Erdogan's Growing Economic Woes
Some would call this a bubble:
Since late 2009, Turkey has lost $20 billion of foreign bank assets and taken on $50 billion of foreign bank debt
As we reported Aug. 3, Turkey's banks are still churning out consumer loans at a 30% annual rate, probably to capitalize the interest on loans bearing an 18% interest rate. The current account deficit is running at about $70 billion a year, which means that Turkey's banks will have to double their net external debt position to finance it. The Bank for International Settlements data (whence the chart was drawn) show no lending to Turkey from the rest of the OECD. We believe the money is coming from the Gulf states, whose largesse is not infinite.
Turkish exports declined last month as contracting European markets and adverse exchange rates mainly affected the performance of key automotive and textile sectors.
Turkey's exports declined 5.5 percent year-on-year in June to $10.85 billion, the Turkish Exporters Association (TİM) revealed yesterday, while exports posted a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent in June.
"The biggest reason for exports decline in June was the shrinking demand in the automotive market. Automotive exports plunged by 22.3 percent. Also the ready-to-wear [retail] sector declined 12 percent as a result of shrinking demand. We are carefully following the declines in our flagship exports," Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said yesterday, according to Anatolia news agency.
Erdogan's authority stems first of all from his reputation as an economic wizard, a story which the world continues to buy. Why anyone would buy Turkish banks under the circumstances is a mystery to this former banker, but bubbles, as they say, last until they feel like fundamentals.
An imploding domestic credit bubble, constraints on foreign borrowing, soaring food prices and declining exports look like a toxic combination for Erdogan.
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz