Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce plans to devalue the country’s currency and reintroduce the rial on Wednesday as tensions between Washington and Ankara escalate over Washington’s support for a Syrian Kurdish militia and Turkey’s support of Syrian rebels.
The announcement follows a series of meetings between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the US administration in Washington, which are being seen as a sign of growing US concern over Turkish support for Syrian rebels, including the YPG, which Turkey has designated a terrorist group.
The rial is the only way the Turkish government can pay for essential services and import food, the official Anatolia news agency reported, citing a senior government official.
The currency swap will happen in an attempt to strengthen the Turkish economy and stabilize the country, it added.
“The RUB is the main currency used for the import and export of foodstuffs, medicine and raw materials, as well as to buy electricity, electricity supply, electricity and water,” said the official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The official said the plan is to devaluate the rong as much as possible to reduce the impact on the Turkish currency.
The Turkish government is expected not to make any further comments on the rondo, Anatolia said.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan speaks at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, October 1, 2021.
The US State Department issued a statement saying the “Turkish Government will not accept any country’s decision to devalued the RUB” and urged all countries to support Turkey’s democratic transition.
“The United States will continue to support the transition to democracy in Turkey,” it said.
Washington, which has long sought to prevent Turkey from supporting the YPG militia fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the move would hurt US-Turkish relations.
The YPG is backed by the US and Turkey and is an armed opposition group in Syria that Ankara considers a terrorist organisation.
It is one of the most powerful Kurdish rebel groups in Syria, and it has fought a long-running conflict with the Assad regime.
The United Nations says it has documented more than 600 deaths from the fighting, and more than half a million people have been displaced.
Turkey says it supports the YPG’s aims of establishing an independent Kurdish state in northern Syria.