Legal changes for electoral alliance on the way
We learned about U.S. President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision, which set the world on fire, while we were flying with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım from China’s far western Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi toward the Caspian Sea, after his visit to South Korea.
The scandalous decision stirred some action on the plane. There were short discussions between advisors and diplomats who were also on the flight.
So, what is Yıldırım saying about this decision?
Below are the details of the conversation we had with Yıldırım.
When asked what the U.S. was trying to do with its Jerusalem move, Yıldırım said, “This decision definitely eliminated any opportunity of a solution to the decades-long problem between Israel and Palestine. It looks similar to the referendum decision taken by the Northern Iraqi government. The whole world was against it but they still went ahead with the referendum and we all saw what happened in the end.”
Regarding what the status of Jerusalem would be, he said, “There have been decisions made by the U.N. many times before. They require having an independent Palestinian government with its capital as Jerusalem. Three religions are sensitive about this place. Jerusalem is holy for all three religions. Playing with its status can create a result similar to throwing a bomb with its pin pulled out. Putting it into practice means throwing the Middle East into a huge disaster.”
Legal regulation for electoral alliance
Yıldırım was also asked about a potential electoral alliance the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli brought up.
“Is there progress about the electoral alliance and electoral threshold?” we asked.
“There can be electoral alliance but it is not an issue of today. We must make regulations to it. In the current situation, it is possible for a party to enter elections with another party’s lists. We can make changes here. Each party must be able to make alliance by preserving their identity. For this, we need to make legal regulations. This is a subject on our agenda. We do not have a view about the electoral threshold,” he said.
He was also asked about the fluctuations in the exchange rates.
“The exchange rate started to decline a little. Rates keep increasing and declining slightly but these are all temporary. Last year, during these times, we had fluctuations again. With the measures we took, the markets became more stable. Turkey’s banking system is strong. The real sector is performing well. The growth is continuing. The third and fourth quarter growth may increase,” he said.
“The annual growth may be somewhere between 6 percent and 7 percent. There is high inflation and we know its causes. It is related to fluctuation in forex. We aim a 5.5 percent growth and single-digit inflation in 2018. We are taking all the necessary measures.”
Yıldırım also spoke about a recent amendment made on the ban on Turkish companies borrowing in foreign currencies.
“From now on, those who do not earn in a foreign currency will borrow based on that currency. If you are earning in the Turkish currency, then you can borrow in the Turkish currency. Some of the problems we have experienced are related to this. There has been almost no currency movement between 2002 and 2012. The rate is between 1.5-1.7 and even falls to 1.17. For 10 years, the currency has not moved much. However, since 2012, with the borrowing terms approaching, there has been an increase in demand for currency. The effects of regional and universal developments on the currencies have also been a topic of discussion,” he said.
“What do you foresee in the coming period?” we asked.
“The Central Bank has its tools. As the government we have precautions that we can take. We will get over it. There is nothing our business world should worry about. The Turkish economy has overcome more difficult problems in the past,” he said.