Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the United States is launching an “economic coup” against his country. And Turks are feeling the impact of their currency’s plunge. With a week-long holiday approaching, many are cancelling trips.
CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports.
On Saturday, Erdogan spoke during a congress of the ruling AK Party. The crowd cheered him on, some wearing T-shirts with the Turkish lira symbol on their back, in a show of support to the currency’s recent struggles.
credit rating agencies S&P and Moody’s on Friday downgraded Turkey closer to junk status. The currency has lost over 40 percent of its value this year.
The currency decline has been exacerbated by a U.S.-Turkey political dispute on Ankara’s refusal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson charged with espionage and terror links.
The U.S. first imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers – then imposed extra tariffs on Turkish imports. Turkey retaliated against the moves.
The U.S. warned Turkey more sanctions were yet to come if Brunson was not released yet, Erdogan remained defiant.
Erdogan stated that he would challenge those playing “games on the economy” as he called it.
Meanwhile, Turks are getting ready for the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice also known as the Eid al-Adha in Arabic yet, some citizens and tour agencies have been negatively affected by the downfall of the lira as the week long holiday approaches.
“This summer I was planning to go abroad on holiday to a music festival in Hungary and Croatia but because the exchange rate increased so much my budget is insufficient now,” said Turkish citizen Rusen Sener.
Travel agencies are also suffering.
“The situation could negatively impact travel agencies because tours have been sold in Turkish Liras in exchange for euros and dollars mostly with credit cards in payments of six maybe twelve installments, which means the agents will lose profit and be the ones suffering,” said Iskender Cayla, the owner of Delicia Tour Agency in Istanbul.
Some analysts are worried that in the long term, the loss of value in the Turkish lira could potentially have an impact on industries that import expensive products.
In the meantime, as Turkey fights back what Erdogan calls an “economic war” with the U.S., Ankara received some supportive words from China.
It was reported that during a phone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi expressed support of Turkey’s effort to carry on economic and social development.