Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called international credit rating agencies“fraudsters,” while promising his supporters “this too shall pass,” referring to the ongoing market volatility.
“They say that credit rating agencies say this or that… Leave those fraudsters. They say a lot of things about us,” Erdoğan said, addressing locals in the western province of Balıkesir on Aug. 31. “These firms are those that increased ratings of bankrupting states four notches at once. They are such a [crime] syndicate.”
His comments came after ratings agency Fitch, which downgraded 24 Turkish banks last month, said on Aug. 30 the 25 percent fall in the Turkish Lira since then had heightened risks and could lead to further rating cuts.
Earlier on Aug. 31, the Turkish president addressed newly graduated military cadets in Balıkesir, where he said: “Turkey will cope with this attack. For those who ask about foreign exchange rates, our answer is: This too shall pass.”
Hours before Erdoğan, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said rating agencies have been putting in intense efforts to create a pessimistic view of Turkey’s banks.
Fitch’s warning came two days after Moody’s downgraded its ratings on 20 Turkish financial institutions, citing the increased risk of a deterioration in funding. The operating environment is now worse than previously expected, it said.