After the ballots were counted on 16 April 2017, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported that “Yes” had won by securing 51.4% of the votes, which was later also confirmed by the Electoral Commission. Serious concerns were raised by the OSCE. It is also important to note that the referendum took place during a “state of emergency”. That is to say, in a highly repressive climate in which the President and the government controlled the media, jailed critical journalists and leaders of pro-Kurdish parliamentary opposition, and arbitrarily detained and prosecuted the President’s opponents. The result of the referendum has paved the way for the most controversial changes that Turkey has faced in its history.
The spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was held in Washington from 20th to 23rd April. This event was the reason for an investor conference that I attended in order to get an idea of the status quo of the global economy as well as of risks and opportunities.
A “Yes” to Erdogan’s planned constitutional amendment in Turkey would constitute a double-edged sword for investors: the planned presidential system could mean a short-term relief for the markets and for the economy. However, in the long run, this scenario harbours big risks. That being said, a “No” would not help investors either.
Turkey faced a lot of difficulties in 2016 – both on the economic and political side. On the economic front, the first half of the year was a recovery period where most of the macro data showed improvement, political turmoil had diminished and equity market was pretty much on hold while the market participants had positive views in general. A new Prime Minister and a new Governor for the Central Bank was appointed, who started his term with a positive tone with respect to Monetary Policy. On the other hand, in the second half of the year Turkey had to cope with a lot of turmoil.
Last Friday evening, a fraction of the Army mostly medium rank officers, had undertaken a coup attempt and seized airports, bridges, TV stations and military headquarters, before attacking the Turkish parliament, leaving the building charred and damaged, and have reasoned to seize power to protect the democracy from the Government.
With the current outcome, the uncertainties in Turkish economies are off the table. AKP (governing party Justice and Development) will now have 316 seats in the parliament. This is enough to form a single party government, still, it falls short of constitutional majority – the most market friendly outcome. There will be a positive sentiment as Turkey goes back to business. After a period of deepened political uncertainties, the election outcome leads to some relief on Turkish capital markets.
Turkish early elections to be held on 1 November, 2015; and once more, the market is waiting for a positive outcome. Neither the country nor the market has more tolerance to absorb any further political uncertainty; however, the election outcome may not be too different from the results back in June 2015. Nevertheless, this time Turkey is closer to a coalition government.
We are almost approaching the end of the summer but it looks like we are back to April 2015 in Turkey. The election outcome and aftermath did not work as politicians had desired and the efforts to form a government have failed so far.
The upcoming parliamentary elections on Sunday in Turkey could force Erdogan to postpone his plan for a new constitution and could lead to new political leaders in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics. This would trigger an increase in uncertainty and consequently a higher degree of volatility for the Turkish Lira and the Istanbul stock Exchange. Read more
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