Opposition leaders lend support to Turkish gov’t amid economic meltdown

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The leaders of two opposition parties in Turkey have extended their support to the Turkish government in the wake of the deterioration of the Turkish economy and the crashing of the Turkish lira to record lows against the US dollar.

The Turkish lira plunged to 6.82 against the US dollar on Friday as worries about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s influence over monetary policy and worsening US relations snowballed into a market panic that also hit shares of European banks.

The currency has fallen more than 35 percent this year after losing nearly a quarter of its value in 2017.

Speaking following a party meeting on Friday, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener said: “You [the government] were alone when spoiling the economic table. I would like to announce that we are ready to act together for a solution. Today, we are with the government of the Turkish Republic on behalf of our country and the nation… We are ready to contribute to every positive step to be taken in proportion with our power.”

Another opposition leader, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, instructed party officials to exchange any US dollars the party has in its accounts into Turkish lira in line with a call from Erdoğan to do so.

In a message from his Twitter account on Friday, Bahçeli commented that the fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates were a result of a “foreign conspiracy.”

Turkey has been facing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision last month to put American pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.

A Turkish delegation held meetings this week with US officials in Washington to find a solution, but they reportedly returned to Turkey empty-handed.

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