Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is facing an “economic war” after the lira hit a fresh record low against the dollar amid rising tensions with Washington.
The lira tumbled overnight Friday to a historic low of TL5.11 to the US dollar, down 3.4 percent of its value against the dollar since the Trump administration’s announcement of sanctions on two Turkish ministers Wednesday.
Trump has escalated pressure on the NATO member since last month when a court in Turkey placed American pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest after 21 months in prison.
Brunson, who ran a small church in Turkey for more than 20 years, was arrested in December 2016 over allegations of having helped a group that Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in July 2016.
Erdogan said in a speech on Friday that his country was “face to face with an economic war,” from which Ankara “will emerge victorious.”
He also urged Turkish people to convert their hard currency and gold into lira and euros to bolster the lira and “show their resistance to the world” as he presented an economic action plan for the next 100 days.
Ankara is turning towards China to overcome what Erdogan said were “subjective evaluations” from ratings agencies. Erdogan said China, Mexico, Russia and India will be new markets for his country’s exports.
The new economic action plan calls for Turkey to issue a renminbi bond and borrow from China to proceed with 400 new infrastructure and other showpiece projects whose value is estimated at $9 billion.
Erdogan’s remarks came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on the sidelines of a summit in Singapore on Friday and described the meeting as “constructive.”
This article provided by NewsEdge.