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How Patriotic Turks Fought The Dollar #TurkeyEconomy

How Patriotic Turks Fought The Dollar <a class="hashtagger" href="https://sigmaturkey.com/tag/turkeyeconomy/">#TurkeyEconomy</a>

A group of them produced a symbolic, 2 meter-long dollar banknote and burned it in public, in protest of the greenback’s “attack on our good nation.”

Several other individuals and groups joined the “dollar-burning” ritual. One Turk was pictured shouting his anger at the dollar while burning a euro note. There were consequent newspaper headlines: Turkish nation burns their dollars.

Two men drank generous quantities of booze and fired bullets at the U.S. embassy in Ankara. “We were angry with the dollar’s rise against the lira,” they said in their sober testimony.

A group of party officials smashed an iPhone in front of cameras and television crew.

Thousands of Turks posed in front of cameras while queuing to convert their dollars and euros into their beloved Turkish liras. Not a day passed by without scenes of crowds of patriotic citizens selling their “satanic” dollars and other western currencies in support of the plunging lira.

In 2016 Turks belonging to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s youth organisation gathered in public wearing shrouds, implying their desire and readiness to die for their country in its fight against the American currency. A big banner they held read: “We came in our shrouds. Dollar: We won’t let you destroy our religion.”

Kurdish Turks in Van province danced on top of fake dollars thrown at the floor in protest of what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called “an economic war on our nation.”

A retired teacher in Bursa province burned a real $100 banknote. This happened in a country where a retired teacher, on average, earns $415 a month.

That was the usual Turkish sentimental scene in which sentimental crowds or individuals race to exhibit their nationalistic reflexes; sometimes genuine, sometimes in order to be “noticed” by the centres of power, and sometimes both.

Followed by facts and figures removing the ugly, grotesque mask. According to the Central Bank figures, during all the Turkish frenzy to support Mr Erdoğan’s call for national solidarity against the dollar the Turks’ dollar-termed bank accounts rose by $234 million from $49.891 billion to $50.125 billion during the 11 days on August 20th – August 31st. Meanwhile, the dollar value of Turks’ euro-termed bank accounts, in the same period, rose by $262 million to $23.727 billion. Those numbers exclude foreign currency hoarding.

In other words, while showing off their patriotism in our holy war against the American currency the Turks secretly beefed up their foreign currency accounts by nearly half a billion dollars.

They are patriots because they shout, threaten, intimidate and prosecute traitors who speak of facts and figures. The traitors are traitors simply because they speak of the unwanted truth.

About The Author

Burak Bekdil

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based Turkish political columnist who wrote for Hurriyet Daily News [formerly Turkish Daily News] for 29 years. He has covered Turkey for the U.S. weekly Defense News since 1997. Previously, Bekdil worked as Ankara Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He contributes to annual national defense sector reviews for anti-corruption institutions like Transparency International and Global Integrity. Bekdil is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Gatestone Institute and Middle East Quarterly. He also contributes to Perspectives, a journal of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv. James Cuno, art historian and President of the J. Paul Getty Trust, describes Bekdil as "a frequent critic of Prime Minister [now president] Recep Tayyip Erdogan." In 2001, a Heavy Crimes Court in Ankara sentenced Bekdil to a suspended, 20-month prison sentence for his column in which he satirized corruption in the judiciary. Bekdil's comments, quotes and articles have been published in international media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, The Commentator, New York Times, Kathimerini, National Review Online, Algemeiner, NPR, Washington Times, Die Presse, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Toronto Star, Financial Times, Al-Monitor, Le Figaro, ABC, El Pais, Stern, Al-Arabiya, Helsingin Sanomat, Racjonalista, Defence Greece, Moyen-Orient, Courier International, ISN Security Watch and Coloquio (of Congreso Judio Latinoamerico) and the Jewish Chronicle (London). (Born: Ankara, 1966; Undergraduate: Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara; Post-graduate: Department of Economics, University of Surrey, United Kingdom)

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