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One-on-One with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Ahead of Runoff; Erdogan Defends Economic Policies Amid Downturn; President Zelenskyy to Attend G7 as Bloc Targets Russia; Arab League Leaders Meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 10:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson live from Istanbul.

Turkey's presidential candidates will head for a momentous runoff race on May 28th. Those candidates vying to lead one of the most strategically

important countries in the world. For the past two decades, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gripped the levers of power here, a NATO member with close ties

to Russia, China and Iran. He defied preelection polls that had him losing to challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu in last weekend's first round of this

presidential election. Now both candidates will face each other again.

Well, ahead of that President Erdogan sat down for an exclusive interview with me. You will hear the full extent of that review over the next two

hours. In part one we discuss allegations that are under his leadership Turkey has witnessed an erosion of democracy, an economy in crisis and a

Syrian refugee crisis that is playing a prominent part on the campaigns of both candidates. I started by asking him about his chances in the upcoming

runoff election.


ANDERSON: Up until last Sunday, you had comfortably won every election that you have competed in. That is a remarkable record over 20 years. Now your

leadership is challenged and you are competing in a first ever presidential runoff in Turkish history. How confident are you, sir?

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): The current competitor has challenged us 15 times and he was defeated. This is a new

experience for Turkish democracy. I believe my people will turn out for a strong democracy in next Sunday's elections because the turnout in the last

around was around 90 percent. Very significant. It's unprecedented on a global scale. And I hope our people will not let us down.

ANDERSON: The third-place candidate Sinan Ogan has emerged from the first around as somewhat of a kingmaker. He told me that he hasn't decided who he

will support in the runoff. How important to you is his endorsement and the support of his voters? And what have you offered him in return?

ERDOGAN (through translator): I'm not a person who likes to negotiate in such a matter. And I've never been involved in such negotiations. This is a

concluded election and after this election it will be the people who would be the kingmakers and when the people decide, I believe they will stand

with those who successfully served the Turkish nation for the last 21 years.

On the one hand, we have Erdogan, and the other hand you have Kemal Kilicdaroglu. In the end my people will choose stability and competence and

they will cast their votes accordingly.

ANDERSON: So you are not relying on Mr. Ogan's support or supporters? Is that what you're saying?

ERDOGAN (through translator): No. This is very important here. Ogan is not running in the runoff. That was the first round of the elections and that's

over. Now it's Mr. Kilicdaroglu versus Erdogan.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about the economy. The Turkish lira has lost nearly 80 percent of its value since 2018. The orthodox way to stop that and the

resulting inflation which is sky high and having such an impact on the Turkish people, the cost of living crisis here, is to raise interest rates.

You are doing the exact opposite, cutting rates. Do you concede that your determination to reduce rates in order to push growth in this country is

failing the people of Turkey? And would you change course? Can the people of Turkey, if you're reelected, expect a change in economic policy?


ERDOGAN (through translator): When it comes to economic policy, we are following quite a different trajectory than the rest of the world. I have a

thesis that interest rates and inflation, they are directly correlated. The lower the interest rates, the lower the inflation will be. So this is my

thesis. The interest rate is the reason and the inflation is the consequence. And I'm an economist, and as an economist, during my prime

ministry I have done it.

ANDERSON: But your economic policy, your decision to cut rates, as opposed to raise rates which is the orthodox way of cutting inflation, comes at a

huge cost to the people of Turkey and to your credibility, quite frankly, on the international markets. Experts worry that your current policies will

continue to hurt the lira, could lead to hyperinflation, economic instability and financial turmoil.

You argue that your policy is good for trade, for tourism, and for foreign direct investment, but that is risky at best and reckless at worst. That's

the view of the international market. So I ask you again, can Turkey expect a change in economic policy if you are reelected?

ERDOGAN (through translator): We have seen results in terms of the steps that we have taken. In this country the inflation rate will come down along

with the interest rates so that we will come to a point where people will be relieved. I say this speaking as an economist. This is not an illusion.

ANDERSON: No change in policy if you are reelected?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Yes, absolutely. Because I got results. When? When I was prime minister, thanks to the implementation of this policy. I

will see results again and I know I will see the results again. Russia is doing exactly this. They are reducing the interest rates and they are

trying to shorten up the inflation rate as well. This is what we are going to observe.

Please do follow me over in the aftermath of the elections, and you will see that the inflation will be going down along with the interest rates.

ANDERSON: Officially the inflation rate is around about 14 percent at the moment. Some say it could be as high as 100 percent, but again, do you not

worry about the short-term impact to the Turkish economy? It's a genuine question.

ERDOGAN (through translator): We have surmounted challenges in the past. We are strong right now as Turkey. Per capita income used to be around $3,600.

But right now it's reached $10,650 per capita income. This is showcasing something. The GDP per capita reached that level, the purchasing power of

the people increased, and this number is bound to reach $15,000 in the next term, and we are going to move on even stronger.

ANDERSON: I want to talk to you about the relationship with Washington, your relationship with Russia, the war in Ukraine, and the status of Syrian

refugees here and your relationship with Syria going forward. Before I do that, I do just want to challenge you on what the opposition says is an

erosion of democracy here in Turkey.

The central bank at present is in full defense mode ahead of the runoff election because of the state of the economy. And the opposition charged

you with exerting undue presser over the central bank, also over the courts and other state institutions. For example, they say, of your creeping

authoritarianism. To that list, they add control over much of the media and the arbitrary detention of political opponents.

Do you accept these fundamental concerns about an erosion of democracy here?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Let me say one thing, right now there is no one behind bars in Turkey for their ideas. I was imprisoned for reading a

poem and as someone who's faced this, I would state strongly that nobody will ever be incarcerated because of their political thoughts and their


When it comes to Syria, you brought up an important point that I'd like to elaborate on. The opposition is constantly focusing on one thing. They say

when we come to power we will send the Syrian refugees in Turkey back. It's impossible for me to agree with that. But let me say one thing. If we were

to do something like that, we would have to take certain measures.

Right now Turkish NGOs are building residential units in northern parts of Syria. Why? So refugees here in Turkey can go back to their homeland. This

process has already started and right now we're launching another initiative to encourage one million refugees to go back to their homeland.


We're building housing units. These are good projects.

ANDERSON: Let me just be clear here, if you are reelected then your policy will be to return voluntarily at least a million Syrian refugees of the

some four million who are here. Is that what you're saying? Within what period of time?

ERDOGAN (through translator): Maybe even more than that because the infrastructure investments we are making right now will be capable of

hosting more refugees. That's how we are developing these projects. The refugees will go back to their homeland voluntarily.

ANDERSON: President Erdogan, will that be a voluntary program of return? Because at present, many refugees and rights groups say that those who are

voluntarily returning are not participating by choice. There have been arbitrary arrests, detentions, and the deportation of some Syrian refugees.

So I just want to be clear about your policy going forward. If reelected,, what are you proposing to do with Syrian refugees here in Turkey?

ERDOGAN (through translator): When you say you want to get rid of all Syrian refugees, I will send them back, this will not generate support in

Turkey because among them are highly qualified people such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, nurses. All of these people are highly qualified.

Look at the West, look at the United States. They have been welcoming refugees from all corners of the world who are very qualified. If we are a

global state, if we are a prominent state, then we have to be very sensitive in this regard.

ANDERSON: What's your relationship like with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad? And are you on track for a reconciliation?

ERDOGAN (through translator): In the past, we used to have positive relations with Assad's family. Our families used to get together. It was at

that level. But then certain developments unfolded unfortunately that led to the deterioration of our relationship. And that fracture upset us as


Because of my friendship with President Putin, we thought we could open a door specifically in our fight against terrorism in northern part of Syria,

which requires close cooperation and solidarity. If we can do that, I said, I see no obstacle would remain in the way of our reconciliation.

ANDERSON: A few months back, President Assad said he would only meet you if Turkey withdrew its military from northern Syria. Are you prepared to do

that in order to affect a reconciliation?

ERDOGAN (through translator): We have more than 900 kilometers of border and there is a constant terror threat from those border on our country. The

only reason we have a military presence there on the border is to fight against terrorism, and that's the sole reason.

ANDERSON: So no pullback of the Turkish military?

ERDOGAN (through translator): No. There is no consideration of that for the time being because the terror threat is still there.


ANDERSON: And you can hear more of my exclusive interview with President Erdogan, incumbent President Erdogan next hour. We talk about allegations

that Joe Biden has tried to topple him, Turkey's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and about his country's ties with Gulf nations. Stay

with us for that.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. Wherever you are watching you are more than welcome. I'm in Istanbul in

Turkey, and I've been speaking exclusively to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of what is a historic second round of presidential

election here.

If he wins on May 28th, Erdogan is sticking with his economic gamble, he tells me. Keeping his plan to continue cutting interest rates to tackle

sky-high inflation. And that is orthodox -- unorthodox at best. He's also talking about (INAUDIBLE) around Moscow. More on that a little later. But

it is worth noting how important Russia is to Turkey's economy, which is in dire straits, it has to be said. The Turkish lira crashed by more than 40

percent last year as the president's economic policy fueled the jump in inflation.

Well, here to discuss all this with me is editorial coordinator with the "Daily Sabah," Mehmet Celik who is watching every development and the days

leading up to the crucial runoff.

You're with me on election night and I very much appreciate you coming back. Let's start with, though, what's going on as far as his economy is

concerned because the central bank here is in full defense mode ahead of this runoff. President Erdogan's unorthodox economic policy, reducing rates

to try and bring down inflation rate which is officially at 40 percent, some say as high as 100 percent, is causing havoc for the people of Turkey.

The cost of living crisis, and as real as we discussed in my interview, a real credibility gap for President Erdogan and Turkish assets on the

international markets, and that is important because what President Erdogan wants to see here is a policy that really encourages growth. He believes,

and that's the way forward, he's getting some decent growth numbers out of it, but the short-term pay is swindling and it could get a whole lot worse,

couldn't it?

MEHMET CELIK, EDITORIAL COORDINATOR, DAILY SABAH: Well, in the short term, you may be right. There is, you know, the economic situation is not very

bright at the moment. And this is the same case for many countries, you know, that are dealing with this global recession.

ANDERSON: This has been going on since 2018.

CELIK: So -- yes. So this is something that every country is dealing with right now. However, Present Erdogan, you know, with the whole -- this new

economic model that is based on production and exports, he says that he has a game plan and I think this is something that will make it or break it for

him in the mid and long term, or his party. So, you know, for the short term, they have already been getting some results despite the fact that

many are challenging him or his unorthodox, as you call it, his controversial economic policies, but this is something that we should

assess I believe in the midterm or long term whether his game plan is successful or not.

ANDERSON: Well, that is if he is reelected because the opposition here, should they win in the runoff, are determined to install a different

economic vision here which would include taking the central banks back to an independent state. President Erdogan has had free central bank governors

in as many years. And sort of taking policy including economic policy back to the kind of institutions, the state institutions which the opposition

said had been eroded under a President Erdogan.

He did tell me back in 2018 that by 2023 he expects that Turkey to be a top 10 country in terms of growth. It's 19 at present, but its economic growth

rate actually, to be fair, in 2021 was 11 percent, last year was some 5 percent, and doesn't look too bad this year. So there is something in what

he says, but let's see whether he wins the election and whether indeed he sticks to this policy or moves on.

I want to talk to you about the importance of Russia to this economy and to a leadership under the auspices of President Erdogan.


Just explain to our viewers why it is that Turkey is treading such a narrow sort of divide between support for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia's

invasion for Ukraine, and ensuring that Turkey doesn't upset Russia because Russia at the end of the day plays an enormously important role in the

economy here.

CELIK: Well, let's just put it this way. Where Turkey is located geographically is between the two poles, so this gives Russia a huge

leverage as well as the West a huge leverage over Turkey. How Turkey deals with this, the power leverage or the power politics, in its region to serve

its own interest is I think very important. So for this sense, I think that pragmatic relationship between President Erdogan and President Putin,

despite their all differences, serves the Turkish economy, let's say for example in tourism.

So this is very strategically important for Turkish economy. Having said that, you know, if Turkey had turned its back to Russia, let's say with the

grain deal would be very successful at the moment, something that is hugely important for global food security. And Turkey has made it very clear that

it is against Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it has actually, you know, those whole drone phenomenon that has been very popular in the Western

world with Bayraktar drones, for example, Turkey is on the side of Ukraine when it comes to the war.

But to serve its own interest, to protect its own economy, Turkey has to maintain a relationship with President Putin, be it in northern Syria or

within the relation of Ukraine and Russian war.

ANDERSON: And let's talk about northern Syria because that came up in our conversation and we discussed the status of Syrian refugees here under a

leadership of President Erdogan, at least he says there will be no sending everybody back immediately. That's certainly what the opposition wants to

happen with Syrian refugees.

And we also talked about his relationship with President Bashar al-Assad who today we see once again back within the Arab fold at the meeting at the

Arab League in Jeddah. A really significant moment for the Syrian president. We talked about a reconciliation between President Erdogan and

Bashar al-Assad. Is it on the cards?

CELIK: The president meeting between President Erdogan with Bashar al-Assad is something that may open doors. However, I think one thing that we need

to acknowledge and understand that this is not going to happen despite everything that is currently on the ground. And one of the main important

and most important perhaps aspect is the presence of U.S.-backed YPG terrorists in northern Syria.

This is a very, very thick red line for Turkey. Ensuring that terror corridor is dismantled, it will be something that Turkey will perhaps have

to make sure that they are on the same page with Assad, if they were to agree. The other thing I think will be also the safe return of refugees and

this is something that Turkey will also be making sure that this is not a nonnegotiable issue, something that, you know, they have to make sure it

happens before, you know, all ties are reestablished.

I think that trust issue is a big thing for two reasons. One is fight against terrorism, and number two, there is this opposition that Turkey has

been supporting what will happen to these. The reconstruction of many areas. You know, the political stability and making sure that a new influx

of refugees will not be at Turkey's door. These are some of the things that they have to overcome for that relationship to be reestablished.

And these are very, very hard issues to overcome at this moment, although they have been taking some steps towards more normalization, I think

there's still a lot of time to go to make sure that this actually turns back to its normal state.

ANDERSON: And there's a meeting I think at the level of deputy foreign ministers between Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The president here

suggesting that he'll see what comes out in that meeting and then see where any reconciliation goes from this.

Good to have you, Mehmet. Always good to have you. Thanks very much indeed.

CELIK: Good to be here.

ANDERSON: Sir Mehmet Celik. Your analysis and insight into Turkish politics is so important for us.

Since we've been discussing politics and money looming large over Turkey, let's follow the money for closely now and see what an Erdogan victory

could mean for the country's already stressed economy.

Timothy Ash is a strategist at RBC Bluebay Asset Management. He joins me now from London.

And Timothy, you and I spoke earlier on in the week when we knew that there was a runoff. We didn't know, or we certainly hadn't heard from President

Erdogan at that point directly about what his economic policy would be were he to win this second round and continue this leadership here in Turkey.


We've heard that now. I spoke to him exclusively and he said there will be no change in economic policy. How do you see that?

TIMOTHY ASH, STRATEGIST, RBC BLUEBAY ASSET MANAGEMENT: Well, not really unexpected. I mean, he would argue that he ran his campaign the first round

and the second round on clear policies, low interest rates, going for growth, and, you know, he'll say that's been vindicated by the election

results and he'll carry on.

How far he can continue with those policies after the election of a low interest rate policy will be determined really by the market. I mean, the

reality is the numbers don't add up, so if he faces a huge demand for dollars, big current account trade deficit, lots of short-term debt falling

due, big demand for dollars, and a limited stock for foreign exchanges. And the currency has been held in the run-up to elections artificially for a

lot of intervention.

And after the election I think the currency is just going to have to be allowed to reach a level that is defendable and competitive.

ANDERSON: How important has the intervention, let's use that term slightly loosely. The intervention of Gulf states, Saudi and the UAE. There has been

a rehabilitation of Turkey's relationship with those two Gulf countries. It's had a very good relationship with Qatar, who have also played a

significant role since 2018 in shoring up reserves.

How important has that help from Gulf nations been from the Turkish economy?

ASH: Well, they bought Erdogan a bit of time. I mean, Qatar provided about $15 billion of support over the last couple of years. The Saudis provided a

five billion deposit at the central bank. You know, that's allowed him to get to the elections, but, you know, to cover those big external financing

needs, a big demand for dollars, Erdogan will need tens of billions of dollars. And I don't think the Gulf states are going to provide that unless

he goes back to some kind of orthodoxy.

It's been quite interesting in recent years that support from the Gulf states to countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Tunisia, Bahrain, has come with

strings. Strings us, you go to the IMF, or you conduct unorthodox policy. You know, they're lending because they want to make investments and returns

on those investments in the countries they're investing in. And they don't like unorthodox policy. They want stability and macro stability, growth,

good business environment. And Erdogan really is going to have to deliver that if he wants bailouts from the Gulf.

ANDERSON: Will he need to go cup and hand to the IMF at some point? Should he win this second election and should he stick to this policy? Is that an

eventuality, do you think?

ASH: Well, hell might freeze over first. I mean, it's been pretty critical in the past, the fund. I don't think that will be his first protocol. The

first thing he will do is let the currency adjust, hope that it can reach the level that it's defendable and stabilizes, hope it does not much

pasture to inflation, hope that currency adjustment doesn't cause a broader loss of confidence in the banking system and run off banks.

But if any of that does happen, then he's going to have to think about capital controls and going to those countries, you know, like the Gulf,

unless he raises interest rates. And he may have to do that anyway in defense of the currency depending, you know, where the currency goes. At

the moment the lira is about 20 to the dollar. It may have to go 25 to 30, the level that is deemed as cheap and defensible. And that's going to cause

a lot of inflation.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, Timothy. Thank you very much indeed. Your economic analysis here on CNN.

Still to come, U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders have convened in Japan. What they have decided today about Russia is coming up. And

Ukraine's leader makes an appeal to the Arab world hoping to find support among several Russian allies.



ANDERSON: All right, welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Istanbul. You are watching a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. The time here is just

after half past five in the evening. Your headlines this hour.

The G7 Summit is underway in Hiroshima in Japan. Here you see the leaders of the G7 nations laying wreathes at the Peace Memorial Museum there. China

and Russia are topping the agenda at that summit. G7 leaders agreed Friday to postpone further sanctions on Russia and reaffirm their commitment to

stand against Moscow's war in Ukraine.

Well, that support is welcome news for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who sources tell us will join the G7 Summit on Sunday. He'll meet

with leaders to push for further aid ahead of Ukraine's widely anticipated counteroffensive against Russia.

Well, CNN's Marc Stewart is in Hiroshima in Japan, and what have we learned to date, Marc?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a couple headlines to pass along, Becky. First, let's just talk about President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's

anticipated trip to Hiroshima this weekend. First of all, it's symbolic, it's his first time here since the start of the war in Ukraine at least to

Asia. It's a chance for him to meet not only with G7 members but perhaps more importantly is the fact that he will also meet with other world


Not necessarily G7 leaders, but world leaders. I'm thinking about India, I'm thinking about Indonesia, Brazil, who will all be here, who will have a

chance to meet with President Zelenskyy face to face. And that's very significant for him because these are meetings that may not necessarily

have happened but it's a chance for him to plead his case about what he needs militarily, politically, as well as economically.

And then that leads me to the other big headline of the day, sanctions. The G7 agrees that it really needs to double down on economic loopholes that

are allowing Russia to fund its war machine. So that's why we will see sanctions, continued sanctions, stronger sanctions on things such as

construction, manufacturing, transportation, business services. These are all key components that Russia has been depending on to fund this war. So

it's a chance to try and cripple them.

So with this visit this weekend with President Zelenskyy, I'm sure these are going to be topics that will be up for conversation. We may hear more

about his military wish list including F-16 fighter jets. He's also seen success -- the Ukraine army has seen success for some of the antimissile

forces. They have proven to be effective in this fight against Russia.

We'll have to see what this wish list includes, but the stage is set for this monumental meeting with the Ukrainian leader along with leaders of the

G7. Some of the most significant powerful in the entire world -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Terrific stuff, Marc. Thank you very much indeed.

And that's our reporting in Japan. And this just in to CNN, President Joe Biden telling G7 allies that the U.S. will support an effort to train

Ukrainian pilots of aircraft.


And that is one of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's biggest requests. The F- 16 fighter jet. He's been asking for these effectively since the beginning of the war. Well, this training would not happen in the United States but

it will involve U.S. personnel working alongside allies in Europe. The Biden administration has been reluctant to deliver F-16 jets to Ukraine.

Well, the G7 is not the only summit getting a visit from Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He made a surprise stop at the Arab League Leaders meeting in

Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Zelenskyy urged Arab leaders to support his peace plan with Russia and said he hoped their alliances with Moscow would

not blind them to Russia's aggression in his country.

Well, the Arab League is also welcoming Syria back into the fold. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attending his first summit since 2011 when Syria

was suspended, effectively expelled from the league for its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests and protesters.

Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is tracking events at the Arab League summit for us.

And there will be many including yourself who have covered the 2011 conflict, the beginning of the conflict in Syria who may be somewhat

surprised to see the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad back into the fold of Arab nations.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Becky, you have Syrian activists and refugees describing this as a shameful day for Arab states,

and a very, very sad day.

ANDERSON: Then why is it happening?

KARADSHEH: Look, I mean, we've heard from Arab leaders saying that this status quo cannot continue. It's got to change. For stability in the Middle

East, they want to bring Syria back into the fold. And then you've also got other issues including the fact that Syria has contributed to the smuggling

of Captagon into Gulf states and there's a lot of concern about not bringing it back, not having Syria.

ANDERSON: But Syrian refugees, Jordan, Lebanon. I mean, the impact is swinging, isn't it?

KARADSHEH: And that's a thing, we've heard from the various Arab countries and neighboring countries as well, saying -- Turkey, saying that they need

a solution where they see Syrian refugees going back. But I can tell you, Becky, seeing Bashar al-Assad at this summit today is absolutely terrifying

for Syrian refugees we've been speaking to because he was brought back in without any preconditions, without talk about how are they going to

guarantee the safety of these refugees going back?

People will tell you there is no way they would go back to the Syria they fled, the Syria of Bashar al-Assad. They fear they're going to go back to

jail, torture, death. I mean, we've heard this from many, many refugees. So if -- they say if the region wants to normalize ties with the Assad regime,

it's up to them to do that, do not force us to go back.

ANDERSON: Something like three and a half million if not four million Syrian refugees here and very much part of the discussion around what is

the run-up to this second leg of the presidential campaign. The opposition candidate of course here suggesting and what assumes that he believes this

is a populist position that all Syrian refugees should be sent back within two years. Two million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a million and a half

Syrian refugees in Jordan.

I mean the impact on these countries is enormous. But as you rightly point out, the fear of those who fled, and fled being the operative word here, is

that they go back to the same leadership and a country under the same stewardship. It's tough times.

Thank you, always a pleasure.

Still to come, tonight, sports coming up for you. The most talked about man at the PGA championship is not Eric Cole, but this 20-year-old. We'll tell

you who he is and why he is the toast of the tournament.



ACOSTA: Well, it is not the winning but the taking part that matters. Right? Well, tell that to golfer Tom Kim who certainly made headlines at

the PGA Championship. This 20-year-old went looking for his ball in a marsh. And you can see muddy results.

Amanda Davies joins me now. He probably won't win the top prize but he'd gotten awfully lot of sympathy, won't he?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Yes. And, you know, he said actually it is all about the winning, and he lost his ball, but he was determined to

do everything he could to avoid dropping a shot with a lost ball. So that was why he decided to wade into the marsh. He definitely got more than he

bargained for, literally up to his waist in mud. And then in for a penny in for a pound, what was he going to do? Well, he went into the pond to try

and wash the mud of.

And there was a hilarious moment when he came off the course at the end of his round, he realized he's had the eyes of the world watching on. So yes,

he has become a bit of a social media sensation. He was able to see the funny side, but very much hoping that it does pay off because he didn't

find his ball, so he did end up dropping the shot. But he's provided a great deal of entertainment.

And we've got the latest coming from the PGA Championship in just a couple of minutes in "WORLD SPORT."

ANDERSON: And all of us who play rubbish golf and who've been in the pond so many times, we really feel for him there. And it makes us all feel a

little bit human and makes those golfers seemed human, too.

Thank you, Amanda.

Amanda is back with "WORLD SPORT" after this short break. I'm back top of the hour for you.