Most of people in Turkey are deeply ashamed to hear the words below by Qatar's foreign minister, because of the fact that Turkey, a country with a huge economic potential, is in need of financial assistance from a small nation like Qatar.
“We are watching the economic situation in Turkey. We are evaluating the opportunities that will arise in Turkey due to the economic situation.“
These words belong to Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. He clearly stated that Qatar was looking at opportunities emerging from the current economic crisis in Turkey.
What’s wrong with these words?
Most of people in Turkey are deeply ashamed to hear these words, because of the fact that Turkey, a country with a huge economic potential, is in need of financial assistance from a small nation like Qatar.
Of course Qatar is a rich nation to be considered for foreign investments. However, the case of Turkey is very different and tragic (tragic at least for its citizens which are neither partisans of AKP nor of Erdoğan).
What is the situation in Turkey? Is there an economic crisis in the country?
Unfortunately, yes! Turkey has been suffering from an economic crisis since almost 2018. Turkey had gone through the presidential election in 2018, and since then President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become the only man to steer the country with more than 85 million people. That is to say, Erdoğan alone has the power to determine the fate of 85 million people. And what’s more, there is no institution or power that can question the decisions made by Erdoğan.
Briefly, this is the real reason behind the ongoing economic crisis in Turkey, but let’s go into details and see how Erdoğan deteriorated the institutions and gave an end to democratic processes in the country.
A short historic background of the crisis (from 2002 to today)
First of all, we have to admit that Erdoğan has come to power after the 2001 economic crisis which harshly hit the country and left the country in the ruins. Furthermore, although ostensibly there was parliamentary democracy, the majority of the population had been being oppressed by the narrow-minded state ideology at that time. For example, Kurdish people were not allowed to freely use their mother tongue, as Kurdish language was banned by the state. Similarly, conservative Muslims were facing some serious restrictions in terms of their religious freedom.
Once AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power in 2002, the outstanding figures in this political party acted in favor of democratization of the state. And they became quite successful to recover the state from the economic crisis and to boost the economy as well as to proceed with the democratization process of the country. Nonetheless, in the meantime, Erdoğan has managed to grasp AKP and ousted or silenced all other figures that could possibly threaten his authority. At the end, Erdoğan remained the only protagonist to be accepted as the hero who saved the country and the nation from the economic and political turmoil.
Erdoğan had long enjoyed the legacy of early periods of AKP and its successes. However, as Erdoğan grasped AKP and removed the productive people from the party, AKP also lost its productivity and started to reverse both the economic and democratic progress in Turkey.
Since 2018 presidential elections in Turkey, Erdoğan has been the only person to determine the fate of the country and of 85 million people. The institutions like Central Bank of Turkey (CBT) and Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSAT) both of which are supposed to be autonomous have completely lost their ability to make independent and rational decisions, solely because of Erdoğan’s inexorable influence on these institutions.
The economic crisis in Turkey as of today
As a result of one-man government in Turkey, the state institutions are no more reliable as they were once for foreign investors. Consequently, foreign investors has lost their appetite for Turkey. It should be noted that foreign investments have a great role on Turkey’s economy.
The impact of one-man government in Turkey has resulted in the economic crisis which continues since 2018. Erdoğan administration has no cure for the severely damaged economy. Actually, Erdoğan has no serious intention to deal with the economic crisis.
Most importantly, Erdoğan has been rejecting the existence of the economic crisis. He has just focused on cutting the interest rates due to his ideological agenda. Moreover, he believes that high interest rates are the reason for the high inflation in Turkey.
As a result of cutting the interest rates while the inflation is already very high in Turkey, the lira which is the currency of Turkey, has literally collapsed. Therefore, people in Turkey faces higher inflation rates and are hardly able to afford even the basic needs like energy and food.
Why is Erdoğan insisting on cutting interest rates, although he can see that it further deepens the economic crisis?
No one has an answer to this question. Apparently, Erdoğan has been running an experiment on the country, just like a little child makes an experiment on a hot stove. The result is obvious, however he expects a result that would satisfy him.
He wants to attract foreign investors like those from Qatar or The United Arab Emirates by devaluing lira.
As Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said, foreign investors are looking at opportunities emerging from the current economic crisis in Turkey.
Erdoğan’s current economic strategy is to further impoverish the citizens and to reduce the prices for foreign investors.
Therefore, Erdoğan’s current economic strategy for Turkey means enslavement of the citizens in Turkey except for those who are already rich enough to be able to ignore the economic crisis and those who can turn the crisis into an opportunity.