Erdoğan calls on people to convert savings to Turkish lira

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This handout photograph taken and released by the Turkish Presidential Press Service on August 3, 2018, shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) as he delivers a speech during the 'new goverment's 100 days action plan' meeting in Ankara. / AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday held a meeting at the presidential palace to announce a plan that includes some 400 projects which will be carried out in his first hundred days in office, calling on people to convert their under-the-mattress savings to the weakened Turkish lira to boost its value.

“Show your patriotic resistance to the world,” Erdoğan said, according to BBC Turkish service.

“We are facing an economic war being waged against us, and we will be victorious in this war, too. They set many ambushes, but we got through all of them.”

It was not Erdoğan’s first call on people to convert their savings to lira.

Following US sanctions imposed earlier this week on two Turkish ministers over the trial of American pastor Andrew Brunson, the lira sank to 5 against the US dollar.

According to former Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Turks have around 2,200 tons of gold in their under-the-mattress savings.

The new Erdoğan government also aims to decrease inflation to single digits, boost the value of the lira, reduce interest rates to ease costs and enhance austerity measures to fight against waste in public spending.

Erdoğan’s 400 projects for his first hundred days in office are valued at around TL 46 billion (more than $9 billion).

Among the 400 projects, 48 involve the defense industry, which was recently boosted by a lucrative deal with the Pakistani military to provide 30 combat helicopters worth around $1.5 billion.

Erdoğan also said Turkey had entered the Chinese market, issuing bonds in Chinese yuan.

Regarding the foreign policy, Erdoğan said Turkey would reopen its consulates in the Iraqi cities of Basra and Mosul, which had been closed after those cities were besieged by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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