Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells Turkey to 'trust in God' as lira falls

10 August 2018, 09:57

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brushed off the plunging value of the lira and a rift with the US, telling Turks: "If they have their dollars, we have our people, our God."

Turkey's currency hit a record low against the US dollar and euro early on Friday, falling around 7% against the dollar after initially losing 12%.

Markets are worried about a deepening fallout between Washington and Ankara over the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror charges, as well as other issues.

Both countries have imposed sanctions on senior ministers and the countries failed to make progess during talks this week.

Speaking in the Black Sea privince of Rize late on Thursday, Mr Erdogan told supporters: "There are various campaigns being carried out. Don't heed them.

"Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God. We are working hard. Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now."

Wider concerns about President Erdogan's expanding powers, especially over monetary policy, have taken chunks out of the value of lira this year.

After winning the election in June, he appointed his son-in-law as chief of a revamped finance ministry.

Inflation stands at nearly 16% but Turkey's central bank is reluctant to act - especially with the president having described himself as an "enemy of interest rates".

Last week, Mr Erdogan urged Turks to exchange gold and other currency for lira in a effort to boost its value.