Turkey’s economic problem is Erdoğan himself – analyst

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The restoration of the Turkish economy will not happen until President Recep Erdoğan leaves along with his policies that are costing the country on numerous fronts, wrote Shlomo Roiter Jesner, president and co-founder of the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum, wrote in Foreign Policy on Monday.

Turkey’s economy, which has become the worst performing in the emerging market this year, will take more than an economic reform package or a shakeup of the country’s top economy cadres, to recover, Jesner said.

Last month, Erdoğan removed the central bank governor from his post, replaced him with a former finance minister, after the lira currency hit record lows, losing 30 percent of its value since the beginning of the year. A day later, Finance Minister and Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, resigned from his post, citing health issues.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s strongman has announced economic and judicial reforms, which Jesner maintains should not inspire, hope for the country’s future.

“Erdogan’s policies have time and time again exhibited: economic manipulation; wide scale jailing of journalists critical to Erdogan’s policies; and the purging of so-called dissenters from the civil service, academia, and the justice system,’’ the analyst wrote.

The road to getting the Turkish economy back on track, according to Jesner, will be a long journey that calls for a coherent non-conspiratorial economic policy, which Erdoğan has failed to implement.

The Turkish president’s foreign policy adventurism, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara’s moves have tarnished relations with its leading trading partner, the European Union, must also be reined in, the analyst wrote.

In 2019, trade between Turkey and the EU stood at €138,065 billion, making the country the bloc’s sixth largest trading partner with 3.4 per cent.

“Denying any connection between his government’s policy and Turkey’s economic collapse, the president’s rudimentary understanding of basic economic principles has bordered on the absurd,’’ Jesner said.

Ahval

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