Erdoğan says will sanction Moody’s after it defamed Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his government will “conduct an operation against Moody’s” following elections on June 24.

Moody’s has tried to defame Turkey and place it in a difficult situation, Erdoğan told the state-run Anadolu agency in a televised interview.

The ratings agency is making unnecessary statements even though Turkey does not have a contract with the organization, Erdoğan said.

Moody’s and Fitch still have contracts with the Turkish government to rate the country’s debt, while Standard & Poor’s does not.

Moody’s cut Turkey’s debt to Ba2 in March, two steps below investment grade, citing the erosion of checks and balances in the country under Erdoğan. Earlier this month, the ratings agency said it was considering downgrading the country again, citing its deteriorating investment environment.

Turkey’s lira hit a record low of 4.92 per dollar in May, forcing the central bank to raise rates by 425 basis points over the past month to avert a possible currency crisis. The lira rose 0.7 percent to 4.627 per dollar on Thursday.