Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Not-So-Good, The Bad And The Very Ugly: Erdogan’s Paranoia and Turkey’s Economy

According to Bloomberg the protests roiling Istanbul, which started in May and have already begun to dwindle, were never an Arab-style spring. The Turkish government, however, now risks turning them into a very real political and economic winter. A hunt has begun for the culprits in a supposed international conspiracy, including banks and news media, which the government claims to have orchestrated the protests. Depending on how far this Orwellian investigation goes, it may have a bigger impact on Turkey’s future than the unrest itself.

The head of Turkey’s Capital Markets Board confirmed June 26 that his staff had begun an investigation into stock-market volatility during the protests. According to traders in Istanbul, the demands to hand over all e-mail traffic with foreigners, among other records, are unprecedented. The board’s assurances that such investigations are routine might be easier to accept if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hadn’t promised to “choke” those he believes to have engineered the protests in order to cause a stock-market collapse….

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