Despite lira's downfall, poverty and unemployment, Erdoğan boasts about managing economy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has boasted about his government's success in managing the economy despite unemployment and poverty in the country.

Duvar English 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 14 boasted about the success of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in managing the economy.

Addressing a meeting of the Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) in Istanbul, Erdoğan ignored the fact that Turkey's lira has been on a steep decline and the country's citizens are suffering from unemployment and poverty.

"We have written a book on the economy and continue to do so," he said, using a Turkish saying that means knowing a subject so well that one can write a book on it. 

Erdoğan was commenting on the construction of the Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey's northwest when he pointed to how the country's infrastructure has developed over the years. 

"We'll be crossing this bridge in six minutes. How was this made possible? They ask us where we get the money from. I'll tell you, this is a bridge constructed with the build operate transfer model and it will be left to the state and the people 12 years later," he said. 

"We have realized most of our investments this way and are still doing so. There are 5,000 people working here and getting paid thanks to this project," Erdoğan said, in response to the opposition's criticism of people being hungry. 

The president then went on to brag about how the AKP constructed roads across Turkey. 

Although Erdoğan bragged about the condition of the economy, statistics show otherwise. The lira last week fell to a record low amid concern the central bank will continue cutting interest rates. 

The lira has weakened more than 25% since December and is on track for its ninth straight yearly depreciation. The central bank meets to set interest rates on Nov. 18.

Annual inflation in Turkey was 19.89% in October - the highest in nearly 2-1/2 years, rising from 19.58% in September. The policy rate at 16% is already well below inflation as the central bank cut by 300 basis points this year, pressured by Erdoğan. 

Unemployment figures have also been increasing, with official statistics showing one in every five young people being unemployed. Unofficial data put the figures much higher.