Turkey's Erdogan repeats call to Turks to help shore up lira

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© Reuters. Turkish President Erdogan talks to media in the Black Sea city of Ordu© Reuters. Turkish President Erdogan talks to media in the Black Sea city of Ordu

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday repeated a call on Turks to sell dollars and euros to support the national currency, which has been in free-fall over concerns about the economy and deteriorating ties with the United States.

Speaking to supporters in the northeastern Turkish town of Unye, Erdogan also said it was a pity the United States was choosing Andrew Brunson, a U.S. pastor on trial in Turkey over terrorism charges – over its strategic NATO ally Ankara.

U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded the pastor’s release, the most pressing of a number of disagreements between Washington and Ankara.

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