President Tayyip Erdogan has resembled an attack on Turkey’s economy to a strike against its flag or call to prayer, saying the campaign aims to bring “Turkey and its people to their knees.”
“The attack on our economy has absolutely no difference from attacks on our call to prayer and our flag,” Erdogan said in an address released Monday on the eve of Eid al-Adha, a four-day Islamic festival scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
His remarks came in response to a recent currency sell-off that has spread to other emerging market currencies and global stocks.
The Turkish lira has lost about 30 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of August.
The currency crash occurred in the wake of tensions with the United States following Turkey’s detention of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, which has cast doubts over the future of Ankara’s partnership with Washington.
“Those who think they can make Turkey give in with the exchange rate will soon see that they are mistaken,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish president stopped short of directly naming any countries or institutions, but he has blamed the currency sell-off on a shadowy “interest rate lobby,” Western ratings agencies and financiers in the past.
Erdogan on Saturday said his country will not “surrender” to the United States under sanctions imposed over the detention of Brunson.
Brunson was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen. Ankara accuses Gulen of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan.
Turkey and the US also disagree over their military interventions in the Syria war, Ankara’s plan to buy missile defense systems from Russia and the US conviction of a Turkish state bank executive on sanctions-busting charges in January.
Amid the tensions, unknown gunmen on Monday opened fire at the US Embassy in Ankara in a drive-by shooting that caused no casualties.
Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the attack was a clear attempt to “create chaos,” adding the incident was being investigated.
Source: Press TV