For Erdogan, Local Elections Are Matter of National Survival

For Erdogan, Local Elections Are Matter of National Survival

The currency began its latest decline last week after the central bank said its foreign currency reserves fell by billions of dollars and the International Monetary Fund called on the government to enact economic reforms.

The Turkish banking association denied the reports in a statement to Reuters, saying lira swap rates were not surging due to banks withholding liquidity from foreign banks, rather because there was not enough lira for foreign banks to buy dollars, and that Turkey had shown the necessary stance against a speculative attack on the lira.

Sanctions or fallout from either could not come at a worse time with Turkey's economy in recession for the first time since 2009 following a currency crisis a year ago.

US Department of Defense spokesman Charlie Summers recently warned Ankara faced "grave consequences" if Turkey took the S-400s, a serious threat according to analysts. Erdogan said. "We must discipline the speculators in the market". "There are serious concerns in Washington as well as Europe about a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally purchasing Russian defence equipment".

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he was "in charge of Turkey's economy" as he piled pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates despite double-digit inflation and a tumbling lira. "There is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation set of issues of buying material that won't be North Atlantic Treaty Organisation interoperable and the effect that will have on alliance interoperability", a senior United States official said.

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The first Russian S-400 delivery is expected in July. "I'm certain, it will go back to one digit", he said. That could risk Ankara being sanctioned by Washington under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), experts say.

U.S. officials have warned Turkey could face possible sanctions and a block on its participation in the US-made F-35 fighter jet programme because of the Russian deal. "Now we are discussing the delivery process", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a press conference with his Russian counterpart in the Turkish city of Antalya.

FILE PHOTO: Turkish lira banknotes are seen in this picture illustration in Istanbul, Turkey August 14, 2018.

US General Curtis Scaparrotti this month reiterated that Washington should block delivery of the F-35s if Ankara completes the Russian Federation agreement.

Turkey is a production partner in the trillion-dollar F-35 fighter jet program but the United States, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, says its purchase of Russian systems could compromise the security of the aircraft.

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