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Erdogan

The US-Turkey standoff in context: Global capitalism and the crisis of hegemony

 

 

By Vassilis K. Fouskas and Bülent Gökay

 

September 3, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Turkey was thrust into a full-blown currency crisis when United States President Donald Trump hoisted tariffs on Turkey’s steel and aluminium exports to the US — the country’s most serious crisis since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power 16 years ago. The Turkish lira lost more than 40% of its value in the first two weeks of August, albeit its most recent humble recovery. The pretext for Trump’s punishing attack on Turkey, the seventeenth largest economy in the world, is the continued detention of the evangelical US Presbyterian missionary Andrew Brunson who was arrested in October 2016 on charges of espionage and accused of involvement in the attempted coup of July that same year.

 

At first sight, the US-Turkey standoff appears to be a uniquely Turkish problem triggered by a very public confrontation between two leading members of the “ring of autocrats” of the 21st century and worsened by the idiosyncratic and often misguided economic approach of both leaders. This is not the case. One cannot look at the Trump-Erdogan conflict in isolation from the global situation.

 

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