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Erdoğan: If they have their dollars, we have our God

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday tried to calm the Turkish people over the historic loss in value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar, telling them not to worry, the state-run Anadolu new agency reported.

“If they have their dollars, we have our people, our Allah [God],” Erdoğan told a crowd in his hometown of Güneysu in Rize province, calling on people to beware of the “campaign” targeting the Turkish economy.

“Know this: Today, we are better than yesterday. Tomorrow, we will be better than today,” he said.

The Turkish lira hit a record low on Thursday, plunging to TL 5.50 to the dollar as a US move to impose sanctions on Turkey over a jailed American pastor compounded long-running worries over inflation and general economic mismanagement.

The US failed to secure assurances on Wednesday from Turkey to immediately free American pastor Andrew Brunson, US officials said, deepening a crisis between the two countries and setting the stage for the Trump administration to take new punitive steps.

Turkey needs to halt the sharp slide of the lira quickly, credit rating agency Fitch told Reuters on Thursday, warning that the country’s situation had worsened since its downgrade just a month ago.

The currency fell 0.8 percent to an all time low of TL 5.5866 per dollar in early Asia-Pacific trading on Friday, after sinking more than 5 percent overnight, the Financial Times reported.

The lira will stay in the spotlight, with Turkey’s finance minister Berat Albayrak slated to unveil a “new economic model” later on Friday, although investors showed little optimism ahead of the speech, FT added.

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