Erdogan urges Turks to sell foreign currency in ‘economic war’
Istanbul, Aug. 10 (PTI/AFP): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Turks today to support the struggling the lira by exchanging any foreign money, saying Turkey faced “an economic war”.
“If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for Turkish lira. It is a national fight,” Erdogan said in comments broadcast on national television.
“This will be the response to those who have declared an economic war,” blaming Turkey’s woes on what he described as an “interest rate lobby” seeking to push the country to higher rates.
Investors hoping Erdogan’s comments would give some indication that the government was prepared to support the lira were disappointed with the currency crashing further in value.
The currency extended its losses to trade at 6.2 to the dollar, a loss of 11.5 percent on the day.
But Erdogan said Turks should not be alarmed by exchange rate movements. “The dollar, the mollar, will not cut our path,” said Erdogan using a figure of speech he repeatedly uses to mock something.
“Do not worry!” He said Turkey was not afraid of “threats” and added Turkey had “alternatives” for economic cooperation in many places “from Iran, to Russia, to China and some European countries”.