Turkish President Erdogan invokes God in speech about tumbling lira

Published: August 10, 2018
President of Turkey and Leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara. PHOTO: AFP

President of Turkey and Leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara. PHOTO: AFP

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed concerns over the tumbling lira, calling on Turks to “have no worries”, after the currency hit record lows in recent weeks on the back of a widening rift with the United States.

Ankara, Washington and NATO allies have been at loggerheads over the detention in Turkey of US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges, prompting US sanctions on two of Erdogan’s ministers and threats of trade restrictions.

Early on Friday, the lira hit a new record low, plunging to as far as 6 against the US dollar after a Turkish delegation returned from talks in Washington on Thursday with no apparent solutions to an ongoing crisis.

Turkey’s Erdogan emerges victorious, setting him up for tighter grip on power

Speaking to supporters in the Black Sea province of Rize late on Thursday, Erdogan brushed off concerns over the currency as campaigns against Turkey.

“There are various campaigns being carried out. Don’t heed them,” Erdogan said. “Don’t forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God. We are working hard. Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now,” he said.

The recent sell-off in the lira has been fuelled by investor concerns over Erdogan’s grip on monetary policy under a new powerful executive presidency and the ongoing row with the United States.

Turkey lira slumps to new record lows after Erdogan commments

Erdogan, a self-described “enemy of interest rates”, wants banks to lend cheap credit to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be due for a hard landing.

They are also concerned over the central bank’s ability to rein in persistent double-digit inflation with the president repeatedly calling for lower rates.

No sign of breakthrough as Turkey delegation holds talks in Washington

Last week, Erdogan called on citizens to convert their hard currency and gold into lira in order to prop up the plunging currency with a “domestic and national stance”.

The unorthodox approach of the president, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than 15 years, has unnerved investors who have voiced concerns over Turkey’s authoritarian trajectory under Erdogan.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • cuban
    Aug 10, 2018 - 1:23PM

    Another Zimbabwe or Venezuela in the making. Seems like Dictators who rise to power by pandering to public sentiment have a habit of slowly destroying economies in a desperate attempt to maintain power. Recommend

  • Vineeth
    Aug 10, 2018 - 1:41PM

    Next Pakistan in the making. Erdogan is playing Ishaq Dhar.Recommend

  • Tzaman
    Aug 10, 2018 - 4:58PM

    Religious zealots always destroys a country – be it Muslim or Christian or Hindu or Buddhist type. End result is always same.Recommend

  • Fahad
    Aug 10, 2018 - 5:17PM

    I trust him. Turks must follow him. Recommend

  • Assad
    Aug 10, 2018 - 7:49PM

    Good man this Erdogan! Turks should realize that anyone who goes up against this nonsense of a new world order will be targeted. This world order serves the unfair status quo of those who have been at the top since the end of WWII.

    Turkey should stay strong and remain on course of not being cowed down by Trump and the US government. If Turkey takes a strong stance against the machinations of the Trump admin, others including Pakistan, which too is being targeted, will follow course. There is no option but to get multi-polarity back to replace this existing US centric world order.

    Turks, put your faith in your own people and God…that is the right way to go. Motivate your people to overcome the economic hardship and stay the course with your national interests. Don’t let the bullies have their way!Recommend

  • powayman
    Aug 10, 2018 - 10:50PM

    All Trump has to do is periodically impose additional tariffs which will insure the continued decline of the lira – must be infuriating to Erdogan that he is on the receiving end of his own bullying tactics. I have little sympathy for Erdogan – I do have sympathy for the Turkish people. Recommend

  • Prada
    Aug 12, 2018 - 8:27AM

    “Tumhare paas kya hai?”
    “Mere paas maa hai.”Recommend

  • Fahad
    Aug 12, 2018 - 12:45PM

    Request all overseas Pakistanis to buy Lira and support Erdogan!Recommend

  • Jay
    Aug 12, 2018 - 5:46PM

    Fool. That’s all i have to say.Recommend

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