Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey came under a "heinous economic attack" after statements from the United States. But he said Turkey would weather the attack and stay its course.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to governing AK Party officials in Ankara, Turkey on September 14, 2018.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to governing AK Party officials in Ankara, Turkey on September 14, 2018. ( Reuters )

Turkey's President  Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Turkey came under a "heinous economic attack" after statements from the United States.

In a speech to officials from his AK Party in Ankara, Erdogan said the sudden fall in the value of the Turkish lira in August was evidence of an "attempted economic assassination."

"We have faced a heinous attack targeting the Turkish economy after a series of negative statements from the US about our country were used as an excuse," Erdogan said.

His comments came a day after Turkey's Central Bank hiked interest rates by 625 basis points, to 24 percent on short-term lending.

“We will see the result of the Central Bank's independence. This is my personal phase of patience. This patience has a limit,” said the president who is a self-declared 'enemy' of interest rates.

Turkey weathers economic attacks

The president also called on the country's people to trust the national currency and convert their savings to lira.

Erdogan told the meeting of AK Party provincial officials the recent currency fluctuations in Turkey were politically motivated.

"This issue is totally directed by political motives," he said.

The president said the fluctuations show that no country in the world is secure politically and economically.

The Turkish lira has steadily lost value in recent months. After Thursday's rate rise it was down almost 39 percent against the dollar this year.

Erdogan has linked the slide in the lira's value to the economic attack launched by the Trump administration under a pretext of an ongoing legal case involving an American pastor who is under house arrest in Turkey and facing terrorism charges.

Erdogan said Turkey was weathering the attacks thanks to measures deployed by state institutions and the economic administration.

"Our fight in every field continues fiercely," he said.

Erdogan called on Turkey's exporters to take advantage of the current levels in foreign exchange rates to increase the volume of exports, and production and employment as well.

During his speech, he also warned speculators against unfairly raising prices amid the currency fluctuations, saying they would face the consequences if they attempt to take advantage of the situation.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies