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Turkey's political model has long lost its luster, but a growing diplomatic crisis with the equally erratic administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has now pushed the country's economy into a full-fledged currency crisis.Because Turkish banks and firms have borrowed heavily in foreign currency, the lira's free fall threatens to bring much of the private sector down with it.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, having won the first election since Turkey's formal change from a parliamentary to a presidential system in June, now governs the country autocratically.For more than a decade, financial markets gave Erdogan, who was prime minister until 2014, the benefit of the doubt and supplied the Turkish economy with easy credit. These short-term fixes don't address the economy's long-term fragility, which is rooted in the personalistic autocracy that Erdogan has erected.Prior to Erdogan's ascent to power in 2003, its democracy was interrupted four times by military interventions.With the June election, says Erdogan, "Old Turkey" has given way to "New Turkey".Nearly two centuries later, Erdogan has taken Turkey back to a past that generations of reformers tried to leave behind.
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