The Turkish Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves declined by $2.45 billion in one week, reaching a level of $73.19 billion as of Feb. 21, according to data published on Feb. 27.
The bank’s gold reserves, on the other hand, increased by $1.67 billion to $29.65 billion during the same period.
The bank’s total reserves (i.e. foreign currency plus gold reserves) therefore marked a decrease of $1.38 billion, amounting to $102.67 billion as of Feb. 21.
The Turkish lira and bonds have recently slipped as increasing conflict in neighboring Syria unsettled investors, with the market also hit by a global flight to safe-haven assets in response to coronavirus worries.
The lira lost about 3 percent of its value this year, on top of a 36 percent depreciation in the last two years after a currency crisis in 2018.
State banks buying liras and selling dollars in an apparent attempt to prop up Turkey’s currency is seen by many investors as a reason for a gradual drain on the Central Bank’s net foreign currency reserves in recent months.