Monday 20 August, 2018 Update: More Turkish Concerns Appear


Turkey continues to generate considerable scrutiny across world today. There is no sign that the nation’s afflictions will ease anytime soon. The currency crisis continues on with the lira having lost almost 40 percent of its value against the US dollar so far this year. Turkey’s relationship with the United States is spiraling downward nearly as fast as the lira, spurring geopolitical, diplomatic, and economic fallout at home and abroad. Ankara’s push to end the lira’s downfall has brought no tangible results yet, and there is considerable doubt forming about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ability to navigate the Turkish economy through this difficult time.

Europe is watching events in Turkey closely, especially Berlin. Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance has identified Turkey’s ongoing economic difficulties as a risk to the German economy. On the heels of this, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated she sees no need to offer Turkey financial aid in the midst of this currency crisis. Merkel and Erdogan are expected to meet in September when the Turkish leader makes a state visit to Germany. Much like the United States, Germany has seen its relations with Turkey grow strained since the failed coup against Erdogan in 2016.

Events of the last twenty-four hours reinforce the belief that there is no end to Turkey’s woes in sight. Earlier today, the US embassy in Ankara came under gunfire for a brief period. The identity of the attackers remains unknown, though the Turkish government was quick to condemn the incident. Pre-recorded remarks by Erdogan were also released today to mark the beginning of the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday. The Turkish president promised his people they would not be brought “to their knees” by the currency crisis. He also described the crisis as an attack on the Turkish economy and likened it to an attack on the national flag, and call to prayer. Language such as this will do nothing to alleviate Turkey’s troubles, and in the long run will only serve to deteriorate things even more.

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