The Turkish lira rounded off the week by tumbling to its lowest levels against the dollar for almost a year, amid investor nervousness about
emerging markets.

By evening trade in Istanbul the currency had fallen beyond TL2.30 to the US dollar, more than 1 per cent down on the day and the weakest level since January, when the Turkish central bank moved to increase
interest rates – a dramatic shift in policy that at the time halted a
precipitous drop in its value. Read more

Turks are divided over the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a new poll conducted by the US think tank Pew Research Center ahead of the country’s first presidential elections.

The survey, carried out in April and May, found a majority of 51 per cent dissatisfied with the direction of the country with only 44 per cent satisfied and an even split on the question of whether Erdogan’s influence has been good or bad with 48 per cent of Turk’s taking either side. Read more

By Anthony Skinner of Maplecroft

Even before the disaster of Tuesday’s explosion at a mine in western Turkey, questions were being raised about the future of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is yet another example of the volatility that seems to be perpetual in the country.

In recent months, the lira has gone from being one of the worst performing currencies in the world to one of the best. Many investors were reassured by the victory at March’s municipal elections of Erdogan’s centre-right Justice and Development Party (AKP), in the midst of a battle for influence and power with the moderate Islamist Gulen movement. Read more

Let bygones be bygones

So, how are the seemingly vexed relations between Turkey’s government and the country’s biggest company, Koc Holding? Not as bad as all that, according to Mustafa Koc, the man who heads the family-controlled conglomerate.

Really? Read more

By Anthony Skinner of Maplecroft

Previously respected for his political vision and acute instincts, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may increasingly become a liability for his ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP). The premier’s campaign to quash dissent in civil society and the business community, his righteous criticism of EU and fellow NATO allies, and impressive array of conspiracy theories are a big concern. Read more

Listen to recent speeches by Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one thing becomes immediately apparent: he is not short of opponents. Or rather, his perception is that he is not short of opponents, and he’s equally unafraid of naming them.

Having spent much of the past six weeks blaming the international media, international plots and the mysterious and previously unknown “international interest rate lobby” for the widespread anti-government demonstrations over the past six weeks, he has now chosen to target Turkey’s own domestic credit sector. Read more

By a curious coincidence, the Istanbul Stock Exchange’s Monday opening was delayed by an hour just as investors were steeling themselves for another torrid day.

Just as conspiracy theorists were wondering whether it might be the first attack in the assault on “speculators” promised by premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, officials announced it was all due to “a technical problem” with index calculation.

However, any relief was short-lived. The BIST 100 opened 2.4 per cent down and still trading 1.8 per cent lower an hour later. Meanwhile the lira fell more than 1 per cent against the dollar. Read more

Supporters cheer premier Erdogan on his return

By Taha Ozhan of Seta

Taksim is one of the least visually attractive squares in Turkey. A group of critics had been vocal, for some time, about their opposition to the renovation plan of the square. The plan was accepted unanimously at the city council receiving the support of all of the opposition parties. But critics continue to demand that Gezi Park in Taksim Square be left untouched. Read more

A few words from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was all it took to send the Turkish stock market plunging on Thursday afternoon.

Prices were steady until Erdogan threw down the gauntlet to anti-government protestors, saying that the law must be upheld, that a minority could not dominate – and that the controversial planned development in an Istanbul park, which prompted the unrest, would go ahead. Shares plummeted 8 per cent before recovering to finish ‘only’ 4.7 per cent down [updated]. That took the total fall since the demonstrations began to around 11 per cent. Read more

By Marcus Svedberg of East Capital

One should be careful in drawing parallels between seemingly similar events in different countries. But there are a number of striking similarities between the protests in Turkey and the recent events in Russia.

These are two radically different emerging markets but there are common denominators among the protestors, the regimes, and in the triggers for the unrest. One conclusion is that the protests are not about economics: but economic development does help to explain why these tensions have emerged now. And that raises the old question – does economic development foster democracy? Read more

By Timothy Ash of Standard Bank

Demonstrations continue to rage in Turkey and there is still no sign of an no olive branch extended by the government to the demonstrators. Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has claimed that calm would be restored upon his return from a trip to north Africa – likely Wednesday. Meanwhile, unions representing 240,000 public sector workers declared two days of industrial action.

One thought for the day – the demonstrators have been calling for Erdogan’s resignation. While I think this is very unlikely, what if it happened? Who could possibly replace Erdogan and what would be the consequences? Read more

By Atilla Yesilada of GlobalSource

The mass protests over the decision of the Istanbul municipality to fell trees at Gezi Park in the city sparked commentary that a “Turkish Spring” is underway.

No, this is not a Turkish Spring. But it is no less unique and potentially lethal to the economy. The ruling Islamist AKP needs to understand that the half of the population that has not voted for the party is crying out for attention. If these people’s demands are not met, financial markets could experience an upheaval that would destroy Turkish economic stability, creating a vicious cycle that could rapidly erode the gains of the last 10 years. Read more

In these difficult economic times, with disappointing jobs figures in the US and stagnation in the eurozone, the growth story of Turkey tells is a coherent one – or it would be, if all the country’s government signed up to it. Read more

Plans to proceed with a gigantic infrastructure project; a decision to dispense with the services of an international ratings agency; forecasts of continued growth – there is no mistaking that Turkey has kicked off the new year in bullish fashion.

The country’s headlines are currently dominated by the aftermath of the execution-style murder in Paris of three female activists of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers party, or PKK. But the context even for this is not unremittingly grim. Read more

Turkey is the world’s leading jailer of journalists, says a hard-hitting new report on press freedom.

The report, compiled by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and released on Monday, goes into some detail about each of the cases of 76 journalists – 61 who it says are imprisoned for their work, and 15 others held for reasons the investigators could not determine. Read more