 5.1 Magnitude Causes Panic in Southern Turkiye and Northern Syria (Syria TV). The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) said that an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale struck southern Turkey at 22:47, with its center in the city of Arsuz in Hatay state, at a depth of 10.77 kilometers below the surface of the earth.
  3. Five People Rescued Eleven Days After Quake (Daily Sabah). Back-to-back rescues of five people from the wreckage 11 days after the catastrophic earthquakes that ravaged Türkiye’s southeast have been hailed nationwide as a miracle.
  4. Muslims in London Receive Hate-Filled Letters after Quake in Turkiye and Syria (Anadlou Agency). Two London mosques were shocked by Islamophobic letters they received after devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, in “appalling and disgusting” shows of hate at a time when the whole world has mobilized to help heal the wounds of the two countries. A hate-filled letter was sent to both the UK’s first Turkish mosque Masjid Ramadan and the largest one Aziziye Mosque on Wednesday at the same time…Expressing disturbing glee at the suffering and death caused by last Monday’s earthquakes, the yet-unknown author wished for more misfortune to befall Muslims in the region.

22 February 2023

  1. Turkish Defense Minister:  20,000 Syrians Returned to their Homeland After Quake (Daily Sabah). Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, stressing that a new influx of refugees from Syria is out of the question, announced that 20,000 Syrian citizens had returned to Syria in “a one-way direction.”
  2. Erdogan:  200,000 New Houses Will Be Built in Quake-hit States (Rudaw). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday promised to construct nearly 200,000 permanent houses in 11 quake-stricken provinces in the country within a year, adding that his government has mobilised all resources to meet the urgent needs of the victims.
  3. 906-bed Ship Will Offer Shelter for Quake Victims (Daily Sabah). Initially, after the earthquakes, a ship with 400 cabins and 1,056 beds was brought to the port in the district by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources for the purpose of hosting quake survivors. The ship was docked at Iskenderun Port on Monday, prior to the two earthquakes centered in Hatay’s Defne and Samandağ districts that shook the devastated region once again.
  4. Earthquake Dominates the Election Agenda for Erdogan’s AK Party (Daily Sabah). As Türkiye reels from the Feb. 6 earthquakes, the worst in the country’s recent history, the government strives to speed up recovery and rebuilding efforts. The May 14 elections, which dominated the country’s agenda for a long time, were, understandably, almost forgotten amid the tragedy dubbed the “disaster of the century” by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is again running for the top office.

23 February 2023

  1. Earthquake Damage Assessment in Hatay at 80% (Al Jazeera). In an interview on the official Turkish channel “TRT” on Wednesday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said the new death toll from the earthquake in Turkey reached 43,556. Soylu added that the rate of damage assessment in Hatay province ranges between 75% and 80%, noting that 750,000 “independent sections” were damaged, including commercial areas.
  2. Turkiye Blocks Iraqi Kurdish News Site Rudaw (Middle East Eye). A court in Turkiye blocked access to Iraqi Kurdistan news outlet Rudaw late on Wednesday after Turkish police filed a complaint, alleging that it assisted terror propaganda. The court’s decision was part of a larger judgment, which blocked dozens of Twitter accounts and a few websites, including Avesta Kitap, a site that sells Kurdish language books, and a blog belonging to Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink. The Turkish government on Tuesday also blocked the popular Turkish social media website Eksi Sozluk without giving any reason.
  3. Erdoğan Likely to Stick with Pre-set Election Date After Quakes (Daily Sabah). Erdoğan and his senior AK Party members held a seven-hour-long meeting Wednesday to discuss whether to postpone the much-anticipated election date, and their conclusion was to stick with the proposed vote on May 14.
  4. Sweden, Türkiye to Resume NATO Talks Mid-March (Daily Sabah). Sweden’s talks with Türkiye about its impending NATO membership are set to resume in mid-March after stalling in January in the wake of protests by terrorist sympathizers and a far-right extremist, according to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
  5. Another Earthquake Hits Türkiye’s Southernmost Hatay Province (Anadolu Agency). A fresh earthquake rocked Türkiye’s southernmost Hatay province on Thursday evening, the country’s disaster agency said. Hatay Governor Rahmi Dogan said a few buildings, which were already damaged from the previous quakes, collapsed.

27 February 2023

  1. Death Toll from Powerful Twin Earthquakes in Southern Turkey Rises to 44,218 (Cumhuriyet). At least 44,218 people have been killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, the country’s disaster management agency said on Friday. The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said in a statement that the quakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, were followed by 9,136 aftershocks.
  2. MİT ‘neutralizes’ Mastermind of Taksim Terror Attack (Hurriyet Daily News). The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has “neutralized” a member of the PKK organization who played a crucial role in the planning and execution of the attack on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue last November, which claimed the lives of six people. Halil Menci directed the perpetrators of the attack, Ahlam Albashir Saleh and Bilal Hassan, and helped Hassan to flee abroad…Closely following Menci, MİT’s special operation team neutralized the terrorist with a successful operation carried out in Qamishli on Feb. 22…“Neutralized” is a term used by the Turkish military and officials to indicate terrorists were either killed, wounded, or captured.

28 February 2023

  1. World Bank Estimates Earthquake Damage in Türkiye Exceeds $34 Billion (World Bank). The two very large earthquakes of February 6 caused an estimated $34.2 billion in direct physical damages in Türkiye, the equivalent of 4% of the country’s 2021 GDP, according to a World Bank rapid damage assessment report released on Monday.
  2. Türkiye Participates in NATO Maritime Drill in Mediterranean (Daily Sabah). The Turkish navy is taking part in NATO’s annual maritime exercise off the Mediterranean hosted by Italy, the Defense Ministry said Monday. “We are participating in the exercise with our TCG Preveze submarine and our TCG Barbaros frigate, which is assigned to NATO Permanent Naval Task Group-2,” the ministry said on Twitter. The Dynamic Manta-2023 exercise began on Monday off Italy’s Sicily Island and will continue until March 10.


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