Skip to main content

Turkey’s record growth rate belies murky economic prospects

Eager to woo back disgruntled voters, Erdogan appears bent on stimulating economic growth at the risk of stoking Turkey’s currency troubles.
Pedestrians walk on Istiklal Street, the main shopping street in Istanbul, on the fourth day of the Eid-al-Adha holiday on July 23, 2021.
Read in 

The Turkish economy grew 21.7% in the second quarter from the same period last year, the Turkish Statistical Institute announced Wednesday, in what was hailed as the highest growth rate in Turkey’s recent history. Despite the mammoth rate, the country’s economic prospects remain fragile amid ongoing currency risks over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push for lower interest rates despite unyielding inflation.

The nearly 22% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) owes much to a strong base effect from the second quarter of last year, when the country’s GDP shrank 10.3% under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as households cut back on consumption, many businesses were fully or partially closed, and lockdowns paralyzed the services sector. Thus, the figure was not exactly a surprise. Many other countries have posted two-digit growth rates, though not as high as 22%.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.