Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan throws flowers to his supporters as he arrives to deliver a speech at his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) congress in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkey's president says country will defy economic threats

August 18, 2018 - 7:05 am

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's president has said his country will stand strong against an "attempted economic coup" amid heightened tensions with the U.S.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday told thousands of supporters in Ankara that the country was being "threatened by the economy, sanctions, foreign currency, interest rates and inflation."

He said: "we tell them that we see their game and we challenge them."

Turkey is reeling from a massive sell-off of its currency as Washington imposed sanctions and threatened new ones if an American pastor under house arrest isn't released.

The lira's value dropped 38 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year and sunk as low as 7.24 this week.

On Friday, ratings agencies Standard & Poor and Moody's downgraded Turkey's credit rating further to "junk" status.

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