Erdogan calls for Turks to unite against 'attacks on economy'

President says unity of Turks against attacks targeting country's political and economic independence would prevail.

    Erdogan has cast the currency crisis as no different from attacks on Turkey's flag or call to prayer [AFP]
    Erdogan has cast the currency crisis as no different from attacks on Turkey's flag or call to prayer [AFP]

    The commitment and determination of Turks is the guarantee needed to combat attacks on Turkey's economy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said while commenting on the currency crisis his country is facing.

    Turkey's lira has tumbled around 40 percent this year as investor concerns over the president's grip on monetary policy and a growing dispute with the US put pressure on the currency.

    On Saturday, Erdogan said the unity of Turks against attacks targeting their political and economic independence would prevail.

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    "As we tackle attacks against the Turkish economy today, our biggest guarantee is the commitment and determination of every member of our people to take hold of their independence, nation, and future," said Erdogan.

    The Turkish president cast the rapid deterioration of the lira as an "economic war" and accused the US of targeting Turkey over the fate of pastor Andrew Brunson, a US citizen who is being tried in Turkey on terrorism charges that he denies.

    The lira firmed against the US dollar in thin holiday trade on Friday, after having hit a record low of 7.24 to the dollar earlier this month.

    A Turkish court last week rejected an appeal for Brunson's release, drawing stiff rebuke from President Donald Trump, who said the US would not take the detention "sitting down".

    Separately, after each downgraded Turkey by one notch, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said it expected a recession next year while Moody's said a weakening of Turkey's public institutions made policymaking less predictable.

    Erdogan, who has cast the currency crisis as no different from attacks on Turkey's flag or call to prayer, has repeatedly asked Turks to convert their gold and dollars into lira to prop up the ailing economy, saying Turkey would overcome the crisis.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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