Turkish Cypriot opposition suggests adopting euro amid lira's steep plunge

Turkish Cyprus' main opposition left-wing Republican Turkish Party (CTP) wishes to replace the Turkish lira with the euro amid the unstoppable devaluation of the local currency.

Nikolaos Stelya / DUVAR 

Turkish Cyprus' main opposition left-wing Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has suggested a transition to the euro as the Turkish lira continues to plummet.

On Aug. 18, CTP Tufan Erhürman evaluated the Turkish Central Bank's decision to lower the key interest rate from 14 percent to 13 percent, by saying that his party had previously suggested the use of the euro for the breakaway island.

In a social media post, Erhürman said: “The dollar has surpassed the level of 18 although it has not shown a very serious spike up to now [during the day]. This was a decision [of the Central Bank] that surprised many people dealing with the economy in Turkey. In these circumstances, the predictions of people, tradesmen/business world and financial world are becoming upside down every time.”

“We had [previously] said that we would discuss this situation in protocols and start the euro-indexation works; do those who had frowned at us now have something to say?” he asked.

According to Yenidüzen newspaper, CTP lawmaker Fikri Toros, who is a former president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, said that as long as the breakaway island continues to use the lira, “it is obvious that the welfare which our people deserve and the predictability and stability which are musts in reaching the sustainable macroeconomic targets cannot be formed.”

He said that the discourse of “being proud of using the Turkish lira” is used to manipulate people through nationalism. “It will be very beneficial to meet the Maastricht criteria with regards to the public deficit and public debt, which is one of the prerequisites for the shift to euro,” he said.

The opposition's suggestion is not taken warmly by the Turkish Cypriot government.

Turkey’s Central Bank on Aug. 18 lowered its key interest rate despite inflation surging to nearly 80%. In a statement following a monetary policy committee meeting, the bank said it decided to reduce the policy rate from 14% to 13%.

(English version by Didem Atakan)