Turkey politics

If the US tapering its QE programme, or the widespread protests of mid-2013 weren’t enough to give investors an excuse to sell out of Turkey, what of the current political scandal? Surely the entrenched crisis provoked by the confrontation between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the police, prosecutors and judges has undermined confidence in the country?

Perhaps not. Analysts at Nomura have looked at the numbers, and it seems investors are largely staying put. Continue reading »

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? Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

Some respite for the Turkish lira on Monday after a surprise statement by Erdem Basci, governor of the central bank, saying the bank would not allow global monetary and fiscal policy uncertainty to have an impact on “price stability and financial stability in Turkey”.

Has Basci joined the “interest rate lobby” so despised by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Continue reading »

Does it matter that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just named as his chief adviser a former journalist who alleges that foreign powers have tried to kill the Turkish prime minister by telekinesis?

Here are some reasons why Tuesday’s appointment of Yigit Bulut, a Sorbonne graduate who has also alleged that Lufthansa is plotting against Turkey (pictured), may be of relevance. Continue reading »

One of the rules of thumb about understanding Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to watch what he does, not what he says. The Turkish prime minister is known for his capacity to come out with fiery rhetoric on occasion, but also for a record of reforms that outstrips most of his modern day predecessors.

Still, it may be getting harder to distinguish word and deed, particularly when it comes to Erdogan’s recent denunciations of an “interest rate lobby” hostile to Turkey and his apparent threats against the Koc group, Turkey’s biggest conglomerate. Continue reading »

By Mehran Kamrava of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar

Three sets of processes, each in the making for some time, have converged to result in the violence of the last few days in Istanbul and other major Turkish cities. The volatile consequences of these processes have perhaps posed the most serious challenge to the once-unchallenged tenure in office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

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? Continue reading »

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? Continue reading »

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. Continue reading »

Source: Borsa Istanbul

The Turkish stock market bounced back 4.4 per cent on Tuesday morning after Monday’s 10.5 per cent collapse, the lira was steady against the dollar and the bond market strengthened, with the yield on two-year lira bonds falling 46 basis points to 6.32 per cent, after Monday’s surge.

But with so much uncertainty around, it’s far too early to talk about stabilisation. There were sporadic clashes overnight between protestors and riot police. Trade union leaders declared a two-day strike starting on Tuesday, which, if nothing else, gives plenty more people the opportunity to participate in the demonstrations. Continue reading »

By Emre Deliveli

Everyone has been talking about the politics of the protests in Turkey, which started as resistance to the demolition of Gezi Park in central Istanbul and quickly turned, thanks to police brutality, into nationwide protests against the country’s authoritarian Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But not much has been written about the economic implications of the protests.

From an economic point of view, the demonstrations caught the Turkish economy at a really bad time. Continue reading »