The Turkish economy is in the grips of serious turmoil as the country heads to early presidential and parliamentary polls next month. The government is hard-pressed to contain the woes, especially the ongoing slump of the Turkish lira and skyrocketing foreign exchange prices. In an apparent sign of desperation, the government last week introduced a controversial incentive for capital repatriation from abroad, which is effectively opening the door to illicit money.
Turkey’s 7.4% economic growth last year relied largely on government incentives that put further strains on the budget. As a result, the country, fraught with a double-digit inflation and a high unemployment rate, also faces a significant public deficit atop a giant current account gap.
The gloomy outlook, reflected in rating cuts by major international credit rating agencies, is underscored by a relentless increase in foreign exchange prices. A dollar was worth 4 Turkish liras on April