Coup attempt cost Turkey’s economy $100 billion: Trade Minister
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
The failed attempted coup on July 15 has cost the Turkish economy 300 billion Turkish Liras (around $100 billion), according to initial calculations, Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci has said.
This amount may however increase when more detailed calculations are made, he added.
“When we consider all those warplanes, helicopters, weapons, bombs and buildings, the cost is 300 billion liras at minimum according to our prior calculations. The exact cost may likely increase when the detailed calculations are made. There will also be various costs in the medium-term. For instance, many orders from abroad have been canceled. Many foreigners have halted their Turkey visits. The coup plotters have unfortunately created a Turkey image as if it were a third world country. People who see tanks in the streets and the parliament bombed will not come to Turkey. All of these create costs in the medium-term,” Tüfenkci said in a meeting with a group of journalists in Ankara.
Markets pass ‘difficult exam’
He also noted that the markets had passed this difficult exam successfully.
“We must thank the people. If such a coup was attempted in many other countries, the markets would probably be closed down for a week at least. Turkey experienced the coup attempt on Friday [July 15], but the all banks, bourses, commodity markets and commerce centers opened next Monday [July 18]. We did not see any huge rise in the rates. The main stock exchange declined in a limited manner. We do not see any need to revise our growth or export figures in this vein. Our people have showed a quite robust standing against the coup attempt. Over $10 billion was converted into liras and deposited into banks. This enabled the dollar to show a manageable trend. Foreigners did not make huge exits from our markets,” he added.
Tüfenkci reminded that some tourism reservations were still needed to be canceled, as the government suspended the annual leave of more than 3 million civil servants nationwide, according to a government order.
“We ask for understanding and patience from tourism companies and citizens. We are quite aware of the fact that the sector is struggling, but we expect a noble standing in these difficult times, just as our people do. The tourism sector has already been battered due to terror attacks, the Russian crisis and now the attempted coup,” he said, adding that some 1 million reservations were canceled so far due to the cancelations in annual leaves.
“The sector will leave these bad days after this very moment,” noted Tüfenkci.
Promotional campaign abroad ‘to be launched soon’
He also noted that the government would start an intensive promotional campaign abroad.
“We now have an amazing resistance narrative. We need to tell this with the most proper methods. For this, many businesspeople, artists, sportspeople and politicians will come together. We will offer the right data to them and they will tell. We must immediately organize and also use the leading economic associations, such as TOBB [the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges] and TESK [the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen]. We need to tell about the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ] abroad very well,” he added.