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Low lira hurting Turkish business

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 01:21

President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Turkey's enemies of using currency speculation to try to topple the state, as the lira plummets more than any other currency against the U.S. dollar this year. Laura Frykberg reports.

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Signs of national pride adorn much of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. But many Turks here aren't displaying the same feelings about the lira. Dropping as much as 10 percent against the dollar since the start of 2017. Making it the worst-performing major currency of the new year. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH RETAILER, SULEYMAN DOGAN, SAYING: "Retailers have lost a lot of money since the beginning of this year. All the goods are devaluated because of lira's fall." (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) OWNER OF A JEWELRY SHOP, ENGIN GELENCAN, SAYING: "There has been a decline of about 60 to 70 percent in business compared to 2015.." Shoppers instead have been spending with stronger currencies. A trend the country's leader has not taken lightly. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "There is no difference in terms of goals between the terrorist with a gun in his hand and a terrorist with dollars and euros in his hands." President Erdogan says currency speculation is an attempt 'topple the state'. And has urged the central bank to resist raising rates. But pressure is building for some change when they next meet later this month. The economy contracted for the first time in seven years in the third quarter. Far from the levels the leader built his reputation on when he was Prime Minister.

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Low lira hurting Turkish business

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 01:21