Erdogan reassures investors in address to parliament

Erdogan said Turkey's economy had not 'collapsed' as predicted when the state of emergency was declared in the country

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan allayed the fears of investors following last week's failed coup attempt, declaring the country 'open for business'.

Erdogan, addressing the parliament one week after a failed bid to overthrow his government by a faction in the army, thanked lawmakers for voting in favour of a bill that formally approved the three-month state of emergency in the country.

"Some thought the economy would collapse if a state of emergency was declared ... I call on investors to continue investing (in Turkey) as the public will move forward with major projects," Erdogan said during his address on Friday.

He urged the local bodies of the government to work together to ensure that the emergency measures are implemented smoothly.

A state of emergency was declared by Turkey on Wednesday, a move the government said would allow it to take swift action against those who plotted the coup that killed more than 246 people and wounded more than 2,100 before it collapsed within hours.

Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric, has been accused of masterminding the plot against the Turkish government. In a crackdown on Gulen's suspected followers, soldiers, police officers, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended, detained or placed under investigation.

In an interview with Reuters late on Thursday, Erdogan said the government's Supreme Military Council, which is chaired by the prime minister and includes the defence minister and the chief of staff, would oversee the restructuring of the armed forces.

"They are all working together as to what might be done, and ... within a very short amount of time a new structure will be emerging. With this new structure, I believe the armed forces will get fresh blood," Erdogan said.

Speaking at his palace in Ankara, which was targeted during the coup attempt, he said a new putsch was possible but would not be easy because authorities were now more vigilant.

Turkey wants the United States to extradite Gulen, but US President Barack Obama repeated Washington's stance on Friday when he said that Ankara must first provide clear evidence of his involvement

Serdar Kilic, the Turkish ambassador to the US, told a news conference on Friday that the "necessary documentation" for Gulen's extradition had already been submitted. But US Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said he could not yet give a "hard yes or no" on whether the materials submitted by Turkey constituted a formal extradition request.

TRTWorld and agencies