As a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the US over an American pastor hits the Turkish economy, a group of Turks in the southern province of Mersin prayed for a halt in the rise in value of the US dollar, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.
People living in a village of Mersin’s Silifke district gathered on Wednesday to say a prayer against the rise of the dollar. They asked God to destroy Turkey’s enemies and to decrease value of the dollar against the Turkish lira.
Turkey has been facing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision 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.
Ersin Akdoğan, a participant of the prayer meeting, said: “We used to hold prayers for rain. Today we prayed against the dollar. God willing, the Republic of Turkey will win this economic war. This is a war of independence.”
The Turkish lira has lost over 40 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of this year.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 10 tried to calm the Turkish people over the historic loss in value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.
“If they have their dollars, we have our people, our Allah [God],” he said.
Many Erdoğan supporters were seen on social media either exchanging their dollars for Turkish lira or burning them.
Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Tuesday said the dollar has lost its reliability as it has the potential to inflict a shock on the global economy, especially on Europe.