Video: Turkey Report5 September 2019
In this episode of The Real Turkey, Atilla Yesilada hosts economist Guldem Atabay to discuss what has been going on recently on the Syria front; the new center left political parties rising from within the AKP along with Turkey’s recent economic data releases. On the Syria front, Turkey has been cornered both by Russia on the east of Euphrates and by the US on the west of Euphrates. As noted by Yesilada, tension has escalated with the Turkish President threatening to carry out a military campaign as there is little progress in talks with the US government on the planned safe zone. Yet, Atabay does not expect a stand alone mini-invasion for it is designated to be unsuccessful in the absence of US support and rather thinks the threat addresses the close relations between the US and the Kurdish YPG militia spread in the north of Syria which Turkey calls the latter a “terrorist organization”.
With Russia, Erdogan is likely to step back from supporting the Free Syrian Army forces that include radicals like the Al-Nusra and stamped as “terrorists” by Asad’s Syrian regime in order to retain its presence in the northeastern Syria. On the 2Q19 GDP figures released that showed q-q growth to a tune of 1.2%, Yesilada stands skeptical on the future of strength of growth while Atabay points at the 23% y-y contraction in capital investments that have been declining third quarter in a row. Both agree that Turkey’s CPI inflation will remain stick around 15% by the end of 2019 and warn the expected further rate cuts threaten lira’s stability.
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