Turkey this month officially published the New Economic Programme designed to reinvigorate the country’s stalled economy.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed his name to a programme that is supposed to set the economy back on track after two years of difficulties, but close examination of the plan reveals internal contradictions, inconsistent targets and superficial solutions to severe problems.
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the president’s son-in-law, announced the programme and its 2020-2022 targets on Sept. 30, laying out a goal of 5 percent growth for each of those years.
But with domestic demand, consumption and investment all decreasing for the past three quarters, there are questions about how Albayrak hopes to suddenly turn the economy around.
For Erdoğan, none of these issues appear to matter at all. The president’s comments on the economy this week painted a rosy picture, focusing on the falling inflation rates and current account surplus, and saying these have been thanks to his policy of reducing interest rates.
This, Erdoğan said, is why it was necessary to sack the former central bank governor, Murat Çetinkaya, in July. “He just wouldn’t listen,” Erdoğan said of Çetinkaya, who had resisted the government’s demands to cut interest rates by 300 basis points.
With Çetinkaya replaced by a more pliable successor, Erdoğan’s well-known antipathy for interest holds sway at the central bank, which cut rates from 24…