A prominent journalist in Turkey has claimed on Tuesday that the new fall in the value of the already rapidly depreciating Turkish currency was due to the leaking of a confidential agreement between Turkey and Qatar that priced the US dollar in a swap deal at a fixed rate which is vastly higher than the current rate.
Şeref Oğuz, the chair of the editorial board of the Turkish business newspaper Dünya, spoke to journalist Cüneyt Özdemir via a live youtube webcast.
“We’ve made a swap deal with Qatar. We’ll pay them in Turkish liras and they’ll give us foreign currency,” he explained.
“You have to set up measurement parameters in such a deal for the exchange process: What will be the price in Turkish liras? There is information that they have set up a fixed price of 22 liras for the whole term of the swap deal. But it’s not clear what the term is. It can be five years or one year. Still, even just this bit of information has instantly raised the threshold in the markets.”
Cüneyt Özdemir himself commented that a total ban on business news would not be surprising considering the current state of things, saying, “If communications on the economic situation was to be banned in the following days, do not be surprised.”
In the meanwhile, the Turkish lira which had depreciated almost seven percent on Monday within a matter of hours, if not minutes, and then regained some of its lost value only after the Turkish Central Bank intervened by a massive dollar sale, resumed depreciating on Tuesday.
One US dollar was worth about 14.25 TL around noon local time after it’s started peaking from 13.86 at 6AM.
Turkey needs swap deals for providing foreign currency funds in order for the Turkish Central Bank to maintain its ability to intervene in the currency market, since the bank reportedly has no more currency reserves left of their own.