turkey erdogan speaking at rally Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Economic Costs of Erdoğan

For more than a decade, financial markets gave Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the benefit of the doubt and supplied the Turkish economy with easy credit. Such debt-fueled growth almost always ends badly, and now it has.

DURHAM/CAMBRIDGE – Turkey’s political model has long lost its luster, but a growing diplomatic crisis with the equally erratic administration of US President Donald Trump has now pushed the country’s economy into a full-fledged currency crisis. The Turkish lira has lost nearly half of its value over the last 12 months. And, because Turkish banks and firms have borrowed heavily in foreign currency, the lira’s freefall threatens to bring much of the private sector down with it.