ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey faces the prospect of waning economic growth, a struggle to attract international investors and financial market volatility for months to come following the failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The attempted coup and the subsequent tough response by the government that's seen more than 6,000 people arrested could accentuate toxic political divisions in Turkey and weaken the institutions and respect for the rule of law that are central to the proper-functioning of a market economy.
Images of warplanes firing on key government installations, tanks rolling into major cities and news of at least 232 people killed are hardly the backdrop to entice international investors, who are badly needed for the financing of Turkey's sizeable current account deficit, which stood at around 4.5 percent of the country's annual GDP in 2015.
The same applies to those looking to holiday in Turkey — a key sector and foreign-currency earner for Turkey. Tourist numbers this year, particularly from Europe, were already expected to be sharply lower before the attempted coup as a result of a series of attacks in the country over the past few months.
Worries over Turkey, which stands at the crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and Asia, are something the global economy could do without, to keep in mind alongside such things as China's economic slowdown and the implications of Britain's exit from the European Union.
On Monday, global stock markets largely held their own but the Borsa Istanbul 100 index closed down 7.1 percent, at 76,957.61. The Turkish lira, recovered some of the ground lost Friday in the aftermath of the coup, and was up 1.5 percent against the dollar at 2.9712 lira.
"The near-term economic impact of Friday night's attempted coup will depend on the length and severity of market dislocation, but at the very least the economy is likely to suffer a period of slower growth, and the lira will remain under pressure," said William Jackson, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.
Before a full assessment of the impact of the attempted coup, most economic forecasters had penciled in Turkish growth of around 4 percent this year.
Longer-term, Jackson said the economic repercussions will depend on the political fallout. In particular, he said he'll be monitoring whether President Erdogan tries to push ahead with long-held plans to amend the constitution in order to centralize power further for himself.
"At this stage, the situation is still highly uncertain, but the initial response seems to be clampdown and even greater centralization of power under the presidency," he said.
However that transpires, international investors in the country will clearly be worrying about the risks of doing business in the country and may adopt a more cautious approach that sees them reduce their exposure to Turkish assets, which would exert downward pressure on the lira.
"A more volatile and depreciating currency accompanied by concerns about more terrorist attacks may lead to a weaker economic activity as households shift to a saving mode and corporates postpone strategic investment decisions," said Piotr Matys, an analyst at Rabobank.
Already, one leading ratings agency is warning about the impact on Turkey's creditworthiness. A downgrade of Turkey's credit rating would make it more expensive for the company to borrow and thereby to finance its deficit
"The government was able to regain control of the situation rapidly but the political fallout could refocus attention on Turkey's large external financing requirement if it results in significantly diminished international investor confidence," said Paul Gamble, a senior director at ratings agency Fitch.
Gamble said the attempted coup and the authorities' reaction highlight "political risks" to Turkey's BBB- rating. Fitch's next review of Turkey's sovereign rating is due on Aug. 19.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim insisted Monday that the failed coup had no major economic impact.
"Our banks, our bourses are working," he said. "Our central bank is on top of its duties. Any changes in economic indices are normal and no different from fluctuations recorded on normal days."
Pan Pylas contributed from London.