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Bobby Ghosh

Erdogan's Dangerous Obsession With Low Rates

Consumers are struggling to afford basic necessities as prices surge, yet the quixotic president gives no indication that he will change course on economic policy.

Ignoring the evidence.

Ignoring the evidence.

Photographer: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

The collapse of the Turkish lira this year has been a chronicle of a disaster foretold. Once a star performer among emerging-market currencies, the currency has plunged, thanks mainly to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s fixation on slashing interest rates. 

His bizarre adherence to a low rate policy, even as accelerating inflation would typically call for the opposite course, has dragged the lira to a 20-year low and wreaked havoc on the country’s import-dependent economy. With prices surging, many Turks are now struggling to pay for food and other necessities.