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Here we go! The nov­el­ty on May 7th is a sur­prise pack­age with no sur­pris­es in it, wrapped up in the “Rules con­cern­ing manip­u­la­tions and false or mis­lead­ing trans­ac­tions on finan­cial mar­kets” pub­lished in the Offi­cial Gazette: a pro­hi­bi­tion on talk­ing about the econ­o­my as it goes to the dogs! And since every­thing is indexed on the dol­lar, that word is prohibited…

Since the begin­ning of the week, the dol­lar has been climb­ing like nev­er before. I could even say the his­tor­i­cal record has been beat­en… Every­body is com­plain­ing. All this had to “reg­u­lat­ed”, right? So, add on anoth­er pro­hi­bi­tion to the ones already exist­ing. Pre­vent­ing infor­ma­tion, com­ments and opin­ions on the top­ic… Accord­ing to the new reg­u­la­tion, “Spread­ing infor­ma­tion and rumors in such a way as to lead to a sys­temic risk by erod­ing con­fi­dence in the finan­cial sys­tem” will be con­sid­ered a “manip­u­la­tion”.

Indeed the dol­lar has reached Nir­vana at 7,24 Turk­ish lira! For the AKP gov­ern­ment, this rise con­sti­tutes an “attack”. The same ones had already announced that the increas­es in 2018 and 2019 were “finan­cial attacks”. And in 2020, they had already pro­ceed­ed to reforms in the Bank­ing Law, pub­lished in the Offi­cial Gazette on Feb­ru­ary 25…

At the time, by adding a new arti­cle in arti­cle 11 of the law, n° 5411, under the head­ing “Manip­u­la­tion and false or mis­lead­ing trans­ac­tions on finan­cial mar­kets”, they had already broached the top­ic of rules gov­ern­ing bank­ing trans­ac­tions. Basi­cal­ly “banks pro­ceed­ing to trans­ac­tions in order to cause an arti­fi­cial offer, demand or prices, includ­ing on the rate of exchange on finan­cial mar­kets” will be sub­ject to admin­is­tra­tive fines.

Was also con­sid­ered “manip­u­la­tive” the fact of “prop­a­gat­ing through all forms of media, includ­ing the inter­net, or any oth­er means, infor­ma­tion or false or mis­lead­ing rumors that might give rise to false or mis­lead­ing impres­sions con­cern­ing the offer, the demand or the price of a finan­cial instru­ment, includ­ing the rate of exchange and of inter­est, or that could result in an abnor­mal­ly high or arti­fi­cial lev­el of this price.”

The reg­u­la­tion pub­lished on May 7th is essen­tial­ly the same as the one in Feb­ru­ary, save for one detail. Hence­forth, the eye in charge of keep­ing a watch on things is defined and offi­cial­ized: it is the BDDK, “Bankacılık Düzen­lem ve Denetleme Kuru­mu”, or “Agency for bank­ing reg­u­la­tion and sur­veil­lance”. With this new author­i­ty, the BDDK is hence­forth autho­rized to pun­ish all those who com­plain, there­fore, accord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion, who “manip­u­late”. The agency thus becomes the gov­ern­men­t’s stick, ready to fall on the head of those mak­ing “uncalled for” comments…

The new reg­u­la­tion now squeezes tight around the media but also around the cit­i­zens… As any crit­i­cism or neg­a­tive com­ment thus becomes a “manip­u­la­tion”, we had bet­ter talk of noth­ing but rain, sun­shine and recipes for pilav… So be it.

dollar turquie

Some­one went to the trou­ble of col­lect­ing the com­ments of our Reis con­cern­ing the dol­lar, over sev­er­al years, while dis­play­ing the rate of exchange against the dol­lar. This is amus­ing because the Reis him­self does­n’t stop spread­ing false and mis­lead­ing infor­ma­tion. Here is a trans­la­tion for you.

  • 1 dol­lar = 2,62 Turk­ish lira
    “Those invest­ing heav­i­ly in the dol­lar may as well know they had best go sit on their asses.”
  • 1 dol­lar = 2,62 Turk­ish lira
    “Don’t do things such as bas­ing your­self on the dol­lar, think­ing to depend on this to get rich, you are mak­ing a mis­take. (Applause). You will go straight into the wall.”
  • 1 dol­lar = 3,58 TUrk­ish lira
    “They pub­lished a top­ic these last few days, “the dol­lar is this, the dol­lar is that”… What­ev­er hap­pens, I remind my Nation of what fol­lows: my dear Nation, I love you in God. Those with cur­ren­cy under their pil­low, let them come and exchange their cur­ren­cy against gold. Let them come and change their mon­ey into Turk­ish lira. Don’t wor­ry about a thing, we will unmask this game in no time.”

Nev­er mind, the poor peo­ple’s whose sav­ings “under the pil­low” you were eye­ing, haven’t for­got­ten the exhor­bi­tant amounts of dol­lars fill­ing shoe­box­es, trans­ferred nobody knows where…

I con­tin­ue…

  • 1 dol­lar = 3,62 Turk­ish lira
    “The dol­lar will fall under 3,50 TL”.
  • 1 dol­lar = 3,81 Turk­ish lira
    “There is noth­ing to be afraid of but once again, I can only call upon my Nation once again: let no one hoard cur­ren­cy under the pillow”.
  • 1 dol­lar = 4,77 Turk­ish lira
    “On the 24th [of June, Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions] give your broth­er this author­i­ty, and you will see how he will look after your inter­ests, after this and that…” (Applause).
  • 1 dol­lar = 5,07 Turk­ish lira
    “Puu­ull out the cur­ren­cy from under your pillows!”
  • 1 dol­lar = 4,77 Turk­ish lira
    “Today is bet­ter than tomor­row. Tomor­row will be bet­ter than today. Don’t for­get that! If they have dol­lars, we have our peo­ple, our rights and our Allah!”
  • 1 dol­lar = 6,65 Turk­ish lira
    “What con­sti­tutes the rea­son­able rate of cur­ren­cy exchange, it [the dol­lar] will set­tle there very soon. Don’t wor­ry, be extreme­ly calm.”
  • 1 dol­lar = 7,08 Turk­ish lira
    The Reis does­n’t say any­thing any­more… So in order to fin­ish the video and to fill the silence, a filler sen­tence shows up…“Cur­rent­ly, there is no water in the pump!”

Let us pump along gai­ly and talk about the Yuan, while we’re at it, the cur­ren­cy of the corona…

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges –
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Ten­dress­es, coups de gueule et révolte ! Bil­lets d’humeur…