ISTANBUL — Lines outside bread stores and gas stations; farmers defaulting on loans; impromptu street demonstrations. The signs of economic distress in Turkey are all too clear as the lira continues a dizzying slide.
Sporadic protests have broken out around Turkey and the opposition parties have called for a series of rallies to demand a change of government after the lira crashed sharply last week. The latest week of turmoil follows months of worsening economic conditions for Turkish citizens. The currency has lost more than 45 percent of its value this year, and nearly 20 percent in the last week, continuing its downward trend on Tuesday.
Economists have tied the currency crisis to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s direct interference in monetary policy and his determination to lower interest rates.
The latest crash in the currency came after Mr. Erdogan gave a speech last week outlining his determination to keep rates low as a way of promoting economic growth. He reaffirmed his opposition to raising rates again in comments to reporters aboard his plane as he returned from a visit to Turkmenistan on Monday.