Even if planes aren’t about to fly out of the new air­port, prices in Turkey take off three times a day.

We’ve been told there’s a “reces­sion”. What does that mean?

Français | English

The Gross Nation­al Prod­uct (GNP) has shrunk by 3% in the fourth quar­ter of 2018 in an annu­al slide down­ward, accord­ing to the Nation­al Office of Sta­tis­tics (Tüik) and by 2,4% com­pared to the pre­ced­ing trimester.

 Now, in the third trimester already, the GNP had shrunk by 1,1% which means Turkey has entered into a reces­sion, a first since 2009. The def­i­n­i­tion of a reces­sion is when the GNP decreas­es dur­ing two suc­ces­sive trimesters.

Growth over the total year of 2018 reached 2,6% where­as it had been of 7,4% in 2017.

 Turk­ish cur­ren­cy lost close to 30% of its val­ue in 2018 but has sta­bi­lized since the begin­ning of this year. On Mon­day around 10 AM the rate of exchange was of one dol­lar for 5,44 lira.

Infla­tion was hold­ing at a 19,67% annu­al rate in Feb­ru­ary, only falling under the sym­bol­ic 20% mark for the first time since August.”

 Thank you, Google…

Yet, I thought the famous GNP incor­po­rat­ed the weapons indus­try and the wars… In that case, what must be the state of the rest of Turkey?

But if you lis­ten to Erdo­gan, com­plain­ing about egg­plants and toma­toes is a form of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­gan­da spread by Turkey’s “ene­my with­in”. “What is the price of a bul­let”, he said, switch­ing the sub­ject over to his favorite mil­i­taris­tic pet top­ic, in one of his recent meet­ings, inveigh­ing against shopown­ers who were affect­ing the troop’s moral through their grumbling.

He won’t be able to hide the two-month slide back for long, espe­cial­ly since it’s becom­ing an elec­toral argu­ment for those fight­ing over the municipalities.

He is so involved in the upcom­ing elec­tion you would think he’s hop­ing to land the may­or­ship of Istan­bul. He must be nos­tal­gic for a cer­tain kind of poet­ry.

I’m not the one who will com­plain he has forced the open­ing of some food mar­kets at con­trolled prices. But in any case I think the fact the State forces cheap­er sales, and espe­cial­ly dur­ing an elec­toral peri­od, is akin to the AKP’s tra­di­tion­al dis­tri­b­u­tion of coal bought with funds from the cor­rup­tion, which used to be the prac­tice every time the urn box­es came out, but this time, offi­cial­ly paid by the State.

I’m not the one buy­ing toma­toes cheap­er, this is about the State buy­ing our votes with our money.

Besides, I say “tra­di­tion­al”, but the tra­di­tion persists…This year, they’re offer­ing tea… Elec­toral vans came through my neigh­bor­hood recent­ly. I lent a deaf ear when my door­bell rang.

So let’s talk a bit about this election. 

 Erdo­gan and the AKP’s obses­sion is to come out ahead and, espe­cial­ly, to be both the Ottoman and the Grey Wolf in mod­ern pack­ag­ing. It is also to rake in votes as the fruit of the “anti ter­ror­ist cleans­ing” and home-grown ter­ror­ism since 2015 in lands with a major­i­ty of Kurds. And there’s no dearth of nation­al­ist can­di­dates to help out, either through alliances or with­drawals. And some of those helpers can even be found in the oppo­si­tion. When it comes to the Kurds, call­ing out “Help, Mustafa Kemal!” is the rule…

Since Erdo­gan has purged the last pub­lic toi­lets where the last remain­ing Gulenists might have found shel­ter, even at the cost of invent­ing some, he has noth­ing to fear from that quar­ter. He’s pock­et­ed the big­ots, to the last one. And since God is respon­si­ble for the growth of toma­toes, the nat­ur­al cycle is complete.

Recent­ly, in one of the meet­ings, he pulled the “be qui­et, Madame” num­ber again at a woman who was com­plain­ing as I do. No one knows what has hap­pened to the madame since then…

So this elec­tion is already played out on paper. And the shady deal­ings are noth­ing but hag­gling among the less­er pow­ers. These are autho­rized thanks to the con­sti­tu­tion­al changes wel­comed by the Pres­i­dent. This local farce being the first since the total pres­i­den­tial­i­sa­tion of the regime that has trans­formed it into Erdo­gan’s per­son­al business.

TurquieThe HDP, almost the only oppo­si­tion par­ty, is fight­ing against arrests, pro­hi­bi­tions, pres­sures for alliances, and its best rep­re­sen­ta­tives are in jail. They would be best not to imag­ine that Ley­la Güven, fight­ing with her own body on hunger strike, will influ­ence the elec­toral results.

All right, should I talk to you about the fight on Inter­na­tion­al Wom­en’s Day? At any rate, the police was out in droves. Beat­ings and arrests. And if I hear any­one say the wom­en’s move­ment is out of breath, it will be because it must run so fast to escape the forces of repres­sion chas­ing it down. With does not stop the num­ber of fem­i­ni­cides of prospering.


You are going to say I’m talk­ing like a press review. There’s some of that. After all, I am noth­ing but an observ­er and, as for the new air­port, I don’t see any­thing that might take off in a near future.

Ah yes, I was for­get­ting… What was it? ….

Yes… there’s less talk of a strike in Syr­ia and Irak against the Kur­dish pop­u­la­tions, in order to bring them the Pax Tur­ca. The temp­ta­tion is still there for the Reis, but once again there are brakes inter­fer­ing with a good war before the elec­toral party.

It seems Putin has put the soft ped­al to our Pres­i­den­t’s ardor fol­low­ing Trump’s dec­la­ra­tions. Per­haps the future changes in Turkey, as long off as they may be, will come from that geo-polit­i­cal game some day. The Repub­lic of Turkey was born from that caul­dron, a cen­tu­ry ago, fol­low­ing the geno­cides. What will it be this time?

In the mean­time, I read up on the good new — for there are some — so as to live them by proxy.

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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