Erdogan: Commitment of all Turks needed to combat attacks on economy

Erdogan said his country will stand strong against an “attempted economic coup” amid heightened tensions with the United States. (AP)
Updated 25 August 2018

Erdogan: Commitment of all Turks needed to combat attacks on economy

  • He also said that nobody would keep Turkey from reaching its 2023, 2053 and 2071 targets

ANKARA: The commitment and determination of Turks is the guarantee needed to combat attacks on Turkey's economy, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, in his first comments on the currency crisis in days.
Turkey's lira has tumbled some 40 percent this year as investor concerns over Erdogan's grip on monetary policy and a growing dispute with the United States put pressure on the currency.
Erdogan has cast the rapid deterioration of the lira as an "economic war" and accused Washington of targeting Turkey over the fate of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried in Turkey on terrorism charges that he denies.
The lira firmed against the U.S. dollar in thin holiday trade on Friday, after having hit a record low of 7.24 to the dollar earlier this month.
In two separate statements to commemorate the anniversaries of the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 and Victory Day, Erdogan said the unity of Turks against attacks targeting their political and economic independence would prevail.
"As we tackle attacks against the Turkish economy today, our biggest guarantee is the commitment and determination of every member of our people to take hold of their independence, nation, and future," Erdogan said.
A Turkish court last week rejected an appeal for Brunson's release, drawing a stiff rebuke from President Donald Trump, who said the United States would not take the detention "sitting down".
Separately, after each downgrading Turkey by one notch, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said it expected a recession next year while Moody's said a weakening of Turkey's public institutions had made policymaking less predictable.
Fitch Ratings had earlier said the absence of an orthodox monetary policy response to the lira's fall and the rhetoric of Turkish authorities had "increased the difficulty of restoring economic stability and sustainability".
Erdogan, who has cast the currency crisis as no different than attacks on Turkey's flag or call to prayer, has repeatedly asked Turks to convert their gold and dollars into lira to prop up the ailing economy, saying Turkey would overcome the crisis.
On Saturday, he said that nobody would keep Turkey from reaching its 2023, 2053 and 2071 targets, dates that mark the centennial anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the 600th anniversary of the conquering of Istanbul, and the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert respectively.


Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Updated 10 min 6 sec ago

Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

  • Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry
  • This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater
DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier Etihad Airways announced on Monday it is launching one of the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul airplanes as the company seeks to save costs on fuel and position itself as a more environmentally-conscious choice for travelers.
Etihad’s “Greenliner” is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will depart on its first route from Abu Dhabi to Brussels in January 2020. Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry.
With fuel costs eating up around a quarter of airline spending, Douglas said the goal of the Greenliner is to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than other aircraft in Etihad’s fleet.
“This is not just a box-ticking exercise,” he told reporters at the unveiling of the initiative at the Dubai Airshow alongside executives from Boeing.
Douglas said the aircraft “not only makes sense economically from a profit and loss account point of view, but because it also directly impacts the CO2 because of the fuel burn.”
Etihad has reported losses of $4.75 billion since 2016 as its strategy of aggressively buying stakes in airlines from Europe to Australia exposed the company to major risks.
Despite its financials, the airline continues to be among the most innovative.
This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater. It also became the first in the Middle East to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution.
Aviation accounts for a small but rapidly growing share of greenhouse-gas emissions — about 2.5 percent worldwide. But forecasters expect air travel to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Etihad says it plans to make the Greenliner a “social media star” to bring under sharper focus its developments and achievements worldwide. Douglas said anything that Eithad learns with Boeing from this aircraft’s operations will be open domain knowledge “because it’s about moving the industry forward in a responsible fashion.”
“We’re like a millennial and like all good millennials, they’re really focused on the environment and the sustainability agenda,” Douglas said, referring to Etihad’s 16 years in operation.
The Greenliner will be the only aircraft of its kind in Etihad’s fleet of Dreamliners. The company currently has 36 of the 787s in its fleet with plans to operate 50.
“This is a small step today, but in a very, very long journey,” Douglas said.