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Sunday , November 18 2018

40 minutes at Kuwait Airport

‘The hand that you cannot stand… shake it” – a Kuwaiti proverb.

It is known to all that the crisis related to Turkish lira is a political crisis that has donned on an economic attire. Those who follow the crisis know that the Turkish economy is at its best state, and there is no link between the lira crisis and the reality of the strong Turkish economy.

It is also a known fact that the policy of collision and confrontation, which is followed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a policy that is not suitable for dealing with all fronts. The fact that the approach used for dealing with the external fronts is the same used for dealing internally defies logic.

There is a saying for each situation; what you can pass and enforce internally cannot be imposed externally. The policy of a comb’s teeth is not always equal. The signing of treaties with certain countries does not guarantee you the silence of other countries towards you. The same way you like playing politics, there are others who are fond of it and in love with it too.

Erdogan has presented a brilliant model of a thriving economy following a period of recession. The Turkish economy stood strong on the basis of successful reforms. Any follower of the Turkish economy can see how products of simple Turkish industries have entered almost all houses in Europe.

Not only that, tourism in Turkey has boomed to the extent that the volume of operations in airports across that country has increased, in turn leading to a hike in the per capita income for the first time since decades.This represents a quantum leap that deserves study and contemplation.

However, after a series of unsuccessful foreign policies and stances undertaken by the Erdogan regime, which raised a lot of question marks, especially in Syria and other places, Turkey has earned heavy types of enemies.

Those following this matter deeply know why the value of the lira has fallen. It is the result of fierce speculation in the currency markets which has resulted in its dramatic fall. It is clear that the Turkish government has limited ability in confronting this speculation despite the efforts exerted by the Central Bank of Turkey and the generous Qatari support.

The lira is still reeling under the blows; as soon as it rises, it falls again.

In consecutive statements, the Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak stressed that monetary policies alone are not adequate to combat inflation.

He said they will support the Central Bank through financial policies, adding that the government is aiming to reduce the inflation rate to less than ten percent as soon as possible and that they will not hesitate to abide by fiscal discipline.

The minister affirmed that they will place hierarchical reforms on top of the priorities so that the economy achieves more sustainable growth while taking into account the new preventive measures on the whole economy level as well as strict financial policies.

All of the aforementioned points constitute the desired step aimed at reform but it will not work without a political lever that is capable of giving confidence in order to suppress the successive devaluations of the currency.

Just last week, Minister Berat Albayrak visited Kuwait. The visit was very short; perhaps we can call it a transit visit rather than a visit.

He arrived at Kuwait International Airport where he conducted a special meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf for not more than 40 minutes, after which he departed from Kuwait.

There was no official publication concerning the substance of the meeting and what transpired in it, even though it is expected that they would discuss or sign a certain agreement.

Rumors were peddled about Kuwait’s support to Turkey with a huge bailout of $500 million, but the Kuwaiti government denied that.

Anyway I do not think the Turkish minister came to Kuwait in the flames of the hot August month just to drink a cup of coffee or taste the delicious barhi!

The solution to the Turkish crisis is purely political. The solution is to fix relations with important regional countries as well as with the United States of America. If Erdogan’s abilities do not render him capable of confronting regional countries, then what about Washington which put a CIA agent, who is a clergyman, to be the wood of its fire?!

Taking refuge in Moscow and Beijing and covering up with Iran will not bring any warmth. Erdogan should revive heat in the telephone lines with Washington and should look respectfully at the countries that he is vexing. He has to deal realistically with the current political situation. He must know who is who, the limit of his abilities, with who he is confronting and the limits of their abilities. He has to take a quick look at his hot files. He has to equip himself with the principle of “The art of possible” and use pragmatism to climb the ladder and rearrange his political “ideas”.

Solution to the financial crisis in Turkey is political by distinction. I declare that the road is still open but no one will move on it except he who devours wisdom, civility and logic to ride its predetermined line, waiting for the change of the compass and putting the GPS on the right track. As for the enthusiastic speeches and public platforms, they will be nothing more than laughable scenes.

Twitter – @alzmi1969

By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi

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