President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has asked whether people believe that "anyone can't bring home the bread" amid the downfall of Turkish Lira.
Speaking to reporters after the weekly parliamentary group meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdoğan dismissed criticism that people are getting increasingly impoverished.
"Do you believe that anyone can't bring home the bread? Do you think such thing exists in Turkey? Turkey is ahead of many countries in terms of its minimum wage and salaries," Erdoğan told reporters.
His remarks came as a response to questions on a campaign launched by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a government ally, for the impoverished to take free bread when needed from certain spots.
He was also asked about his recent response to a worker in the eastern province of Malatya, who told the president that they can't bring home the bread.
"That sounds like a huge exaggeration to me. Here, enjoy this nice cup of tea," Erdoğan told the worker, drawing rebuke on social media for ignoring the country's economic woes.
Erdoğan on Oct. 28 said that Turkey is "at a great spot" when one looks at data from the IMF and OECD.
Worker backtracks on earlier statement
Mesut İnce said that he and Erdoğan were "joking around" and that the atmosphere was not tense.
The worker who received the much-debated response from Erdoğan in Malatya, meanwhile, said that his words on experiencing economic difficulties were misunderstood, contradicting his earlier statement, in which he said that he was hurt.Erdoğan tells workers to 'enjoy nice cup of tea' if they 'can't bring home bread'
Reading his statement from a paper, İnce said that he stands with Erdoğan "as a soldier of the state and a lover of the homeland."
Albayrak: Confidence in economy is increasing
Separately, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdoğan's son-in-law, said that the confidence in Turkish economy is increasing.
"Despite those who are trying to create the perception that the economy is done with based on different political beliefs, the confidence in our economy is increasing," Albayrak said on Oct. 28.
Farklı siyasi saiklerle bir olup battık, bittik yaygarasıyla algı oluşturmaya çalışanlara inat, ekonomimize güven artıyor!— Berat Albayrak (@BeratAlbayrak) October 28, 2020
Ekonomik Güven Endeksi eylülde 88,5 iken ekimde %4,8 oranında artarak 92,8 değerine yükseldi. pic.twitter.com/2cueCClFDj
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), the economic confidence index climbed 4.8% month-on-month in October to 92.8 points. The index was up from 88.5 in September, it said.Turkish Central Bank says it has no target on exchange rates as lira plunges to another record low