Erdoğan threatens finance sector over faltering lira

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is presently fighting a snap election campaign set for June 24, has threatened the finance sector with indeterminate sanctions if it does not rescue the flagging lira at a rally in the northeastern Turkish city of Erzurum, independent news site T24 said.

Turks were the servants of Allah, not Hungarian-American businessman George Soros, Erdoğan said.

“Hey finance sector, if you play these types of games with our investors, know that you will pay a heavy price!” he said.

Although the markets were initially rattled by Erdoğan’s insistence to investors in London that he would override the independence of Turkey’s Central Bank to force through low interest rates, he and his party officially claim that foreign political rivals are seeking to manipulate exchange rates in order to damage his chances in the upcoming elections.

“The interest lobby are upon us,” Erdoğan said, in reference to a recent dive in the value of the lira to as low as 4.92 to the dollar.

“"My brothers who have dollars or euros under their pillows, go and invest your money in the lira. We will foil this plan all together.”

Erdoğan criticised European countries, saying they were denying his party the right to campaign there while allowing his pro-Kurdish rivals in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to hold meetings.

He reserved special bile for his main presidential rival, Muharrem İnce of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who has promised to cancel Erdoğan’s scheme to build a canal in parallel to the Bosphorus if elected.

“You have never done anything in this country in your life, anyway,” Erdoğan said.

“In any case, on June 24 my glorious nation know who to tell to get on their bikes. In this country, they know who will carry out investments. Can you have employment without investments?”

The AKP had carried out improvements in education, health, justice, security, transport, and energy, and had maintained its strong foreign policy, all in the face of internal opposition, Erdoğan said.