Istanbul: – The expansionist ambitions of Turkish President Recep Erdogan and the increasing spread of Coronavirus pandemic seem to be taking their toll on the Turkish economy. The Turkish lira slid to 8.15 per USD on Tuesday, and this is the lowest level to date. At the same time, the price rise index has reached 11.7%, and indications are that the rate will jump over 12%. Two years ago, the decline in the Turkish lira had hit the European countries too.
Since the last few years, Turkish President Recep Erdogan is consistently mentioning the Ottoman empire and showing dreams of the past glory to the Turkish population. He has focussed on increasing the military might of the country, and it is said that as of today, a fourth of the Turkish budget is spent on the military. Erdogan is focusing on developing the weapons industry in Turkey, and at present, the turnover of this industry has reached USD 11 billion.
Turkey is trying to show its influence in the countries from African and central Asian countries based on this increasing defence expenditure and turnover of the defence industry. As per the claim made by an Israeli website, currently, Turkey has deployed military and defence equipment in nearly 13 countries. These include countries like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Qatar and Azerbaijan. Erdogan is also funding heavily for preaching the Turkish culture in the countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.
While doing all this, Turkey is hurting its old allies like the United States, Russia and the European countries. Therefore, the ill effects of these ambitious activities of the Turkish President are becoming evident in the Turkish economy. Two years ago, Turkey had launched fierce attacks on the Kurdish people in Syria and Iraq. The United States imposed harsh sanctions against Turkey, following these attacks. The Turkish economy is in a tailspin ever since, and the Coronavirus pandemic has only added to the Turkish woes.
In this year, the Turkish lira has slid by a whopping 26%. Over the last one and a half years, the Turkish central bank was forced to pump in nearly USD 134 billion to stop the slide of the lira. There are indications of the second wave of Coronavirus, and the international agencies have warned of a 3% decline in the Turkish economy. The United States has indicated imposition of new sanctions over the S-400 issue. Analysts are claiming that if they become a reality, the Turkish economy will come tumbling down.
But it is evident from the new slide in the lira that the Turkish President seems to be pursuing his own ambitions by holding the country at ransom, instead of comforting his countrymen on the economic level.