President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again claimed that dark foreign powers are trying to “manipulate” the Turkish economy by “playing on currencies,” vowing to “settle the score” with them after the June 24 snap elections.
“Turkey’s economy, in all areas, is now far beyond developed countries,” Erdoğan said at a rally in the province of Sakarya on June 5.
The volume of the country’s exports was $36 billion in 2002 when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) first came to the power but it has now reached $162 billion, he stated.
“We have made Turkey a country that has a growth rate of 5.7 percent,” Erdoğan said, adding that the Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves amounted to $27.5 billion when the AKP came to office but these are now $110 billion.
“We have had a fall recently and we need to move it forward again,” the president said.
“In 2002, 91.000 cars were sold in Turkey but last year the figure was 723,000. Some 1.09 million fridges were sold per year but now it has risen to 3.11 billion. If every house has a refrigerator then there is a level of prosperity. If you have a car, you have prosperity,” he added.
Erdoğan slammed Muharrem İnce, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate for the presidential elections, as well as CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for “lacking knowledge of the economy.”
He also blasted İnce, who recently objected to Second Army Command Commander Lt. Gen. Ismail Metin Temel’s applauding of Erdoğan at an election event while wearing his military uniform.
Erdoğan recalled that Temel was a commander in the recent “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s Afrin province, where he “fought against terrorists.” Temel is officially based in the eastern province of Malatya, where President Erdoğan held a rally and spoke at an iftar meal on May 31.
Meanwhile, the president criticized İnce over his visit to Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed candidate of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), last month.
“Will you strip [Temel’s] epaulettes and attach them to Demirtaş?” Erdoğan asked.
“One who killed 53 of my citizens is a presidential candidate in this country. This Muharrem is also visiting him … A terrorist cannot be president. My Kurdish brothers will break this game,” he said.