Without economic recovery, Erdoğan sure to suffer defeat in elections - economist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will suffer defeat in the next elections unless he is able to recover the country’s ailing economy in a notable and sustainable fashion, economist Atilla Yeşilada said on Sunday.

Evaluating the latest opinion polls, which show Turkey’s ruling alliance losing support, Yeşilada said that Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were  “misreading’’ the country and the next elections would pave the way for political change in the country.

Turkish citizens are struggling with the country’s highest inflation rate in almost two-decades as consumer prices rose by 48.69 percent annually, according to official data for January.  Recent electricity and natural gas price hikes have led to protest throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the lira has fallen by 44 percent against dollar since 2021 as the central bank, under the influence of Erdoğan, made successive interest rate cuts, despite soaring inflation.

"I say in every platform that the only variable that will determine the chances of Erdoğan winning the elections is (the outlook of the population on the economy),’’ Artı Gerçek news site cited the economist as saying. "A significant portion of those participating in surveys find Erdoğan and/or the government responsible for the (country's) bad (economic) trajectory.’’

Erdoğan’s approval rating among voters has dropped from almost 56 percent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to 38.6 percent at the end of 2021, according to a survey by research company MetroPoll.

Half of Turkey throws its support behind the country’s opposition bloc over Erdoğan’s ruling alliance, which has just over 42 percent support, according to survey published earlier this month by Metropoll.

Turkey’s next parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for June 2023.

"The next elections will not only pave the way for political change in Turkey. They will create an earthquake in the minds,’’ according to Yeşilada.

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