Can Turkey’s Economic Turmoil Derail Erdogan’s Reelection? – WSJ

By Yaroslav Trofimov
May 31, 2018

In Turkey’s elections set for June 24, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is running against an unusually dangerous opponent.

Its name: the U.S. dollar.

In recent weeks, the country faced a full-blown currency run, in part because of concerns about Mr. Erdogan moving to curb the independence of Turkey’s central bank.

The Turkish lira, which traded at 2.15 to the dollar during the previous presidential election in 2014, sank precipitously, hitting 4.92 last week.

It has since regained some of these losses, steadying around the 4.50 level following a steep interest-rate increase and other central bank interventions…

Asli Aydintasbas, a Turkey expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, agreed, saying that Ankara decided to call national elections a year and a half ahead of time precisely so that the ballots would be cast before the feared economic crisis hits full-force.

“We’re in the early stages, and at this point it’s not clear that Turkish voters feel the extent to which the economy is in trouble,” she said. “The economic downturn will ultimately affect voter behavior. The question is whether it will happen now.”

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CHP EU Representation

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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