Turkish currency, assets hit over detentions of opposition politicians
ISTANBULThe Turkish Lira hit a record low against the dollar and stocks tumbled more than 3 percent to a three month low following the overnight detention of 12 lawmakers and leaders of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The lira traded at 3.16 to the U.S. dollar at afternoon, compared with 3.1 late on Nov. 3. The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index clsoed the day at 74,267.17 with a 3.15 percent of decrease compared to the previous day.
Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, the co-leaders of the HDP, were detained along with 10 lawmakers of the party early on Nov. 4. Three HDP deputies were later on released on condition of judicial control.
The detentions were carried out as part of “terrorism” investigations carried out by the prosecutor’s offices in Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Hakkari, Van and Bingöl provinces.
Hours after the detentions, a car bomb exploded in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır near the police station where some of the party leaders were being held, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 100.
Demirtaş was later sent to a courthouse in Diyarbakır with a demand for his arrest following his detention. Yüksekdağ was also dispatched to a court with a demand for her arrest. Five HDP MPs were also arrested.
“The big news has been the arrest of various HDP members and that is weighing on sentiment at the moment,” said Paul Fage, an emerging markets strategist TD Securities, Reuters reported.
“There is some weakness in emerging market currencies generally, but the lira is clearly underperforming as a result of what has happened,” Fage added.