Thursday, December 13, 2018
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Erdogan says Turkey came under 'economic attack'

The Turkish leader described the sudden fall in the value of the lira last month as an 'economic assassination attempt'.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed an economic "attack" for the country's currency crisis.

In a speech to officials from the ruling AK Party in Ankara on Friday, Erdogan said Turkey had "faced a heinous attack targeting the Turkish economy after a series of negative statements from the US about our country were used as an excuse".

He described the sudden fall in the value of the lira last month, when the currency reached more than seven against the dollar, as an "economic assassination attempt".

The lira traded flat on Friday before Erdogan's remarks, holding the gains it made against the US dollar on Thursday after Turkey's central bank increased interest rates and the government banned the use of foreign currencies in the country's property market.

The dual developments on Thursday pushed the lira as high as 6.08 against the dollar and it traded flat on Friday morning, standing at 6.03 to the dollar at 07:28 GMT.

The Turkish central bank raised interest rates to 24 percent on Thursday, the biggest increase since Erdogan came to power in 2003, in an attempt to boost the struggling currency and control inflation.

In his speech on Friday, Erdogan said Turkey would see the result of central bank's independence after it lifted interest rates, adding that his patience with interest rates had limits. He also called on Turks to convert their savings to lira and trust in the national currency.

Health of the Turkish economy 

The lira has lost around 40 percent of its value this year amid growing international concern over the health of the Turkish economy and a damaging diplomatic dispute with the US.

Thursday's move by the central bank came hours after Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", stated his opposition to any lifting of the rate and blamed the central bank for inflation and high borrowing costs.

The inflation rate in Turkey rose to nearly 18 percent last month.

In a separate development, Erdogan issued a decree that contracts in the country's property market must be made in lira.

The announcement in the government's official gazette stated that current agreements in foreign currencies must be changed to lira in 30 days, putting an end to deals in dollars and euros.

The ban is the latest attempt by the government to boost the Turkish currency and discourage Turkish individuals and businesses from using the dollar in international trade and investment transactions. Erdogan has recently called on Turks to exchange their foreign currencies for lira.

Earlier this month, the Turkish president told a business forum in Kyrgyzstan that the US had behaved like "wild wolves" and "using the dollar only damages us".

"We need to gradually end the monopoly of the dollar once and for all by using local and national currency among us," he said.

Turkey is involved in a diplomatic standoff with the US over the detention of an American evangelical pastor. Andrew Brunson is being held under house arrest in Turkey after he was charged with espionage and terrorism-related offences.

Last month, the US imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and also imposed tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminium in a bid to pressure Turkey to release Brunson.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Amazon HQ2 'to be split over New Yo...

Read More

Saudi to cut oil exports by 500,000...

Read More

European Union extends sanctions on...

Read More

What is SWIFT and why it matters in...

Read More

Bin Salman launches Saudi Arabia's ...

Read More

China's Xi pledges to lower tariffs...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid