An Optimistic Request

Good luck with this, then:

President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to exchange gold and hard currency into lira on Friday as part of a “national battle” against economic enemies he said have irreparably ruptured ties with Ankara.

The very reason Turks would be hoarding gold and foreign currency was to give them a route out in the event he cratered the economy. Middle class Turks must be fleeing in droves right now, particularly when their president makes statements like these:

On Thursday, he urged supporters not to worry, saying that while overseas investors had dollars, Turks had Allah.


Early last month, he claimed the exclusive power to appoint the bankers that set interest rates – and to cement his control he has put his son-in-law in charge of economic policy.

So Turkey is well on the much-predicted path to becoming a nasty Islamist basket-case. But if they weren’t in NATO, would anyone care?


32 thoughts on “An Optimistic Request

  1. I still don’t care NATO or not.

    Just so long as the flee-ers don’t flee in the UKs direction.

  2. iirc the reason Turkey is still in NATO is for the airbases USA and UK use.

    Turkey’s recent dalliances with Russia may be ended by Russia if Turkey continues on the Islam state path.

  3. Nato or not, who cares? it has been on the cards for 10-15 years now. I bet those army coups don’t look so bad to some now.

  4. Allah vs the almighty dollar.

    If the dollar wins, are there theological consequences?

  5. He still has majority support so a coup is out of the question.

    Their economy was well overdue for a correction most commentators knew this, all those foreign loans will not not be paid back with a devalued Lira. This latest crisis isn’t about a Pastor, its a straight up east west play for control. Erdogan lost in Syria when Russia intervened, their economy took a massive hit when Russia implemented 100% sanctions, forcing Erdogan to kowtow to them.

    So a big weekend for Erdogan which way does he jump, east or west? Lavrov will be there on Monday as well.


  6. German Government will pay after it get,s few cities burned down. Netherlands probably follow. Erdogan has couple million strong army in Europe , he will use it.

  7. The Turks in Germany aren’t great Erdogan supporters Juri. They’d be in Turkey if they wanted to live in an Islamic country. They fled Turkey to get away, not join it.

    Your Russian style fantasies of Islam’s long reach remind me of how JFK was under the control of the Pope because he was Catholic. Most people’s religion isn’t that strong — it’s a social bond, not an all-consuming faith. There’ll be a few nutters, but only a few. (More of them will be converts and 2nd generation too.)

    Who cares if Turkey collapses? Jordan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Egypt etc. They’ll see the results of Erdogan’s idiotic policies and hopefully be chastened to not followed them.

    An economy that was at least heading upwards has been destroyed by the sort of policies that the Middle East finds so attractive. And, here’s the important part, without any real outside interference. There’s no-one to blame but Erdogan.

    Perhaps Egypt, Morocco, Jordan etc will keep on the path of liberalisation of their economies (and allow Islamics nowhere near the levers of economic policy).

    It will also destroy the pan-Turkish dreams of Erdogan’s wilder followers. Good job too.

  8. “Who cares if Turkey collapses?’

    Err, the east and the west for starters.

    Which is why it wont and dont underestimate the average Turks capacity to work around the economic system either.

  9. Erdogan has an op-ed in today’s NYT, worth a read.

    I don’t know which way he will go, he ain’t stupid and ditching the West is a huge call. Maybe he realizes that if the IMF and its cronies come in with a bail out one of the terms will be that he has to go.


    Erdogan: How Turkey Sees the Crisis With the U.S.
    Unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States will undermine American interests and force Turkey to look for other friends and allies

    At a time when evil continues to lurk around the world, unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States, our ally of decades, will only serve to undermine American interests and security. Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives. Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.

  10. Please look at the map.

    Turkey is in NATO because it controls access to the Black Sea, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. If we could arrange it, Egypt would be in NATO, too.

    The simultaneous imposition of sanctions by the US on Russia and Turkey, for obviously specious reasons, indicates that the US is about to start another war. Turkey, Russia and Iran are all likely targets.

  11. My one antecdote about German Turks is of a regional rep for Lufthansa in the city in Russia that I lived. He seemed fully assimilated in every way, but told me he wished the Turks would keep having kids and essentially crowd out the Germans and take over. Like I said, it was one example but still telling. Turkish pride is very strong even after a few generations away from the homeland.

  12. He seemed fully assimilated in every way, but told me he wished the Turks would keep having kids and essentially crowd out the Germans and take over.

    Of course, if that ever happened, Germany would eventually end up being just like Turkey and the Germano-Turks would have to immigrate someplace else to find a higher standard of living.

  13. “”…Germano-Turks would have to immigrate someplace else to find a higher standard of living….”””

    Of course and all other diversity too. That is how traveling peoples always do. Once Turkey was called a Byzantine.

  14. Bardon: thanks a lot for the links.

    This one was really good:

    (For anyone put off by the URL, that’s actually a serious analysis by a serious academic analyst.)

    The letter, of course, is rather harder to read – because when someone writes something like that you’ve got to untangle how much they mean what they’re threatening, and who it is they’re actually writing for the benefit of. Like you say, a man facing a Big Call.

  15. @MBE

    It’s pretty hard to imagine Erdogan snubbing the US and flipping to the East but if Putin manages to pull this off and completes the unfinished plan of Czar Nicholas I, I could see them renaming the Black Sea to Lake Vladimir, I don’t think Erdogan would live long enough to see this glorious event take place though.

    It’s not about a pastor, the nationalists, the minions, or Erdogan’s rump in the rural areas, its about money, power and the Grand Chessboard. This issue will be decided upon by cigar smoking men in some elite club in a world capital far far away from Ankara.

    It’s easy to see why Erdogan is so popular when you look at their very impressive GDP per capita growth during his reign. For all those that say let them eat Turkish Delight, just remember it’s the European Banks that are most exposed to a Turkish default, yet another contagion for the Euro zone.

    Turkey does not operate in a vacuum.

  16. I see Turkey’s GDP rises from the moment Erdogan really gets control.

    There’s two ways to read that. The economy is actually rising that fast. Or, the stated economy is rising that fast. Which, oh, which to believe.

    Putin is welcome to the Black Sea. Naval power in such a small basin is showy, but militarily useless. Air power is everything there. On top of which the Crimean naval base is at the end of an insane supply chain going round Ukraine.

    Russia expanding is merely spreading itself thinner and thinner. To be more powerful it would need to have allies prepared to fight with it. Something Putin is completely unable to deliver.

    People will take the Russian Rouble, but that makes them clients, not allies.

  17. The best thing the west could do is buy the bit of Turkey that’s in Europe and close bridges over (and tunnels under) the Bosphorus. The Turks living already in Germany can still get home by plane first class, as the EU pays them so handsomely not to make trouble. Doesn’t work all the time, true, but you have to play the percentage game.

  18. You think the Crimean Bridge is a sensible supply route? One well placed bomb and its gone.

    The Crimea is a propaganda victory for Putin. But economically it’s a white elephant. Very expensive to defend and of no commercial value (given ships will sail to Rostov anyway).

    Putin is living in a 19th century idea of how you show power. He thinks adding expensive and useless bits of land is how you show how powerful you are. Running a sensible economy is for wimps.

    The Chinese must be laughing up the sleeves at him. Territory means nothing if it makes you poorer.

  19. “”…You think the Crimean Bridge is a sensible supply route? One well placed bomb and its gone….””

    Well placed bomb will be answered by other well placed bombs. This is called Casus Belli or cause for war.

    “”….Putin is living in a 19th century….””

    No, you live in the Soviet Union. The only thing keep anglozionist empire up is the fear that after collapse, the weapons of mass destruction will be used by gravely old lunatics like McCain just for fun or just go to the black market.

    Thank the God that Russia and China and the rest of the planet Earth keep the your rotten system up. Militarily, anglozionism wold be gone long time ago. The only thing, what keeps anglozionism up is the fear that last guy in the multicultural decadent western society will sell nuclear bomb to M 13 or whoever shows up first only to buy drugs.

    Now Trump is the Gorbatchev who used only one argument. Well, you can tear down USSR if you want but our nuclear weapons are spreaded all over the USSR and when the country collapses, only God knows, who will get them.

    This is the only reason, why anglozionism is kept up. Russia can attack very easily. A little propaganda that diversity rights are stamped in the mud, rise up all muslims and fight whats yours and of course supply a little weapons to brave muslim or black Americans or British .

    So ironically, diversity is your only strength. It is very easy to arrange your collapse and nonwhite takeover but after that , entire planet must deal with the WMD in the immigrant hands.

  20. Let’s just see how beneficial the impressive and quickly built huge Crimean Bridge is to their local economy before shooting it down. The relatively low build cost at $3.5b toll free bridge also lessens the massive burden the state bore subsidising ferry crossings.

  21. Seen this in the papers today, definitely of relevance to the region.

    Five nations agree to divvy up resources-rich Caspian Sea

    Moscow: The five countries with shorelines on the Caspian Sea have agreed to a formula for dividing up the world’s largest inland body of water and its potentially vast oil and gas resources.

    The leaders of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, which the Kremlin said in a statement “reflected a balance of interests” of the seashore nations.

  22. More on that Caspian agreement.

    “Russian energy companies can explore the Caspian’s 50 billion barrels of oil and its 8.4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, Turkmenistan can finally start considering linking its gas to the Turkish-Azeri joint project TANAP through a trans-Caspian pipeline, while Iran has gained increased energy supplies for its largest cities in the north of the country (Tehran, Tabriz, and Mashhad) – however, Iran has also put itself under the shadow of Russian ships. This controversy makes one wonder to what degree U.S. sanctions made Iran vulnerable enough to accept what it has always avoided”

    “It is crucial that the convention governs … maritime shipping and fishing, sets out military cooperation among [Caspian] nations and enshrines our states’ exclusive rights and responsibilities over the sea’s future,” Putin said. He added the landmark accord also limits military presence in the Caspian Sea to the five littoral countries.

  23. Lavrov merely jawboning in Ankara for now.

    “The use of national currencies for mutual trade has for several years been one of the tasks that the presidents of Russia and Turkey had set,” Lavrov told a joint news conference with Cavusoglu in Ankara.

    “Identical processes have been happening in our relations with Iran. Not only with Turkey and Iran, we’re also arranging and already implementing payments in national currencies with the People’s Republic of China,” he said.

    “I am confident that the grave abuse of the role of the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency will result over time in the weakening and demise of its role,” Lavrov said, echoing statements made by President Vladimir Putin.

    And this.

    Turkish court rejects appeal for terror-linked US pastor’s release from house arrest


    The Second High Criminal Court in western Turkey’s Izmir province rejected Wednesday a new appeal for terror-linked U.S. pastor Andrew Craig Brunson’s release from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted, his lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt said, adding that a higher court has yet to rule on the appeal.

  24. Some major reconstruction contracts in the offing for Turkish contractors if the Russians can swing it for them?

    Turkey wants its share of Syria’s reconstruction

    “Ankara’s entire calculations are based on getting the reconstruction contract for Aleppo. But will Russia and Iran, which also have spent billions of dollars in Syria, allow Ankara to get what it wants?

    For the reconstruction of Aleppo, Ankara relies on its negotiations with Russia. An operation in Idlib and potential withdrawal of Turkish troops from there may well determine the outcome of those negotiations. Ankara hopes that an agreement with Russia on these two issues may overcome the reluctance of Damascus to deal with Turkey.

    A foreign technocrat who is closely involved in the reconstruction process of Syria said that Assad considers the reconstruction process an “extremely delicate” issue. He told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Contacts are top secret at high levels. Assad insists that those who had a part in destroying Syria cannot have a role in its reconstruction and he prefers Russian, Iranian and Chinese firms. Can Russia persuade Damascus to allot Turkey a portion?”

    He added, “In principle Syria doesn’t want to give Turkey anything. But there are three important facts. The Russians understand the Turks and the economic dimension is on the agenda of Moscow-Ankara talks. If you ask any Russian official, he will say that Turkish companies are important for the quick reconstruction of the destroyed towns — thus acknowledging the importance of Turkish contractors in large-scale construction projects. Then you have the facts on the ground. In 2017, 150,000 heavily laden trucks entered Syria from Turkey. Everything sold in northern Syria comes from Turkey. … The third fact is that eastern Aleppo — which the government liberated two years ago — still lies in rubble.”

    Read more:

  25. Turkey wants its share of Syria’s reconstruction

    Politics aside, this is sensible: the Turks would be very good at this, far better than Russians or Iranians, at least insofar as civil infrastructure goes.

  26. Yes there are some huge and well run Turkish contracting companies, logistically it makes sense given their massive and nearby capacity all ready and able to start tomorrow.

  27. So, the bankers reckon this on Turkish financial plight.

    “We forecast a recession next year,” S&P said. “Inflation will peak at 22 percent over the next four months, before subsiding to below 20 percent by mid-2019.”

    And the Qatari Emir visited and bunged him a wad of cash which helped for a day or so. Don’t forget it was Turkey that sent troops to Doha last year when the Saudi clown prince was seriously considering a military takeover of Qatar.

    And Erdogan isn’t cooling down on Syria either.

    “Turkey will continue cross-border operations by expanding them further,” Erdogan said, according to the state-owned Anadolu Agency.
    “We will do what we previously did in Jarabulus, Al-Bab, Afrin along our border starting from Suruc to Cizre,” he added, referring to Syrian territory to the east of the Euphrates River controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    And then this;

    “RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has contributed $100 million to help reconstruct areas of north-eastern Syria formerly held by Daesh.
    The Kingdom said the contribution would go toward a campaign by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to “stabilize” the former Daesh bastion and help ensure the militants cannot re-emerge as a threat.
    The United States, which leads the coalition, expressed its thanks and appreciation to Riyadh.
    “This significant contribution is critical to stabilization and early recovery efforts,” a State Department spokeswoman said. “Saudi Arabia has been a leading partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS from the outset.”

    Looks like Northern Syria will see a continuation of its conflict for a long while yet with a Turkish/Qatar against ISIS/Kurd/KSA/US alliance financed by the Saudis and the Qataris, nothing ever changes.

    Just as long as Putin doesn’t get the shits with it all I suppose.

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