This spat coincides with growing trade tensions between Ankara and Washington. The US is now reviewing Turkey’s duty-free access to US markets via the Generalized System of Preferences programme, pushing the Turkish lira to a new low. Turkey also fielded retaliatory tariffs following the import taxes announced by the US in recent months. In an attempt to up the pressure on Ankara, the US doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium in August. Trump announced the tariffs in a tweet, adding that bilateral relations are ‘not good at this time’.
Results for Tag: Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Madrasas generally taught calculation, grammar, poetry, history and above all the Qur’an and sacred law. At a higher level they taught literary subjects and arithmetic. While memorization of texts was emphasized, personal instruction, lectures and imitation of the teacher by students were also held to be crucial to minimize errors in religious understanding.
In late July, Turkey’s central bank refused to raise interest rates, despite pressure from the international community to do so to alleviate rising inflation. Prior to the election, Erdoğan repeatedly promised to take over greater control of central bank policy, so the failure to raise rates sparked fears that Erdoğan was following through on this promise. He has called interest rates the “mother and father of all evil”. The Turkish lira promptly lost 3% off the dollar, a reaction from the markets similar to the one they had when his re-election was announced. The Turkish economy is dependent on foreign investors and moves such as this one, which may hold a certain domestic nationalist appeal, are driving away foreign money and sparking fears for the future health of the Turkish economy.
Erdogan’s win means more than just another five years of his authoritarian rule. The elections gifted him with a raft of new powers – voted for in last year’s referendum – including the right to directly appoint public officials, impose a state of emergency and intervene unilaterally in the judicial system.
In an age when a Turkish leader is once trying to reshape the national consciousness, Dirilis: Ertugrul offers an effective tool to stoke nationalist sentiment through a highly curated historical lens. The irony is that while the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, used Western exports such as the wireless and Latin alphabet to coax Turkey away from the Ottoman Empire, Erdogan appears determined to use soap operas to thrust Turkey back towards it.
Fuelling Saudi Arabia’s anger, Turkey sent additional troops to Qatar in December 2017, and the two countries signed an agreement in March 2018 to establish a naval base and training centre and to send 60,000 more soldiers. In response, Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) described Turkey as part of a “triangle of evil” along with Iran and hardline Islamist groups.
With the economy showing worrying signs, some observers have viewed the early elections as a sign of weakness, and the government certainly does not appear fully prepared for such an election. However, by calling an early election, Erdogan has maximized his chances of success in a country that still fiercely identifies as democratic, even if the reality is far more complicated.
A 2016 leaked German government report described how the ‘Islamization of Ankara’s domestic and foreign policy since 2011’ has turned the country into a bastion of Islamist groups in the region. Whereas Turkey’s republicans would have shied away from any such public international links, Erdogan has embraced them, heralding to the world Turkey’s new direction and a for the country that he has long sought to achieve.