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    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci show the symbol for the national currency, the Turkish lira, in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Erdogan Blames US for 'Heinous Economic Attack' on Turkey

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    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the US is behind the economic attack on Turkey which has cost the lira approximately 40 percent of its value this year.

    "We have faced a heinous attack targeting the Turkish economy after a series of negative statements from the U.S. about our country were used as an excuse," Erdogan said during an address to officials from his ruling AK Party in Ankara.

    The Turkish president also noted that the result of the central bank's independence will be observed following the substantial rate increase that was made a day prior, when the central bank increased its benchmark rate by 625 percentage points.

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    He went on to note that Turkey does not plan to take any further steps to make new investments, adding that the situation with interest rates had tested his patience, which had its limits.

    In addition, Erdogan encouraged the Turkish public to keep their savings in lira, and he appealed to the private sector not to abandon production or their investments.

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    The development comes after reports last month that the lira had tumbled, dropping to a record low amid a diplomatic and trade row with Washington.

    Earlier, the US has imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson on espionage and terror-related charges.

    Turkey, in its turn, retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on US imports — including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks — and threatened to boycott US electronic goods, above all iPhones.

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    Tags:
    lira, currency, economy, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, United States
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