Erdogan: Lira crash political plot against Ankara

Aug 13, 2018, 00:16
Erdogan: Lira crash political plot against Ankara

The Turkish Lira suffered its worst one-day loss in a decade after President Donald Trump announced the United States would hike metals tariffs, losing about 20% of its value against the USA dollar, prompting investor confidence to slump.

Earlier Friday, Trump announced a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkish imports - days after a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no progress on the detention of pastor Brunson.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that Trump increased the tariff rate from 25 percent to 50 percent on imports of Turkish steel. Trump tweeted. Washington's relations with Ankara "are not good at this time", he added.

The lira tumbled as much as 20 percent on Friday, its biggest one-day drop since 2001.

All eyes will be on the lira when foreign exchange markets reopen on Monday after the weekend break.

Still, he went on to state Turkey acted on its own in the past despite USA objections, such as in its invasions of Northern Cyprus in 1974 and Afrin this year in Syrian Kurdistan.

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"The aim of the operation is to make Turkey surrender in all areas, from finance to politics", Erdogan told ruling party members in the Black Sea city of Trabzon.

Although he downplayed the Dollar's strength, he once again summoned God to be on the Turkish side against the US.

"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

"We will give our response to the person - who declares war against the whole world including our country - by turning towards new markets, new partners and new alliances", Erdogan added.

Asli Aydintasbas, senior fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, stated that Erdogan's speech "was clearly defiant", but Turkey's economic situation continues to appear ever more dire.

"You dare to sacrifice 81-million Turkey for a priest who is linked to terror groups?"

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Mr Brunson, an evangelical Christian, has been held since October 2016 on charges of terror and espionage, and if convicted, could face a jail term of 35 years. Trump has described his detention as a "total disgrace" and urged Erdogan to free him immediately.

Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency.

ISTANBUL, Aug 11 (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan denied on Saturday that Turkey is in a currency crisis, dismissing a plunge in the lira as "fluctuations" which have nothing to do with economic fundamentals.

Erdoğan said that the US had set a deadline of last Wednesday for Brunson's release, threatening Turkey with sanctions if it did not comply with USA wishes.

He also repeated his call to Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings to shore up the lira.

"You arrest my Halkbank general deputy director?"

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The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to his countrymen's patriotism.

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