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Counting the Cost

Turkey: An economy at a crossroads

Can former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan protect Turkey from the gathering economic storm clouds?

Last updated: 16 Sep 2014 15:13
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Turkey, the strategically-located $800bn economy which straddles East and West, has elected a new president.

In the presidential poll, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan won outright with 52 percent of the vote.

But his success is rooted in past economic good times and economists reckon Turkey's economic future under an Erdogan presidency is far from clear. Turkey's economy remains among the 20 biggest in the world but the IMF says it is not built on a sustainable model.

Back in 2013, Turkey was included in a group labelled the 'Fragile Five,' economies which - according to Morgan Stanley - were too hooked on foreign cash injections.

The central bank is concerned inflation, but Erdogan wants low interest rates, and if that carries on, experts say there could be a debt bubble in the private sector.

And there is the battles with the media and Erdogan's attempted clampdown on Twitter and Youtube, the type of autocratic tendencies that could spell trouble ahead.

So, is Turkey's economy at some sort of defining crossroads? And will former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan be able to protect Turkey from the gathering economic storm clouds?

Counting the Cost talks to Professor Kerem Alkin, an economist at the Nisantasi University about the new president, economic stability, and the economic future of the country.

Africa's youth boom

By the end of this century one in four babies will be born in Africa; 25 percent of all births will be happening on one continent. So what does that mean? Opportunity and prosperity or more economic strain?

As predictions grow for the continent's future population, we talk to Sim Tshabalala, the co-CEO of South Africa's Standard Bank, about bailouts, balance sheets and babies.

A break for the border

The Venezuelan government has sent thousands of soldiers along the border with Colombia. They are shutting down legal crossings at night to patrol secret paths they say traffickers use to move massive amounts of Venezuelan subsidised goods, like food and gasoline, into Colombia for huge profits.

So can they curb smuggling by closing down the border crossings at night?

Alessandro Rampietti went on a night run with the soldiers policing the frontier in Venezuela's Tachira state.

The secret club

What really drives the prices of the world's raw materials like silver? We look inside the often hidden world of commodity trading with Kate Kelly, the author of the book The Secret Club That Runs The World

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Al Jazeera
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