Politicians hurting economy with empty rhetoric - columnist

Statements by the Turkish leadership meant for domestic consumption are causing problems for the country’s economy.

For instance, criticism levelled at the central bank over its policies and a pledge to hold meetings to deal with high interest rates have caused discomfort, even though many bankers believe no radical steps will be taken, wrote Erdal Sağlam, a columnist for Hürriyet newspaper.

These damaging statements are not only limited to the economy – comments regarding a money-laundering case in the United States also only serve to work against Turkey, Sağlam said.

“When officials claim that a big, dark plot is being staged against Turkey and the economy, and when they say things like 'we are prepared, nothing can happen to us,' they create an even bigger discomfort.”

The government is also talking about the impact of the money-laundering case on the nation’s banks, appearing to rule out the possibility of big fines. But then it publishes regulatory changes to enable banks to transfer their assets to third parties, stressing markets again, Sağlam said.

Investors are no longer paying great attention to announcements concerning interest rates, but they do worry when politicians make statements that appear to show Turkey moving away from the West, he said.