Published On: Sun, Oct 6th, 2019

Where is Turkey going? The most difficult days in the history of the Republic

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It would not be an exaggeration to say Turkey has been going through such a troubled period it has probably never experienced, in the history of the republic. Some could oppose this observation saying, “Well, we should not forget the days of the Second World War when Turkey faced difficult times too”.

True, but the conditions prevailing on a global scale at the time of World War 2 were very different from those of today. We’re not talking about a world war, currently – although there is a war in economy and politics, for sure.

Regarding the period we are in, the situation is so serious that, many topics we would refer to turn out to be issues of concern for the country.

For example, if we talk about domestic politics, the country is almost divided into two – thanks to the politicians in power, who have been able to contribute to it. The two groups (known as AK Party sympathizers and opponents) see each other as hostiles. The question is “for what”. Why have the politicians done such a thing? The answer is very simple unfortunately; In the name of strengthening their power.

If we talk about foreign policy on the other hand, the situation is equally grave: Turkey does not seem to have many friendly countries or neighbors left – except for Azerbaijan and Pakistan certainly.

As far as our foreign relations are concerned, we could say a worse picture is in Syria where Turkey is badly involved in trouble and it seems quite unlikely for the country to get out of this conflict without some damage – hopefully not a serious one.

Many wish Turkey had been a good observer of the concerned conflict in the region from the very beginning, rather than focus on the target seeing Assad overthrown. As we all see now, the policies followed have caused us death and enormous material damage. Authorities say the money spent on asylum seekers alone is over US$ 40 billion.

Meanwhile, there is even the possibility of a confrontation with the US on Turkey’s southern border. Obviously, managing Russia and the US simultaneously requires a very special skill, or it’s rather impossible. This situation continues to cause Turkey harm certainly due the concessions it has to (and will have to) make.

The friction with Southern Cyprus (and partners) regarding gas exploration in the Mediterranean is on the agenda as well, just like the conflict with Greece in the Aegean.

On the other hand, contrary to what the pro-government media is trying to pump the economy has been a true head ache for the administration (and citizens therefore); protested bills, bad checks, uncollectable loans and closing or bankrupt companies. Experts note this picture seems to be among the worst in the history of the republic. Needless to say Turkish lira has lost substantial value against US Dollar (and other currencies).

Inflation is real high with round 30-40 percent (as citizens live and see) as opposed to 15 percent (and lower) the authorities report. In return, pensions and other wage earners receive very small increases such as 5-10 percent which means people are getting poorer.

But where does the income of this country go? Billions of liras of taxes collected and so on? On the other hand, a great majority of the factories built starting from the establishment of the republic are sold by the government one by one and the money has supposedly entered the safe?

Under all these circumstances, it is not possible to say that the government has been successful in its last term (at least) and it is likely that voters will (or may) hold the government accountable for all this, at a not too distant time – just like with the last Mayor elections in Istanbul.

Obviously, new party formations by Davutoglu and Babacan (former Ak Party deputies and ministers) could be effective here, as well. Thus, there is no doubt Turkey will live through and see new most interesting developments in the time ahead.





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