Police in Turkey say they have foiled a potential assassination attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday after an explosive device was discovered underneath a private car belonging to a police officer who was assigned to provide security at a rally where Erdogan was scheduled to attend.
According to Turkish media, the device was found in the small, predominantly-Kurdish town of Nusaybin in the southeastern Mardin province close to the Syrian border. The police officer was due to drive 200 kilometres (125 miles) northeast to Siirt where Erdogan later addressed a local audience on the state of the economy.
The hand-made device was eventually removed and defused by a bomb disposal squad. An investigation is currently underway.
The deputy chair of Erdogan's ruling AK Party, Hamza Dag, revealed that that the police had delayed releasing the information to avoid a public backlash.
Erdogan's address comes amid the country's currency meltdown and one of its worst economic crisis in years. In the past year, the lira has lost 45 per cent of its value relative to the US dollar, with inflation reaching a three-year high of 21.3 per cent last month.
"We will always be there for producers and employers with low-interest rates. We're starting to enforce precautions safeguarding workers against inflation," Erdogan said at yesterday's rally in Siirt.
"Tayyip Erdogan said low-interest rates yesterday, says low-interest rates today and will say low-interest rates tomorrow," he said.
"I will never compromise on this because interest rates are a malady that makes the rich even richer, and the poor even poorer."