Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday addressed textile workers during an event organised in the industrial zone of Gaziantep (Dilok).
During his speech, Erdoğan spoke about the economy of the country, which has been a central topic in Turkish domestic politics as the Turkish lira has plummeted to record lows against the US dollar and euro.
Referring to an employer he had a chat with, Erdoğan said, “He says, ‘We are looking for workers, but we cannot find any’. But what do some people say? There are no jobs. These people are ungrateful, ungrateful.”
Erdoğan blamed the citizens, who have been complaining about unemployment. “There is bread for those who look for job, who look for bread. However, if you want just to sit back, and huh, ask for money; no offence, but none for you,” he said.
As of September 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of marginally unemployed women is above 1,5 million and the broad number of unemployed is above 3,6 million; for men, the number of marginally unemployed is above 2,2 million and the broad number of unemployed is above 4,1 million, according to the statistics announced by the Research Centre of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DISK) of Turkey.
“They want to earn money as they sit back doing nothing,” Erdoğan cynically said and blamed those who suffer from unemployment, by giving further reference to a couple of random employers he showed as his reference to claim that there is no problem of unemployment in the country: “Here, look at Mr. Ercan, who says he looks for workers, but he cannot find people to work for him. We were in Eskişehir the other day, they said the same thing: ‘We are looking for workers, but cannot find any’.”
Erdoğan also gave messages about the economic crisis and calls of early elections during another speech on Saturday in Gaziantep.
Erdoğan targeted opposition leaders who have been calling for snap elections in the face of a deepening economic crisis.
“Those who wish to destroy the achievements of 20-years of our country have gone forth with calls of early elections. The elections will be held in June 2023; it is out of the question moving them earlier than scheduled,” he said.
Calling on the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, he said, “Mr. Kemal doesn’t know about any of these issues; I am an economist, this is what my profession is.”
“We have been faced with an incident that is called currency speculation, but we have solved the issue within an hour,” he said.
“Turkey has reached the highest level of production, highest level of employment, highest level of exports of its history,” Erdoğan insisted as he also claimed that “international investors have been rushing into” Turkey with the “deepest interest” Turkey has ever seen from international business people.