The economic review Handelsblatt mainly refers to the role of the central bank in Turkey, on the occasion of its decision not to change the level of interest rates, for the first time since May 2023. As it points out “it is the first decision that bears the signature of of new central banker Fatih Karahan. In February, he had unexpectedly succeeded Hafiz Gaye Erkan, who advocated a strict monetary policy.

The Dusseldorf newspaper recalls that “the central bank itself is losing more and more of its credibility. Hafiz Gaye Erkan resigned after just eight months in office as the 44-year-old former US banker faced corruption charges, according to Turkish media. She herself speaks of ‘character assassination’. Under Erkan’s leadership, the key interest rate rose from 8.5% to 45%. Ahead of his re-election in June 2023, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long insisted on a policy of low interest rates, even though inflation has occasionally soared above 80%.

But are the official inflation statistics wrong? The columnist notes that “besides the change of leadership (at the helm of the central bank) observers are also concerned about the data published by the Turkish Statistical Service. These data are not consistent with the price index published by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. This means that prices could have risen even more than so far estimated. High inflation affects large sections of the population in Turkey. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2023 rental prices have increased by 86.5%.

Voters of Turkish origin

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) refers to the new political scheme DAVA, which is vying for Muslim votes in Germany ahead of the European elections and is seen by many as “Erdogan’s long arm” abroad. The columnist argues that “at first reading the new party is fishing for votes in a traditional stronghold of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). But Merkel’s legacy in the parties of the Christian Union is also at stake.”

The publication focuses on the current political landscape and states that, based on established perceptions, “the Left Party, with its ideological affinity to the PKK, is particularly interested in citizens of Kurdish origin, while the SPD focuses on those of Turkish origin , many of whom, as workers, have roots in trade unions and social democracy. However, the SPD’s policy of granting citizenship is also connected with the voters of Turkish origin, as well as the long-standing – and continuing until today – tolerance of the party’s politicians in the DITIB Federation, which manages Muslim mosques and is directed from Ankara.”