Christmas week has been a busy, if not inglorious one, for all of those in US states suffering from massive power outages and residents tiring of the distribution systems that can’t withstand severe weather, or even your typical ice and snow storm. In Michigan, at the time of writing, some 100,000 people were still without power a week after a storm hit, while in Maine, the last count was upwards of 130,000.
But the real storm brewing this holiday season is in Turkey, where Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is under fire after taking on figures perhaps more powerful than his capabilities. Stocks are falling and the Turkish lira is nose-diving amid the culmination of a massive corruption probe that is clearly targeting Erdogan, the AKP and party-friendly businesses.
Last week, in our premium newsletter, Oil & Energy Insider, we took you through Erdogan’s showdown with the powerful religious movement of Fethullah Gulen—whose earlier marriage of convenience with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is now over.
This is an all-out power struggle now, with varying interpretations of who has the upper hand.
According to Bloomberg, companies close to the Gulenists in Istanbul have fallen on speculation that Erdogan is regaining the upper hand in a power struggle with the Islamic cleric.
This week, Oil & Energy Insider takes you through the next phase in this power struggle—a phase that suggests Erdogan is losing his grip. Late last week and early this week, the corruption probe has picked up momentum, with a series of raids and close to 60 arrests for bribery, corruption and gold-smuggling.
Three key ministers have resigned over the arrests of their sons implicated in the cases, and one of the ministers has vowed to take Erdogan down with him, calling on him to resign and alleging Erdogan’s involvement in corruption.
In the meantime, Erdogan has moved to replace half of his Cabinet to ensure loyalty, sparking the ire of the opposition, which accuses him of creating a secret “deep state” to rule with authoritarian style.
For foreign investors, the trick now is to figure out if their partners in Turkey may go down with Erdogan’s house of cards—and who might emerge at the top of the Turkish power chain ahead of presidential elections next year and general elections in 2015.
The significance of the intensifying crisis in Turkey—which started with the Gezi Park protests this summer—will be vast for the energy sector at a time when the country is seeking to become a major hub bridging Europe and the Middle East.
We have a superb lineup for our premium subscribers this week and for those of you looking to get 2014 off to a good start it is a MUST READ.
Legendary energy trader Dan Dicker looks at what we can expect from the energy markets in 2014 and makes some predictions that investors and energy professionals should be aware of.
Dave Forest looks at 3 sectors that have huge upside potential in 2014 and the companies that could see the biggest gains over the coming year.
The Executive report looks again at Turkey and the corruption scandal that should shake investor confidence to its core. (For those of you with investments in the region or who are invested in companies that operate here this is a must read.)
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That’s it from us this week.