Turkey’s Erdogan stands by opposition to high interest rates

13 Août, 2018, 06:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

The Turkish lira has been targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump himself, and Turkey has prepared an action plan to soothe its volatility against the dollar, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said late Sunday.

The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to his countrymen's patriotism.

In the last two years, the Turkish government has increasingly used the detainment of people with USA or dual citizenship to try to force the United States to give into its demands. The decision marked a departure for the USA, which has generally tried to calm global markets during times of financial turmoil in emerging markets, especially when investors are gripped by fear of contagion.

Iran has also suffered a major tumbling of its currency this year partly over the reimposition of U.S. sanctions after Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal.

LMoreover, El-Diwany said that the Turkish market gets an advantage in the exportation markets, which both Egypt and Turkey export the same products for, explaining, "Egypt can not well compete with Turkey in exporting textiles to the same markets, as the Lira is now down, hence prices will be lower than before".

"If they have the dollar, we have Allah", he said.

Without naming countries, Mr Erdogan said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara said was organised by a US-based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago.

President Donald Trump broke the news on social media that he authorized the doubling of existing steel and aluminum duties on imports from Turkey.

The currency has lost more than 45 percent of its value this year, largely over worries about Erdogan's influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and worsening ties with the United States.

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On Friday the currency dropped as much as 18% at one point, the biggest one-day fall since a 2001 financial crisis in Turkey. The dollar eased against the safe haven yen to 110.65, but was a shade firmer against a basket of currencies at 96.388.

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"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for the Turkish lira".

Mr Trump intensified his spat with Turkey by imposing the higher tariffs, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

Turkey and the United States are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

Erdogan repeated his call for Turks to sell dollars and buy lira to shore up the currency, while telling business owners not to stock up on dollars.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Saturday to defy USA "threats" over a detained pastor, showing no signs of concessions in a bitter row that has caused the Turkish lira to crash. Gulen has denied the allegation.

The decision was made as tensions mount between the two nations over the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson, a 50-year-old evangelical pastor, and other diplomatic issues.

A delegation led by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal failed to secure a deal last Wednesday in talks in Washington on a number of issues including Brunson.

'We are once again facing a political, underhand plot.

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