President Erdoğan’s ultranationalist ally: Turkey on verge of social crisis

Devlet Bahçeli, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ultranationalist ally and chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has warned against the increasing rate of inflation, adding that recently enacted 10 percent price cuts have not resulted in the intended outcome.

“Turkey is on the verge of a social crisis. Moreover, the high cost of living is threatening our people,” Bahçeli said on Tuesday, addressing his deputies in parliament.

Turkey’s economy has been seriously impacted by the “currency war” it has faced, said Bahçeli, stressing that “deep wounds” in the economy should be healed for the sake of the country.

He identified the high inflation rate as an “inflation monster” and said the government’s initiative for a 10 percent price discount on goods has produced limited results. The people are uneasy and worried about the future, the MHP leader said. “This picture is alarming and worrying for all of us,” he added.

Annual inflation in Turkey surged to 25,2 percent in October, hitting its highest in 15 years and underscoring the impact on the wider economy of a debilitating currency crisis. Month-on-month consumer prices jumped 2,67 percent in October, Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) data showed on Monday.

Meanwhile, he welcomed a recent phone conversation between President Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump but warned against a possible “peace process” on Kurdish issues. “Seeking to bring Turkey to a new peace process is a trap. Turkish nationals will not be deceived,” he said.

“Negotiations with terrorists are not possible,” Bahçeli said, adding that “citizens of Kurdish origin are not terrorists.”

“We are all the Turkish nation,” he said.

Bahçeli was referring to a peace process between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in order to end an almost four-decade-long insurgency. Peace talks between Ankara and the PKK broke down in 2015.

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