Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday suggested that IMF loans should be paid in gold instead of dollars.
“What I’m saying is that these debts should be in gold. Because at this point the karat of gold is unlike anything else. The world is continually putting us under currency pressure with the dollar,” the Turkish president was quoted as saying by business news site patronlardunyasi in a speech in Istanbul. “We need to save states and nations from this currency pressure.”
The president said Turkey had attracted $180 billion of international investment between 2006 and 2017.
“This despite the 2008 global financial crisis, events unfolding in Iraq and Syria, the uninterrupted attacks we have been subjected to since 2013 and the July 15 coup attempt,” Erdoğan said, referring to the 2016 failed military bid to topple his government.
Erdoğan said investment could have been double, or even triple that number in a more stable time.
The president said Turkey’s past agreements with the IMF had brought it to the point of being placed under what he called political tutelage.
Erdoğan said Turkey had paid $23.5 billion of debt to the IMF. “Do you know what happened after that? They asked us for a loan of 5 billion euros,” he said.
“Who is it that has formed the IMF?” asked Erdoğan. “These states. I made a suggestion at a G20 meeting, I said why not collect money owed in gold? Let’s use another monetary currency.”
The Turkish lira dropped to a new low against the U.S. dollar this month due to concern the government is prioritising economic growth over fighting inflation and that could lead the economy to overheat.