Er­do­gan blames US for 'heinous eco­nomic at­tack' on Ankara

Daily Messenger - - International -

IS­TAN­BUL: Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan has ac­cused the United States of launch­ing what he called a "heinous eco­nomic at­tack" on Turkey af­ter the na­tional cur­rency lira hit a record low fol­low­ing US sanc­tions.

Dur­ing a speech to of­fi­cials from his AK Party in Ankara on Fri­day, Er­do­gan also said Turkey would see the re­sult of the cen­tral bank's in­de­pen­dence af­ter a sub­stan­tial rate in­crease that was made a day ear­lier.

His re­marks fol­lowed an an­nounce­ment by Turkey’s cen­tral bank on Thurs­day that it had lifted its bench­mark rate by 6.25 per­cent­age points.

Er­do­gan fur­ther called on Turks to con­vert all sav­ings to lira and also urged the pri­vate sec­tor not to aban­don pro­duc­tion and in­vest­ments.

Wash­ing­ton has im­posed sanc­tions on two Turk­ish min­is­ters and dou­bled tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum im­ported from the coun­try. Such mea­sures are largely be­lieved to have led to a sharp de­cline in the value of Turkey's na­tional cur­rency.

The lira has fallen more than 40 per­cent against the dol­lar this year, driv­ing up the cost of food and fuel and send­ing in­fla­tion soar­ing to 18 per­cent, its high­est in a decade and a half.

Wash­ing­ton took the puni­tive mea­sures in protest at Ankara's de­ten­tion of Amer­i­can Pas­tor An­drew Brun­son, who has been ac­cused of hav­ing links with ter­ror or­ga­ni­za­tions in Turkey.

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