Turkey’s presidential palace spent 4.5 million lira in 2018, a report by the Court of Accounts revealed. Annual spending at the palace totaled 1,648,678,000 lira, 705 million of which was not itemized in the report.
State-run Turkish bank’s decision to provide cash loans led to massive lines raising the risk of virus spread
Second largest state-run Turkish bank Halkbank's decision to provide shopkeepers with 25,000 TL in cash loans as a part of the struggle against the economic blowback of coronavirus has resulted in massive lines in front of the bank's branches. As long as the application process for these loans continue, both customers and bank personnel are at great risk of contracting coronavirus, economic consultant Meriç Dıraz warns.
Turkey is not among the non-EU emerging economies in Central and Eastern Europe that has applied for emergency assistance from a $50 billion pool available via the IMF’s rapid financial support facilities, the organization’s European Department Director Poul M. Thomsen said.
Turkey's economic confidence index fell 5.9% month-on-month in March to 91.8 points, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed on March 27, marking a downturn after five straight months of gains. The confidence in real sector deteriorated the most, going down 7.6%.
Moody's revised its growth forecasts downward for 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. "We expect Turkey’s [B1 negative] economy to be hit the hardest, with a cumulative contraction in second- and third quarter GDP of about 7.0%. The shock will likely take a large toll on Turkey’s tourism-related sectors through the summer," it said in its Global Macro Outlook 2020-21.
Bosses close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have forced workers to take unpaid leave amid the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country. According to the workers at The Ankara Hotel, which is owned by Cengiz-Kolin-Limak, those who have annual leaves are forced to use them, while those who don't have any leaves are obliged to take unpaid leave between March 23 and April 15.
Turkey has suspended tax payments for millions of people in the country, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on March 24. "We have identified business sectors which fall under force majeure provisions," he said, adding that some 1.9 million taxpayers, who have income from agriculture and commence or who are self-employed, will also benefit from force majeure provisions.
Zümrüt İmamoğlu writes: The labor market will be one of the biggest challenges for the Turkish economy during the coronavirus crisis. Exports will also slow down due to global recession while tourism sector in Turkey will not be able to generate the projected FX income this year. Creditors will no doubt be considering Turkey’s external financing vulnerability once again when they have time from watching financial markets turning red everywhere.
Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) has approved an application from Turkish billionaire Aydın Doğan's holding company to start a new investment bank in the country. The bank will be named “D Investment Bank A.Ş.” and will have a starting capital of 200 million Turkish Liras ($28.5 million).
Some 149,382 businesses were closed down as a part of the Turkish Interior Ministry’s coronavirus provisions enacted on March 19. While some 187 businesses were fined and shut down for failing to comply with the ministry’s guidelines, the ministry also filed official complaints against the owners 37 of these businesses.
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on March 19 that uncertainty about the global supply chain generated by the pandemic represented an opportunity for Turkey. He also said that he had "no concerns" about Turkey's ability to meet its economic growth, budget and inflation targets for 2020 despite expectations of a potentially severe global recession due to the coronavirus.
Four major Turkish clothing companies announced they were closing their stores indefinitely as of March 19 in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The internationally-renowned Turkish denim manufacturer Mavi Jeans and the luxury boutique chain Beymen were among the four firms.
Turkey's lira weakened to 6.52 against the dollar on March 19, hitting its weakest level since September 2018. In August and September 2018, Turkish Lira hit record lows against the dollar when relations between Turkey and the United States significantly deteriorated over the imprisonment of a U.S. pastor in Turkey.
Ali Babacan, the chairman of DEVA, has shared a series of proposals on what the gov't should do to limit the negative financial effects of the novel coronavirus on businesses and citizens. “Every kind of employment incentive should be utilized as soon as possible. Unemployment funds are for these days,” he said.
Turkey’s Central Bank lowered its key interest rate by 100 basis points to 9.75 percent and announced a series of measures to boost liquidity to counter the impact of coronavirus.