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Erdogan urges Turkish people to save in lira

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Turkish lira banknote is seen placed on US Dollar banknotes in this illustration taken on November 28, 2021. (By Reuters)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Turks to keep all their savings in lira, as the country's domestic currency has lost over 40% of its value this year.

"I want all my citizens to keep their savings in our own money, to run all their business with our own money, and I recommend this," Erdogan said in his address to a business group in Istanbul on Friday. "Let's not forget this: as long as we don't take our own money as a benchmark, we are doomed to sink. The Turkish lira, our money, that is what we will go forward with. Not with this foreign currency, that foreign currency."

Erdogan also called on Turkish people to bring their gold savings into the banking system.

"The more we bring back to our economy, the 5,000 tons of gold kept under the mattress, the stronger our country and nation will be," he added.

Referring to the recent exchange rate volatility, Erdogan said the matter was largely under control.

The Turkish leader reiterated his view that interest rates were behind inflation.

"For some time, we have been waging the battle of saving the Turkish economy from the cycle of high interest rates and high inflation, and taking it on the path of growth through investment, employment, production, exports, and current account surplus," he said.

"Interest rates down, interest rates up. My friends, let us please take this out of our books. Interest rates make the rich richer and the poor poorer," he added.

Lira has lost more than 40% of its value this year. Some blame the crisis on Erdogan's decision to lower interest rates. Ankara, however, blames what it calls foreign plots against Turkey to weaken its economy and "bring the country to its knees."

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