After the election, Erdogan showed ‘grateful’ for the financial support of the Gulf countries

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Arab Gulf countries had recently sent money to Turkey and “showed their gratitude” after Sunday’s election.

“Our economy, banking and financial system is very strong,” Erdogan said in an interview. with

Erdogan defied analysts and voters by challenging opposition leader Kemal Kilidaroglu in the first round of Turkey’s presidential election. With 49.5 percent of the vote and the support of third-party candidate Sinan Ogan, who won more than five percent of the vote, he is in a strong position in Sunday’s runoff.

During the election, Erdogan faced the biggest political challenge of his career. The rapid economic growth during his leadership in Turkey has been replaced by an economic crisis. Turkish Lira It has lost 80 percent of its value against the dollar since 2018. While inflation has retreated from its peak of 80 percent for the year, it was still up 44 percent last month.

During the run-up to the election, Erdogan spent billions of dollars on ordinary Turks to ease the economic crisis, such as free gas, early retirement and wage increases. The awards helped boost electoral support but drained government coffers.

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Since the turkey is not packed

In May, Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $7.6 billion to $60.8 billion in just one week, the central bank said, the biggest drop in more than two decades.

“I can’t see how Erdogan could have done it without money coming from the Gulf and Russia,” Soner Kagaptay, director of the Turkey Research Program at Washington’s Near East Policy, previously told Middle East Eye.

Erdogan’s comments on Thursday were a rare acknowledgment that the Gulf states had helped boost Turkey’s finances in the run-up to the election.

MEE previously reported that Erdogan may be more dependent on support if he wins re-election on Sunday. Turkey’s economic challenges are largely Erdogan’s, economists say, because of his unorthodox view that high interest rates lead to inflation.

“The economic crisis in Turkey is going to get worse,” Gonul Tol, founder of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey Program, told EE.

“Erdoğan [will be] It is more dependent on autocrats in the Middle East and Russia for funding.

– Gonul Tol, Middle East Institute

Toll said Erdogan’s economic outlook would continue to attract much-needed Western investment. [him] It is more dependent on autocrats in the Middle East and Russia for funding.

“After Sunday’s election, you will see how these leaders will come here and how I will visit them and show gratitude,” Erdogan said on Thursday.

But the comments also underline how the Middle East’s geopolitical chessboard has been disrupted by a wave of regional rapprochement reported by MEE last year, and is the region’s dominant trend going into 2023.

In the year Following the 2011 Arab Spring, Erdogan, along with Qatar, turned his back on the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamists, and Middle Eastern democratic movements that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates saw as a threat to their rule.

Hostilities with Saudi Arabia reached a fever pitch when MEE journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul – an assassination reportedly ordered personally by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But the regional powers have improved their relations.

Erdogan made his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates in February. He traveled to Saudi Arabia in April and later hosted one-time Gulf foe Mohammed bin Salman at his residence in Ankara.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with Qatar, have agreed to promote billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves at Turkey’s central bank and invest in the country.

Meanwhile, regional flashpoints such as Libya, where Turkey and the United Arab Emirates support the opposition, have cooled. Analysts told EEE that Qatar has rejected criticism of other Gulf states’ government-funded news outlets, such as Al Jazeera. Saudi Arabia has moved to restore relations with Iran, Hamas and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


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