International election observer: Hot money

International election observer: Hot money

“The 2009 local elections… Some unaccredited $4,900,000,000 entered Turkey. The 2010 constitutional referendum... Some unaccredited $5,600,000,000 entered Turkey. The 2011 general elections, some unaccredited $12,200,000,000 entered Turkey. In 2012 and 2013 there are no elections; there were no unaccredited dollar inflows to Turkey. This year we have general elections. There is an unaccredited dollar inflow to Turkey of $6,635,000,000.” These words were said by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Mehmet Şeker on March 10, 2015, in parliament.

This data is found in the net errors and omissions section at the Central Bank. Net errors and omissions mean unregistered, or in other words hot money. This piece of information must be followed up. Where does this money come from? Who is the “source” or “sources?” Why does hot money always come in election years? Where is it used? Why does it not come in non-election years? If it coincides with election years, then doesn’t this hot money cast a shadow on elections?

This claim belongs to an opposition deputy speaking in parliament. I checked the newspapers on March 11 and such an important piece of news was not in any of the papers. Strange. Shouldn’t this claim which may determine the fate of the elections, and thus all of us, be scrutinized? Hey, is there anybody there? No answer. Strange.

The AKP and the ‘interest rate lobby’

It was on October 2012 when a pro-government newspaper first used the “interest rate lobby” phrase. During the Gezi Park incidents, President Tayyip Erdoğan kept using it on and on, saying in very harsh tones that whoever was in the interest rate lobby would pay for it in the heaviest sense. Well, good, then we should find out who this lobby is.

In January 2014, upon the corruption claims of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, Interior Minister Efkan Ala mentioned figures about this lobby. “The cost of the last operation is $104 billion. Who has taken the dollars; I’m not saying this just upon suspicion,” he said. Well, if it is beyond suspicion, then find this lobby. Ala asked who this lobby is; it has been 14 months since and there has been no answer.

Then the dollar climbed and Erdoğan again accused the “interest rate lobby.” Well, if it is this lobby which has been the mother of all evils for years, then it has to be disclosed. Who they are, what business do they do, how many are they, are they local or foreign, how much money they earn once the button is pushed, let’s know all of these and fight them.

For this purpose, the CHP demanded a parliamentary research on this interest rate lobby. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) speakers agreed that it needed to be investigated but it was rejected by AKP votes.

When they are in trouble, it is always the “interest rate lobby” to blame, but when it comes to investigate they somehow do not consider it worth researching. Even the AKP does not believe in this tale.

First denial for Erdoğan 

When Erdoğan speaks, he drags the Central Bank through the mud and while doing so, the dollar also drags the Turkish Lira through the mud. When the lira lost 11 percent value in a short time, according to Erdoğan, the culprit was the “interest rate lobby.”

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and economy ministers met with the Central Bank and released an official statement which said the Central Bank was taking the necessary measures and the dollar was gaining value because of the rapid recovery of the U.S. economy.

Since becoming the president, this is the first open refutation to Erdoğan from his own team. Erdoğan will not just swallow this denial. Let us see how he will make Davutoğlu and the cabinet ministers revoke it.