Turkey focus: Crisis, what crisis?

Turkey focus: Crisis, what crisis?

As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc, many countries face both an economic and a health crisis. But for Turkey, the concept of crisis is nothing new: it has long been part of everyday life. The current malaise, which predates the pandemic, has its origins in the attempted coup of 2016 and the government’s authoritarian response: over 300 people were killed and 75,000 arrested, including 2,700 judges. Such coups d’état have punctuated Turkey’s historical narrative in every decade since the 1960s. More recently, there was the currency and debt crisis of 2018, which saw the credit rating agencies downgrade Turkey’s debt to junk status.

Notwithstanding these difficulties, President Erdoğan is still firmly in control. Added to the $120bn in infrastructure spending since 2003, new highways and rail links are planned. Turkey’s $730bn economy, the world’s 20th-largest, even managed to expand slightly last year. But problems persist: inflation at 15% and interest rates recently hiked to 19%, while the Turkish Lira’s precipitous decline against the US dollar has sparked an exodus of foreign capital. In an effort to boost tourism, one of the country’s strongest sectors, Turkey announced that it would be the first country to accept British holidaymakers without Covid checks. Despite Erdoğan’s promises to cut inflation in an attempt to restore confidence, sustained turbulence undermines the country’s economic credibility. Continue reading “Turkey focus: Crisis, what crisis?”

Turkey – Back from the brink

Turkey – Back from the brink

A century on from Atatürk’s proclamation that the republic would be ‘happy, prosperous and victorious’, the founder of modern Turkey would today find his vision being questioned. In 2016, a failed coup left over 300 people dead. During the mass detentions that followed, nearly 2,500 judges were arrested. Within two years, Turkey’s credit bubble had burst: the lira halved in value against the US dollar, inflation hit 25% and GDP, which had been growing at 7%, flatlined.

Following the withdrawal of US troops in October 2019, the invasion of northeast Syria to create a safe zone along Turkey’s southern border led US President Donald Trump to tweet: ‘I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey.’ In October, the House of Representatives voted by 403 to 16 to impose a series of sweeping sanctions on Turkey. But US politicians remain split, with senate majority leader Mitch McConnell warning that sanctions would cause economic damage and alienate the Turkish people. Continue reading “Turkey – Back from the brink”

Turkey – Bridging the Gap

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As its economy booms Turkey has attracted the attention of the world’s legal market. Will Clifford Chance and DLA Piper’s arrival mark a new chapter for the country’s local firm?

Clifford Chance’s move into Istanbul didn’t exactly take the market by surprise. The announcement that the Magic Circle firm is to open an outpost in the Turkish city followed its 2009 hire of Mete Yegin from local heavyweight Pekin & Pekin. Required by local Bar rules to ally with a local firm, CC will now officially launch in conjunction with Yegin’s firm, Yegin Legal Consultancy.

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Leading ladies

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Positive discrimination for men? Only in Turkey. Legal Business analyses a legal market where female commercial lawyers almost always top the class

The UK’s legal market has never been an easy place for female lawyers. This became abundantly clear in the 2009 LB100, which charts the UK’s top 100 law firms by revenue. Among these firms only 22% of the partners and 17% of the equity partners are female. Given that the overall percentage of female lawyers is 47%, it is hardly encouraging to see that only 37% of those promoted to partner in 2008/09 were women. These statistics do not make good reading for young British female associates, particularly if they are working at one of the Major City or Global Elite firms, where the percentage of female partners is 18% and 16% respectively. Continue reading “Leading ladies”