The currency and banking crises which the Turkish economy faced in the last sixteen years are generally attributed to financial and fiscal fragilities, typical of developing countries with liberalised capital accounts. Although the sudden stops and reversals in capital flows seem to be the common factor underlying crises of that kind, the three cases analysed in the text took place at different international and domestic conjunctures and were unfolded in different policy environments. In the international context, the volume, composition and degree of volatility of capital flows made a major impact on the severity and evolution of the crises. In the context of the national economy, not only diverse exchange rate arrangements and demand management policies, but also the changing emphases on institutional issues put their imprint on the actual course of events. The paper starts with definitions, explanations and stylised facts about currency and banking crises. It later goes into exploring the behaviour of the relevant indicators (i.e. those related to balance of payments, finance and public sector accounts) in Turkey over the pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis periods in each of the crises concerned. The possibility of using some of these indicators as advance warning signals is also discussed. The last three crises in the Turkish economy were not simply the outcomes of policy mistakes committed by Turkey alone, but were also highly influenced by systemic features of the world economy working under neoliberal principles. The fact that the Turkish governments since the capital account liberalisation have been either unable or unwilling to monitor the transmission mechanisms of international shocks into the domestic economy suggests that currency and banking crises in Turkey are likely to recur over the medium term.
Currency Crises, Banking Crises, Solvency and Liquidity, International Capital Movements, Current Account Balance, Real Exchange Rates