TODAY’S – Raids on media cost Turkish economy TL 20 bln

Raids on media cost Turkish economy TL 20 blnThe economic cost of Sundayand#39s raids on the headquarters of Zaman, Turkeyand#39s most highly circulated daily, and private TV station Samanyolu totaled TL 20 billion, according to a main opposition party deputy who clarified his calculation by saying that each 1 kuruI decrease in the value of Turkish lira against the US dollar leads to a TL 18 billion loss to the economy.Speaking to the Cihan news agency on Tuesday, CHP Deputy Chairman Faik ztrak stated that the Turkish lira has recently decreased by a value of 11 kuruI against the US dollar, resulting in a TL 20 billion loss to the economy in total.

He added that the loss stemmed from the operations on the Zaman newspaper and following statements by President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan about the raids.Police forces carried out a crackdown on Zaman and Samanyolu TV on Sunday, detaining 30 people, including Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem DumanlI and Hidayet Karaca, the head of Samanyolu.

Though 12 people have been released after interrogation, the operation has prompted outrage among both national and international media as well as international organizations.On Monday ErdoIan rejected EU criticism over the weekend detentions of journalists and signaled that more raids could come, contributing to the ongoing fall in the value of the Turkish lira against the US dollarCommenting on the issue, ztrak stated that investors avoid entering markets where pressure is imposed on media and businessmen.

Highlighting that investment in Turkey has been decreasing since 2011, ztrak said Turkey must find $220 billion in the next 12 months in order to pay off short-term debt, which is equal to one-fourth of the countryand#39s gross domestic product (GDP).He added that unemployment continues to rise while the per capita income in Turkey remains at $10,000 amid low growth rates in recent years.

Commenting on the issue, retired economics professor and newspaper columnist Eser KarakaI condemned the raids on media organs and focused on the economic impact of the operations. He expressed hope that the detained journalists would be released in a short period of time because when freedom of the press, the rule of law and freedom of speech are damaged in a country, it is the economy of that country that suffers first.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman