The Covid-19 pandemic was not the main cause of economic problems in Turkey, but it contributed to a significant decline in the economy.
The country had been grappling with currency depreciation and double-digit inflation for two years when the pandemic struck in March, adding to a deep recession, says Carlotta Gall, head of the New York Times office in Istanbul.
According to the report, after nine months, with a second wave of the virus sweeping Turkey, there are indications that a large part of the population is overwhelmed by debt and facing poverty.
Jal wrote: “Regarding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who drew attention this year at home and abroad with an aggressive foreign policy and military interventions, things suddenly reached a climax in November as the government admitted that it was reducing the extent of the Coronavirus outbreak in Turkey by not registering cases without Symptoms, and new data revealed record levels of infection in the country. “
Haser Fogo, the founder of the Deep Poverty Network, a group that helps street traders and informal workers, said that in nearly 20 years of working to alleviate urban poverty in Turkey, she has not seen such an ordeal.
Fogo has directly blamed local and national governments for their lack of a strategy to address rising poverty and failure to improve social services.
According to the report, the economic collapse came after Erdogan tightened the reins of government over the country, including the economy, by obtaining wide powers under a new presidential system that began in 2018. International observers cite these changes as a major reason for their concern about the economic downturn in the country.