Aug 14 2018

Turkey's most influential business groups call for gov't action amid crisis

Two of Turkey’s largest business groups said the government should take swift measures to minimize the damage caused to the economy by a crisis with the United States and loose economic policies.

Tusiad, an association representing Turkey’s largest companies, and TOBB, whose membership extends to tens of thousands of businesses across the country, said in a joint statement that the government should announce fiscal measures as soon as possible that will support the central bank.

Positive steps by the central bank to ensure banks’ liquidity should be followed up by tighter monetary policy to further support the lira, the groups said.

Problems between Turkey and the United States should also be resolved swiftly by diplomatic means, they said.

Turkey’s lira has slumped to successive record lows against the dollar, losing about a quarter of its value in two weeks, as the U.S. and Turkish presidents traded economic and political blows over Turkey’s internment of Americans on terrorism charges.

The lira hit 7.23 per dollar in Asian trading on Monday, prompting concern for a full-blown financial crisis in the country. It has recovered since, trading up 4.3 percent at 6.59 per dollar at 2:30 p.m. in Istanbul on Tuesday, The currency has risen partly on hopes for an agreement between Washington and Ankara that will result in the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and other Americans.