Turkey’s crisis-hit soccer clubs face bitter pills in rescue plan(Al-Monitor, January 11, 2019)
ARTICLE SUMMARY A “rescue” plan is in the making for Turkey’s cash-strapped soccer clubs, but…
crambling to draw foreign investors to ease Turkey’s hard currency crunch, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has once again turned to its closest ally, Qatar. The two sides announced a raft of agreements last week, including fresh Qatari acquisitions, with Ankara eager to convey a semblance of renewed foreign capital flows to its crisis-hit economy. Government opponents, who charge that Ankara’s economic bonds with the Gulf monarchy are politically motivated and lack transparency, however, meet Qatar’s investments with suspicion.
The latest deals, announced during Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s Nov. 26 visit to Ankara, include Qatar’s purchases of a stake in Istinye Park, one of Turkey’s largest shopping malls, and a 10% share in the Istanbul stock exchange. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had previously bought the 10% Borsa Istanbul AS stake, but divested it last year, irked by Ankara’s appointment of Hakan Atilla — a Turkish banker who served jail time in the United States for helping Iran evade US sanctions — as the CEO of Borsa Istanbul.