The Repercussions of the Collapse of the Turkish Lira hit Northern Syria

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Since mid-June, local authorities in large areas in north and northwest Syria, where Ankara influence , began to adopt the Turkish lira in daily circulation as an alternative to the Syrian lira, which witnessed an unprecedented deterioration in its value at the time.

But since the beginning of the year, the Turkish lira has lost more than 45 percent of its value due to an economic crisis, thirty percent of it during the month of November . The exchange rate currently exceeds the threshold of 13 pounds against the dollar, after it was about eight pounds before the crisis.

Mohammed, 33 year old father of a child in the city of al-Bab, which is under the control of Turkish forces and loyal Syrian factions said: ‘ In 2017 my salary was worth $160, but today it is $50, which is barely enough to cover rent expenses.”

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After seeing his income gradually dwindle due to the deterioration of the Turkish lira circulating in northern Syria, teacher Mohammed al-Debek began working part-time and participated with his colleagues in strikes to urge local authorities to improve their salaries.

” No doubt that the devaluation of the Turkish currency has affected me negatively so I had no option but to look for another job ‘ he explained. He is now working in a library selling stationery and school books, which provides him with an income worth forty dollars.

Muhammad needs about two hundred dollars as a monthly allowance, to secure his basic needs and pay house rent, electricity, internet and transportation, that is, double the amount he earns. He tries as much as possible to match his needs with his current intake.

In addition to sponsoring local councils it established to manage its areas of influence in northern Syria and the military presence of its forces, Turkey has doubled its investments in several sectors such as health and education. And there are Turkish post offices, communications, money transfers and schools that teach the Turkish language in those areas. And follow the local councils of the nearby Turkish states such as Gaziantep, Kilis and Şanlıurfa.

As a result of this interdependence, the collapse of the Turkish lira was quickly reflected in the areas of influence of Ankara in terms of the decrease in the purchasing power of the population and the increase in the prices of goods, especially those imported from Turkey.

According to a United Nations report at the end of August, ’91 percent of the working population in northwest Syria is from families living in extreme poverty, which indicates weakness in local economy.’ The United Nations estimates that about 12.8 million people in Syria suffer from food insecurity, expecting the situation to worsen in the coming months.

The deterioration of the value of the Turkish lira, according to the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Economy in northern Aleppo, Ahmed Abu Obeida, was reflected in the commercial movement in its entirety, ‘as a result of inflation and the increase in the prices of Turkish goods in general’ adopted in the region.

Abu Obeida, who owns a food company that imports goods from Turkey, estimates that sales have ‘halved’ within a month, and the number of customers has consequently halved. The citizen could barely afford to purchase ‘the basic daily necessities such as food, medicine and heating.’

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