Pound Turkish Lira (GBP/TRY) Exchange Rate Hits All-Time High following Erdogan Victory

Pound Turkish Lira (GBP/TRY) Exchange Rate Soars to Record Levels on Erdogan Reelection

(Updated 09:25, 30/05/23) The Pound Turkish Lira (GBP/TRY) exchange rate has climbed to a fresh record high after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the second round of the presidential elections, securing another five-year term.

Under Erdoğan, Turkey has fallen into an economic crisis. Inflation is running close to 44%, fuelled by the President’s unorthodox economic approach of slashing interest rates. TRY investors are concerned that a further five years could see the Turkish economy deteriorate further.

Additionally, concerns of civil unrest and social instability could be adding to the Lira’s woes. The election was closely contested, with Erdoğan ruling over an increasingly polarised country. Many are concerned that Turkey could suffer a continued brain drain as some citizens flee the country. Political violence is also possible; indeed, an opposition politician was fatally stabbed on Sunday night.

Analysts are concerned that Erdoğan’s victory ushers in five more years of economic hardship, divisive politics, and an increasingly authoritarian grip on power. This has seen the Turkish Lira plunge to record lows, with GBP/TRY having climbed 1.5% to hit an all-time high of ₺25.2200.

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Pound Turkish Lira (GBP/TRY) Exchange Rate Climbs amid Turkish Political Jitters

The Pound Turkish Lira (GBP/TRY) exchange rate is strengthening today as Turkey heads to the ballot this weekend for the presidential election runoffs.

At the time of writing, GBP/TRY is trading at around ₺24.727, up over 1% on the day.

Turkish Lira (TRY) Slips Ahead of Presidential Showdown

The Turkish Lira (TRY) is weakening today ahead of the second round of the Turkish presidential election this weekend.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is in the lead, having secured 49.5% of the vote, versus his rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who secured 44.9%. In addition, an ultra-nationalist candidate who came third with 5.2% has thrown his weight behind Erdoğan, increasing the likelihood that the existing president will be elected for a third decade of rule.

During his presidency, Erdoğan has eroded the independence of the Central Bank of the Republic of Türkiye (CRT), ordering the bank to slash interest rates against the advice of most economists. This saw inflation rocket to a 24-year high of 85% while the Turkish Lira crashed to a record low.

TRY investors are anxious that, if he is re-elected, Erdoğan’s stranglehold on power and his unorthodox approach to monetary policy could spell more trouble for the Turkish economy.

Furthermore, the close voting split between the two candidates demonstrates how polarised the country is. Fears of civil unrest and political instability are also weighing on the Lira.

Pound (GBP) Firms as Sales Recover

Meanwhile, the Pound (GBP) is finding support this morning following upbeat UK retail sales data. Domestic British sales recovered 0.5% in April, versus forecasts of 0.3% growth.

However, the previous month’s figure was revised from -0.9% to -1.2%, capping Sterling’s upside.

Bank of England (BoE) interest rate rise bets also boosted the Pound. Since the UK consumer price index exceeded forecasts on Wednesday, with core inflation unexpectedly jumping to a 31-year high, markets have been pricing in multiple further rate rises from the British central bank.

GBP/TRY Exchange Rate Forecast: Turkish Lira to Hit New Lows?

Next week could see volatility in the GBP/TRY exchange rate as Turkey counts the ballots from the presidential election. As the votes come in, the Lira could waver.

In the wake of the election, we could potentially see the Lira drop to fresh record lows. Concerns about the economic impact of another term under Erdoğan paired with widespread civil unrest could see TRY exchange rates crash.

However, if the presidential victory is undisputed and the country avoids political turmoil, the Lira could stabilise.

Samuel Birnie

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