Videos posted on TikTok around the savings of the Turks anger Erdogan

Videos posted on TikTok around the savings of the Turks

In Turkey, a series of video montages broadcast on TikTok made headlines last week. This series makes Internet users laugh a lot, but not President Erdogan. The starting point of these videos: dozens of Turks filmed themselves at home, alone, holding in their hands what we guess were euros or dollars.

From our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer

This is a fairly simple assembly. Suddenly, an image of Recep Tayyip Edogan, always the same, appears behind their backs, and Internet users then have the same reaction: quickly hide the loot from their president’s gaze, which under the living room carpet, which in his pocket, which on his chest. And that’s it, there is no commentary, no sound.

Except, in some montages, where there is a voice off excerpt from a speech by Tayyip Edogan in which he asks his fellow citizens to ” go out “the currencies and the gold they hide” under their pillows “, what we would call “ savings “.

These humorous videos refer to the Head of State’s recurring calls, particularly over the past four years, to inject into the banking system the gold and savings in foreign currencies that the Turks keep massively at home. In the TikTok videos, it’s all about banknotes, but the government otherwise estimates that around 5,000 tonnes of gold are slumbering in the homes of Turks, which is around $272 billion today. The aim of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s appeals: to help restore the national currency, the pound, which lost 44% of its value against the dollar last year and keep on falling since the beginning of the year.

Calls that are not heard

These calls are largely unheard. The Turks realize that they have no interest in buying Turkish liras with their dollars if the lira continues to lose value. Especially since the main reason for the fall of the pound is Recep Tayyip Edogan’s monetary policy, which consists of lowering the Central Bank’s interest rates at a time when the other economies are raising their rates to fight against inflation.

Each rate cut causes a fall in the value of the pound, which itself leads to inflation… Record inflation, 80% over one year, according to the official rate. The government has certainly developed at the end of last year a deposit guarantee mechanism, supposed to protect assets in pounds against fluctuations in the exchange rate. But this instrument did not have the expected effect, ie to encourage the Turks to convert their currencies and to save in pounds. Around 70% of Turkish bank deposits are held in foreign currency.

And this subject does not make Recep Tayyip Edogan laugh at all, judging by the fate reserved for the authors of the TikTok videos. The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation against these videos on the basis of an article of the Turkish penal code which condemns ” insult to the head of state “. A crime punishable, all the same, from one to four years in prison.

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