PM arrives in Ankara for second part of official visit

Warm welcome: Ismail Sabri being greeted by Hulusi (second from right) at the Ankara Esenboga International Airport, Turkiye. — Bernama

ANKARA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob attended a slew of programmes including witnessing the exchanges of several memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the second part of his official visit to Turkiye.

He witnessed MOU exchanges between Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and two Turkish universities – Karadeniz Technical University and Karabuk University (Unika) – as well as a Document of Understanding between Boustead Holdings Berhad and Great East Capital Bigli Teknologi Yatirimlari.

He also visited the country’s two major players in defence and aerospace: MKE Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries respectively.

The special aircraft carrying Ismail Sabri and his delegation from Istanbul touched down at the Ankara Esenboga International Airport at 11.10am (4.10 pm Malaysian time) yesterday.

He was received by Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar before inspecting a guard of honour.

Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad and Deputy Governor of Ankara Berkay Govcinar.

Ismail Sabri arrived in Turkiye on Tuesday where he visited Malaysia Airports-owned Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport and met nine Turkish government-linked companies and private firms.

He is also scheduled to have a four-eyed meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, followed by a Malaysia-Turkiye delegation meeting.

Earlier, during his luncheon with Malaysians residing in Turkiye, Ismail Sabri said the rise in inflation and prices of essential items were not only felt in Malaysia but almost all over the world.

He said some countries were facing higher inflation rates due to the steep rise in demand for goods and services since the reopening of economies after the pandemic.

That included Turkiye which recorded increases in food prices almost every week, he added.

He pointed out that the inflation rate in Turkiye has hit 78%, the highest in 24 years, compared to Malaysia’s 2.8%.

Ismail Sabri, who is on a four-day official visit to the republic, said what differentiated Malaysia from most other countries was the subsidy rate given by the government, which has exceeded RM77.7bil.

Meanwhile, Malaysians staying or studying in Turkiye admitted to being affected by inflation as costs of transport, food and household items recorded the most significant increases, with the cost of transport doubling during the year.

University student Muhammad Hafiz Ali said prices of food and amenities, including airfares, had also increased sharply due to inflation.

“What we are facing now is very bad. Inflation has risen sharply. Airfares now start at 1,800 lira (RM462) and can hit 2,000 lira (RM514) compared to only 799 lira (RM205) before.

“If you take the bus, the ticket used to cost only 200 (RM51) to 300 lira (RM77), but now it can go up to 900 lira (RM231),” said Muhammad Hafiz who studies at a city near the Turkiye-Armenia border.

The biggest challenge for Nurbalqis Abdul Rashid is her house rent which has increased from 1,100 lira (RM282) to 2,500 lira (RM642).

“The difference is huge and when we try to find a new house to rent, the cheapest would be around 4,000 lira (RM1,028) a month and most owners are not keen on foreign tenants.

“Prices of goods increase every week, especially food items,” she said. — Bernama

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