Turkish lira meltdown caused by Erdogan’s Islamist views - ex MP

The Turkish lira’s meltdown on Tuesday was a “train crash” long in the making caused by the Islamist economic views of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said Aykan Erdemir, senior program director for Turkey at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD) and a former opposition member of the Turkish parliament.

The free-fall in the lira has been sparked by a series of policy mistakes that started during the term of former Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Erdemir said in an interview on Tuesday for Ahval’s new podcast series ‘12 Minutes’.

The lira plunged as much as 15 percent against the dollar on Tuesday to a new record low, in an 11th straight day of declines. Since the start of the year, the currency has lost nearly 45 percent of its value against the dollar, while inflation in the country has accelerated to almost 20 percent.

Erdoğan, who caused the declines in the lira by ordering interest rate cuts, is unlikely to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to save Turkey from an economic collapse, Erdemir said. Erdoğan has pursued his unorthodox policies despite IMF warnings that they could precipitate economic volatility and accelerating inflation.

Any bail-out program with the IMF would require transparency, accountability and adherence to the rule of law, which Erdoğan has undermined over the years, Erdemir said.

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