Erdoğan: ‘Currency manipulations’ aimed at casting doubt on Turkey’s strong economy

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Currency manipulations are aimed at casting doubt on Turkey’s strong and solid economy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday, according to the state-owned Anadolu news agency.

Speaking at the Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, Erdoğan said, “They are trying to cast doubt on Turkey’s strong and solid economy by means of currency manipulations,” without elaborating.

Turkey has been facing a currency crisis, with the lira losing more than 50 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.

The Erdoğan administration, however, has responded to the crisis as a “manipulation” by external powers that want to “attack” on Turkey financially.

Defying the “economic attacks” targeting the Turkish economy, Erdoğan said Turkey is resolved to establish independence in the economy, mainly in the defense industry.

The president pointed out that dependence on the dollar in international trade had become a bigger problem.

“We need to gradually end the monopoly of the dollar once and for all by using local currencies among us,” Erdoğan said.

Political tensions between Ankara and Washington had sparked worries in markets in August after US President Donald Trump threatened to use economic pressure over an American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

The Turkish lira has been losing value against the US dollar over the past several weeks after the US president doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

Referring to an agreement with Russia to purchase military hardware, Erdoğan said that “some are disturbed by this,“ adding that Turkey does not need permission from anyone to guard its territory.

Last December, Turkey announced it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 missile defense systems by early 2020. This April the parties agreed on early delivery of the systems.

In June the US Congress passed legislation suspending delivery to Turkey of F-35 jets, citing the S-400 purchase as well as Turkey’s detention of US citizens.

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