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Erdogan: “Terrorists” using exchange rate “as a weapon”

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has labeled “terrorists” the elements behind the recent plunge in the value of Turkish currency.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has labeled “terrorists” the elements behind the recent plunge in the value of Turkish currency.

“There is no difference between the terrorist who has a weapon… and the terrorist who is using the dollar… to bring Turkey to its knees,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish president explained that the exchange rate was being used “as a weapon.”

Erdogan made the remarks in an address to a group of officials in the capital, Ankara, on Thursday.

The Turkish Lira has plunged to record lows in recent weeks against the dollar, something which has led to jitters in the country’s economy.

Erdogan, however, did not name specifically the elements behind the 10-percent decline in the value of lira.

Credit rating agencies Standard and Poor’s as well as Moody’s downgraded Turkey’s rating to junk status in 2016.

Moody’s recently warned that the current dire politico-economic situation in Turkey was likely to further impact the lira. Turkey might face, Moody’s said, a “general worsening of the investment climate.”

Analysts say investors are also increasingly worried about Erdogan’s interference in the country’s monetary policy, repeatedly pressuring the central bank to lower interest rates.

Turkey has been hit by a string of terrorist attacks by Kurdish militants and the Daesh Takfiri terrorists over the past months. The matter has raised doubts about security in the country.

On January 1, ISIS terrorist attacked a nightclub in the city of Istanbul, killing 39 people, including nearly 30 foreigners.

In the political sphere, Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is making efforts to expand presidential powers.

On Wednesday, scuffles broke out in the parliament between lawmakers divided on the issue. The lawmakers pushed each other and exchanged blows during the row over a controversial bill on constitutional amendments, which would expand the powers of the president.

Erdogan’s critics say his party’s effort to monopolize power has plunged the country into the abyss of politico-economic ruin.