Shift to Turkish Lira accelerates across institutions to shore up struggling currency
REUTERS photoA number of institutions announced measures to prop up the Turkish Lira in a bid to support the struggling currency on Dec. 7, following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to keep savings and make transactions in liras rather than foreign currencies.
Erdoğan’s call for Turkish citizens to convert their foreign exchange into liras or gold triggered campaigns across the country, and the Energy Markets Regulation Authority (EPDK) became the latest institution to say it would hold gas distribution tenders in liras rather than dollars, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
In this vein, the planned gas distribution tenders for the eastern provinces of Tunceli, Ağrı and Doğubeyazıt will be held on liras.
The Defense Ministry also stated that the cash assets of the country’s leading defense industry fund were converted to liras.
“In line with our president’s call, some $262.2 million and 31.3 million euros of the Defense Industry Support Fund, which are available for the use of our ministry’s Undersecretary of Defense Industry, were converted into liras today,” said the ministry on Dec. 7.
Turkish Airlines, meanwhile, said Umrah pilgrimage visits originating from Turkey will be paid for via liras as of Dec. 7.
Furthermore, all telecommunications operators announced that they would make the last payment for the advanced 4G technologies in liras. As a result, they will pay the installment valued at 657 million euros in liras in April 2017.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) also expressed its full support tı Erdoğan’s call to shift to the lira, saying it would demand only the lira in all stakeholder contracts for domestic purchases within its internal transactions, while also supporting the use of local currencies in trade with neighboring countries.
The Turkish Privatization Authority (ÖİB) also announced on Dec. 6 that privatization tenders will henceforth be held on a lira basis, in order to support the lira amid its sharp deterioration in value.
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.