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Ahead of vote, Turkey's Erdogan says US attacking economy

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, during a rally in Adiyaman, Turkey, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, ahead of local elections scheduled for March 31, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s president is accusing the United States and other western nations of attacking Turkey’s economy ahead of Sunday’s local elections.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke Thursday as the Turkish lira lost some 5 per cent of its value against the dollar amid continued volatility in the currency.

In a town hall meeting with students broadcast on Twitter, Erdogan said: “all these are a squeezing operation by the West and the United States in particular.” He said, however, that the alleged interventions would not succeed.

He reiterated his belief that interest rates must be lowered to fight rising inflation, the opposite of what independent economists recommend.

Erdogan’s party risks losing control of the capital, Ankara, in the March 31 vote as Turkey’s economic downturn, marked by double-digit price inflation, begins to bite.

The Associated Press