Opposition politicians have criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for traveling to Qatar’s capital of Doha by private plane to attend the FIFA World Cup showpiece fixture and closing ceremony while Turkey is battling one of its worst economic crises in years.
Erdoğan on Sunday attended the event at the invitation of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and watched the epic final match between France and Argentina alongside him, French President Emmanuel Macron and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, local media reports said.
The development came as Argentine President Alberto Fernandez watched the World Cup final match between his national team and France from home and not in person from Qatar in order to avoid luxury spending due to the deep economic slump in his country, according to Turkish media reports.
“Like millions of my compatriots, I will enjoy the final of the World Cup at home,” he said on Twitter earlier on Sunday.
Como millones de compatriotas, disfrutaré la Final de la Copa del Mundo en casa. Viviré este momento fantástico como hasta ahora, junto a mi gente. En la cancha van a estar los mejores de los nuestros y en la tribuna una gloriosa hinchada.
Además, cábalas son cábalas 😉🤞🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/tCbRDWyd5n
— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) December 17, 2022
Argentina beat France in a penalty shoot-out after the match ended tied 3-3 and became the FIFA World Cup Champion for 2022.
“[Erdoğan] went to Qatar by private plane to watch the match. Fernandez, the president of Argentina, which won the cup and the economy of which is similar to ours, didn’t … to save money. … I have no comments to make,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Bülent Kuşoğlu said in a tweet.
RTE özel uçakla Katar’a maç izlemeye gitmiş, Kupayı kazanan ve ekonomisi bize benzeyen Arjantin Cumhurbaşkanı Fernandez ise tasarruf etmek, döviz harcamamak amacıyla Katar’a gitmemiş, evinde televizyondan maçı izlemiş.
— Bülent Kuşoğlu (@bkusoglu) December 19, 2022
Cemal Enginyurt, a deputy chair for the opposition Democrat Party (DP), also criticized the president’s move, saying, “There is hunger in the country, poverty … is increased, young people are unemployed, pensioners are overwhelmed [by financial difficulties]. But who cares?”
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan 2022 Dünya Kupası Arjantin – Fransa final maçı için Katar’a gitmiş.
Yakışır agama yakışır.
Memlekette aç varmış,
Yoksulluk, sefalet artmış,
Gençler işsiz kalmış,
Emekli bunalmış, kimin umurunda.
Yiyin efendiler yiyin, Hanı Yağma bu aksırıncaya kadar yiyin.
— Cemal Enginyurt (@cenginyurt52) December 18, 2022
Ümit Özdağ, leader of the far-right and anti-refugee Victory Party (ZP), also said Erdoğan’s move shows that the president and his government continue to live in luxury while the country is in the middle of a deep economic crisis and the citizens are struggling with hunger.
Finali oynayan Arjantin’in cumhurbaşkanı maçı ülkesinde televizyondan izlerken Erdoğan kalabalık bir heyetle Katar’a final maçını izlemeye gitmiş. Ülkemiz derin ekonomik krizle boğuşurken, halk açlık ile mücadele ederken Saray rejimi debdebe ile yaşamaya devam ediyor. pic.twitter.com/Guy2DiMThK
— Ümit Özdağ (@umitozdag) December 19, 2022
Turkey’s economy is suffering its biggest economic crisis in decades ahead of one of the toughest elections of Erdoğan’s rule, which is slated for June of next year.
Official data showed earlier this month Turkey’s inflation standing at 84.39 percent in November, while a study by a group of independent academics, the ENAG group, showed the annual rate of consumer price increases reaching 170.70 percent in November.
The lira tumbled 44 percent against the dollar last year and has weakened a further 29 percent this year. However, it has held steady since early October.