Addressing a rally held as part of an opening ceremony of multiple projects in Ankara on Sunday, Erdogan referred to Turkey’s growth rate reported by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Friday.

"If Turkey had been stably governed since 1991, we could have grown twice more from the present situation," he said, adding: "Now, the per capita income is $11,000. If there was stability, it would have been $22,000."

About the 2.9 percent growth rate in 2016, the president said: "Some people can underestimate this rate. The EU's growth rate was 1.5 [percent] during the same term. The average growth rate of OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries was 1.7 [percent].

"For sure, the growth rate of 2.9 percent is not enough for us; however, we should not forget that we stayed one point over the prediction of renowned credit rating agencies, which I have always chewed out. They have been thrown a curve. This nation can kick the penalty very well."

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute report Friday, Turkey's gross domestic product was around 2.59 trillion Turkish liras (some $856.8 billion) in 2016, compared with 2.34 trillion Turkish liras (around $861.5 billion) the previous year.

No to occupation of terrorists

In his remarks at the same rally, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim recalled that the people of Ankara had not allowed the occupation of the capital by terrorists during the July 15 coup attempt.

"People of Ankara protected the Parliament, [presidential] complex, Prime Ministry, and General Staff at that night [July 15]. People of Ankara gave their lives, but they did not allow terrorists to occupy the capital," Yildirim said.

"Ankara, which had stopped the enemy in Polatli [district of Ankara] during the [Turkish] War of Independence and chased the enemy until Izmir, stopped the enemy [on July 15] that came from among us."

According to the Turkish government, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 2016, which left 249 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

In wake of the putsch attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, judicial system, education and business sectors.

Anadolu Agency