In the last hours, Turkey’s general budget for 2022 has turned into a new point of contention between the ruling “Justice and Development” party led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the opposition parties, especially that the annual budget deficit may exceed 30 billion US dollars, at a time when the currency is recording The National Bank has recorded record low levels in its exchange rate against foreign currencies since the beginning of last November.
An informed source in the Republican People’s Party, which is the main opposition party in Turkey led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, revealed to Al-Arabiya.net about the expected annual budget deficit, as it is likely to exceed 30 million US dollars, which constitutes approximately 3.5 % of GDP.
The Turkish parliament is expected to approve the country’s general budget before the end of the current year 2021, but the deputies of the two largest parties opposed to the Turkish president, the “Republican People” and the pro-Kurdish “People’s Democratic Party”, refuse to approve it.
Erdogan in the Turkish parliament (archive)
A source in the main opposition party described to Al Arabiya.net the draft budget as a “war budget”, criticizing the huge sums allocated to the Ministries of Defense and Interior.
He also criticized the government’s failure to grant the required amounts to the Ministry of Health and the service sector, revealing that “the closed parliament sessions devoted to approving the budget are continuing at the present time and witnessing a lot of controversy and disagreements, and there is a great rejection by the opposition of the presented figures.”
It is likely that Parliament will approve Turkey’s general budget after about two weeks, according to the previous source, who confirmed that Parliament sessions devoted to approving the budget sometimes last for a whole day, away from the media, with the exception of speeches delivered by party leaders or heads of their parliamentary blocs, which are transmitted through TV channels.
Kılıçdaroğlu had publicly criticized the planned budget for the next year, and stressed his rejection of it, according to what local media reported, including the Zaman newspaper.
The head of the opposition party said yesterday, Monday, that “Turkey’s budget collects from the poor and goes to the rich,” adding that “this budget is a conspiracy,” and that his party will refuse to approve it in Parliament. He also accused the ruling party of transferring huge sums from the budget outside the country, specifically to the United Kingdom, and also said that “the Justice and Development Party transfers funds abroad to benefit from its interests in foreign currency through international loans.”
Despite the refusal of the representatives of the two opposition parties to approve the general budget, the parliamentary majority enjoyed by the ruling coalition consisting of the “Justice and Development Party” and its ally, the “National Movement Party”, authorizes them to approve the budget despite the rejection of the representatives of the opposition parties.
Under the current draft budget, the resources allocated to defense and the needs of the Internal Security Forces will be increased by 29.6% compared to the previous year, in addition to raising the resources allocated to the Defense Industries Support Fund by 39%, which is rejected by the opposition parties to President Erdogan.