TURKEY ECONOMY RISKS CHOPPY WATERS UNDER ERDOGAN

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ANKARA: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears all but assured of winning upcoming Turkish presidential polls, but he could find himself in charge of a far more fragile economy than in the last decade of his rule. Analysts say the Turkish strongman is jeopardizing the long-term health of the economy by picking a fight with the nominally independent central bank and pushing it towards a looser monetary policy at a time of stubbornly high inflation. Meanwhile, the instability in neighboring Iraq, where swathes of territory have been taken over by Sunni Muslim militants, risks depriving Turkey of a key export market. Erdogan is credited during his more than a decade in power with turning around Turkey’s economy, whose strong expansion has made it the envy of its European and Middle Eastern neighbors. With one of the world’s highest growth rates in 2010 at 8.9 percent, Turkey’s economic success has become a political trump card that Erdogan hopes will help him win presidential polls on August 10.

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AFP

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