Thought for the day

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." -- Marie Curie

Banks in Turkey will no longer accept the Russian Mir payment system, as reported by the Turkish NTV broadcaster on Wednesday, 28 September. 

According to a person speaking on behalf of the Russian Kremlin, this decision is due to weeks of “unprecedented pressure” exercised by the United States. 

Turkish Airlines has extended its cancellation of flights to and from Belarus and Russia.  

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the national carrier of Turkey operated passenger flights to and from Minsk (MSQ) in Belarus as well as Rostov (RVI), Sochi (AER), and Yekaterinburg (SVX) in Russia.  

The Istanbul-based air carrier announced that it will not resume flights to the named destinations until at least December 31, 2022. 

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt plan to join BRICS, and their potential membership bids could be discussed and answered at next year’s summit in South Africa, Purnima Anand, the president of the organization, told Russian media on Thursday.

All these countries have shown their interest in joining [BRICS] and are preparing to apply for membership. I believe this is a good step, because expansion is always looked upon favorably; it will definitely bolster BRICS’ global influence,” she told Russian newspaper Izvestia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his NATO-member country’s intention to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), suggesting Ankara is seeking alternatives to its problematic ties with the West.

Erdogan, who made the remarks after attending last week’s SCO summit in Uzbekistan, was also quoted as saying by the Turkish media that the SCO’s 2023 meeting in India will be a venue to discuss this prospect further.

Turkey’s plans to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have sparked an angry reaction in Berlin, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz slamming Ankara’s decision to seek membership in the Russia and China-led economic and security bloc.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to visit Israel after the country’s 1 November parliamentary elections, a senior Turkish official told Middle East Eye.

Erdogan will meet an Israeli prime minister on Tuesday for the first time since 2008, when he met Ehud Olmert in Ankara.  

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office confirmed over the weekend that he would meet Erdogan in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.  

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cautiously proceed with" discussions on grain and fertilizer supplies via the maritime corridor in the Black Sea.

US, EU Will Force Turkey to Implement Sanctions on Russia MikeRivero Fri, 09/16/2022 - 10:42

Washington and Brussels will pressure Ankara to step up the economic war on Moscow, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Western officials say the Russian economy has been able to weather the Washington-led sanctions blitz partly because the Turkish economy is offering backdoors to Moscow. According to the diplomats, Turkish banks will now be forced to abandon the Russian Mir payment system. 

The opening of the Black Sea corridor for the export of Russian grain allows Turkey to realize some of its interests, but more importantly, it allows Russian grain to reach the most vulnerable countries, which is critical since Ukrainian grain is ending up in the EU instead of the poorest countries.

Greece has received delivery the first pair of upgraded F-16 military jets from the United States as part of a $1.5 billion program to modernize its fighter fleet, with four more expected by year's end. In total the deal is for 83 F-16s to be modernized with advanced radar, weapons and electronics systems by 2027.