Turkey police clash with protesters amid sharp fall in currency value - Korea Times
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Turkey police clash with protesters amid sharp fall in currency value

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Demonstrators scuffle with police officers during a protest against the government in Istanbul, Nov. 24. Reuters-Yonhap
Demonstrators scuffle with police officers during a protest against the government in Istanbul, Nov. 24. Reuters-Yonhap

A group of protesters clashed with Turkish police on Wednesday after they were banned from gathering in Istanbul to demonstrate against the steep fall in the value of the lira.

Around 250 protesters took to streets in the Kadikoy district on the Asian side of Istanbul, chanting slogans: "Government, resign!" and "We cannot make ends meet."

But the police broke up the protest, blocking the group from gathering at the main square and holding at least 30 people, an AFP photographer reported.

The currency hit a record low on Tuesday, exceeding 13 to the dollar. It has lost around 40 percent in value against the US dollar since the start of the year.

Earlier, several dozen people protested in the capital Ankara against the current economic situation in the country.

A man walks past a currency exchange agency near Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Nov. 24. AFP-Yonhap
A man walks past a currency exchange agency near Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Nov. 24. AFP-Yonhap

"Every day we ask ourselves these questions: how am I going to pay my rent, how am I going to make it to the end of the month, what are the new prices going to be tomorrow in the supermarkets," teacher Ayse Demirel told AFP.

"That's what we think about all the time and it's very hard," she said.

Olcay Keten, another teacher, said: "The rapid rise of the dollar, the economic crisis that is hitting us, price increases on everything, this leads to a melting away of our salaries."

The Turkish central bank last week cut its policy rate from 16 to 15 percent despite inflation running at nearly 20 percent after pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Central banks usually raise interest rates when inflation surges to dampen spending, but Erdogan is known for his unorthodox view that high interest rates cause inflation.

Erdogan on Monday defended the policies and warned that the country was in a "war of economic independence". (AFP)




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