Turkey's Erdogan dismisses lira fears, says "we have our God"

Turkey's Erdogan dismisses lira fears, says

President Donald Trump says he's just authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs "with respect to Turkey".

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he said in an early morning post. On Friday, Trump announced he would double aluminum and steel tariffs on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Shares of European lenders also dropped, which according to the Reuters news agency was due to concerns about their Turkey exposure.

But analysts say that while there may be losses at some banks, Turkey's economic problems do not pose a big threat to Europe or other big economies like the United States.

Trump tweeted Friday that he authorized raising tariffs on Turkish steel to 50 percent and aluminum to 20 percent as the country's currency falls rapidly against the US dollar.

Turkey's lira plunged as much as 14 percent on Friday as worries about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening US relations snowballed into a market panic that also hit shares of European banks.

Erdogan appealed to Turks to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to support the plunging currency.

The lira hit a fresh record low, plunging initially almost 12% to 6.4915 to the dollar with markets holding little hope for a resolution of the widening rift between Ankara and Washington with the country's policy makers notably silent.

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Some of the lending was financed by Turkish banks who borrowed dollars or euro from other banks in the short-term interbank market and lent them to their customers.

The latest woes are adding to concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan's policy of low interest rates in the face of double-digit inflation and him handing the stewardship of the economy to his son-in-law Berat Albayrak.

The lira dropped as much as 20% against the dollar, its steepest daily drop since at least 2001.

The lira sell-off has deepened concern particularly about whether over-indebted companies will be able to pay back loans taken out in euros and dollars after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Erdogan.

And it remains unclear if the bank would be willing to sharply lift rates with analysts saying the nominally independent institution is under the influence of Erdogan, who wants low rates to keep growth humming.

The new set of economic steps are aimed at securing an economic growth of 3-4 percent in 2019, and decreasing the inflation rate to single digits, the ministry said in a press release on August 9. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls.

Aylin Ertan, a 43-year-old caterer in Ankara, said she was concerned over the future of her small business.

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