World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking at an iftar (fast-breaking) event at Ankara Chamber of Commerce, Erdogan said: “Turkey has become a worldwide model, a legend across the world with its economic performance in the past 16 years.”
In recent months, the Turkish lira has been losing ground to the U.S. dollar. The USD/TRY rate has risen nearly 20 percent since the beginning of this year.
Last month, the dollar/lira rate hit an all-time high -- 4.93 -- just before the Central Bank raised interest rates, helping the lira gain ground. Last year, one dollar traded for 3.65 liras on average.
Turkish officials have stressed that the fluctuations do not reflect the true state of Turkey's economy, but are due to manipulations from outside.
During his speech, Erdogan vowed that Turkey’s economy, which some circles want to distort by exchange rate, interest rate and inflation, would have a new and much stronger growth approach after June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
He criticized rating agencies for making statements on the Turkish economy “to fuel the negative atmosphere created against the country” rather than evaluating the economic development.
The president said they are not only talking about a strong parliament, a strong government, a strong Turkey but also a strong economy.
Turkey’s economy does not have any problem in its income, expenses, borrowing and debt payment, according to Erdogan.
“Turkey has a better picture [in the context of economic development] not only when compared to developing countries but also many developed countries,” he said.
“Sixteen years ago, Turkish citizens had one third income when compared with the income of EU countries’ citizens but now Turks have two third income of EU citizens. Our goal is to equalize and even pass this rate up to 2023.”
Erdogan repeated his call to Turkish citizens to convert foreign currencies they had “under their pillow” into Turkish lira and “put them in banks, participating companies and other investment platforms, and contribute to the growth of our country all together".