Erdogan blames plunging lira on American ‘political plot’

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The Turkish lira has fallen over 16% to new record lows against the greenback. Photo: iStock

Amid an intensifying row with Washington, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday called the crash of the lira a “political plot” and said his country would seek out new markets and allies, AFP reported.

“The aim of the operation is to make Turkey surrender in all areas from finance to politics. We are once again facing a political, underhand plot. With God’s permission we will overcome this,” Erdogan told members of his party gathered in the Black Sea city of Trabzon.

The Turkish lira fell over 16% to new record lows against the greenback as tensions with Washington increased over a number of issues including the detention of an American pastor and US cooperation with Syrian Kurds fighting ISIS.

“We can only say ‘good-bye’ to anyone who sacrifices its strategic partnership and a half century alliance with a country of 81 million for the sake of relations with terror groups,” Erdogan said. “You dare to sacrifice 81-million Turkey for a priest who is linked to terror groups?”

US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he was doubling steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, which drove down the lira.

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