NEWS | August 9, 2023
The crosses on ballots are sometimes difficult to count, and we Berliners know this just as well as the Turks. Just like during the election debacle of 2021 in the capital city, many smelled election fraud when Erdoğan managed to overtake his rival Kılıçdaroğlu in the vote count on Monday. Of course, we cannot verify whether everything was done properly. Regardless, one thing is clear: the Erdogan system is in trouble.
“The tall man,” as Erdoğan is often called due to his long-standing presidency, wavered in this election like never before in his 20 years at the helm of his party. One reason for this is undoubtedly the high inflation and the weak national currency, the Lira. This erodes investor confidence, which is unfortunate, as Turkey has much to offer that is worth investing in.
Now, many might think of hazelnuts. Not because they are easier to count compared to ballots, but because they are one of Turkey’s most exported commodities, alongside cotton. The same goes for metals and semi-metals. In Central Anatolia, the world’s second-largest rare earth deposit was discovered two years ago. Its size is estimated at 694 million tons. Additionally, there are other deposits of rare metals, such as gallium.
Back to the election. In the media, this election is sometimes referred to as a “fateful election,” as it supposedly decides whether Turkey will align with the West or turn towards the bloc centered around China and Russia. In either case, the decision would touch Germany’s Achilles heel: supply chains. In the first scenario, Turkey would be aligned with European rivals, inevitably leading to political tensions. But even if Turkey were to shift from Erdogan’s presidential system towards a parliamentary democracy, there would still be political risks. The stance of the new leader towards the criminal Assad regime in Syria remains uncertain. If Kılıçdaroğlu were to maintain friendly relations with one of the world’s cruelest dictators, the West would surely not stand idly by. And we know from the gas crisis at the beginning of the Ukraine conflict how reciprocal sanctions can lead to dire consequences.
Conclusion: Turkey might be able to contribute to supply chains independent of China. However, we cannot predict what will happen after the Turkish election. Especially because no one knows the future, it’s best to be well-prepared. An excellent opportunity for this is a tax-free investment in rare earths and metals like gallium.