Turmoil costs Turkey $100bn
December 31, 2013 - 9:55:54 am
ANKARA: The political crisis engulfing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cost the economy $100bn, a top official said yesterday, as financial markets rebounded after days in freefall.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said a sweeping corruption probe that has shaken the core of Erdogan’s adminstration was a “plot aimed at tarnishing Turkey’s prestige at home and abroad”, a frequent government refrain since the scandal erupted.
“We are talking about damage of over $100bn,” Arinc said after Turkey’s first cabinet meeting since a major reshuffle last week forced by the resignation of three ministers over the probe.
Turkey had been seen as a model of democracy in the Muslim world and an emerging economic power but the crisis sent its currency and shares plunging. However, the battered financial markets bounced back. The lira rallied to 2.1239 against the dollar after hitting a record low of 2.17 last week as Erdogan faced mass protests and growing calls to resign. The Istanbul stock exchange surged 6.42 percent.