Market Analysis

Turkey’s Failed Coup in Broader Perspective: Statista's Infographic

A new infographic puts the recent failed coup in Turkey in historical perspective.

Last Friday's failed attempt by a military faction to overturn Turkey's elected[i] government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is still garnering headlines. At this point, by some reports, Erdoğan's purge of the alleged rebels totals nearly 60,000, ranging from military leaders to University professors. Obviously, with its failure, the coup's primary market impact was rendered null and void-leadership change and the associated uncertainty didn't happen. However, coming on top of recent terror strikes, the Brexit vote and America's election, it would be easy to get caught up in headlines and presume this coup is a further expansion of the "wild" times we live in. However, the following infographic, which we share courtesy of Statista, might add useful perspective.

From an equity market perspective, Turkey is tiny. It amounts to only 0.1% of the MSCI All-Country World Index (the MSCI World plus Emerging Markets) by market capitalization and less than 1% of world GDP.[ii] We weren't likely to see major global ripples even if Erdoğan's government fell.

Moreover, coups d'etat are a fairly regular occurrence in Turkey, as the infographic shows. (Moreover, even this list omits a brief attempted coup in 1963 and an alleged-but-unproven covert coup in 1993.) But also, note the number of coups by decade globally has been in sharp decline since the 1960s. The world is, of course, not devoid of problems. But seen in proper perspective, it never has been and likely never will be. About all you can say is these types of occurrences have become far less common than in the past, and that's largely for the best. For investors, keeping broader perspective can help you maintain an even keel when scary headlines hit.

[i] In Turkey, democratic institutions and processes like elections should be approached with skepticism. So this should be read as "Turkey's sort-of elected government...."

[ii] Source: World Bank, as of 7/21/2016. World and Turkey GDP in nominal USD.

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