President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lashed out against the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) after the latter criticized the government over its economic policies.
“Hey mister chairing TÜSİAD, you cannot give us a lesson in foreign policy. You are an apprentice. You will first know your place. Who are you to give a lesson to the rulership?” Erdoğan said on June 15 during a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“If TÜSİAD continues to go in this way [with this rheotric], they should not knock on the door of this government...This door is open to those who show a stance of being domestic and national; it is closed to those who do not display a stance of being domestic and national,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan's remarks came shortly after Orhan Turan, who was elected to chair TÜSİAD in March, warned the government to return to “conventional” economic policies, saying that the country can no longer sustain such “increasing risk premium levels.”
At a meeting of TÜSİAD on June 15, Turan said: “Consumer price index is going up to three-digit figures rates; we are growing [economically] by getting poor...Our incomes are melting with the followed economic policies. The growth is not enough on its own for development. You are growing by getting poorer.”
Tuncay Özilhan, who is head of Anadolu Group and chairs TÜSİAD’s High Advisory Council, similarly warned that “the inflation is going out of control” and called on the government to “listen to opinions of experts and academics to put the economy in a stable and sustainable track.”
"The increasing trend of inflation will spike the income inequality more and more. A comprehensive policy is needed to improve the income distribution. Economic policies cannot be determined without taking these into account,” said Özilhan.
Last week, Financer Minister Nureddin Nebati said that the government has chosen economic growth instead of adopting measures to tackle soaring inflation, such as going for an increase in the interest rate.
The Turkish economy is currently burdened by inflation which surged to 73.5% in May, while the lira has weakened 24% this year.