Turkey investigating 271 social media users over comments on lira crisis

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Turkey’s Security Directorate General has announced that investigations have been launched into the users of 271 social media accounts due to their posts about the recent  depreciation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.

The Turkish currency plunged to a record low against the US dollar, losing 15 percent of its value on Tuesday. The latest depreciation of the lira took place after the country’s central bank cut its policy rate last Thursday by 100 basis points to 15 percent, well below inflation of nearly 20 percent, under pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The record fall in the value of the lira prompted many on social media to call on Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to resign. There were also street protests in some cities across the country during which the government was called on to resign due to its poor management of the economy.

The Security Directorate General said in a statement on its website on Wednesday that investigations have been launched by its cyber crime department into social media users who fomented hate and enmity among the people and called on people to take to the streets by “manipulating the fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates.” The statements said the users of 271 such accounts have been identified so far and are being investigated.

The Turkish currency has shed 45 percent of its value this year, becoming the world’s worst-performing currency in 2021.

It nosedived more than 15 percent on Tuesday, tumbling as far as 13.45 to the dollar and plumbing record lows for an 11th straight session, before trimming some of those losses to close 10.2 percent lower at 12.7015.

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