A group of mukhtars, or neighborhood heads, burned US dollar bills in Adıyaman on Monday to support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to protect the Turkish lira, İHA reported.
“The economic attacks attempting to put Turkey into difficulty are continuing. As the people of Adıyaman, we are with our Reis [President Erdoğan],” said Abdulkadir Geylani Taş, head of the Adıyaman Mukhtars Association, before he set fire to dollar bills with his colleagues in Adıyaman.
Taş called on people “not to buy but to sell dollars to protect Turkey from outside attacks” and said that people who buy dollars are committing treason.
Speaking at one of his regular meetings with muhtars at the presidential palace in Ankara on Jan. 12, Erdoğan said the depreciation of the lira was the result of an operation targeting Turkey and there is no difference between a terrorist holding a gun and one having foreign currency.
“You all know that the economy is now being used to attack Turkey. There is no difference between a terrorist holding a gun in their hands and a terrorist having dollars, euros or [interest]. [The aim] is to make Turkey deviate from its goals. They are using the foreign exchange rate as a weapon. In the meantime, we certainly have some problems and troubles, but none of them can explain the foreign currency rate getting to this level in our country,” said Erdoğan, at a time when the Turkish lira has fallen to fresh record lows against both the US dollar and the euro.
President Erdoğan earlier called on people to sell off foreign currencies to support the lira, describing Turks who convert their foreign currencies into Turkish lira as “patriots.”