President Erdogan is apparently trying everything to throw Turkey into chaos. This would result in a massive wave of migrants to Europe. Millions of Syrians, Afghans, Turks and so on could be on their way. The 2015 migration crisis would be a piece of cake.
The situation is becoming more and more critical for the people in Turkey. While inflation is gradually spiraling out of control, President Erdogan repeatedly intervenes in the central bank’s policy. Instead of raising interest rates, he is lowering them. And that although this continues to put pressure on the external value of the Turkish lira and fuel inflation. Again and again the head of state fires governors and other key managers of the central bank.
The Turkish economy is suffering as a result, just as the Turks themselves have to watch their savings (if they have not already been exchanged for dollars or euros) melt away and the purchasing power of their wages and salaries steadily declines. For many Turkish companies and citizens, the lira exchange rate is important, because they have foreign currency loans running.
For example, if you took out a euro loan five years ago, today you have to repay 3.2 times that amount in lira. For dollar loans that is 3.1 times. But hardly anyone in Turkey can claim to have more than tripled their income or entrepreneurial profit in the last five years. On the contrary: all the lockdown measures of the last few months also hit Turkey hard. But Turkey cannot afford a borrower bailout. The central bank’s foreign currency reserves are too small.
Further economic downturn likely
And not only that: the country’s economic output has been falling continuously since 2013. Turkey earned at that time sea IWF still just under $ 958 billion, in 2020 it was only $ 720 billion. Where the International Monetary Fund derives its forecasts (see here) for a recovery of the Turkish economy from this year on is dubious in view of the prevailing circumstances.
We see one crashing Turkish Lira, one due to the (global) corona restrictions paralyzed economy and an increasing number US sanctions.
Together, these factors leave little room for economic recovery. Rather, they might even become one total collapse of the Turkish economic and financial system to lead. The consequences would also be devastating for Europe. Especially for countries like Germany and Austria that already have a large Turkish community in the country.
There is a threat of mass migration
One thing is clear: if the Turkish economy collapses, comes the mass exodus. Not only that many Turks would (again) move to Europe – also the migrants in the country. According to UNHCR there are around 3.6 million Syrians in Turkey, along with around 320,000 people of other nationalities who have applied for asylum there.
So we’re talking about around 4 million people who could storm the borders with the EU within a few weeks. Plus a few million Turks.
Europe would be confronted with images against which the 2015 migration crisis was a piece of cake. Especially because of the pull effect on those willing to migrate in the Middle East and Africa, who then see their opportunity.
How do the border states and the EU itself want to react to such a huge flood of people? With another “We can do it”?