Erdoğan’s call on citizens to sell dollars prompts ‘crazy’ campaigns across Turkey
ISTANBULPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call for Turkish citizens to convert their foreign exchange into Turkish Liras or gold has triggered campaigns across the country, some of which can be defined as “odd.”
“Those who keep foreign currency under their mattress should come and turn them into liras or gold,” Erdoğan said, after the Turkish currency became one of the worst-hit emerging currencies amid a number of domestic and foreign developments.
Turkey’s main stock exchange, Borsa Istanbul, became the first institution to convert all its cash assets into liras, a few hours after Erdoğan’s remarks.
Several other institutions and organizations such as the Readymade Clothing and Confection Exporters Association (İHKİB) followed Borsa Istanbul. The organization said it converted all its cash assets into liras, in a written statement on Dec. 5.
The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) said hajj and Umrah visits would be charged in liras as of Dec. 5.
A bus company owner said people who prove they converted their money into liras would be awarded free bus tickets.
Some small and medium-sized enterprises across the country have also announced they would give free çiğ köfte and ayran or give gifts to people who exchanged their dollars into liras or gold.
A man in the northwestern province of Bursa has even promised to give free tombstones to those who protected their liras.
“We will give away a tombstone worth 750 liras without charging anything to those who converted their 2,000 dollars to liras, and prove it to us,” said Enes Alan, a marble-cutter.
“We will even put the tombstones in the graveyard for them,” he added.
A university in the eastern province of Van said the university’s amphitheater would be named after a citizen who proves they recently converted over 500,000 euros or dollars into liras.