'Turkey turned into Survivor, as people try to survive financially'

Former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey had turned into the set of the competition "Survivor," with everyone in the country struggling to make ends meet with their wages.

Duvar English

Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan said that the government had turned the country into the reality TV show Survivor, where the entire public is trying to survive financially under duress.

Speaking at a DEVA congress in Ankara, Babacan, who is also the former deputy prime minister, noted that youth in Turkey used to dream about backpacking through Europe, when today, they can't even find affordable housing in their own country. 

"It's not just the youth, it's people of all ages who say they can't make ends meet," Babacan said. "The whole country is like the set for Survivor. We are the country of people trying to live on pennies."

Centered around a group of contestants living on a deserted island without resources, Survivor has become a popular show in Turkey over the past decade. 

Babacan noted that retirees of public institutions in Turkey used to be able to dream about living a good life after retirement, but that now their dreams are centered around paying bills and staying afloat financially until the end of the month. 

The DEVA leader showed his audience a video of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying that money was a symbol of a country's power, reputation and independence much like its flag or national anthem.

"If money is one of the symbols of a state, why did you make ours worth nothing?" Babacan said, noting that the lira weakened a shocking 22 percent against the dollar since 2018.

"I'm asking Mister Erdoğan, are you aware of the damage you've done to our power, reputation and independence?" 

Turkey's economy was the 21st strongest among all world countries when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power in 2002, Babacan noted, adding that the government abandoned all reason.

"This is the picture of a fiasco. This picture is the work of Mister Erdoğan."