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Aug 10 2018

Erdoğan says Turkish crisis just like bombing parliament

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said a dive in the lira against the dollar was a conspiracy against the country, comparing it to the bombing of parliament during a failed military coup in July 2016.

Turkey will fight economic hitmen just as it fought the coup plotters, Erdoğan said. He was speaking in the Turkish town of Bayburt on Friday.

The president warned a so-called “interest rate lobby” against further attacks on Turkey, saying the nation would not be brought to its knees.

Turkey’s lira slumped as much as 13.5 percent against the dollar earlier on Friday, reaching a record low of 6.468 per dollar, on concern about the prospect of further sanctions from the United States for Turkey’s failure to hand over a U.S. pastor and other Americans charged with terrorism. It fell 10.5 percent to 6.13 per dollar at 3:33 p.m. in Istanbul.

Turkey is facing an emerging currency crisis that has brought losses of more than 30 percent for the lira this year amid the political standoff with the United States. Washington sanctioned two of Turkey’s ministers last week, freezing their assets and barring them from the country. The central bank has failed to act to stem the latest declines in the lira amid political pressure from Erdoğan to keep interest rates low even as inflation surged to almost 16 percent.

The president urged people to look beyond market data as the government prepared an economic plan that it will outline at the start of next month. “Look at the big picture,” he said.