Duvar English - ReutersWe're left to die, refugees in Istanbul say amid increasing coronavirus cases
Fall in oil prices will benefit Turkish economy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a high-level meeting on coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 18.
He said that the coronavirus was hitting Turkey just as it was recovering from a 2018 lira crisis but that there would be big opportunities if it could bring the outbreak under control in the coming weeks.
"Financial developments that take place in relation to the decrease in oil prices will provide additional advantages to our country," Erdoğan said in his first speech in a week.
"It is not easy to keep all the wheels of the economy turning while battling coronavirus," Erdoğan said at the start of a meeting he was chairing with ministers, bankers and business leaders to discuss dealing with the pandemic.
Turkey's economy was hit by a currency crisis in 2018 and the lira has lost more than 40% of its value against the dollar since the end of 2017, including an 8% decline this year as the coronavirus added to its woes.Shopkeeper in Grand Bazaar 'first person to be diagnosed with coronavirus'
The economy rebounded strongly in the latter part of last year, growing 6% in the fourth quarter after government steps to boost economic activity.
"We won't drop the ball when business is getting back on track as our country is recovering from the exchange rate, interest rate and inflation attack which it got through in August 2018," Erdoğan said.
As part of efforts to keep the economy on track, Turkey's central bank cut its key interest rate by 100 basis points on March 17 at an earlier-than-scheduled policy meeting and took steps to support volatile financial markets.
During the meeting, Erdoğan also said that Turkey is in a much better situation than Britain, France and Germany.
Erdoğan noted that there will be serious economic consequences of the process that led to the near halt of daily life.Turkish Central Bank lowers key rate 100 points in response to coronavirus
"If we can manage these few weeks well and inform the nation well and keep the virus under control, we anticipate a good outlook, better than we had hoped," he said. "We can see that greater opportunities await us when we get out of this period with success."
"What's important is for us to put forward the strength that would overcome the virus' medical, psychological and economical affects without letting the virus defeat us," Erdoğan added.