Erdoğan denies financial crisis, points to manipulation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday denied his country is facing a financial crisis, claiming that the country’s currency woes are a product of manipulation, pro-government NTV news reported.

Erdoğan’s statements arrive as the country struggles with an embattled currency that has lost 40 percent value since the beginning of the year, while inflation has surged to 17.9 percent and may reach 20 percent during September or October, according to experts.

"Don’t believe in this crisis. We don’t have such a thing. These are all [part of a] manipulation,’’ Erdoğan said. "We are growing stronger as we march into the future. And don’t believe those who are engaged in manipulation in shopping centers and other places.’’

Turkey’s strongman stressed that other currencies were not valid forms of payments in Turkey, warning those who collect rent in dollars and euros.

Erdogan last week signed off on a decree that property agreements must be made in Turkish lira, in a new bid to prop up the country's currency.

"This is Turkey, not the United States,’’ Erdoğan said. "You rent your store and shop with Turkish liras here. Otherwise you will pray a price.’’

Turkey’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate of 17.75 percent by 625 basis points last week to defend the troubled lira, causing the country’s largest financial institutions to deal with financial repercussions.
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