‘If you are patriot, convert dollar into Turkish lira’ Erdogan said during a speech at an award ceremony of Kayseri Industrialists’ Chamber in Kayseri.
Amid signals of a looming economic crisis, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday described Turkish people who exchange their foreign currencies with Turkish Lira (TL) as “patriot”, saying Turkey will make trade with Russia, China and Iran in their own currencies and TL.
Describing depreciation of the TL against the US dollar as an international operation targeting Turkey in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt, Erdoğan said: “I am appealing to the owners of shopping malls. If we are patriots, then we have to convert foreign currencies into TL.”
YOUR ARE AWARE OF THE GAME THEY PERFORM AFTER JULY 15 COUP ATTEMPT
“You are aware of the game they perform after the July 15 coup attempt. They try to finish the coup that they failed on July 15 by means of interest rates and foreign currency now,” said Erdoğan, accusing the Gülen movement of being part of the new attempt as well.
Reiterating his call for lowering interest rates in Turkey, Erdoğan said; “Whatever the price, we have to reduce interest rates. Interest rates must be lowered to pave way for investments. When we lowered the interest rates to 4.6 percent they created Gezi Park protests as a response.”
“We give credit to investors with 14-15-16-17 percent interest rate now. Can this country develop? No. You destroy, you finish it. If the unemployment rate reaches 11.7-11.8 percent, what is the reason? Investments stop. We have to revive them… If they [investors] can get cheaper credit, they will be able to invest. There is no water in the water pump. We have to put water in it,” said Erdoğan.
“When we see people responding to our call to exchange foreign currencies with TL, our belief in nation goes up further. As long as this tie between the state and the nation exists, no operation can kneel this county down,” added Erdoğan.
THOSE WHO KEEP DOLLARS OR EURO UNDER THEIR PILLOW SHOULD COME TURNS HEM LIRAS
“Those who keep dollar or euro under their pillow should come and turn them into liras or gold,” Erdoğan said in an earlier speech in Kayseri on Sunday.
Erdoğan made similar call to people on Friday in Ankara: “Come, bring the savings under your pillow and invest it in Turkish lira. Let’s stabilize the market with this money.”
Reacting Erdoğan’s call, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Saturday asked Erdoğan whether he sold off his own dollars after the president called on the nation to sell off foreign exchange to help stem the depreciation of the Turkish lira.
In remarks in Adana, Kılıçdaroğlu made reference to shoeboxes, which became the symbol of a corruption investigation in December 2013 that implicated several ministers in then-Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government.
As response to Erdoğan’s call, a pro-Erdoğan Yeni Şafak journalist Recep Yeter posted a twitter message on Sunday, calling seizure money of the people who buy big amount of dollars: “If driving tank over nation is the same as driving dollar over nation, then you can seizure money of the people who makes operation against nation by buying big amount of dollar.”
Turkey’s main stock exchange, Borsa İstanbul, converted all its cash assets into the lira a few hours after Erdoğan’s call.
The Turkish lira fell to a record low of 3,60 against the dollar on Friday despite Erdoğan’s remarks. Turkish government organized an emergency economic coordination board meeting later in the same day.