Turkey has slipped alarmingly quickly from emerging market darling to market danger zone – and the emergency meeting of its central bank on Jan 28, 2014 is the latest attempt to stem an investor exodus.
Turkey’s current problems stem from a corruption investigation which has led to the resignation of three ministers in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, and top-ranking police officers. Erdogan, leader of the AKP party, has argued that the accusations of bribery and money-laundering stem from his former supporter, the influential Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is based in the U.S.
Up until recently, Erdogan’s government, which has lasted for 11 years, was seen as a beacon of free-market stability, although its more religious bent has alarmed some – secularism is one of the founding tenets of the modern Turkish state. Erdogan had seemed a shoo-in as president in elections scheduled for later in 2014, which would have kept him in power after his term as PM expired.
Gulen is the kind of figure around whom conspiracy theories abound. These have been fueled by Erdogan’s recent warning of a “parallel state” within the Turkish state, run by Gulen supporters in the military, judiciary and security forces.