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Erdoğan says Moody’s can easily be bribed

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continued to criticize a recent decision by US-based credit rating agency Moody’s to cut Turkey’s sovereign credit rating to non-investment grade, saying one can bribe the rating agency to get a credit note.

“I love credit rating agencies; they love me, too. The CEO of an important company told me that “those rating agencies do not like you” during my visit to the US. They cut Turkey’s credit rating while I was on a plane to Turkey. Put 3-5 kuruş [a Turkish idiom for a bribe] in their [credit rating agencies] pocket and get the credit rating you want. They take orders for credit ratings,” said Erdoğan during a speech to village heads at the presidential palace in Ankara on Thursday.

“You [Moody’s] can decrease whatever you want. This is not the reality of Turkey. Turkey will continue to invest and develop. How is that!”

Şimşek contradicts: We take this seriously

Erdoğan’s statement contradicted remarks of Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek on Thursday. “Turkey’s rating downgrade by Moody’s was not related to the aborted coup but rather to ongoing structural problems. … Turkey will respond to the rating downgrade by resolving its problems and making the required reforms,” he said.

Şimşek added that Ankara takes the issue seriously and will work intensively to enable an upgrade in its rating.

Erdoğan follows son-in-law

Erdoğan’s statement came after a similar statement by Energy Minister and son-in-law of Erdogan Berat Albrayrak, who said he does not care about a recent decision by Moody’s to cut Turkey’s sovereign credit rating to non-investment grade.

“Some people are trying to conduct an operation [against Turkey]. They are seeking to create a certain perception. We will deal with our own business no matter who does what. As an economist I am telling you this, I could not care less.”

Global credit rating agency Moody’s on Friday joined S&P to put Turkey’s credit rating in junk territory.

“Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded the Government of Turkey’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings to Ba1 from Baa3 and assigned a stable outlook,” a written statement from the company said.

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