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West may strike Turkish economy to turn voters away from Erdogan, expert says

May 18, 2023 at 10:34 am

Ballot papers are seen as voters continue to arrive for casting their votes for presidential and parliamentary elections at the Kocatepe Mimar Kemal Anatolian High School in Ankara, Turkiye on May 14, 2023 [Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency]

Western media has alluded to a possible boost of the Turkish economy to increase opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s chances of beating Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the runoff elections, Arabi21 said yesterday.

In a report published by the Wall Street Journal, Chelsey Dulaney and Jared Malsin said that there are two main reasons for the “fragile” Turkish economy – the decline in the amount of cash reserves and the withdrawal of large amounts of money abroad.

For his part, British economist Timothy Ash, who has previously described Erdogan as an “unreliable” partner to the West, said he had met Kilicdaroglu a few months before the elections and found him to be “weak”.

After his defeat, he tweeted: “The best chance for KK [Kemal Kilicdaroglu] now is that markets sell off before the second poll so that voters get buyers regret on RTE and the huge economic risks that lie ahead.”

Such analyses allude to potential external interference, an expert told Arabi21, so that they might resort to manipulating the Turkish exchange markets to push voters to turn to Kilicdaroglu in the runoff.

Erdogan has several times accused external powers of manipulating the value of the Turkish lira as part of a war against his rule.

Following the sharp decline in the value of the lira at the end of 2021, he announced the opening of an investigation into possible manipulation.

READ: Is Erdogan’s Turkiye a dictatorship the solution to which is Western-style democracy?