ISTAMBUL, Turkey (ViaNews) – In the latest Justice and Development Party Congress, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that “Some people are trying to threaten us by manipulating our economy, enforcing sanctions, devaluing our currency, distorting the exchange rates, and increasing the inflation rate in our country but we see their malicious intent and we challenge them.” He also added that “You who are trying to divide us, will fail at your task. You won’t be able to silence our Ezan (the Islamic call to worship), you won’t be able to take down our flag. We won’t allow you to stop Turkey’s s progression because we’re the Turkish nation, we’re Muslims, we’re the representatives of mankind’s voice and conscience.”
This rhetoric isn’t new. Erdoğan has been doing this since he was the Prime Minister of Turkey. He likes to make enemies and there’s a meaningful reason for it. Similarly to Kim Jong-Un (but not as oppressive as him), he knows that when people think there are foreign forces who plot to destroy the nation and its wealth, people will unite against that mutual foe.
He uses this strategy a lot, especially when the elections are near in order to gather more votes. This also acts as a giant distraction. People in Turkey get distracted away from their own problems because the political climate is always unbalanced. There is always something going on in the country and everyone enjoys talking about politics.
Turkey is facing challenging economic difficulties but the ordinary citizen isn’t fully aware of the fact. There is a Turkish meme saying, “I always get 50 Liras of gasoline so the increase in dollar doesn’t affect me”. The reason why this is a funny meme is that Turkey produces only %7 of the country’s petrol needs. It’s mostly imported from countries such as Iraq, Russia, Iran and the exchange method is US Dollars.
Some Turks actually believe that the value increase in other currencies doesn’t affect them. We can see other examples of people with this “mindset” in the latest drama between Turkey and the USA. Some Turkish people destroyed their own iPhones, set US Dollar bills on fire or sliced them with butcher knives, believing such actions hurt the United States’ economy.
— Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) August 18, 2018
The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested that Turkish people should head for national products and boycott US products so as to devalue the Turkish Lira against the United States Dollar. He said that consumers should stop buying electronic goods from the USA, and buy from alternative sources. The reason he doesn’t suggest buying national products is that Turkey doesn’t produce them in large enough numbers. He also gave an example to which mobile phones the Turkish people should buy. He stated that “If they have Apple on their side, the other side has Samsung and we have Vestel.” The problem with this statement is that those products he suggests still have components that were mostly manufactured in the Us and those phones use the Android operating system which is produced by Google, a United States company.
Truth be told, Turkey’s economy is very dependent on external sources. The precautions that the Turkish government has taken seem to stabilize the depreciation of Lira for a little while but for how long exactly? Turkey still has 466 billion gross debt and the recent political instability won’t help make it go away.