Erdogan Vows to Drive Teetering Turkish Economy Over Edge

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Erdogan Vows to Drive Teetering Turkish Economy Over Edge

Postby Absentia » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:18 pm

All right, I've been waiting for sellers to make a thread about this but I've waited long enough.

Turkey is currently waist deep in a debt crisis brought on by a decade of accelerating inflation. In just the last four years, the lira has lost more than half of its value against the major currencies. Turkish corporations are struggling and often failing to pay their euro-denominated foreign debt. The bond rating for Turkish government debt is just a poop emoji.

The root of this problem, as you may have surmised, is that President Erdogan is belligerently incompetent and corrupt. Foreign investors have been scared off by his dictator act and increasingly strained relations with the rest of Europe and the United States. He has also fought to prevent Turkey's central bank from raising interest rates to fight inflation. He claims that high interest rates are immoral under Islamic law; the fact that his buddies in the construction industry have been making bank from artificially low mortgage rates is probably just a coincidence. Last month he poured gasoline on the fire by giving an interview in which he pledged to take more direct control of the central bank and reduce interest rates after he rigs wins this month's election. He blames the crisis on an international conspiracy of Jews, because of course he does.

The big fear is that this mess could spread. Spain holds the lion's share of Turkey's debt and, as we all learned during the Greek crisis, Spain is not the most stable of debt holders. If things go sufficiently wrong the cascade effect on the EU (and consequently the rest of the world) could be serious. On the bright side, a full-scale economic collapse might be enough to topple Erdogan's regime, or at least hinder his ability to swing his dick around in Syria.
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Re: Erdogan Vows to Drive Teetering Turkish Economy Over Edg

Postby cmsellers » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:30 am

I was going to wait until after the Turkish elections in three weeks, because that has a small chance of ousting Reggie and/or his party in parliament, and a much greater chance of of making things far worse. The reason I expect it to make far worse is threefold.

Firstly, the far-right MHP, formerly an opposition party, has entered and electoral alliance with Reggie's AKP. So the question is whether far-right Turks who also oppose Reggie vote against him or against the coalition which include the centre-left CHP and a new party formed by some MHP defectors.

The second is how many votes are going to be wasted because they go for parties which don't pass the electoral threshold to get into parliament. These parties mostly are anti-Reggie and in the worst-case scenario, the far-left HDP could fall below the threshold too, which would be disastrous. I don't think that's likely without electoral fraud, but that brings me to the third issue...

The AKP's electoral fraud has gotten increasingly brazen. While there were a few elections that seemed fishy before the coup, in the constitutional referendum the ballot stuffing was painfully obvious, as I noted about on the thread I made on that.

So basically, the only way that Turkey gets out of this is if Reggie underestimates the strength of the opposition, and then concedes when he loses. I'm still hoping against hope that this will happen. However I'm expecting something on the level of the last Venezuelan election, and fearing that Turkey's about to turn into the next Zimbabwe.

Note that Turkey went through painful hyperinflation in the nineties as well, however Turkey in the nineties wasn't run by a goat-fellating autocratic nitwit. On a sadder note, as a result of the nineties hyperinflation, many Turks when I was there still didn't trust banks and kept their cash in their homes, which ... isn't actually proof against inflation. I hope they had the sense to spend all their money on non-perishable and fungible commodities when the lira started dipping.
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Re: Erdogan Vows to Drive Teetering Turkish Economy Over Edg

Postby cmsellers » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:04 am

So, the worst (but expected) appears to have happened: Reggie won (or "won") an outright majority of the vote for president in the first round, and together with the MHP the AKP appears to have secured a majority of seats as well. The opposition isn't openly crying fraud yet, however at least one video of possible ballot stuffing has emerged, and frankly after the Constitutional referendum I'd be very surprised if Reggie didn't engage in a bit of electoral chicanery.

I'm just so appalled I can't think about this right now. Either Reggie stole another election or the majority of Turkish voters are authoritarian masochists; either way it's not good. So instead I'll say this: it looks like Thanksgiving came early for Reggie, and for the Turkey.
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Re: Erdogan Vows to Drive Teetering Turkish Economy Over Edg

Postby Windy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:35 am

Generally people who aren't Americans are authoritarian masochists so it's probably that.
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Re: Erdogan Vows to Drive Teetering Turkish Economy Over Edg

Postby Absentia » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:12 am

Split off the non-Turkey stuff to Loud Noises. Feel free to continue discussing Trump there.
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