Babacan hits back at Erdogan

The former head of Turkey’s finance Ali Babacan who has become a fierce critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has highlighted the country’s economic problems in an apparent response to a salvo fired by the head of state at the weekend.

Without mentioning his name Erdogan on Saturday made a statement that is widely believed to target  Babacan who has announced forming a new party to challenge the president’s rule.

“When the 2008 financial crisis broke out, I said this economic crisis wouldn’t hit us. Some people who are now working to establish new parties opposed me [at the time] because they were taking orders from the IMF (International Monetary Fund),” Erdogan said during a televised interview blaming his former minister Babacan and his colleagues for being “lovers of interest.”

Instead of responding to Erdogan’s accusations the former head of the country’s economy highlighted current financial problems Turkey has been facing.

“The amount of interest payment that Turkey will make increased from TL 57 billion to TL 139 billion over the past three years. The increase rate is %144,” Babacan said in his statement.

He also reflected on Turkey’s growing unemployment problem.

“Turkey is facing unemployment and the high cost of living problems. While Turkey has been grappling with many problems, we should seek to offer solutions rather than engaging in pointless discussions,” Babacan said.

Babacan broke his long-lasting silence on the very first day of 2020 and shared his expectations for the new year on Twitter.

He said he wants Turkey, to be in 2020 a country where people can express their thoughts without fear and a country where justice and the rule of law are established.

He also signaled that he would be more active in politics by saying.

“We will fight for more democracy, more freedom, and more justice,” he said.

Turkey has been struggling to recover from an economic downturn since 2016. The government has introduced several measures to revive the economy but has done little so far. Many economists warn Turkey of growing inflation and the problem of rising unemployment.

T24 has reported that Umit Akcay, academic at Berlin School of Economics and Law has warned that 2020 will be a challenging year for Turkey -,.

“Turkish economy won’t be able to see a growth of over 3%. Turkey needs economic growth of at least 5% to reduce the unemployment rate,” Akcay said.

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