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Mark Gilbert

Erdogan Answers Lira's Pleas With an Ottoman Slap

The pleas of the currency have gone unanswered.

Kicking your currency when it’s down.

Kicking your currency when it’s down.

Photographer: Arif Akdogan/Bloomberg

Asking your citizens to search under their pillows for foreign banknotes and gold to convert into domestic currency isn't much of an economic strategy at the best of times. When your currency has lost more than a third of its value against the dollar this year and is trading at a record low, it amounts to economic suicide.

Any investors who'd been hoping for some semblance of standard economic theory taking hold and reversing the Turkish lira's freefall got scant comfort from Friday's speech by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Turkey won't surrender to economic hitmen," he said, accusing detractors of hatching an "interest rate plot" that is "no different than a military coup attempt."