“On the day our president made this call, he converted all the currency in his account to liras. It is absurd to expect or even think otherwise,” Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın said in a press conference on Dec. 8.
His comments came after CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized Erdoğan for asking Turkish citizens to exchange any U.S. dollars into liras to counter the fall in value of the Turkish currency.
Claiming that Erdoğan has 200,000 U.S. dollars in cash in his Albaraka Turk account, Kılıçdaroğlu asked if the president had converted that currency into liras.
In parliament, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ brandished a document that he said was a bank receipt of the president, saying Erdoğan had converted all money in his account from dollars, but Kılıçdaroğlu demanded that officials publicize the receipt.
“We need to see the receipt. Why is the receipt hidden?” the CHP leader said on Dec. 7.
Speaking a day later, Kalın dismissed Kılıçdaroğlu’s accusations.
“Our president protected the lira, our national currency, with this campaign along with our citizens, our businessmen and our institutions,” he said.
Erdoğan had called for Turkish citizens to convert their foreign exchange into Turkish Liras or gold after the Turkish currency became one of the worst-hit emerging currencies amid a number of domestic and foreign developments.
“Those who keep foreign currency under their mattress should come and turn them into liras or gold,” he said on Dec. 2.