The economic situation is bleak and Erdogan is panting afterwards

IIn my last letters I showed you that things are not going well for Erdoğan. I have described how approval of Erdoğan and his AKP party fell, even if there are still two years to go until the election year 2023, and the government has been eroded by the economic crisis. Such negative news makes the palace nervous. The latest developments in domestic politics, however, worry Erdoğan even more.

On the Turkish version of the column
Click to read the Turkish original of the article

Erdoğan says he is personally responsible for the economy; his policies make it harder for people to make ends meet day by day. The economy is dependent on foreign countries, the money that is available to us is worth less and less. In October, the Turkish lira is the currency of the year 2021 with the strongest devaluation ever. The official inflation rate is 19.58 percent. The reality on the supermarket shelves, however, is very different from the rate that Erdoğan’s officials call. To name just a few staple foods: within a year, the price of eggs rose by 70 percent, for chickens by 69 percent, for sunflower oil by 58 percent, and for lentils by 52 percent. The calculation of independent scientists from the ENAG group also belies the rate announced by the Palast, its value for August is 44.7 percent.

Students sleep in the park

Nowadays, people don’t take out loans from the bank to buy an apartment or a car or to start their own business, but rather to make ends meet. 75 percent of bank loans are taken out by employees. And when the loans are due, the economy and the purchasing power of citizens continue to decline. Of the country’s 80 million inhabitants, 34.4 million have consumer loans or credit card debts on their hands. The number of those against whom legal action has been taken for failing to pay their debts has jumped 82 percent. And don’t think people would only borrow from banks. The week before last, an informative poster adorned the shelves of a supermarket chain: “Supermarket loan with 18 monthly installments, apply now!”

Bulent Mumay

Photo: private

The presidential palace, which recommends that citizens reduce portions to save, spends seven million liras daily (almost 700,000 euros). We have fewer and fewer plates on the table, and the palace’s kitchen expenses have risen by 64 percent within a year. While Erdoğan sleeps in his 1000-room palace, students spend the night in the park because they cannot find a place to stay, as rents have risen between 70 and 290 percent within a year. As students they go to sleep and then naturally wake up as “terrorists”. The best reaction to Erdoğan’s accusation came from Meral Akşener, head of the IYI party in the opposition bloc: “Welcome to the Terrorist of the Week program with Mr. Erdoğan!”

Luxus in New York

And what is Erdoğan doing in the meantime after accusing students who had to spend the night in the park for lack of money as liars and terrorists? He opened a “Turkish House” in New York that cost $ 291 million. And how do you think he got from his Manhattan hotel to the opening? In two Mercedes S 600 Guard company cars, of course, brought to the USA by a military jet from Turkey. Let’s continue with pomp and luxury: The Pandora Papers published by the international consortium of investigative journalists ICIJ have uncovered an interesting “coincidence”. Deutsche Welle Turkish, a member of the consortium, published documents that prove that Rönesans Holding, which was significantly involved in the construction of the 1000-room palace, transferred 210 million dollars to one of the islands in the tax haven during the construction phase. Half of the sum that ended up in the offshore account, ie $ 105 million, was shortly afterwards transferred to an unknown account as a “donation”. You are probably wondering why the “donation” did not come from Turkey but from an account in the British Virgin Islands and to which address it was sent. One day we’ll find out.


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