Questions Marks over Official Data on Turkish Economic Decline

The official data makes for uncomfortable reading: central bank reserves down 11 billion euros over three years, 150 per cent knocked off the value of the lira, inflation at nearly 12 per cent, unemployment roughly 13 per cent and output contracting.

Yet some observers of the Turkish economy – rocked since 2016 by repeated political crises, strained relations with the West and military adventures in the Middle East – say the reality may be even worse.

“Economists are becoming increasingly suspicious about the economic data of the Turkish government,” said Caner Gerek, professor of economics at Kirklareli University near Turkey’s northwestern border with Bulgaria.

“The official numbers do not match the facts on the ground and in our lives.”

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