Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has urged citizens in a speech at a rally in the city of Erzurum to convert their holdings of US dollars and euros to the national currency, the lira, in a bid to halt the dwindling exchange rate.
"My brothers who have dollars or euros under their pillows: Go and convert your money into lira. We will thwart this game together," he said.
Earlier, Erdogan urged the IMF to nominate its loans in gold instead of dollars in order to "save states and nations from this currency pressure."
The US dollar-lira exchange rate has risen from 4.05 (liras for one dollar) on May 1 up to 4.71 on May 26, at one point breaching the 4.91 mark. The Turkish national currency has lost 20% of its value to the US dollar since beginning of the year.
The speech by the Turkish president comes ahead of upcoming general and presidential elections that are slated to take place on June 24.