Geopolitical developments between Russia and Ukraine were at the heart of global concerns in March. After the Russian military operation launched against Ukraine on February 24, and the sanctions announced by the EU, global markets were immediately impacted. Turkey, whose economy is highly dependent on Russian tourism, gas and wheat, and which finds itself in a balancing act in the conflict, saw its inflation increase by 0.57 points compared to February 2022 and of 13.33% compared to the annual average, in particular due to the price of oil which reached the highest level of the last 8 years. Despite a further depreciation of the Turkish lira against strong currencies, the Central Bank maintained its reference rate.
On the other side, this conflict has brought together historical partners whose relations have been strained for several months: the French and Turkish presidents exchanged in Brussels during a meeting before the NATO summit, on humanitarian actions in Ukraine and their willingness to work together for a ceasefire. Despite the gloomy context, the month of March was also an opportunity for Turkey to celebrate the anniversary of the naval victory of the Ottoman forces on March 18, 1915 against the allies in the Battle of the Dardanelles by inaugurating a new structure, again breaking a world record: the Çanakkale Bridge is now the longest suspension bridge in the world. The technology sector was at the forefront of the month: MoU between Turkey and South Korea for innovation and cooperation in high tech, creation of the Turkish technology fund TWF, welcoming many international investments such as Amazon or Microsoft which launched the opening of an R&D center in Turkey.
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