Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine’s banking sector continues recovery, but profits still lagging last year
Ukraine’s real wages up over 10% in October but have been stagnant in dollar terms for almost a year
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Public has confused opinions on resolving the Donbas conflict
Western Balkans plus Ukraine subsidised coal with over €900mn in 2018-2019
Estonian parcel robot firm Cleveron eyes €30mn state loan
Estonia’s chief auditor says €1bn in state COVID-19 loans issued haphazardly
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's PM risks isolation as Poland mulls dropping EU budget veto
Poland ready to back down from veto of EU budget
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Retail surpass pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
Romanian venture capital firm Catalyst launches new €40mn-50mn fund for TMT
Aegon to sell its CEE business to Vienna Insurance for €830mn
The state is back in business
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Turkish number crunchers deliver November inflation surprise of 14%
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iran calls on Saudis to limit $67bn defence spending to Tehran’s $10bn
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
No reaction from Kazakh elites as bombshell FT report says Nazarbayev’s son in law siphoned millions from pipeline scheme
UK court freezes $5bn in assets connected to fugitive Kazakh banker Ablyazov
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
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Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and has started treatment in hospital, municipality spokesman Murat Ongun wrote on Twitter on October 25.
The general health of Imamoglu—a Republican People’s Party (CHP) opposition mayor—was good, Ongun added.
Turkey is now on a trend in which it reports more than 2,000 coronavirus cases per day (the October 25 figure was 2,017 with 72 deaths), similar to the situation in late May. International news agencies continue to report these figures in the same fashion that they generally do for other countries, but the data are actually a nonsense because, as Turkey’s health minister Fahrettin Koca conceded at the end of September, they do not include asymptomatic cases. Given that asymptomatic carriers of the virus can still spread it, the data omission is something that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said should be rectified.
“No one believes the figures”
On October 26, Turkish media outlet bianet ran a story headlined: “No one believes the official COVID-19 figures in Turkey.” The article included details of a press briefing at Istanbul Medical Chamber in which chamber representatives said that officials “can tell success stories all they want, we are dying”, a reference to how while the government insists it is doing well in battling the pandemic in the country, things are so bad that 120 healthcare workers, including 52 physicians, had died of the virus, according to information gathered by the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).
Istanbul Medical Chamber executive board member Osman Ozturk said that the coronavirus outbreak was still ongoing at full pace, Mezopotamya news agency reported. "Coronavirus has now turned into a mistreatment of healthcare workers in Turkey," he said, protesting that the "wrong policies and wrong practices" of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) “government claims the lives of health workers."
"Our friends, our colleagues are dying," he added, saying: "On the other side, they are telling success stories, they are giving numbers every evening; however, no one believes the numbers they give. All these numbers are a big lie. We know the truth."
Concluding his remarks, Ozturk said: "In this process, we—as the TTB and Istanbul Medical Chamber—are struggling and will keep on struggling to protect our colleagues, health workers and the people."
Erdogan moves against TTB
In mid-October, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turkey’s parliament to legislate to curb the influence of medical associations and other institutions that have criticised his government’s response to the pandemic. In a speech to members of his AKP party, Erdogan said the TTB and other professional associations “are clearly acting in a way that is against the constitution” and the matter has “reached an unbearable level”.
Koca at the weekend sounded the alarm over rising coronavirus cases in the country, with Istanbul making up about 40% of the country’s total and Ankara around one fifth of that—but again he did not provide the data to allow a full assessment of the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey on an international comparison.
Almost all Turkey’s coronavirus restrictions were lifted in June, but the government has since enforced measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, and has imposed fines on those who break rules. Officials said last week Ankara was considering reimposing some restrictions to stem the resurgence of cases but would avoid throttling the economic recovery.
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