Fitch Downgrades Turkey to ‘BB-‘ as Ankara Gets First Batch of S-400 Components From Russia

World

On 12 July Turkey’s Defence Ministry said Ankara had received the first batch of components for the S-400 air defence systems it had purchased in line with an agreement signed with Moscow in 2017. Turkey’s cooperation with Russia on the matter has been heavily criticised by NATO and the US.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Turkey’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BB-‘ from ‘BB’ with a Negative Outlook on Friday.

The rating was slashed before the update scheduled for November 1 as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired Murat Cetinkaya, head of the central bank, the agency said, highlighting that the dismissal impairs confidence and may hamper capital inflows.

Fitch also highlighted excessive inflation, the forced ‘do-over’ of the election of the Mayor of Istanbul and Ankara’s falling-out with the US over the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems as contributing factors.

On 12 July Turkey’s Defence Ministry said Ankara had received the first shipment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system components.

The equipment arrived at Murted Air Base, with a second batch reportedly expected shortly.

The move triggered an immediate US response, with the leadership of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees saying in a joint press release Friday that US President Donald Trump should impose sanctions on Turkey, its NATO ally.

The group of senators warned that by accepting…

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