Ankara is seemingly on a collision course with a leading American rating agency as the country faces the prospect of yet another downgrade in the space of a few months.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that he would launch an “operation” against the Moody’s rating agency after the company’s analysts decided to place Turkey’s economy under review for a downgrade, The Financial Times reported on Thursday.
“God willing, we will conduct an operation against Moody’s after June 24. Moody’s is making unnecessary statements despite the fact that we are not a member of it. What a shame,” President Erdogan said earlier this week.
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He issued the warning over ten days after the US-based ratings agency indicated it might downgrade Turkey over ambiguity of the state’s economic policies and claimed that “political interference” is adversely affecting the Turkish economy.
Prior to this, in the first quarter of 2018, Moody’s reduced Ankara’s credit rating, which investors and potential creditors use to gauge the stability and security of a country’s economy and government-issued securities, such as bonds.
The country is facing the growing prospect of an economic crisis, with government-issued debt being downgraded and the national currency falling to a record low against the US Dollar (USD) in recent days.
Outside the economic sphere, Ankara has often clashed with the US over differing foreign policy stances, especially in the Middle East.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to withdraw from the Iran deal are just two examples of disagreement between Ankara and Washington in the past 12 months.
On June 24, a general election will be held in Turkey, with Turks electing their new president for the next term, in addition to members of parliament.
Candidates running against Erdogan are using the faltering state of Turkey’s economy to sway voters and win over support, vowing to tackle the crisis before it worsens.
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