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Economic attack on Turkey planned in foreign capital, Albayrak says

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Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Tuesday said an economic attack targeting Turkey was planned in a foreign capital, the Evrensel daily reported.

“The attack of August 10 was masterminded in the capital city of a foreign country. With the measures we took, those [who want to hurt Turkey] were disappointed,” Albayrak said during a speech at parliament.

He argued that the Turkish economy had begun to normalize starting in October.

The Turkish lira had been in free fall the week of Aug. 10 as it plunged to 7.20 against the US dollar on Aug. 12.

As of Tuesday the lira stood at 5.50 to the dollar.

The country has been struggling with a currency crisis since May, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held meetings with global money managers in London stating that he intended to tighten his grip on the economy and keep interest rates low.

After the presidential election on June 24, the lira again lost value when Erdoğan appointed his son-in-law Albayrak as the economy chief.

Another blow to the lira stemmed from US sanctions and tariffs on Turkey after a court decision in July to put an American pastor under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention on terrorism charges rather than freeing him as demanded by the US administration.

The lira has lost more than 40 percent of its value to the dollar since the beginning of the year, causing inflation to hit a record annualized high of 24.52 percent in October.

The central bank hiked its interest rates to 24 percent, making Turkey the second highest interest-rate-offering country in the world.

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