In an attempt to play down the escalating economic crisis which has engulfed his country and sparked worldwide market turmoil, he told his population while America had dollars, “we have God”.
Turkey’s currency hit a record low against the US dollar and euro early on Friday as it fell seven percent against the dollar, after initially losing 12 percent.
It comes as Turkey and the US have squared up over Ankara’s detention of US paster Andrew Brunson on terror charges and other issues.
Erdogan tried to allay fears, telling supporters in a speech today: «There are various campaigns being carried out. Don’t heed them.
«Don’t forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God. We are working hard. Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now.»
Erdogan has previously called himself “an enemy of interest rates” and told state TV ahead of his speech today “we will not lose the economic war”.
But Donald Trump’s intervention today added to Turkey’s woes as he pledged another round of Turkish tariffs.
Trump tweeted: “I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!
«Aluminium will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent.
«Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
Shares of Turkish steelmakers Kardemir and Erdemir plunged as much as eight percent and 9.9 percent respectively after Trump’s tweet.
Erdogan urged Turks to sell dollars and gold and buy lira to help the struggling currency.
The lira stood 5.75 against the dollar on Friday morning.
This was a weakening further from Thursday’s 5.55.
Turkey’s turmoil hit Wall Street as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 200 points today.
It comes amid a widespread selloff in global stocks as the Turkish lira tumbled due to concerns over the country’s economy and deepening rift with the US.
Erdogan urged a crowd in the city of Bayburt to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to prop up the plunging currency.
The president then made a second address in Gumushane.
He repeated a line from his earlier speech in which he said: «If there is anyone among you who has gold, dollar, euros under your pillows, you should take it to banks and sell for liras.»