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Turkish stock market drops further as constitutional court evaluates decision on presidential election

The Turkish stock market continued its slide Tuesday, dropping 2.5 percent as the Constitutional Court prepared to meet to discuss an opposition appeal to cancel presidential elections.
The benchmark index, the IMKB-100, was down 2.5 percent at 43,865.44 points at the end of the morning session.
The index had sunk 6.3 percent on Monday as the government came under pressure to declare early general elections.
"Turkey is a poorer country compared to Friday," State Minister Ali Babacan, in charge of economy, told private NTV television.
Turkey's currency, the lira, slid against foreign currencies and was trading at 1.38 against the U.S. dollar, compared to Friday's close of 1.33.
The markets were closely monitoring political developments as a legal expert reportedly advised the Constitutional Court to reject an appeal by the main opposition party to cancel the disputed presidential election.
The Constitutional Court's decision is crucial for the future of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government, which is at odds with the country's secular establishment over fears it might be trying raise the profile of Islam in public life.
Hikmet Tulen, an expert assigned by the court to evaluate the appeal, recommended that the court reject it, the daily Milliyet newspaper reported. Court officials would not confirm or deny the report. The court was expected to announce its verdict later Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The opposition Republican People's Party, which boycotted parliament's first round of voting for president on Friday, wants the election canceled, arguing that there were not enough lawmakers present to establish a quorum.
If the appeal is rejected, parliament will hold a second round of voting.
The sole candidate to become Turkey's 11th president is Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a senior member of the country's political Islamic movement whose wife covers her head with an Islamic-style head scarf.
If the court accepts the argument of the main opposition party that the participation of two-thirds of the lawmakers was necessary to hold a vote in Friday's first round then the election could be canceled and early general elections could be declared within three months.
Erdogan's government faced a stern warning from the powerful military, which accused the government of tolerating or encouraging radical Islamic circles.
At least 700,000 protesters marched in Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government. The country's influential association of Turkish industrialists and businessmen, TUSIAD, urged the government to declare immediate early general elections.
Erdogan appealed Monday for stability and drew attention to his strong economic record in a national address.
"From now on, the healthy functioning of our democracy will be the main decisive factor of economic developments," Babacan said.


Updated : 2020-11-30 16:45 GMT+08:00