Cem Küçük, a journalist who staunchly supports President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has targeted actress Birce Akalay after the latter decried the unstoppable plunge of the Turkish lira against U.S. dollar.
“Birce Akalay is looking at social media, hears what is being said, and says the government will definitely go away [lose the upcoming elections]. Ms. Birce, those who have spoken like this in the last 20 years have either got jailed or fled or their careers are over,” Küçük wrote in his column in Türkiye newspaper.
“Ms. Birce, there was once [actor] Mehmet Ali Alobora. He had said that trees were an excuse at the Gezi [Park protests]. I think he is in London now. You should not be that confident. It is better to be cautious…It is apparent that we will hear these threats [referring to Birce’s criticism] until the elections. Afterwards, the decision will be given by people at the ballot box,” Küçük said.
Küçük’s comments came after Akalay reacted against the deepening economic crisis and the lira’s steep depreciation that leads to the soaring of inflation.
In an Instagram post, Akalay wrote: “I have had it. The value of our labor, our money have totally lost their value. Our workers, our people have become miserable. But some people continue to eat away and sell the country in an unsatisfied way. With the hope that we will see the days when you stand trial, and we will see them.”
Across Turkey, citizens are decrying rising living costs and stagnating wages as the country faces its worst economic crisis in decades, with the annual inflation reaching 78.62 percent, the highest since Erdoğan took power two decades ago. Independent economists say the actual inflation rate is likely twice the official numbers.