People wave Turkish flags during a demonstration in support of the Turkish president in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 16, 2016 following an attempted military coup. Turkey's trade minister estimated the cost of the coup to the economy at $100 billion Monday. Photo by Hanna Noori/ UPI | License Photo
ANKARA , Turkey, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Turkey's trade minister estimated the cost to the national economy of the July 15 failed military coup, and its aftermath, at $100 billion.
Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci announced the estimate Monday, adding the figure could increase.
"When we consider all those warplanes, helicopters, weapons, bombs and buildings, the cost is 300 billion liras ($100.1 billion) at minimum, according to our prior calculations," he told journalists in Ankara. "The exact cost may likely increase when the detailed calculations are made. There will also be various costs in the medium-term. For instance, many orders from abroad have been canceled. Many foreigners have halted their Turkey visits. The coup plotters have unfortunately created a Turkey image as if it were a third world country. People who see tanks in the streets and the parliament bombed will not come to Turkey."
Neither will people who see tens of thousands of arrests within hours of the failed coup. It's either indiscriminate incarceration or it's been planned for a long time; either is not very reassuring to tourists.
He added that markets remained stable during the coup attempt, all banks and stock exchanges remained open, there was no evidence of a decline in foreign investment and no growth or export data needed to be revised.
The only sector struggling, Tufenkci said, was the tourism industry, noting it has been hampered for months because of the Russian economy, terrorist attacks earlier in the summer and the cancellation of vacations of civil servants while Turkey is under a state of emergency.
A government promotional campaign to aid the tourism industry will begin soon, he added.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim contended Monday the economy may be stronger than before, with the coup attempt acting as a stress test.
"Our economy is still as steady as a rock. There was not even a minor economic shock. But, this situation disturbed some sides. Our democracy and state of law is also stronger than before the attempted coup," he said, the Rudaw news agency reported.
State of law, maybe, but democracy, not likely.