21:58 GMT10 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Turkish authorities will seek legal action against news publications and social media accounts that spread provocative or fake news which could affect the country's financial sector amid the current record devaluation of the Turkish lira, The Financial Times reported on Monday, citing Turkey’s financial regulatory authority.

    Turkey’s Capital Markets Board has warned that persons spreading "erroneous and fabricated news and statements" and those who "seek to affect the prices and valuations of capital market vehicles or investors’ decisions through their statements, reports, news stories and analysis" will be fined and given prison sentences of anywhere between two and five years, according to The Financial Times.

    READ MORE: Erdogan Calls Lira's Collapse 'Currency Plot' Amid Spat With Washington

    These measures are prescribed by the existing law governing capital markets in Turkey.

    Earlier in the day, the Anadolu news agency reported that the chief Istanbul prosecutor had opened an investigation into individuals involved in actions meant to undermine confidence in the national economy.

    The Turkish Interior Ministry has reportedly opened an investigation into 346 social media accounts for spreading allegedly provocative posts and fake news.

    The news comes as Turkey's national currency lost almost 20 percent of its value since Friday, when US President Donald Trump authorized a 20 and 50 percent tariff hike on imported Turkish aluminum and steel, respectively.

    The US-Turkish relationship has become strained over the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey on suspicion of his ties to a terrorist group.


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