Tim Ash:   RTE campaign strategy revealed

News this morning that an opposition Deva activist has been arrested on allegations of political espionage is worrying (Metin Gurcan). Deva is former AKP economic policy guru, Ali Babacan’s party. I think the news will be seen as a warning shot across Babacan and the opposition’s bows.


Lots of talk of early elections and I think it is now pretty clear what Erdogan’s re-election strategy will be – low rates, cheap currency, fiscal easing and lots of social spending to get social recipient benefits (8-10 million) voting AKP/MHP.


If the lira is sinking, fine, as the message is being sent that this will make Turkey a super cheap manufacturing hub at a time when in the new COVID era supply chains are being moved closer to Europe.

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The lira might collapse and inflation surge but they will blame that on some foreign or opposition plot. They will argue that a economic war is being waged by foreigners against Turkey.


That’s bull, but some voters might believe it.


The problem I have with it is that it does not quite square. If you are blaming foreigners for waging an economic war but then trying to get FDI into the country because of the cheap lira, I am not sure foreigners can be so discerning. Are they the enemy or not?


It all feels very Chavez


Erdogan’s re-election chances? Someone who has had quality time with the boss told me this week it’s still 50-50, but that’s better odds than perhaps the polls are suggesting.


Net net there is still a path to victory here for Erdogan, but it seems based on a high risk economic strategy and a very nationalist vent with foreigners in the firing line. I just fear how much damage will be done to Turkey’s image and the economy in the interim. It’s kind of a torched earth approach.



These are authors personal views


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and www.paraanaliz.com and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.