What Happened in Turkey in 2021

Posted by Taylan Kurt

Turkey Report 2021; Business world, Economy and Finance Developments

January Turkey Report 2021

Expectations: In the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) Survey of Expectations, the current year-end consumer inflation (CPI) expectation was 11.15%, the dollar/TL rate expectation was 8.09 TL, and the growth expectation was 3.9%. .

Rate: CBRT kept the policy rate unchanged at 17%. In the statement, it was stated that it was decided to maintain the tight stance in monetary policy for a long time and that additional tightening could be made if necessary.

Türkiye İş Bankası: General Manager Adnan Bali has announced that he will resign from his position since April 2011 in March and that the new general manager of the bank will be Deputy General Manager of Technology, Hakan Aran. Adnan Bali is currently the Chairman of İşbank’s Board of Directors.

pohoto: AA

Investment: Fast delivery application Getir increased its valuation to $850 million with an investment of $128 million and started its services in London.

Partnership: US-based media and entertainment company Discovery has become a 35% shareholder of Turkey-based online streaming platform BluTV. The strategic partnership includes broadcasting all of Discovery’s content and Eurosport’s premium sports broadcasts on the BluTV platform.

FAST: The Instant and Continuous Transfer of Funds (FAST) System, a 24/7 instant retail payment application, was put into general use as of January 8, following the completion of the pilot tests with banks.

Vaccine: The first application of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the China-based Sinovac company, which was approved for emergency use in Turkey, was made to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca at Ankara City Hospital.

February Turkey Report 2021

Pohoto: Getty Images

Credit rating: International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings affirmed Turkey’s credit rating as BB- and changed its credit rating outlook from negative to stable.

Workforce: The Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) announced that a revision will be made in the “labor force statistics” and that the statistics shared monthly with quarterly averages in the current situation will be published as independent monthly forecasts.

Banking: According to the data of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the total profit of the banking sector in Turkey increased by 22% in 2020, reaching an all-time high of 60 billion liras.

Record: Türk Telekom broke the growth record of the last 12 years by increasing its revenues by 20% to 28.3 billion liras in 2020.

Withdrawal: Zomato withdrew from the Turkish market for the second time by closing its office in Turkey on February 26, 2021.

March Turkey Report 2021

Pohoto  Emrah Yorulmaz/AA

Economic Reform Package: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the “economic reform package”. The Ministry of Treasury and Finance presented the details of the 38-page Economic Reform Package, which includes 10 main titles.

Growth: It was announced that the Turkish economy grew by 1.8% in 2020 compared to the previous year. Turkey became the second country to grow after China among the G20 members whose data were disclosed.

Interest Rate: CBRT increased the policy rate by 200 basis points. After the decision, CBRT Chairman Naci Ağbal was dismissed with the President’s Decision and replaced by Prof. Dr. Şahap Kavcıoğlu was appointed.

In the 132 days that Naci Ağbal served as the CBRT Chairman, traditional monetary policies were implemented and the policy rate was increased by a total of 875 basis points.

Prof. Dr. Şahap Kavcıoğlu

Seat changes

Borsa İstanbul A.Ş. General Manager Hakan Atilla resigned from his position as general manager.

As the President of the Turkish Statistical Institute, Prof. Dr. Sait Erdal Dinçer was appointed.

Zafer Sönmez, Member of the Board of Directors and General Manager of Turkey Wealth Fund, was dismissed and Salim Arda Ermut was appointed instead.

While Ziraat Bank General Manager Hüseyin Aydın resigned, Alpaslan Çakar was appointed as the general manager and Burhaneddin Tanyeri was appointed as the chairman of the bank’s board of directors.

Chip shortage

photo: AA

According to the data announced by the Automotive Industry Association, total production in Turkey decreased by 6.5% and automobile production by 16% in the January-February period compared to the same period of the previous year.

Tofaş announced that it will stop production for two weeks between 19 March and 5 April due to the global chip shortage.

Oyak Renault announced that it will suspend production at its Bursa factory between 15-22 March due to the global chip shortage.

Unicorn: Getir is the second Turkey-based startup, after Peak Games, to reach unicorn status with a value of over $1 billion.

Cyber ​​attack: The Yemeksepeti user database was attacked by unidentified hackers and some of the users’ account information was captured.

April Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Central Bank decisions

• The Central Bank kept the policy rate unchanged at 19% at the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting chaired by Şahap Kavcıoğlu.

• Direct or indirect use of crypto assets in payments is prohibited from April 30, 2021.

Cabinet change: According to the decision published in the Official Gazette, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan was dismissed. Mehmet Muş was appointed to replace Pekcan.

• Can Özçelik from OdaTV published some documents and claimed that the Ministry of Commerce purchased “thousands of liters of disinfectant worth 9 million TL from Nanoksia Biotechnology and Karon Engineering companies owned by Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and his wife”. The Ministry of Commerce denied the allegations and stated that everything was done properly.

Photo: DHA

Fraud: Access to Turkey-based crypto exchange Thodex’s site was closed and Thodex founder Faruk Fatih Özer was alleged to have traveled abroad for approximately $2 billion per hour.

Domestic company: Çiçeksepeti became a 100% domestic company by repurchasing the minority shares of Amazon and Hummingbird, which invested in the company in 2011.

Investment: Trendyol increased its valuation to $9.35 billion by receiving an investment of $350 million from its current partner Alibaba.

Full closure: It has been announced that an uninterrupted curfew will be imposed from 19.00 on Thursday, April 29 to 05.00 on Monday, May 17.

May Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Inflation: Consumer price index rose 1.68% compared to the previous month and increased by 17.14% year on year to the highest level in 23 months.

Dollar/TL: In foreign exchange markets, the dollar/lira rate exceeded 8.50, while the euro/lira rate saw 10.29 and the basket rate reached all-time highs, seeing 9.39.

Grant: It has been announced that a grant of 5 thousand TL will be given to 235 thousand tradesmen and 3 thousand liras will be given to 1 million 150 thousand tradesmen operating in the sectors determined by the Ministry of Commerce. While the debts of farmers to agriculture and agricultural cooperatives were postponed, a new loan package with 18% interest was introduced under the name of “breath credit” for traders and industrialists.

Photo: Getty Images

Vaccine: Pfizer/BioNTech has signed new contracts with the European Union and Turkey for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccine. Turkey has purchased a total of 90 million doses of vaccine, 30 million of which are optional.

ISO 500: The results of Turkey’s Top 500 Industrial Enterprises research, prepared by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, have been announced. Tüpraş is the first with 58.6 billion liras in sales from production; Ford Automotive is the second with 45.2 billion liras; Oyak-Renault Automobile Factories came in third with 31.2 billion liras.

Blockchain: Türkiye İş Bankası began to mediate foreign trade and provide payment guarantees using blockchain technology.

June Turkey Report 2021

TOGG: Turkey’s Automobile Enterprise Group increased its paid-in capital from 150 million lira to 997 million lira, while Turkcell, Vestel and Anadolu Group’s shares in the company increased to 23% after the capital increase.

Growth: Gross domestic product (GDP) in Turkey, 7% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2020; increased by 1.7% compared to the last quarter.

Dollar/TL: The Turkish lira broke above the all-time low of 8.80 against the dollar.

Gini coefficient: Turkey’s gini coefficient increased by 0.015 points compared to the previous year to 0.410 in the 2020 survey, which referenced 2019 revenues, and reached the highest level seen since 2009.

Zero emissions: Arçelik announced that it aims to achieve net zero emissions in all of its operations by 2050.

Foreclosure: A lien was applied to approximately 16 million liras in Thodex’s bank accounts.

Swap: The size of Turkey’s foreign exchange swap (swap) line with China was increased from $2.4 billion to $6 billion.

July Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Nasdaq: Hepsiburada became the first Turkey-based company to be offered to the public on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Inflation: The consumer price index reached the peak of the last two years with 17.53 percent. Within the scope of the fight against inflation, the Economic Coordination Board and the Price Stability Committee were established.

Report: In the 3rd Inflation Report of the year it published, the CBRT updated its 2021 year-end inflation forecast by 1.9 points from 12.2% to 14.1%.

Hunger and poverty: The Turkish Confederation of Trade Unions (TÜRK-İŞ), in the “Hunger and Poverty Line” research, the hunger limit is 2.9 thousand liras; the poverty line was determined as 9.5 thousand liras.

Photo: Daily Sabah

Unicorn: Dream Games reached a valuation of 1 billion dollars as a result of a new investment round of 155 million dollars, becoming the third unicorn to emerge from Turkey after Peak Games and Getir.

Outage: Akbank services could not be accessed for 48 hours due to a system failure. There were also interruptions in Ziraat Bank’s mobile branch, which were described as “partial access problems due to congestion”.

Inorganic growth: Getir acquired the entirety of Blok, a fast grocery delivery application operating in the Southern European market.

August Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank visited the transfer center of Trendyol, Turkey’s first “decacorn”.

Decacorn: Trendyol increased its value to 16.5 billion dollars, becoming the first “decacorn” technology company based in Turkey.

• What is Decacorn? For companies that reach a valuation of $ 1 billion, the term “unicorn” is used, and for companies that reach a valuation of $ 10 billion, the term “decacorn” meaning ten horns is used.

Report: According to the Economic Freedom Report published by the US-based Heritage Foundation, Turkey ranked 76th among 178 countries in 2021, down five countries.

Swap: Turkey signed a $2 billion swap deal with South Korea. With the agreement that will last for 3 years, the countries will provide liquidity to the opposite country to protect their financial stability.

Grant: According to the Presidential Decree, it was decided to donate 30 million dollars to Somalia in 1 year.

Chip crisis: Toyota Turkey announced that it will stop production at its Adapazarı factory between 20 August and 5 September due to the chip shortage.

September Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Exorbitant price: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a statement at the newly opened Turkevi in ​​New York, blamed chain stores for the rise in food prices. After the announcement, the Ministry of Commerce announced that it had appointed an inspector to audit chain markets.

Growth: Turkish economy grew by 21.7% in the second quarter of 2021

Inflation: The consumer price index increased by 19.25% on an annual basis and by 1.12% on a monthly basis. Thus, inflation reached the peak of the last 28 months. CBRT Chairman Şahap Kavcıoğlu stated at the German-Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting held on September 8 that the CBRT shifted its focus from headline inflation to core inflation.

Interest Rate: Contrary to the market’s expectations, the CBRT cut the policy rate by 100 basis points from 19% to 18% for the first time in 1.5 years. After the announcement, the dollar/TL rate exceeded the 8.80 level and saw its new historical peak.

Boycott: Construction Contractors Confederation (IMKON) decided to stop the construction between 9-24 September in response to the price increase in the cement industry.

October Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Green energy: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a fund of 500 million Euros to support green energy investments and energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change projects in Turkey.

Change of duty: Three members of the CBRT Monetary Policy Committee were dismissed. After the decision, the dollar/TL broke a new record by testing above 9.18.

Interest Rate: The CBRT cut the policy rate by 200 basis points to 16% with a decision well above the expectations. After the decision, the dollar/TL rate broke the all-time record with 9.48% and rose to 9.75 over the weekend.

Penalty: Competition Authority; completed the “exorbitant price” investigation into chain markets that trade retail, food and cleaning products. BİM, A101, Migros, ŞOK, CarrefourSA and Savola Gıda, which were accused of raising prices against the consumer by staying in touch during the pandemic period, were fined a total of 2.7 billion liras.

November Turkey Report 2021

Photo: Garanti BBVA

Offer: Spain-based BBVA, which owns 49.85% of Garanti Bank shares, made a voluntary takeover offer for all Garanti shares, which does not belong to itself, and applied to the CMB. According to the proposal, BBVA will pay 12.20 liras for each of the 2.1 billion shares, representing 50.15% of the bank’s total capital.

Forecast: Moody’s increased its 2021 growth forecast for the Turkish economy from 6% to 9% in its Global Macro Outlook 2022-23 report. The organization predicted that the government will continue to prioritize growth supported by an increase in loans, considering the general elections to be held in 2023.

Report: In the CBRT’s last inflation report of the year, the 2021 inflation forecast was changed from 14.1% to 18.4%; The year-end forecast for 2022 was increased from 7.8% to 11.8%.

Inflation: The consumer price index increased by 2.39% compared to the previous month and by 19.89% compared to the same period of the previous year. Producer inflation (D-PPI), on the other hand, reached the highest level of the last 19 years with 5.24% on a monthly basis and 46.31% on an annual basis.

Photo: YemekSepeti

Handover: Yemeksepeti founder and CEO Nevzat Aydın announced that he will resign as CEO after 21 years. Mert Baki, who joined Yemeksepeti in 2011 and most recently served as Assistant General Manager for Business Development, took over the task.

Acquisition: Getir signed a letter of intent for the acquisition of the minority shares of Yıldız Holding, which is a shareholder in Şok Marketler, and its subsidiaries.

Record: BIST 100 closed the highest of all time with 1,737 points.

Interest: While the policy rate was reduced by 100 basis points to 15% in the Money Market Board (PPK), the dollar/TL rate exceeded 11 lira for the first time in its history. President Erdoğan, who made many speeches before and after the decision, repeated his rhetoric, “Interest is the cause, inflation is the result.”

• While there were problems in accessing mobile applications of some banks due to fluctuations in TL, exchange offices stopped operations for a while.

• Apple stopped sales in its online sales channel and physical stores. About 2 days later, the company updated the previous price list and reopened its products for sale.

December Turkey Report 2021

Photo: AA

Intervention: The CBRT announced that it intervened directly in the market in the direction of selling due to the unhealthy price formations in exchange rates. The CBRT made its last direct foreign exchange intervention in January 2014 with a sales of $3.15 billion. After the CBRT statement, the exchange rate fell by 10% to 12.40 levels, and rose above 13 again during the day.

Change of Minister: With the decision published in the Official Gazette, Nureddin Nebati was appointed as the Minister of Treasury and Finance, replacing Lütfi Elvan, who “asked for his amnesty”.

Name change: Eti changed the name of her biscuit from “Negro”, the English word used as a racist expression for blacks, to “Nero”. The company emphasized that the name expresses discrimination in different cultures and said, “We do not want even one person’s heart to be broken.” said.

Exports: Trade Minister Mehmet Muş announced that in November 2021, the highest monthly export level was reached with 21 billion 468 million dollars. Despite the record in exports, the 22.9% increase in imports caused the foreign trade deficit to increase by 272 million dollars on a monthly basis compared to the previous year.


Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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