The biggest disappointment for any country is when their leader takes the country to a non-recoverable direction for their own selfish gains and it results in the whole country suffering. Turkey has been, since a couple of years, suffering from falling currency exchange rates, and double-digit inflation which has been exacerbated by the current pandemic. As the second wave is increasing the intensity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people under Erdogan’s regime are facing increasing debt, in which they are finding it difficult to pay and are increasingly going hungry.
Turkey is on the verge of becoming second Venezuela as a large number of people are not in the condition to even afford the basic necessities. As per the MetroPoll Research, a respected polling organisation found in a recent survey that 25 per cent of respondents said they could not meet their basic needs. And as the country under Erdogan has been either instigating or supporting military intervention in its neighbourhood and far away too, the financial cost of such adventurism is also stacking up, which are coupled by the leader not listening to his economists and taking the country down with himself.
The Turkish Lira has been battered by a record depreciation down more than 30 per cent against the dollar this year and foreign exchange reserves have been badly depleted. Along with double-digit inflation, the country now faces a balance of payments crisis, Moody’s Investor Service said recently, as per the NYT report. The situation is so grim that Turkey has changed course and taken a really sharp U-turn on its foreign policy choices. As things stand, Erdogan has been saying that Turkey will look to start afresh with the USA and would like to get on good terms with Israel.
Now, with the US sanctions in place, and the country reeling from the economic downward spiral, Ankara has decided to mend its relationship with the Jewish nation. Now, Turkey is looking to appoint its first Ambassador to Israel in over two and a half years. And sources say that Turkey has chosen a Jerusalem-educated diplomat for the big job.
As per the New York Times, recent opinion polls show that the standing of Mr Erdogan’s A.K. Party has fallen to its lowest point in the 19 years it has been at the helm of Turkish politics, hovering around 30 per cent, according to MetroPoll. That figure suggests that the party’s alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party would fail to secure Mr Erdogan the 50 per cent of the vote needed to win a presidential election. And this is more worrisome as it will force a situation where Mr Erdogan will be more than happy to take a more authoritarian turn and force his policies down the citizens’ throat.
The people are increasingly becoming poor and are not able to afford basic necessities and at the same time the leader is taking a more authoritarian turn, it sounds very similar to the Venezuela story. Venezuela sits on the largest oil reserve in the world but due to its leader and a sad state of affairs, the oil-rich country is in a situation wherein over 80% of its population is below the poverty line and since the past year, over 3 million people have migrated out of the country as adequate medicine and even two meals are being viewed as a luxury.
The legacy that the previous leaders of Turkey had left for Erdogan has been undone in the steady fast manner and with how things are panning out, the country may very well be in a similar situation like Venezuela.