Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said his political enemies are trying to sabotage the economy by speculating on the stock market, foreign exchange rate and interest rates after failing to overthrow his administration in July.
The lira plunged to record lows over the past week even as Erdogan urged Turks to convert their foreign currency savings into liras and gold while vowing to keep up his fight against high interest rates.
Erdogan is trying to verbally stem a run on the lira, which has lost more than any other emerging market currency over the past month, damping everything from consumer sentiment to economic growth. Since a coup was quelled in July, Erdogan has sought popular support to shift from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency to concentrate power in his office.
“Someone is trying to force this country to its knees by economic sabotage after failing to seize it with tanks, guns and F-16s on July 15,” when a coup by a faction within the military failed, Erdogan said at the opening of a shopping mall in Istanbul on Saturday. “This is not a new game and we’re used to it. Especially in the last three years, they are constantly attempting to use economic crisis as a trump card.”
Erdogan, without naming anyone, accused some businessmen and business associations of openly supporting the market speculation, adding that those making most money in Turkey are not in the real economy but in the finance sector, using of money invested in banks by depositors.
Turkey’s Economy Coordination Board met under Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara on Dec. 2 and decided to “take necessary measures with regards to public finances, banking and the financial sector, the real sector and the labor market, which will be announced to the public” next week, his office said in a statement.
Central Bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya was among top economic policy makers who attended the board meeting, the prime minister’s office said.
“We need to solve the interest question. I know I’m alone, but I will keep fighting. I’m determined,” Erdogan said. “We need to stand up for our economy like we stood up for our future on July 15.”