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.
Results for Tag: Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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.
Many media reports speculate that MBC’s decision was made to punish Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for rushing to the aid of Qatar after it was subjected to a Saudi-led blockade. Turkey has also supported and harboured members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia considers a terrorist organization.