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Erdogan asks Turks to help prop up plunging lira

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, on April 18, 2018. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 18, 2018 called snap elections in Turkey for June 24, bringing the polls forward by over a year-and-a-half after a call from his main nationalist ally. Both presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on the same day. They had originally been scheduled for November 3, 2019. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday urged compatriots to change their foreign currency to the lira to help prop up the embattled currency.

“My brothers, could those of you who have euros and dollars under their pillows invest their money in liras?” he said in the eastern city of Erzurum.

The lira has lost 16 percent of its value against the greenback in a month as markets became jittery after Erdogan indicated he wanted a greater say in monetary policy if he won legislative and presidential elections on June 24.

This then raised concerns over economic policy becoming more unpredictable.

The lira hit 4.92 against the dollar on Wednesday before paring back some of its losses later this week after an emergency central bank rate hike.

Ankara has repeatedly said the lira’s fall was a “conspiracy” by unnamed foreign powers to weaken Turkey.

“If the financial sector plays such games to work against our investors and entrepreneurs, know that you will pay a steep price,” Erdogan said on Saturday.


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