The Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST) has converted all cash assets to Turkish Lira in a bid to counteract Turkey’s deepening financial crisis, ten minutes before trading closed for the weekend.

The Turkish Lira saw a brief respite and recovery in reaction to the announcement, though it subsequently flatlined again having hit a five-year low of 3.50TL to the dollar earlier in the week.

Borsa Istanbul announcement

Borsa Istanbul, Turkey’s sole exchange entity, announced the action late afternoon local-time, stating that it was being made in support of President Erdogan’s call for citizens to convert foreign currency into Turkish Lira as the currency’s value continued to spiral downwards.

Turkey’s banking system allows individuals and businesses to hold foreign checking and savings accounts, which has enabled ordinary citizens to use foreign currencies, particularly the US dollar, as a safe haven during Turkey’s political destabilisation beginning 2014, an abortive military coup, tightening internet restrictions and President Erdogan’s bid to bring an end to the republic’s parliamentary system.