Erdoğan threatens Turkish businessmen: Don’t take your money overseas

Amid claims that Turkey is facing an economic crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday said they will not forgive those businessmen who try to take their money outside Turkey, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“Those who prefer to transfer money abroad not for increasing and developing investment, trade and business but only for getting the funds outside the country, sorry, but they will not be forgiven,” Erdoğan told the Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEİK) general assembly in Istanbul.

Rejecting calls from businessmen to lift an ongoing state of emergency, Erdoğan said the government would extend the state of emergency for a 10th time if necessary.

Turkey’s central bank withdrew gold reserves it had held at the US Federal Reserve and deposited them in the Bank of International Settlements and the Bank of England amid a political crisis with the United States, Hürriyet columnist Uğur Gürses said, citing a central bank report.

The reserves totaled 28.6 tons, Gürses wrote in a column last week. Additionally, banks in Turkey have increased their reserves with the central bank in gold rather than foreign currency, putting 38.3 tons in the Bank of England and 63.8 tons in the central bank’s accounts at the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

The Turkish government has effectively nationalized about 1,100 companies by taking over their management or turning them over to the Treasury as part of a crackdown on opposition and critical groups in the country.

Responding to a motion filed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Denizli deputy Melike Basmacı in January 2017, former Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said the government had seized 809 companies as of Jan. 11, 2017 with a total value of TL 38.3 billion (nearly $10 billion).

Most of these companies were seized due to their owners’ alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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