Turks exchanged $9 billion into liras: Deputy PM

Turks exchanged $9 billion into liras: Deputy PM

Turks exchanged $9 billion into liras: Deputy PM

AFP photo

Turkish citizens have sold some $9 billion for Turkish Liras since the start of the military coup attempt on July 15, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said during an interview with broadcaster CNN Türk on July 27. 

“Turkish citizens exchanged over $9 billion into liras as of yesterday [July 26], which is of grave importance. When looking at the data, the loss of value for the Turkish Lira, the rise in the stock market and market risk premium, it can be seen that the foundations are secure and strong,” said Şimşek, while evaluating the possible impacts of the bloody attempt on the Turkish economy. 

“Foreign capital entries have begun, minor amounts went out and they continue to be drawn,” Şimşek added.

Şimşek also commented on an upcoming Turkey rating by Moody’s, after another agency, Standard and Poor’s, cut Turkey’s rating, triggering a wave of criticism by the government. 

“Moody’s is in Ankara today [July 27] and I will be meeting them. There’s no reasonable argument for Turkey’s rating to be downgraded,” he said.

“Relations with Russia are remarkably positive; the Russians are supportive, constructive and well-intentioned,” Şimşek said while commenting on his recent meeting of him and two other Turkish cabinet ministers with their Russian counterparts in Moscow on July 26. 

“We discussed tourism with Russia. The ban on scheduled flights has been lifted but charter flights are of great importance to us. They wanted assurances, which we’ve taken care of. We’ve invited them to discuss and get their approval on these precautions. Export of raw vegetables and fruits and white meat is of grave importance; I’m confident that this process will pick up its pace however it’s a problematic issue,” he said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit Russia on Aug. 9 for his first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow and Ankara started to mend ties damaged by the downing of a Russian jet last year, Şimşek had announced. 

“There are ongoing efforts for a significant systemic reform. Important steps have been and are continuing to be taken,” Şimşek said on precautions to prevent similar coup attempts in the future.

“The heroic actions of our people that night [July 15], including yours, encourages and heartens us,” he told Hande Fırat of CNN Türk, who had talked to Erdoğan via FaceTime on the night of the coup attempt and facilitated his call for citizens to rush to the streets against the plotters, playing an important role in the defeat of the attempt. 

“We will prevent the system from attempting a coup through significant reforms however I have underlined the importance of the resistance that the people of Turkey have shown against this attempt not just for Turkey but for other countries as well,” he added.

“I’ve talked to the Prime Minister [Binali Yıldırım]. He jokingly said, ‘I don’t want to see you here.’ We’re working really hard to let everybody know about what’s going on,” said Şimşek.