Over the last year, as Turkey's 'sultan-for-life' Recep Tayyip Erdogan has increased his dictatorial powers, so the nation's "misery" has increased to record highs. Soaring inflation (amid a collapsing currency) and stubbornly high unemployment have combined with government crackdowns to see increasingly active protests in the streets.
As Die Welt notes, inflation accelerated to 11.9 percent in April, the highest since October 2008. The rate was well above the expectations of the experts. In particular, the cost of clothing, food, alcohol and transport rose dramatically - in other words, the expenses that the population is experiencing on a daily basis. High percentages cost 22 percent more than a year ago. New taxes on alcoholic beverages have hit the consumer prices. Clothing rose by more than nine percent compared to the previous month. The inflation figures are not the only indicator of economic misery. The unemployment rate has recently risen to 13 percent, the highest since 2010. The infamous misery index, which adds inflation and unemployment, is at its highest level since 2005 at almost 25 percent.
This so-called misery index signals the mood of the population.
The extent to which the economic misery affects the Turks' purchasing power is also evident in new car sales. These fell by 11.6 percent compared to the previous year. In April, only 57,998 cars were sold.
This economic data is crushing the image of Erdogan who was, for years, heralded as a reformer who bought economic prosperity to Turkey (or was it just hot moeny flows chasing higher yields?).
But now, as Die Welt notes, many Turks feel for the first time in a long time that the political course of their leader has reversed - now they must fear their prosperity.
Perhaps they should worry... because we have seen this pattern before...
Erodgan has already made it clear he controls/manages/influences the central bank - it's not a far step from there to going full-Maduro (and everyone knows you never go full Maduro) in an effort to mollify an anxious nation.