Last year, many important and interesting events took place in Turkey, but let’s start with the main thing – 2020 has finally ended, and it ended in Turkey like this:
UK and Turkey
In the last days of the outgoing year, Turkey and the UK signed a free trade agreement. This is the first agreement since Boris Johnson entered into a new trade agreement with the European Union. The agreement was signed in Ankara by Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsan Pekcan and British Ambassador to Turkey Dominik Chilcott.
In addition, the British Ambassador to Ankara Dominic Chilcott on the joint program of Great Britain and Turkey to create fifth generation TF-X fighters in an interview with TRT World TV channel:
“We started working on the project three years ago. The first phase of the project – design – was successful. The Turkish side is satisfied. The second phase is the issue of prototyping. This issue will be resolved at the end of next year or early 2022. Also the most important issue is engine design. We hope it will be designed by Rolls-Royce. Until now, this issue has not been resolved. Which is disappointing. But we are confident that it is with this engine that the Turkish fifth generation fighter will be able to unleash its potential. “
In general, they either don’t talk about London in the Middle East, or talk almost in a whisper. Whitehall is almost invisible and it is not the famous London fogs. It’s just that the British, without fuss and unnecessary noise, are pursuing their policy, about which we can draw conclusions not from loud statements for the press, but from the above real results.
Meeting of Lavrov and Cavusoglu
On December 29, just on the day of the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the British, the Turkish Foreign Minister met with his Russian counterpart in Sochi. Old acquaintances discussed the following issues:
– the agenda of the leaders’ meetings for 2021;
– Syria and Libya;
– Karabakh and the establishment of the monitoring center;
– Armenia, Azerbaijan: border security;
– Central Asia, Ukraine and the Black Sea region: operation of the Turkish Stream and construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
Reuters, citing a high-ranking source in the Turkish Ministry of Defense, reported that one of Ankara’s main tasks is to implement the requirement to withdraw the YPG from Ain Issa. “YPG must definitely leave Ain Issa, and there is a willingness to do everything possible for this,” – said the source on condition of anonymity. And Yeni Şafak claims that YPG has been asking for support from Russia for several days, but Turkey is ready to take any steps to oust YPG.
Interestingly, in recent days, Russia has deployed additional military police units in the Ain Issa region of northeastern Syria to stabilize the recently exacerbated situation caused by the intensification of attacks by armed groups, Kommersant writes.
It is clear that the Karabakh issue was also discussed. In the next two weeks, a joint Russian-Turkish ceasefire monitoring center will be established in Karabakh. Azerbaijani President Aliyev stated this at a meeting in Baku with Turkish Defense Minister Akar. Aliyev also announced that the creation of a transport corridor between Azerbaijan and Turkey through Armenia begins, in the coming days the construction of a railway to the Armenian border will begin, which is planned to be built in 2 years, the first instructions have been given.
President Erdogan made a telephone call to the Turkish military stationed in Azerbaijan to serve in the Joint Observatory Center for Nagorno-Karabakh, which will be created between Turkey and Russia.
“Your presence there is an honorable award that shows the level that relations between our countries have reached. I want the center to be created to start working as soon as possible. I wish success to our soldiers, who have been instructed to monitor the implementation of the truce, ”Erdogan said.
Turkey does not forget about relations with the United States either, although it is clear that everything will change very soon in this direction. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that, “Turkey and the United States have established a joint working group on the S-400. Technical negotiations have begun. ” Here’s an interesting point. Russian journalists in Turkey from RIA Novosti and TASS clarified Cavusoglu’s words. And according to their version, it turns out that: “Our Mr. Minister at the closed part of today’s conference said that” a joint working group with the US on the S-400 has not been formed, there are technical negotiations. ” He said that “a joint group will be created between the Turkish and US departments at a technical level on the subject of sanctions.” By the way, last week Turkey launched a project to produce a light torpedo. The Orka 324 mm torpedo is expected to replace the American MK light anti-submarine torpedo 46 and MK 54 LWT.
The Turkish authorities decided to raise the minimum wage by 500 lira per month, to 2,825 Turkish lira ($ 377), taking into account taxes. Before deducting 3 thousand 577.50 Turkish lira, this is approximately $ 480. (The previous minimum wage was $ 300 after deducting taxes.) Every year, negotiations on the minimum wage between trade unions and the authorities are very conflicting. Trade unions defend one figure, the authorities another. As a result, the parties come to some kind of consensus.
Turkish opposition economists write that in Turkey the minimum wage is the average income for 10 million citizens. For normal living, according to their own words, two minimum wages are required.
On December 30, the Chinese vaccine arrived in Turkey, but not as expected – 10 million doses, and only 3 million arrived. The Minister of Health explained this by the fact that there was an urgent need in China inside the country. So we decided to cut it. Pfizer will also receive 500,000 doses after the new year.
The Turkish Interior Ministry said in an official statement that banning events or celebrations on New Year’s Eve is not “a matter of choice” but “a duty.” Meanwhile, Erdogan warned that even the special services would monitor the implementation of these requirements. In general, everything is very serious.
Perhaps that’s all for now. Have a nice week. Next week will be no less interesting.
Review prepared by Gulsafa Bayramova