Turkey Nears Tipping Point: Capital Controls, Use of Reserves Unlikely to Prevent Lira Depreciation

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Turkish lawmakers brawl over budget talks

Erkan Aydin, a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy, asked Soylu why he used a plane belonging to a businessman accused of money laundering. Aydin produced a picture purporting to show the minister on the plane.”You’re lying! You are a liar!” Soylu responded, triggering the scuffles between CHP and ruling AK Party (AKP) lawmakers.The turmoil in parliament reflected strains on the streets where many Turks have struggled to buy enough food and medicines, and saw their budgets upended, after the lira tumbled some 30% last month and inflation soared above 21%.A series of aggressive interest rate cuts sparked the market crash. Despite widespread criticism, President Tayyip Erdogan has backed the policy as part of a new economic program that he says stresses exports, credit and economic growth.Tensions also flared in parliament on Monday (December 6) when AKP lawmakers interrupted and insulted CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu over his criticism of the government’s economic management, and his use of what looked like a hand gesture considered obscene.Brawls have hit Turkey’s parliament in past debates over budgets.

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