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Erdoğan’s Economic Reckoning

By leveraging Turkey’s geopolitical position to secure financial assistance from other countries, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was able to sustain his populist spending spree until Turks cast their ballots in May. But now, reality will bite – and it will not be pretty.

ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s victory lap following his re-election last month will be short, because his country is on the verge of economic meltdown. Turkey’s economy was also in crisis when Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) first came to power, in 2002. Back then, Turks overwhelmingly wanted to join the European Union, so the AKP’s government, which Erdoğan led from 2003 until 2014, when he became president, implemented economic reforms and applied for membership.