Turkey Stock Market Plummets in Wake of Social Unrest

Fueled by solid economic growth, Turkey’s stock market has been on a fantastic run. The government’s ham-handed efforts to crush protests have caused investors to flee.

The hardline tactics that the Turkish government has taken to crush protests in Taksim Square in Istanbul have taken a toll on the image of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But they’ve also taken a toll on the image of Turkey’s booming corporate sector. In recent years, Turkey has been a bright spot in the global economy. A rising middle class, a stable financial sector, and growing economic integration with Europe (to the west) and the Middle East (to the, um, east) have spurred rapid growth in recent years. And that has made the Turkish stock market a solid performer.

But bull runs can come to end quickly, especially when violence erupts on the streets. Below are three-month and one-year charts of the iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund, which tracks the performance of major Turkey-based companies. Both show impressive bull runs that came to an abrupt end when the protests in Taksim Square got out of control. The index has fallen about 20 percent in the past month.