© Reuters. Citizen protests in Turkey over the collapse of the lira
Ankara, Nov 23 (.) .- Citizen groups have protested this Tuesday in several Turkish cities over the collapse of the lira, which has lost 11% of its value today, demanding the resignation of the Government, report several opposition Turkish newspapers.
In Ankara, dozens of people marched through two downtown neighborhoods shouting “Government, resign,” supported by others who made cacerolas from the balconies, with the police trying to prevent the protests, reports the daily Birgün.
Police tear gas dispersed a protest by ODTÜ university students in the capital, detaining one person, participants said on social media.
Also in Istanbul and Izmir there were small street demonstrations at dusk and in several muds there were casseroles, reports the daily Evrensel, while the police cordoned off the central Taksim Square to prevent protests, according to the Cumhuriyet newspaper.
The lira lost 11% of its value on Tuesday, standing at 13 units per dollar and 14.5 per euro, thus accumulating a loss of 20% since last Tuesday and 37% since the beginning of the year.
The collapse began yesterday afternoon during a speech by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he defended the policy of lowering interest rates below inflation, currently at 20%, to create jobs and attacked those who ” prices rise under the false pretext of the value of foreign exchange. ”
The rising cost of living is obvious in stores in Turkey, where some traders claim that they must change the price tags “daily”, because also the cost of local products depends on the foreign exchange market, since the country imports many raw materials, as well as fuel and energy.
“I have to raise prices. When the euro was at 8 liras (in the summer of last year), I borrowed 3,000 euros and now I don’t know how to pay them back,” a car mechanic in Ankara, a regular AKP voter, told EFE today.
Last week, two of the largest opposition parties, the social democrat CHP and the right-wing IYI, called for an early election, set for June 2023, but Erdogan rejected the request and indicated that the scheduled date would be kept.
Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan’s former ally and since 2019 leader of the small extra-parliamentary party Gelecek (Future), met today with CHP leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu and later tweeted that “early but immediate elections are not needed” to save the country of disaster.
Aydin Ünal, until 2018 a deputy of the AKP, Erdogan’s Islamist party, and for several years responsible for writing the president’s speeches, said on Twitter (NYSE 🙂 that Turkey “is on the brink of disaster” and asked to be appointed as governor of the Bank Central to an “independent” character to establish a different economic policy.