Turks will protect their economy, says Erdogan aide

ANKARA: Turkey's presidential spokesman has said the nation will fight against economic attacks in the same spirit it fought against coup plotters on the night of July 15.

Speaking at a symposium in Ankara on the defeated coup attempt on Wednesday, Ibrahim Kalin said the Turkish people would protect their economy.

Kalin's comments follow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call for Turkish citizens to convert their foreign exchange savings into lira and gold to help boost the value of the local currency.

The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate, which stood at 3.543 at 5.00 p.m. (14.00GMT) last Friday, decreased to 3.429 at shortly before midday Turkish time on Wednesday.

Kalin said Turkish citizens had turned to gold and the lira to protect Turkey's economy and national values.

The spokesman also said the July 15 coup attempt should be seen as an important turning point in Turkey's fight against all terrorist organizations, including the PKK.

The PKK � listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU � resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015, and has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,100 security force members and civilians, including women and children.

Kalin added that the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- blamed for the coup attempt -- had received major blows from both the Turkish government and the nation.

Turkey accuses FETO -- led by Fetullah Gulen, resident in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania -- of organizing the defeated coup as well as a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state through the infiltration of its institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

The coup attempt in Turkey left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Reporting by Yildiz Aktas and Ayse Busra Erkec;Writing by Emin Avundukluoglu

Source: Anadolu Agency