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.”
CHP EU Representation