Turkiye in February 2024

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  1. Baykar Drone Factory In Ukraine. Baykar, a Turkish defense company, is constructing a drone factory near Kiev, Ukraine, projected to employ 500 people and produce up to 120 Bayraktar TB2 and TB3 drones annually. The facility underscores Baykar’s global defense export growth, servicing over 30 countries.
  2. ICC-Wanted Putin Schedules Diplomatic Visit to Turkiye. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to Turkiye on February 12 raises eyebrows as he faces an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. This visit, during heightened regional tensions, marks a critical juncture in international relations.


  1. Turkish Armed Forces Neutralize 44 Terrorists in Ongoing Counterterrorism Operations. During a press conference, Admiral Zeki Akturk, Press and Public Relations Advisor at the Ministry of National Defence, reiterated the Turkish Armed Forces’ unwavering commitment to combating terrorism. Akturk reported that in the past week alone, 44 terrorists were neutralized in operations spanning northern Iraq and Syria. These operations primarily targeted terrorist organizations such as the PKK / KCK / PYD-YPG, DAESH, and FETO. Since the beginning of 2024, a total of 359 terrorists have been killed, with 144 in northern Iraq and 215 in northern Syria, underscoring Turkey’s ongoing efforts to maintain security and stability in the region.


  1. Erdogan’s UAE Visit Precedes Egypt Trip.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the UAE, discussing bilateral ties and regional concerns with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, particularly addressing Israeli actions in Gaza. Erdogan also attends the World Government Summit in Dubai before heading to Egypt, focusing on enhancing cooperation and addressing the Gaza conflict with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.


  1. Putin Plans Pre-Election Visit to Türkiye.The Kremlin has disclosed plans for President Vladimir Putin to visit Türkiye ahead of Russia’s mid-March elections, marking his first trip to a NATO country since the Ukraine conflict began. This long-anticipated visit, previously delayed, underscores Ankara’s role in negotiating Russia’s re-engagement with the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The meeting between Putin and Turkish officials is poised to address significant disagreements over regional conflicts in Syria, Libya, and the South Caucasus, highlighting its critical diplomatic implications. Originally expected on February 12, the visit’s planning illustrates the complexities of aligning such high-profile engagements with the demands of Russia’s electoral calendar.
  2. Türkiye Shifts Export Focus Amid Declining Trade with Israel.In response to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza, Türkiye has notably reduced its export reliance on Israel, seeking alternative markets as diplomatic and commercial ties have been halted since October. This redirection has resulted in a 50% decrease in Turkish exports to Israel, affecting key industries including steel, grains, and produce. Consequently, Türkiye is increasingly focusing on other markets, notably Germany, the United States, and Iraq, to compensate for the downturn in trade with Israel.


  1. Erdogan Revokes Egyptian Brotherhood Leader’s Citizenship.Upon President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s return from his historic visit to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Turkish government revokes the citizenship of Mahmoud Hussein, the acting guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, and others for real estate fraud, amidst allegations of a citizenship sale mafia within the Brotherhood charging up to $60,000 per person. This move, aligning with the crackdown on fraudulent citizenship practices and the exploration of Malaysia as a potential refuge for affected Brotherhood leaders, marks Erdogan’s mercurial strategy to balance domestic interests, international relations, and Turkiye’s standing on the global stage, as he navigates the complex web of political alliances and oppositions. 


  1. US-Turkey Collaborate on Ammunition Production.The Pentagon plans to partner with Turkish subcontractors for the production of 155 mm shell metal parts in Texas, aiming to enhance the U.S. ammunition capacity by 2025. This cooperation underscores the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Turkiye, aligning with broader national security objectives. Additionally, the U.S. acknowledges Turkey’s significant role in NATO and its contributions to international stability, including support for Ukraine and the facilitation of grain shipments amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The approval of a deal for F-16 fighter jets to Turkey further solidifies their defense collaboration, amidst discussions on Turkey’s potential reintegration into the F-35 program and its advancements in indigenous defense capabilities with the flight of the KAAN fighter jet.
  2. Turkiye Achieves Milestone with First Flight of Indigenous Fighter Jet KAAN. Turkiye’s defense industry celebrated a significant achievement as KAAN, its first indigenously developed fifth-generation fighter jet, successfully completed its initial flight. President Erdoğan hailed the event as a proud moment, underscoring Turkiye’s progress in reducing external dependency in defense. The TF-X project, initiated in 2016 with UK’s BAE Systems, aims to replace Turkey’s aging F-16 fleet. KAAN, equipped with advanced capabilities and potential for artificial intelligence integration, is set to enhance Turkey’s air combat prowess and contribute to its self-reliance in defense technology.
  3. Sedat Önal, Ambassador to Washington.Türkiye has appointed Sedat Önal as its new ambassador to Washington and Ahmet Yıldız as its permanent representative to the United Nations. These appointments, announced by Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, are part of a broader diplomatic reshuffle by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, including new ambassadors to 10 countries, signaling a strategic realignment of Türkiye’s foreign policy leadership.
  4. Turkish Central Bank Keeps Key Interest Rate Stable Despite Inflation Risks.The Turkish Central Bank decided to hold the key interest rate unchanged at 45 percent on Thursday, which is in line with expectations after raising the interest rate last month, but said it may tighten its monetary policy if the possibility of a significant and continuing This is the first time that the Turkish Central Bank has fixed interest rates since last May, when it began its monetary tightening campaign in June.This comes after the Central Bank raised interest rates by about 36.5 percent through eight consecutive meetings.deterioration in inflation expectations looms. 


  1. Once Again, Türkiye Plays a Pivotal Role in the Russian-Ukraine War President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reaffirms Türkiye’s commitment to diplomacy and dialogue, highlighting Ankara’s support for Ukrainian sovereignty and the protection of Crimean Tatars’ rights during recent warnings of attempts to overthrow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russia’s territorial advancements, Türkiye’s stance underscores the importance of a diplomatic resolution. Erdoğan backs Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan and expresses readiness to contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction. The upcoming visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Türkiye for bilateral talks and the Antalya Diplomacy Forum further positions Türkiye as a crucial intermediary.

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