Should Turkey invite the IMF back in?

One of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s proudest achievements has been to wean his country off of a dependency on international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

However, an opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentarian’s claim that the average Turkish citizen’s income went up more under the IMF regime is correct, fact-checking site Doğruluk Payı said.

“From 2002 to 2008, you managed to increase national income from $3,000 to $9,000–$10,000 together with your agreements with the IMF and the programmes put in place before you arrived, there is no doubt about that,” CHP member of parliament Emin Haluk Ayhan said, addressing the government in parliament.

“Since that programme’s end in 2008, to 2017 we see national income on a dollar basis fall from $10,444 to $9,529.”

Doğruluk Payı found that income growth had flatlined from 2008 onwards and cited a report from pro-government think tank SETA, which said that IMF funding had helped Turkey grow and the conditionality of the funding had reassured foreign investors.

However, a lack of IMF funding is far from the only factor contributing to Turkey’s economic problems.

Turkey was also hit by the global economic crisis in 2009, followed by worsening relations with the United States and European Union, an increase in instability in the Middle East, domestic polarisation, an upswing in terrorism and a 2016 failed coup.


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