We will not lose economic war, Turkish President Erdoğan says
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to “not lose the economic war,” while telling his citizens to “ignore campaigns against Turkey,” saying “they may have their dollars, but we have our people and God.”
“We will not lose the economic war,” Erdoğan said Aug. 10 after Friday prayers in the northern province of Bayburt during his tour of Black Sea provinces.
“Those who have dollars, euros or gold under their pillows [savings at home] should go and exchange them with the [Turkish] lira. This is a national struggle. This will be my nation’s response to those who have declared an economic war,” he added.
While the Turkish Lira continued to tumble, Erdoğan also addressed locals during his first trip to his hometown in the Black Sea province of Rize following the June 24 elections late Aug. 9.
“We will work a lot and we will try to make our country more modern with all of its 81 provinces, God willing. Just know that we are better than yesterday now, and tomorrow we will be better than today. Don’t worry,” Erdoğan said.
“There are various campaigns. Don’t care about them. And don’t forget that if they have their dollars, we have our people and our God ... I want your patience and ardour,” said Erdoğan, as the Turkish currency lost more than 35 percent value against the greenback since the end of last year.
The USD/TRY exchange rate rose as high as 6.61 early Aug. 10 before easing slightly. It was 5.46 as of 5 p.m. local time on Aug. 9.
We will keep growing despite attacks: Erdoğan
Erdoğan continued his salvoes in the next stop of his Black Sea tour. “They say things like foreign exchange rates. Get over it! Let’s focus on our work as it will be better. We will not make concessions from our rights. Despite all the attacks against our country through foreign exchange rates, God willing, we will keep growing in the second half of the year,” he said in the Gümüşhane province.
“No one can make this dear nation step back through punishments, threats, and sanctions,” he added, slamming the United States for trying to give Turkey a “lecture on law” while it continues to harbor Fethullah Gülen, the Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric who is accused by Ankara as the mastermind of the 2016 coup attempt.
Concern over uncertainties about whether a meeting between Turkey and the U.S. could heal their wide diplomatic rift weighed on the Turkish currency.
Turkish officials held meetings on Aug. 8 with the State Department’s No. 2 official, John Sullivan, following a move by the U.S. to hit two senior Turkish government ministers with sanctions over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
The two sides announced that the talks will continue.
“Much of this though, we’re not going to negotiate in public,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a press conference on Aug. 9. “I would say we would define progress as Pastor Brunson being brought home.”
In his speech on Aug. 9, Erdoğan also vowed to help the Black Sea provinces which were hit by flash floods this week, killing one person and damaging dozens of buildings.
“God willing, we will remove all the suffering because this state and this nation are strong,” he said.