Crisis won’t hit Turkey directly: Erdoğan
ANKARAThe historic depreciation of the Turkish Lira against the U.S. dollar is ultimately a period that “will pass by Turkey tangentially,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, echoing his comments on the 2007-08 global financial crisis.
“What did I say in 2007-2008? I said it will pass by tangentially. Now I am saying the same thing, it will pass tangentially,” Erdoğan said Dec. 2.
Reiterating earlier comments, Erdoğan also advised the public to exchange foreign currencies they are holding for gold or liras in order to increase the value of liras and gold.
“The people should discharge their savings under the mattress by exchanging it for gold or liras so that liras and gold gain value,” he said.
Downplaying the effects of the plunging lira, Erdoğan had previously suggested using Turkish currency in global transactions.
“Let’s look for ways to borrow with domestic currencies. Let’s stop borrowing money in foreign currency,” he said Nov. 29.
‘Central Bank should lower interest rates’
“I say we have no choice but to lower the interest rate,” Erdoğan said, underlining his view on the benefits of lower interest rates.
His position had previously raised tension between the Central Bank, which has kept the rates high to rein in inflation, and the government, insisting that rates should be lowered to make credit available to entrepreneurs.
“We should look at the world. Is the interest rate high in America, Japan, or Europe? While it is so low there, why are our interest rates wandering around 14, 15, or 16 percent? We will pave the way for entrepreneurs with low interest rates. High interest will only spur the financial sector, and I will also say this for public banks,” he said.