It’s not Turkey that’s sick, it’s Erdoğan’s ideology.

Turkey is experiencing the most biting economic crisis of its modern history, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is denying this fact and refusing to adopt the necessary remedies.

Experts agree the Turkish administration needs to hike interest rate, take discretionary measures to balance the current account deficit and shrink public expenses to offset the budget deficit. However, budgetary discipline today in Turkey is just words; there is no deed.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is working hard to convince investors that the Erdoğan administration is on top of the problem, but to no avail. He is trying to convince economists to trust his fiction. Albayrak says the administration will enhance budgetary discipline, but cannot explain how. Investors are uneasy because in Turkey, under the new presidential system, there are no institutions, such as parliament or the Court of Auditors to oversee the government’s budget. The new constitution created an executive presidential system that has no checks or balances.

The first casualty of Turkey's drift from representative democracy towards a one-person regime was human rights. The economy quickly followed. Because of the Islamist ideology of one person who eschews interest rates, the whole country has suffered and is forced to cling to the hope that a few billion dollars from Qatar might save the economy.

All the experts agree that Erdoğan will eventually have to knock on the IMF's door. Delaying the inevitable will only increase the cost Turkey will have to pay to rebalance its economy. But this is just one side of the story.

The other side is the fact that the IMF will not give Erdoğan a penny unless it is assured of the independence of Turkey's economic institutions, most importantly the central bank. Experts warn that Erdoğan might take irrational measures to keep his administration alive and that Turkey might on take the trajectory of Latin American populist regimes.

"I know from my experience at the World Bank; all autocratic regimes look good for a while," Dutch economist S.J.G. van Wijnbergen told the BBC.

The former World Bank official said Latin American countries had financed their economies with foreign debt as well, but when capital flight followed, leaders had "made strange decisions to keep their regimes afloat".

Van Wijnbergen pointed to Argentina's 2008 decision to seize retirement funds and warned that Erdoğan might do something similar.

Following Turkey’s 2001 financial crisis Kemal Derviş, who oversaw the economy during the country’s stand-by agreement with the IMF, prioritised creating independent of institutions and boards.

But Erdoğan’s administrations have since not only undermined the independence if these institutions, but closed many of them down. Now, both the autonomy of the central bank and the credibility of this supposedly autonomous institution are at the forefront of the economic crisis.

That is the picture today. Erdoğan’s internalised hostility to the West and his irrational behaviour will not allow him to surrender to the IMF the system he carefully established. And if one day he has no other option but to ask for assistance from the IMF, the price the country and society would have to pay will unfortunately be much greater.

The European Union would not be willing to help Turkey financially under these conditions either. Jürgen Hardt, a member of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, said Erdoğan would have to meet German demands in order to receive its financial help.

"The main sources of the economic and currency crisis in Turkey are the reckless statements made by President Erdoğan regarding the independence of the central bank and the rule of law," Hardt said to Rheinische Post newspaper in an interview. German money spent on propping up Turkey's economy would be wasteful, he said, unless the underlying issues in the country's economy were left unresolved.

"We would consider extending help if the Turkish government changes course," Hardt said, adding that an economically and politically stable Turkey was in Germany's interest.

Since these are reasonable and rational demands, Ankara possibly will not respond. Neither Erdoğan, nor his party is ready to give up on the authoritarian fascist regime they carefully established, but the inevitable outcome of this type of regime is a massive default and collapse.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ahval.
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