AKP in denial of economic collapse, says Turkey 'getting stronger'

Lawmakers of the ruling AKP seem to be in denial of the worsening economic crisis, as one said that Turkey is “getting stronger,” while another boasted about his party's not "giving any concessions from security," even it comes at the expense of eating just “onions and bread for months.”

Duvar English

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP Ramazan Can seemed in denial of the deepening economic crisis, as he said that Turkey was “getting stronger” in his view.

“According to some, Turkey is sinking...Yes, as Turkey is getting stronger, it is bothering some,” Can wrote on Twitter, making a play on the word "batmak" which means both "sink" and "bother." 

AKP lawmaker Uğur Aydemir on the other hand seemed to acknowledge that the Turkish economy is in such a crisis that people might eat only “onions and bread for months,” but boasted about “not giving any concessions from security.”

“As the People's Alliance, I am saying this always and will keep saying it. Maybe we will eat onions and bread for days, months, but we will not make any concessions from our security. I call out to the whole world from here,” said Aydemir during budget discussions in parliament, online news portal T24 reported on Nov. 23.

The People's Alliance of the ruling AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) “stands tall” and will strive to “keep the security at the top level," he said. 

“From the defense industry to Police Department, Interior Ministry, we will keep our security at the top level. We will not leave this country's pebble stones to anyone; it has been bestowed onto us. We will protect it until the end. Despite whom? Despite the agents within ourselves,” Aydemir said, accusing some opposition lawmakers of supporting “terrorism” in a veiled way.

He said that the People's Alliance will not “let the unity and integrity of the country to be damaged.” 

The two deputies' remarks resembled those of another AKP MP, Zülfü Demirbağ, who suggested Turkish people eat less in the face of the economic crisis and skyrocketing food prices. 

"We can buy two tomatoes instead of buying two kilograms. It's not that healthy to eat forced crops during winter anyways," Demirbağ said on Nov. 22.

Turkey's lira nose-dived 15% on Nov. 13 in its second-worst day ever after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended recent sharp rate cuts, and vowed to win his "economic war of independence" despite widespread criticism and pleas to reverse course.

The lira tumbled to as low as 13.45 to the dollar, plumbing record troughs for an 11th straight session, before paring some losses. It has shed 45% of its value this year, including a near 26% decline since the beginning of last week.

The lira has been by far the worst performer globally this year due mostly to what some analysts have called a premature economic "experiment" by the president who has ruled Turkey for nearly two decades.

Erdoğan's AKP is sliding in opinion polls ahead of elections scheduled for no later than mid-2023, reflecting sharply higher costs of living.