Berkin Elvan’s death ‘will not negatively affect economy,’ Turkish PM says
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses the crowd during the opening of a metro line in Ankara, March 13. AA photo
The death of Berkin Elvan “will not negatively affect the economy,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in his first statements regarding the tragic passing away of the 15-year-old.
“Turkey has overcome all this before. The fluctuations in markets are like a sudden wind, they come and go,” Erdoğan said in response to a question from journalist Mustafa Karaalioğlu about the possible economic effects of the unrest since Elvan’s death.
The exclusive interview was broadcast on March 12 on private broadcaster Kanal 24, known for being very close to the government.
“They did the same things last May and June, the market then picked itself up. There is no question of [investors] running from Turkey. Unfavorable things happened this morning, but then the stock exchange started to increase in the afternoon and rates got back on the track,” Erdoğan said, referring to Elvan’s funeral.
“The foundations of Turkish economy are strong,” he added.
On March 12, tens of thousands in Istanbul flocked to mourn Elvan, who lost his battle with life after spending 269 days in a coma sustained during the Gezi protests last June. Police once again resorted to heavy-handed tactics to prevent the crowd marching to Taksim to leave carnations at Gezi Park, reviving outrage against the police’s heavy use of force against protesters.