Turkey’s state of emergency, in place since the failed coup in July 2016, is set to elapse today.
For the past two years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been able to rule by decree, in the process ordering the arrest of some 20,000 people—100,000 civil servants have also been unceremoniously fired.
While allowing the state of emergency to elapse may seem altruistic, the president will not be forgoing much. Indeed, Mr Erdogan can now rule by decree without relying on emergency measures after Turkey’s political structure changed to a presidential system following last month’s election.
With emergency rule to be lifted, attention in Turkey should now turn to the economy, which is looking increasingly problematic. Indeed, despite the economy expanding by an impressive 7.4% last year, that growth has been fuelled by aggressive borrowing. The country’s rapidly devaluating lira—which has lost almost a quarter of its value since February—is making those loans increasingly difficult to pay back.
As inflation rises rapidly and interest rate hikes present the way out of a potential economic crisis, Mr Erdogan could quickly cut an unpopular figure in Turkey.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.