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Turkish lira continues to nosedive, amid 'economic war' with the US Open in fullscreen

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Turkish lira continues to nosedive, amid 'economic war' with the US

Turkey's lira has plunged to record lows [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 August, 2018

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Turks to buy the lira, as it plunges to record lows against the US dollar.

The Turkish lira hit record lows against the dollar on Saturday as the country faces an "economic war" against the US.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turks on Friday to exchange foreign currency for the country's lira, as it continues to fall to the US dollar.

Erdogan said buying the lira was a patriotic duty for Turks, in what has become an "economic war" against foreign powers, most likely referring to the US.

"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for Turkish lira. It is a national fight," Erdogan said.

"This will be the response to those who have declared an economic war.

He also blamed those seeking higher interest rates to help cope with the lira's record losses as being behind the country’s economic misfortunes.

The lira extended its losses to trade at 6.2 to the dollar, a loss of 11.5 percent on Friday. By Saturday, the lira was trading at 6.43 to the dollar.

The president then told Turks not to be disheartened by the loss to the dollar.

"The dollar, the mollar, will not cut our path," said Erdogan using a figure of speech he repeatedly uses to mock something. "Do not worry!"

Erdogan has described the Turkish economy as "under attack".

It comes as US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium, further hurting the lira.

"I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminium will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" Trump tweeted out on Friday.

Much of the tensions between the two countries centre on an American cleric, jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Pastor Andrew Brunson is on trial on espionage and terror-related charges related to a failed 2016 coup attempt, which he and the US government adamantly deny.

The US retaliated by issuing sanctions on two leading Turkish officials last week.

Erdogan has said Turkey was not afraid of "threats" and will find "alternatives" for economic cooperation in many places "from Iran, to Russia, to China and some European countries".


Agencies contributed to this story.

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