Nevertheless, even an autocrat cannot flout economic logic forever. The various financial injections Qatar has given Turkey are not the solution, nor does it help that Erdogan supporters have been exchanging their dollars for lira.
The Turkish economy is also being put under pressure by the governmentʹs tensions with the USA. The root cause is the detainment of Andrew Brunson, the American pastor. He is accused, absurdly, of supporting terrorism. Erdogan has a tendency to declare anyone who opposes him an "enemy of the state".
In a tighter spot than ever
This approach has destroyed trust in the independence of the judiciary once and for all. Erdogan has long wanted to exchange Brunson for Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is a controversial Turkish imam who lives in the U.S. and whom Erdogan blames for the attempted coup dʹetat of 2016. U.S. President Donald Trump responded to Brunsonʹs arrest with massive sanctions. The U.S. has demanded a resolution of this issue by mid-October. Otherwise, tensions between the two countries could escalate.
The Turkish president is in a tighter spot than he has ever been before. And whenever he finds himself in a difficult position, he is known to perform a political about-face. In the past, for instance, he criticised China for persecuting the Uighurs, styling himself as a protector of the Muslim minority. Now that he faces a financial crisis, he has dropped the issue.
His reward came in July: a loan from China to Turkey, amounting to $ 3.6 billion. On 28 September, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdoganʹs son in law, signed a contract with McKinsey. The business consultancy will advise him on how to reform government bureaucracy with business relevance. Albayrak has thus clearly acknowledged that he does not know what to do himself. It is ironic that a private-sector company from the USA will now gain very deep insights into Turkeyʹs economy.