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Erdogan asks Turks to help prop up plunging lira

© AFP/File | Ankara has repeatedly said the lira's fall was a "conspiracy" by unnamed foreign powers to weaken Turkey

ANKARA (AFP) - 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday urged compatriots to change their foreign currency to the lira to help prop up the embattled currency.

"My brothers, could those of you who have euros and dollars under their pillows invest their money in liras?" he said in the eastern city of Erzurum.

The lira has lost 16 percent of its value against the greenback in a month as markets became jittery after Erdogan indicated he wanted a greater say in monetary policy if he won legislative and presidential elections on June 24.

This then raised concerns over economic policy becoming more unpredictable.

The lira hit 4.92 against the dollar on Wednesday before paring back some of its losses later this week after an emergency central bank rate hike.

Ankara has repeatedly said the lira's fall was a "conspiracy" by unnamed foreign powers to weaken Turkey.

"If the financial sector plays such games to work against our investors and entrepreneurs, know that you will pay a steep price," Erdogan said on Saturday.

© 2018 AFP