Turkey's Erdogan: I Have Not Asked Any Country for Money, 'Opportunists' Raising Prices

The president also said he had ordered his ministers to stop receiving consulting services from U.S. firm McKinsey, after the deal came under fire from the main opposition

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey, October 4, 2018.
AP

Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he will impose fines on "opportunists" who use volatility in the foreign exchange rate to raise prices. He added that Turkey is open to all forms of investments and support, but it has not asked any country for money.

Erdogan also said he had ordered his ministers to stop receiving consulting services from U.S. firm McKinsey, after the deal came under fire from the main opposition. 

Last month, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdogan's son-in-law, announced that Turkey had decided to work with McKinsey as part of efforts to implement a new medium-term economic programme. 

>> Analysis: Turkey Crisis: Erdogan Resorts to Fantasy, Paranoia to Grapple With Crashing Lira

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), this week accused Erdogan of siding with U.S. firms at a time when relations with Washington have been hit by the detention of a U.S. evangelical pastor in Turkey and other issues. 

"This person (Kilicdaroglu) is trying to corner us by asking questions about a consultancy firm that has been paid in full to help our economic management," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party. 

"In order to not give him that chance ... I told all my ministers to no longer receive consultancy from them (McKinsey)." 

McKinsey was not immediately available for comment. 

"We will not abandon our people to the mercy of opportunists," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party at a retreat on the outskirts of Ankara. 

Erdogan urged Turks on Tuesday to report stores that had imposed unusual price hikes during the currency crisis, and said authorities would raid those businesses if necessary. 

The country grapples with a currency crisis that has sent the lira plunging in recent weeks. 

Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party he had ordered his ministers not to receive any financial advice or consulting from U.S. firm McKinsey, saying the government would rely on domestic capabilities instead.