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Why the continuity of President Erdoğan’s re-election could benefit Turkey

Posted on 13 July 2018

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s landmark victory at the polls in Turkey last month not only secured him his second five-year presidency but also delivered the foundations for a more stable economy in the country, a condition that should go some way towards reassuring international investors, said Spot Blue International Property in July.

“While things have settled since the announcement of Erdoğan’s re-election on July 2nd, the knee-jerk reaction of the markets to the news was a positive one,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “The Turkish lira gained 2-3 per cent against major currencies, momentarily reversing the currency’s downward trend since the start of 2018. And the Turkish stock exchange, the BORSA Istanbul, reacted similarly. Going forward, the hope is that Erdoğan’s new government will implement the type of fiscal policies that will bring some stability to the country, re-igniting the upward trend seen at the start of the month and making it attractive to foreign investment in the medium to long term.”

While Erdoğan’s second presidential term lasts until 2023, he could potentially retain power until the end of 2028. This is due to Turkey’s new presidential constitution, implemented after a referendum last year, which would enable him to stand for president for a third term. This would allow Erdoğan to be in power up to and beyond the implementation of Turkey’s Vision 2023, a campaign devised by the president and his governing AK Party to achieve certain targets by the year 2023, the centenary of the creation of the Turkish Republic.

Complementing the ambitious economic, travel, tourism and energy initiatives that comprise Vision 2023, other key elements include three ‘megaprojects’ in Istanbul, namely the construction of a new airport, new canal and new bridge over the Bosphorus. The third, named the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and the world’s widest and longest combined road and rail bridge, has already been completed and has been operational since August 2016.

Construction of Istanbul New Airport, set to be one of the world’s largest air hubs once all phases are complete by 2023, is well under way with the airport due to open formally to air traffic towards the end of this year – President Erdoğan made the first landing there before his re-election in June 2018. Meanwhile, the anticipated Canal Istanbul, which will at 400 metres wide will connect the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea, got the green light in January this year.

“There is little doubt that Istanbul is benefiting from these megaprojects, both in terms of its international status and its property market,” said Mr Walker at Spot Blue International Property. “Foreign interest has grown particularly strong for those districts on the European side that have good connections to the city centre but also the site of the new airport and third bridge, for example Esenyurt, Küçüçkcekmece or Beylikdüzü.”

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