Will inflation be Erdoğan's downfall?

Inflation is soaring in Turkey and the population is groaning under the weight of rising prices. The government's announcement of an increase in the minimum wage, pensions and civil servants' salaries has done little to alleviate the pressure. The Central Bank has lowered the key interest rate again in a bid to lure foreign investors, and a rapprochement with Armenia is intended to help the economy, but commentators doubt these measures will be successful.

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News.bg (BG) /

Everyone is equal before the lira

The decline of the currency and inflation could be devastating for Erdoğan, says news.bg:

“The devaluation of the Turkish lira and inflation are well on their way to shaking the otherwise strong relationship between Erdoğan and the 'Black Turks' [Islamic Turks of Anatolian origin who are regular AKP regular voters]. The first signs of this were already visible in the last local elections, when the AKP lost Istanbul and Ankara. ... Can the fall of the lira achieve what the Turkish opposition has been trying but failed to do since 2002: topple Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? ... Everyone is equal before the lira, and it keeps dropping.”

Karar (TR) /

New elections will come sooner rather than later

The next parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey are scheduled for June 2023. But right now the question is not whether they will be brought forward, but when, comments journalist Oğuz Demir in Karar:

“If we assume that the current economic crisis will be decisive, I believe that the elections will be held in the first half of the coming year. Because in a highly inflationary environment, the relief achieved through increases in the minimum wage, pensions and civil servants' salaries will only last a few months at most. ... So every day that the government doesn't call elections is another day of seeing its share of the vote shrink even further! Therefore I for one do not believe that it will wait much longer in view of these circumstances.”

Yetkin Report (TR) /

No way to attract investors

Yetkin Report says Ankara's attempts to get the economy back on its feet through foreign policy initiatives will be in vain:

“A successful foreign policy opens the door to a successful economy. ... The foreign investment that AKP is looking for reconsiders its move thoroughly to invest in a country where politicians constantly threaten or criticise its neighbours and cut diplomatic relations every time they cross. In addition to this, there is political unpredictability in this country, and the administration has a reputation for interfering with judicial decisions.”

Yeniçağ (TR) /

A calculation that doesn't add up

The Kemalist daily Yeniçağ criticises the fact that the interests of citizens come second to electioneering:

“The Turkish Central Bank has lowered interest rates further on the instructions of politicians, opening the door to a further decline in the value of the lira. ... Instead of fighting inflation, interest rates are being lowered to win elections. This will not work: the demand for dollars will continue to rise sharply. In the end, the AKP will lose the elections, the people will be impoverished and only a few AKP-affiliated companies will have become rich.”

Dilema Veche (RO) /

A critical mass could develop

Only if more of those who are directly affected join the protests could the situation become dangerous for Erdoğan, Dilema Veche notes:

“Imported medicines have become so expensive that many pensioners can no longer afford them. And the rise in energy prices in the wake of the crisis is hitting the country particularly hard. ... Many low-income families can't pay their electricity or gas bills. Although there have been sporadic in the big cities, the protesters are mainly young and middle class people who are less affected by the monetary crisis. Will they succeed in mobilising enough disappointed people to bring about a regime change?”