Interview Given By President Erdogan To Bloomberg News Editor-in-chief John Micklethwait In New York

Addis Ababa Büyükelçiliği 28.09.2016

“FETO leader has been in the U.S. for 17 years”

Giving an interview to Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in New York, President Erdoğan underlined Turkey’s request from the U.S. administration for the extradition of the FETO leader and said: “We are strategic partners with the U.S. We are together in the NATO. We want him. So deliver him to us and let us try him. Let us do what is needed.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has gone to New York to attend the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, gave an interview to Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. The President made statements in the interview regarding current developments and Turkish economy.


In response to a question regarding Central Bank’s interest cuts, President Erdoğan stated that he saw the Central Bank’s last interest cut as a steady, careful and balanced cut. Stressing that the new management of the Central Bank, since it took office, has carried out cuts in interest rates taking into consideration the interest rate policies of the government, President Erdoğan described it as an important signal for investors and said: “I hope other banks as well pay due attention to this signal given by the Central Bank and accordingly clear the way for other investors.”

“Before we took office we had seen inflation exceed three digits. When we took office the inflation was very high. It was around 30 percent and then the interest rates used to be around 63 percent,” the President reminded and stressed that interest rates started going down when they took over. President Erdoğan further noted: “Throughout Gezi incidents, interest rates went down to as low as 4.6 percent. The interest rate at that law level and real interest rate at that good level pulled the inflation down significantly.”


Regarding the latest developments in Turkey’s economy politics, President Erdoğan underlined that “Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves are 123 billion dollars.” The President noted that Central Bank reserves were 28 billion dollars when they assumed office and Turkey owed IMF 23.5 billion dollars at that time. “We paid off this debt during our premiership. When I left the premiership, the reserves were up to 136 billion dollars,” the President said and voiced his belief that the Central Bank management would take the necessary steps to increase the reserves even more.


Pointing out that credit rating agencies, exceptions set aside, make political statements, President Erdoğan said: “While they increase the rating of collapsed economies, they either freeze or decrease, even if slightly, the rating of a country that stands on its feet and continues its investments. This is not a respectable stand. First of all, credit rating agencies should definitely not act politically. This is contrary to economic ethics. Whatever the situation is, that is what they have to announce. But they don’t announce that. This is wrong. I said that very openly during my premiership as well. I am saying it again as the President. I am inviting them to be honest. Whether you are honest or not, Turkish economy is already strong in any case. Turkish economy is standing upright and it will continue to stand upright.


Answering a question as to whether any part of the U.S. government might have had any role in the July 15 coup attempt, President Erdoğan said: “It doesn’t interest me whether they knew it before the coup or not. What is important is the period after the coup,” and he added: “If we went to a referendum and asked who was behind the coup attempt, my people would say FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization]. And where is the leader of FETO? He has been in the U.S. for 17 years. About 1-1.5 years ago, I told the highest level of U.S. administration that he was a guy like this and that he was the head of a terrorist organization. I said, ‘either give him to us or deport him.’ We sent 85 boxes of documents to American authorities. Then there is the process after July 15. Now those are also being prepared. Recently American officials came and met with authorities from the Ministry of Justice. And these documents related to the new process have been given or are being given to U.S. officials. Despite all this, this man is here in Pennsylvania. And he was also given a green card. He is being held here. Can a green card not be cancelled?”


Reminding that 9 out of the 10 terrorists the U.S. requested from Turkey had been apprehended and handed over to the U.S. in the past, President Erdoğan said: “And now we demand the head of a terrorist organization that has been included in the strategic document of the National Security Council. We are strategic partners with the U.S. We are together in the NATO. We want him. So deliver him to us and let us try him. Let us do what is needed. But they say the court will decide. Excuse us but we cannot wait for decisions of this kind of courts. This crime was not committed in the U.S. It was committed in Turkey. So it is us who should hand down the decision.”


Criticizing U.S. Secretary of Defense’s statements that the support lent to the YPG will be continued as “a source of concern,” President Erdoğan said: “For example, three days ago, America landed two planes full of weapons in Kobane to the PYD and PYG. They are committing a grave wrong before the eyes of the world. Now Al-Nusra is a terrorist organization. And it is also fighting against DAESH. If those fighting against DAESH aren’t terrorist, then Al Nusra isn’t also terrorist. However, if you get up and distinguish among terrorist organizations, you give harm to Turkey. Because now we are disturbed by this terrorist organization you are defending. YPG and PYD are the offshoots of the PKK. They are together. They are the same. They pose a threat to our country. And by giving weapons to these terrorist organizations, you are strengthening sources of threat to our future. We say now there are 65 countries included in the coalition and thus let’s bring down DAESH together. Have no doubt. Together we can do it.”

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