Turkey’s official inflation rate approached 70% in April

Economists say Turkey’s problems are attributable to Erdogan’s unconventional economic strategy

Turkey’s official inflation rate stood at nearly 70% in April, data showed on Thursday, posing a huge challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

The consumer price index rose 69.97% year-on-year in April from 61.14% in March, the national statistics agency calculated in a statement.

Economists say many of Turkey’s social problems are attributable to Erdogan’s unconventional economic strategy, which has turned many foreign investors away from the once promising emerging market.

Erdogan insists that deep cuts in interest rates are needed to bring down soaring consumer prices, running counter to economic orthodoxy.

The higher inflation rate is also attributable to a collapse of the lira which has made energy imports much more expensive.

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Experts also believe that the country’s financial difficulties are pushing Ankara to launch a regional charm offensive in the hope of attracting foreign investment to the country.

Last month, Erdogan traveled to Saudi Arabia in a bid to restore ties with Riyadh and secure Saudi funding after relations deteriorated following the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi.

At the time, the Turkish president alleged that the “highest levels” of Riyadh’s leadership orchestrated the dissident’s death, a charge Saudi Arabia disputes.

The incident led to an unofficial Saudi boycott of Turkish products.

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