Vice-President of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Nurettin Canikli, posted this series of tweets on August 22, 2020, Saturday: 

1-    “Right after our President announced the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserve, Fitch Ratings revised Turkey’s outlook from stable to negative.”  

2-    “The reason why it is making this statement now is very simple: With the declaration of a natural gas reserve discovery, a very positive atmosphere has been created. It is inevitable that this positive mood would be reflected also on economic expectations.”   

3-    “Right at this point Fitch steps in and is trying to prevent the recovery of economic expectations. The reasons why Fitch has downgraded Turkey’s outlook have not been disclosed today. It has been discussed for months.” 

4-    “For those who have a difficult time trying to find a superior mind, here is another situation of being caught red-handed. This statement of Fitch cannot possibly be considered separately from Joe Biden’s statement on supporting the opposition in Turkey to topple Erdoğan.” 

5-    “Thus, they have not given up organizing operations on our economy to meet their goals. They were not able to achieve any results up to now. After the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas, there is nothing left for them to do. Their efforts are in vain. All rivers fall into the sea.” 

6-    “It is the regular owls that are traumatized. They already have some kind of an imbalance, now, with the discovery of the natural gas they are totally lost. They cannot say a word. Together with those who fell sick after the opening of Hagia Sophia, they are listening to requiems now.”  

What had happened? 

Fitch Ratings international credit rating agency at U.S. New York time at 5.01 p.m. and 1 minute past midnight in Turkey time on August 21, (August 22, 00:01 a.m.) announced Turkey’s rating; it did not change the credit rating, but revised the outlook to negative.

Before reviewing Canikli’s tweets, let us remember when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared the “good news.” 

On August 19, President Erdoğan in a meeting he participated said, “With the good news we will announce Friday, a new era will open for Turkey.” On Friday August 21, the good news was announced at 3 p.m. as the discovery of a huge natural gas reserve in the Black Sea.  

In his tweet series above, Nurettin Canikli said, “Right after our President announced the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserve, Fitch Ratings Fitch Ratings downgraded Turkey’s outlook from stable to negative. The reason why it is making this statement now is very simple: With the declaration of a natural gas reserve discovery, a very positive atmosphere has been created. It is inevitable that this positive mood would be reflected also on economic expectations.” 

According to Canikli, “Thus, they have not given up organizing operations on our economy to meet their goals. Nurettin Canikli’s position as Ak Party’s Vice-President in charge of Economic Affairs. 

The announcement of the credit rating was scheduled for August 21, as economy experts and economists noted in their agendas; political parties must have been monitoring this closely also.  

As part of corporate transparency, Fitch Ratings Inc. issued on December 19, 2019, the Sovereign 2020 Rating Review Calendar. According to this calendar, on August 21, 2020, Turkey, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan credit ratings would be announced. In other words, it was known eight months earlier that at the night of August 21, a credit rating announcement was scheduled. 

The most interesting part is (If it had happened in another country, I would have called it “amusing”), international credit rating agencies such as Fitch Ratings send their credit rating or outlook changes to their interlocutors (Treasury and Central Bank) about three to five days before their public announcement. This is to ask their last comments, if they have, on the change.

Therefore, if they have made a downgrading or a change in credit rating or outlook, the Treasury and of course the related minister would know this beforehand. That means the government would always be informed three to five days before.

In short, it was known that Fitch would be lowering Turkey’s outlook to negative on August 19 when President Erdoğan said he would be giving good news on August 21.  

Here are some facts that can be drawn from this tweet series of Nurettin Canikli, the vice-president of the ruling party AKP, in charge of economic affairs. 

1-    It is impossible for Nurettin Canikli not to know that a Fitch review will be arriving on August 21. He has a position in charge of these matters. 

2-    If he does not know, then the situation is even worse. The ruling party’s relevant executive is not aware of the information that an ordinary analyst knows. 

3-    Canikli should have known that Fitch’s Turkey rating review was due that day, as well as he should have known of the lowering of the outlook some three to five days prior. This must have been made known to the Treasury and the Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak.   

4-    If the relevant cabinet minister did not inform him, then Canikli was left with the duty of writing a conspiracy theory based on this much lack of knowledge. 

As a last note, it should be considered as a “generous advance” to Ankara and to us that despite the 60 billion dollars’ worth of reserve loss, Fitch is only changing the outlook to negative and not downgrading our rating. 

Canikli wrote that this was a case of being caught red-handed and that would help those who were having a hard time trying to find the superior mind. He associates this with Joe Biden’s statement on support for Turkey’s opposition to topple Erdoğan. 

The issue is coming from where and going where, right? 

If our politicians, instead of clinging to the “superior mind” rhetoric, would do politics through working and with a little bit of wisdom and knowledge, then as a society we would have more self-confidence, don’t you think so? 

Those who are ruling the country are spending so much energy on blaming vague foreign powers for all the wrong and bad management. If they could have channeled this energy to understanding the problems of the country, then we would have gone a long way and truly would have made these “foreign powers” envious of ourselves.