The economic dimension of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey - LEVENT YILMAZ

The economic dimension of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey

Today marks July 15, the fifth anniversary of the treacherous and bloody coup attempt by the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). Much has been written about the events leading up to that fateful day. However, for the most part, the economic dimension of the issue was overlooked or insufficiently discussed. Yet, there are economic reasons behind every coup. Coup d'états even stand in the way of  achieving economic independence.

Steadily increasing non-democratic attempts

In the period leading up to July 15, we steadily witnessed increasing coup attempts aimed at overthrowing the government and toppling President Erdoğan. Of course, in democratic societies, people have every right to dislike a government and vote for other political formations when heading to the ballot box. However, when it comes to overthrowing a government that has come to power with the will of the people through non-democratic means, it is always called a coup attempt no matter where it takes place. This includes influencing elections by deliberately manipulating and destabilizing the economy in a way that backs it into a corner.

The true aim of economic attacks

We know that there is a direct correlation between a stable economy and voter behavior. In most of the analyses on the subject, we see that there is a correlation between economic growth and the ruling party’s voter base. This situation has also been valid in Turkey for a long time. Since 2002, we have seen that this correlation rings true most of the time. In this respect, economic attacks, which were believed to cause permanent damage to the Turkish economy or negatively impact the behavior of voters, were also frequently used as an instrument.

Of course, since Turkey is a developing economy, there are bound to be certain issues that need to be addressed. I’m not talking about structural issues here, but the deliberate attempts to push these structural issues to the brink. For example, like the speculative attack on the country’s economy in August 2018, which started at midnight for no technical reasons whatsoever.

A more robust economy through financial security

There are many obstacles hindering Turkey from achieving its goal of "being fully financially independent." We know that these can be overcome by implementing the right strategies and projects. On the other hand, there are also certain illegal attempts being made to block any step taken in this regard. 

This requires the economy to be more resilient and for this to happen, policies that prioritize economic security must be enacted. As things currently stand, Erdogan's statement after the last cabinet meeting is important in terms of better understanding the issue.  

“The efforts of those trying to confine the Turkish economy to the exchange rate, interest rate and inflation are in vain as they try to overlook the bigger picture in terms of investment, production, employment, export and growth,” said Erdogan during the latest meeting.

In a nutshell, Turkey must continue to produce, export, employ and grow. Although the economy-halting high interest rates seem to be working in the short term, they actually lead the economy to operate far below its potential in the long run.


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