Er­do­gan: Turkey came un­der ‘eco­nomic attack’

Tehran Times - - WORLD IN FOCUS -

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan has blamed an eco­nomic “attack” for the coun­try’s cur­rency cri­sis.

In a speech to of­fi­cials from the rul­ing Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party (Adalet ve Kalk?nma Par­tisi/AKP) in Ankara on Fri­day, Er­do­gan said Turkey had “faced a heinous attack tar­get­ing the Turk­ish econ­omy af­ter a se­ries of neg­a­tive state­ments from the U.S. 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 United States 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.

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 U.S.

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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. im­posed sanc­tions on two Turk­ish gov­ern­ment min­is­ters and also im­posed tar­iffs on im­ports of Turk­ish steel and alu­minum in a bid to pres­sure Turkey to re­lease Brun­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.