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Turkey's economic crisis is increasingly suffocating the country

The Mayor of Istanbul says the Turkish economy is reaching "the end of the road"
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REUTERS/Murad Sezer  -   Currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey

In the midst of Turkey's severe economic crisis, the Mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, has blamed the business community for deepening the crisis by not taking a stand against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies in this sector.

Imamoglu warned that the Turkish economy is reaching "the end of the road" and said he may be removed from office if Erdogan wins the next elections scheduled for before June 2023. 

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AFP/OZAN KOSE  - El alcalde de Estambul, Ekrem Imamoglu

In terms of electoral forecasts, several opinion polls indicate that support for Erdogan is at an all-time low, although they also point to low public confidence in the opposition. For the social democrat Imamoglu, the outcome of the upcoming elections is in the hands of his party, the Republican People's Party, and allied forces. "We are the ones who can defeat the ruling party", he said. 

Alongside Imamoglu, former Turkish Prime Minister and one of Turkey's leading opposition figures, Ahmet Davutoglu, said in an interview published by The Financial Times that Turkey is suffering "the most important economic crisis in its history". He also indicated that the inflation rate has reached 70 % and that poverty figures are increasing exponentially.

In this sense, the annual inflation rate in Turkey jumped in June to a maximum of 78.35%. In addition, the producer price index rose by 6.77%, bringing the annual increase to 138.31%.

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AFP/ADEM ALTAN - The Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Regarding the situation of businessmen in the country, he noted that he was sad to see how "the business world did not show its courage and therefore unfortunately bore the responsibility for the current economic situation". In this context, the opposition leader has shown his sympathy for those managers who have broken their silence in the face of Erdogan's policies.

Erdogan is once again standing as a candidate

The current Turkish president has re-announced his candidacy for the next elections, scheduled for 2023, for the political formation "the Peoples' Alliance", which would include, in addition to the Islamist Justice and Development party, the National Movement led by Devlet Bahceli.

Erdogan, in a message to his opponent, the head of the Republican People's Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, declared that if he "has the courage to announce his candidacy or his presidential candidate"

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PHOTO/REUTERS  - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a press conference in Istanbul

For his part, Kilicdaroglu announced in the Turkish parliament his desire to confront Erdogan and "wage a great battle" against inflation, inequality and poverty in Turkey. 

After the leader of the Republican Party lashed out at Erdogan and his policies on multiple occasions, calling him a "serial loser", Kilicdaroglu managed to form a coalition of opposition parties that would be united by a common goal: to defeat Erdogan after two decades in power, the first as prime minister and the second as president of the republic.

In the last elections, held in 2018, the Justice and Development party joined forces with the Nationalist Movement to form the People's Alliance, which won 53% of the vote, resulting in 358 seats out of 600 in the Turkish parliament.

However, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) found that in these elections, state resources were allegedly used fraudulently by the Islamist party to gain an electoral advantage over the opposition parties. They also report that they carried out a campaign of intimidation against the opposition parties, which led to Erdogan's victory.