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Turks cannot pay back lavish consumer debts

While interest rates increase in Turkey, the country's laborers, white collar workers and retirees struggle to pay back debts or obtain new loans.
Women withdraw cash from an ATM of Halkbank in Istanbul, Turkey, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC1806970730
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The stable economic growth that Turkey has experienced since 2001 has come to an end. The growth began after the financial crisis in 2001, when an International Monetary Fund program was implemented to address that crisis. Then, in 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, kicking off a period of long-term growth. From 2003-2008, Turkey registered an annual growth of 5.9%. From 2009-2017, the rate of growth was 4.9% a year.

This period of economic growth created more disposable income and jobs. It also led to an increase in taxes and therefore public services, giving the AKP a steady base of voters. As a result of this economic performance, the AKP was able to build the political Islam regime it had aspired to.

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