Finance Minister Albayrak 'institutionalised lying' says Turkey's opposition

Turkey’s opposition parties and politicians have denounced the new three-year economic programme Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced for the country on Tuesday, while pro-government circles praised it.

 

Selim Temurci, spokesman for the Future Party founded by former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, said in a series of tweets that Albayrak gave an account of “how lying was institutionalized in governance.”

Albayrak has not admitted to failure or apologised to the nation, Temurci said, while the lira slid to a record low of 7.85 against the dollar. “Everybody knows he bankrupted Turkey’s economy, that none of the figures he announced are correct,” he said. “Everybody knows that nothing will get better in this country before (Albayrak and those who keep him there) are gone.”

“They must be besides themselves with grief that they missed out on the Nobel Prize for Economics,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a tweet.

Kılıçdaroğlu pointed to the high unemployment, soaring dollar and euro exchange rates, and falling investments. “Turkey is not being governed, Turkey is scattering,” he said.

Centre-right Good Party (İYİP) leader and former interior minister Meral Akşener said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for years ran on a platform citing grandiose goals for Turkey’s centenary, “but admitted today with the New Economic Programme that the 2023 goals were trash. It’s a pity for our nation’s dreams.”

Akşener shared figures showing the disparity between goals announced in AKP’s 2011 manifesto (dark green) and the revised ones announced on Tuesday (pink), with actual values and percentages of the disparity also shown in red and brown respectively.

“The V-shaped dreams of the son-in-law,” economist Mustafa Sönmez said, referring to the gross domestic product growth Albayrak announced for 2020 and his projection for 2021, 0.3 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.

The new programme “focuses on growth based on increasing employment,” Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Chairman Şekib Avgadiç was cited by pro-government Güneş newspaper as saying. Turkey’s high potential has become more noticeable with the great global change that is afoot, he added.

Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said the programme had “created excitement and morale for our private sector with a high growth target.”

Foreign Economic Relations Board Chairman Nail Olpak said the programme’s priorities were determined correctly.

“We should not forget so easily that borders were closed, trade was more difficult, manufacturing was troubled and the whole world saw record unemployment,” Istanbul Commodity Exchange President Ali Kopuz said. “Barring a second wave of the pandemic, I believe we will end 2020 with positive growth as seen in the programme, unlike many developed countries.”

“The new economy package is a programme with strategic analyses,” Anatolian Lions Businessmen’s Association (ASKON) Secretary General Orhan Aydın said.