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Protests force Turkish markets down

Monday, June 03, 2013 - 01:49

June 3 - Turkish markets tumble on the first day of trading since protests in the country began, but analysts still see the country as a solid long-term investment. Joel Flynn reports.

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New clashes on the streets of Ankara on the fourth day of demonstrations in Turkey. More than a thousand people have now been injured and the unrest is seeping into markets. Turkish shares have fallen more than six percent and the lira has plummeted to a 16-month low. The price of government borrowing has also jumped. But Commerzbank's Simon Quijano-Evans says some investors may be overreacting. SOUNDBITE: Commerzbank Head of Emerging Markets Research, Simon Quijano-Evans, saying (English): "I think obviously it's knee-jerk, markets opening up to news and the surprises that we had at the weekend. But if you look at Turkish equities compared to peers over the last two years and there has been also some strong outperformance whether it's Western European or Eastern European or EM peers for that matter. So some sort of a reaction is bound to happen at these sorts of situations." Trouble began with a protest against the demolition of an Istanbul park. But it soon became a demonstration against what some say is an authoritarian approach from the government. And an attempt by them to undermine Turkey's traditionally secular state. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan blames the protests on a small minority. SOUNDBITE: Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, saying (Turkish): "If we put aside the people who joined this protest with their naive emotional feelings after the social media calls, extremist elements organised these protests, and unluckily people joined them." Despite the unrest of recent days, Erdogan remains Turkey's most popular politician. The country's once crisis-prone economy is a beacon for other emerging markets. The government has helped fuel that with major infrastructure projects - including plans for the world's biggest airport. How the country wrestles with change is now being seen on Ankara's streets.

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Protests force Turkish markets down

Monday, June 03, 2013 - 01:49