ANKARA: The Turkish lira plunged to record lows against the dollar yesterday after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said policymakers have no appetite to hike interest rates in response to the currency's fall. The currency fell by 13 percent to almost 13 lira against the dollar.

Turkey is facing the worst currency crisis since August 2018 when the value of the lira hit historic lows after a row with then US president Donald Trump. The Turkish central bank on Thursday cut its policy rate from 16 to 15 percent despite rising inflation and a fast-depreciating currency.

Erdogan has always built his popularity on a reputation of forging strong economic growth and improving the income of families across the country. He defended the current policies in an address to the nation after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

"We see the game played by those over the currency, interest and price hikes ... and show our will to proceed with our own game plan," he said. Analysts believe the blizzard of economic misfortunes in the country could put pressure on the president as he prepares for 2023 elections amid signs of consolidation within the opposition, which has so far failed to seriously challenge him. - AFP