Protesters took to the streets of Ankara and Istanbul after the Lira plummeted 15 per cent against the dollar. Opposition party members say that Turkey faces an economic catastrophe as allies are turning on President Erdogan.
The lira, which had already lost 45 per cent of its value over the year, fell to 13.45 to the dollar in the late afternoon, though it later cut back some losses. Many laid the responsibility on the policies of Erdogan, who has pushed Turkey’s central bank to keep interest rates low, despite the devastation it’s played on the country’s currency.
In his comments Monday evening, Erdogan framed the economic crisis as another foreign plot against Turkey, comparing it to a 2016 coup d'etat attempt that failed to push him from power.
“With the help of Allah and the support of our nation, we will emerge victorious from this war of economic liberation, just as we brought our country out of all these traps and calamities,” Erdogan said after leaving a meeting with his cabinet.
Erdogan’s insistence on low-interest rates is driven by the view that Turkish businesses should have easy access to cheap loans. He argues that high-interest rates not only slow the economy but cause prices to rise.
Right now, Apple's Turkey storefront is up and operational, but no devices are able to be added to a virtual cart or purchased at this time because of the volatility.
There is no word on when Apple might resume sales in Turkey, but inflation is close to 20 per cent and with Erdogan continuing to refuse to raise interest rates, the downward slide may continue.