Although more than 10 months remain until the general elections in Turkey, the growing socio-political turmoil in the country has rung bells, signalling the end of the long reign of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Meanwhile, as the political landscape in Turkey has grown deeply polarised, the opposition parties are diligently striving to forge the greatest political coalition in modern Turkish history to force Erdoğan to relinquish power after 22 years.
Nevertheless, it seems that the opposition parties have not yet unified, as they are embroiled in political haggling and bartering.
Meral Akşener, the chairwoman of the opposition İYİ (Good) Party, recently made the following observation on the dismal state of the Turkish economy:
“There are thousands of books on how to manage and develop the economy, but only a single book on how to destroy it. This honour has been bestowed on President Erdoğan. ”
The fragile financial situation in Turkey has spiralled out of control as stubborn inflation, and a mounting budget deficit are ravaging the Turkish economy. At the same time, the value of the lira continues to plummet.
In recent months, Turkey’s overall inflation rate has exceeded 80%. According to some projections, the inflation rate might hit 100% by the end of 2022, sending the lira into freefall and wiping away many people’s life savings.
This is a consequence of the Turkish economy’s reliance on foreign investment and the upheavals in regional and global economies.
Furthermore, Turkey’s liquidity ratio climbed almost as rapidly as the country’s inflation rate (15% in 2019, 45% in 2020, 17% in 2021, and now 30% in 2022).
Consequently, the lira’s value dipped to its lowest point in the preceding two decades.
According to this gloomy scenario, Turkish citizens must increase their annual income by 80% merely to maintain their current standard of living.
In the meantime, Erdoğan has sacked three central bank governors over the last year for attempting to raise rates of interest in accordance with Western anti-inflation doctrines.
Turkey, one of the top 20 countries in terms of growth rate, is making great strides to boost exports and generate more employment despite a constantly rising inflation rate. So why has Erdoğan forsaken these prudent monetary measures in favour of “Erdoğanomics” or Erdoğan’s economic policies?
It is crucial to remember that Erdoğan’s extralegal manoeuvres have undermined the authority of the Turkish Central Bank.
He weakened the leeway afforded to the Governor of the Central Bank, who could exert some influence over the economy through monetary and financial measures.
Erdoğan’s economically arbitrary policies contributed directly to the tumultuous economic conditions, severely reducing his popularity. Moreover, due to his disastrous policies, the AKP lost the 2019 municipal elections in the nation’s most significant cities, including İstanbul and Ankara.
Many observers believe that the emergence of a coherent opposition coalition would pose the AKP with formidable obstacles to victory.
Recent polls indicate that Erdoğan and his party’s popularity has been drastically decreasing in the face of a coalition of six opposition parties, making the upcoming election spell Erdoğan’s political doom.