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Protests, deaths & now strikes in Turkey

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - 02:14

June 4 - After more protests overnight and two deaths in Turkey, a union federation has begun a two-day strike involving quarter of a million workers. After Monday's stock market fall Joel Flynn asks how concerned businesses should be about the ongoing crisis.

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A change of tone from the Turkish government as protests entered their fifth day Two people were killed overnight and hundreds have now been injured. A quarter of a million public sector workers are also on strike for two days. The action was organised to highlight workers' rights but the police crackdown is now a major issue. The Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc sought to calm the mood - a day after the country's leader accused protesters of being "arm-in-arm with terrorism". SOUNDBITE: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, saying (Turkish): "The use of excessive force against those who started this protest hoping to protect the environment was wrong and unfair, so I apologise to those citizens. But I don't think we need to apologise to those who have destroyed public property and who have tried to restrict the freedom of others people in the streets." Turkish equities rebounded by five percent - after Monday saw the sharpest one-day loss in a decade. The lira also strengthened slightly against the dollar. But customers at Galanti Bank - the country's third largest lender - withdrew deposits and cancelled credit cards in protest at a sister media company's coverage of the protests. More strikes are also being planned. During its 10-year rule, the moderately Islamist government has seen the fastest GDP growth in the OECD. Some fear that could now be in jeopardy. Richard McGuire is from RBC Capital Markets. SOUNDBITE: RBC Capital Markets Senior Fixed Income Strategist, Richard Mcguire, saying (English): "Certainly from a Turkish perspective this is an upset in terms of the economic outlook. It remains to be seen however whether this unrest develops into something more protracted. At the moment though there is a degree of concern that it is highlighting a rift between a secular society and an Islamist government, which may take some time to put to rest, and possibly could intensify." Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, in Morocco for a meeting, is confident the situation will return to normal in a few days. With a current account deficit at 7 percent of GDP, and much dependence on foreign investment, many businesses and banks in Turkey will be hoping he's right.

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Protests, deaths & now strikes in Turkey

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - 02:14