Turkey’s finance minister, Berat Albayrak, has filed lawsuits against some of the journalists and news outlets that reported on his remarks last week equating economists who make negative comments on the economy to those who carry out “perception operations” in the wake of terrorist attacks, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.
In a written statement released on Tuesday Albayrak’s ministry denounced the reports claiming that the minister called economists terrorists as manipulative, announcing that legal procedures have been launched against such reporting.
The lawsuits reinforced views that the Turkish government is poised to silence criticism in the field of economy in addition to the ongoing constraints imposed on political discourse, according to DW.
“These individuals that carry titles such as ‘economist’ or ‘professor,’ who try to inflict harm on the country by scaring the public and creating negative perceptions of Turkey are no different than the people we see after terrorist acts,” Albayrak said last Thursday.
Albayrak’s comments came a day after the pro-government Sabah daily, which is owned by Albayrak’s brother, announced a new draft bill that stipulates up to two years in prison for people who spread “misleading” information on economic indicators.