Fitch downgrade not economic but political, says Turkish minister

Mehmet Muezzinoglu, Minister of Labor and Social Security

Turkish Minister of Labour and Social Security, Mehmet Muezzinoglu, has made a statement to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) on the investigations into last year’s coup attempt and the Fitch ratings that were announced last week.

The minister said that 125,485 civil servants had been investigated as part of the coup attempt investigation. A total of 18,331 of them have been allowed to return to their duties, while 94,867 have been dismissed permanently, 30,618 have been suspended.

Muezzinoglu also criticised ratings agency Fitch after it downgraded Turkey’s rating last Friday, “the Fitch move was not an economic but a political one” he said.

On 28 January, Fitch lowered Turkey’s credit rating to “BB+”, from “BBB-” with a stable outlook. “Political and security developments have undermined economic performance and institutional independence,” Fitch stated. “High-profile terrorist attacks have continued, damaging consumer confidence and the tourism sector,” it claimed.