Erdoğan calls to stop assets being moved out of Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said any businessmen who attempt to move their assets overseas were ‘traitors’ on Sunday, calling on Turkish ministers to block any such moves.

Speaking on Sunday at his ruling AKP’s rally in the Eastern city of Muş, Erdoğan said:

I am hearing news, signals that some businessmen are trying to smuggle their assets out of Turkey. [Crowd boos.] I hereby make a public call, firstly to the cabinet, never allow any of this. [Crowd cheers.] Because these moves amount to treason. We could never approve of those who earn money in Turkey and then try to smuggle the country's wealth abroad. [Crowd chants: “The nation is with you, stand tall, don't bow.”]

The former governor of Turkey’s Central Bank, Durmuş Yılmaz, reacted to the news on Twitter, saying: “Everybody should take the utmost care to think more and talk less. If we go too far, this may trigger an as-yet non-existent crisis. Please beware!”

Economist Uğur Gürses said: “A country that switched to flexible exchange rate regime in 1989 cannot go in the reverse direction on this highway. If it does, there could be multiple collisions.”

Academics Ümit Akçay and Cem Başlevent both said Erdoğan’s statement pointed to capital controls. “This is the last thing foreign and domestic investors would like to hear.” Başlevent wrote.