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How Turkey’s ‘zombie’ companies keep afloat

A number of big companies that would have normally gone bust amid Turkey’s economic turmoil are surviving thanks to government favors.
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Poor gradings from international credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and Fitch have relegated the Turkish economy to the underdeveloped league as Ankara grapples with long-running economic woes, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government attempted to warm the economy in June and July, but the risky policy quickly backfired. The fresh nosedive of the Turkish lira, coupled with unruly inflation and a high, ossifying unemployment rate, has raised the specter of a lengthy stagnation. Remarkably, however, bankruptcies among big companies have yet to be seen as those sinking are somehow kept afloat, very much like the “living dead.”

Many of those “zombie” companies, which would have normally gone bust, are continuing to exist thanks to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Among them are construction heavyweights known to be close to the president and have thrived under his rule.

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