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Turkish Finance Chief Says ‘Action Plan’ Set To Ease Market Turmoil


Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak (file photo)

The Turkish finance minister says his government has prepared an "action plan" to help ease market worries as the national currency continues to tumble in the face of planned U.S. sanctions.

"As of [August 13], our institutions will take the necessary actions and will share the necessary announcements with markets," Berat Albayrak was quoted as saying by The Hurriyet newspaper.

"All our precautions and actions plans are ready," he added, without providing details.

A day earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated calls for Turks to sell dollars and euros to support the lira, which has dropped sharply in value due to concerns over the economy and deteriorating relations with the United States.

The lira tumbled to a record low of 6.97 to the dollar in early Istanbul trading on August 13, meaning it has lost 46 percent of its value this year.

Erdogan on August 12 warned businesspeople to not "rush to banks to withdraw foreign currency."

He said businesses should "know that keeping this nation alive and standing isn't just our job, but also the job of industrialists, of merchants."

In his remarks a day earlier, Erdogan said it was a pity the United States was choosing Andrew Brunson -- a U.S. pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges -- over its NATO ally.

U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded the pastor's release and said he had authorized the doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey.

Brunson, who has been held since 2016, faces up to 35 years in prison on charges of allegedly aiding Kurdish separatists and a group that Erdogan blames for a failed 2016 coup attempt against him.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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