May 18 2018

Forty-two percent of Turks say lira's drop is foreign plot

Forty-two percent of Turks see the decline in the lira as a plot by foreign powers, according to an April survey by Ankara-based polling company Metropoll Arastirma.

The proportion of people who see foreigners as responsible for the lira’s woes increased from 38 percent in November, Metropoll said in a post on Twitter on Thursday.

But the number of respondents who believe that wrong government policies are to blame also increased. rising to 25 percent in April from 22 percent in November and 19 percent in December 2016, the survey showed.

Turkey’s lira hit a record low of 4.5 per dollar this week as investors called on the central bank to raise interest rates to steady the economy and tame inflation. The government’s economic policies, which have included low interest rates, tax breaks, loan guarantees and investment incentives, have prompted warnings from ratings agencies and the International Monetary Fund that the economy is overheating.

Opinion among Turks about the cause of the lira’s weakness is divided along political lines, with 59 percent of governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters saying foreigners were to blame. Meanwhile, 53 percent of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters say the government’s economic policies are wrong and have led to the lira’s slide.

However, 52 percent of total respondents said the lira’s weakness was not the responsibility of foreigners. Nine percent of those polled didn’t give a response to the question.