Erdoğan calls for more investment in Turkey

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 20 called on entrepreneurs to invest more in Turkey, saying the country’s financial troubles are now fading away.

“We are dispelling the dark clouds over our country by declining our inflation to single-digit figures and rapidly decreasing interest rates. Hopefully, 2020 will be a year in which interest rates will decrease even further,” Erdoğan said.

The president’s remarks came during a speech at a meeting with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial heads.

“I am calling on to out enterprises. Come and invest [in Turkey]. I am calling on every industry. Regardless of the sector, come and invest [in Turkey]. The doors of our banks are now open to you, and the interest rates are clear as day,” he said.

Erdoğan said that Turkey is now taking steps in the economy, by using its own currency rather than becoming indebted over foreign currencies.

“The increase in property, automobile and domestic appliance sales, that had declined because of last year’s troubles, is an indicator of economic recovery,” Erdoğan said.

“I am calling on our investors: Don’t worry, don’t hesitate. Please, continue to invest in your own industries,” he added.

Before 2002, Turkey was only investing 70 billion Turkish Liras (roughly $12.3 billion) annually while in 2019, its investment volume has reached over 1 trillion liras (around $176 billion), Erdoğan said.

Underlining that the Turkish economy has experienced a growth of 5.6 percent, on average, between 2003 and 2018, the president conveyed that the country is the 13th largest economy in the world, with respect to its purchasing power parity.

The president also once again underlined that when the AKP came to power, Turkey’s debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stood at $23.5 billion. He added that the AKP government has closed this debt and left the IMF days of Turkey behind.

“We do not have anything to do with the IMF; we are enough for each other,” he said. “We solved all these problems with the motto ‘the state cannot be indebted to its nation,’” Erdoğan added.

The president also criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) over their meeting with IMF officials.

The top IMF officials met with representatives of the CHP and İYİ (Good) Party in September as part of its Article 4 consultation, an annual economic assessment of each of the fund’s member countries. The meeting has drawn accusations by the government that it was a “secret meeting.”

“They [the CHP] were advising us to borrow loans from the IMF. You know they held a secret meeting with [IMF officials] and then said, ‘it’s okay to do so,’” he said.

Ecevit argument in parliament ‘immoral and impudent’

Erdoğan also slammed CHP for “attacking” a woman deputy of the AKP during a heated argument that broke out regarding the late former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit.

Tensions rose in the parliament on Nov. 19 between AKP and CHP deputies concerning a photo of Ecevit taken with former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

AKP group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin said that in the said photo, Ecevit “grovels” to Clinton. Zengin’s remarks came in response to CHP Istanbul Deputy Mahmut Tanal’s criticisms of AKP’s policies.

After the argument, CHP group Deputy Chair Engin Özkoç said Zengin’s statements were “out of limits” and the parliament’s deputy speaker should “bring her into line.” Özkoç later said he was sorry if he did something to upset the AKP deputy.

“There are CHP officials who act in an immoral and impudent manner by saying ‘Silence this woman’ to our group deputy chair. We are in no position to tolerate these immoralists,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan also recalled a previous argument in the parliament between Ecevit and Merve Kavakçı, present-day ambassador to Malaysia, saying the CHP’s attitude was “inspired” by the former premier.

On May 2, 1999, after being elected deputy the previous month, Kavakçı entered parliament wearing a headscarf. Pandemonium broke out as other deputies beat on desktops and called for her to get out, with late Ecevit denouncing her in strong terms and calling a recess. Kavakçı said that on that day she was prevented from fulfilling her duty as a lawmaker.

The parliament should give the necessary response to the CHP deputies, especially because they “attacked a woman deputy,” Erdoğan said.

Sending apologies is not an adequate step taken towards reconciliation, according to the president. “Punishment should be given,” he said.

“They have done all kinds of shameless things under the roof of this parliament,” he said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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