World, Economy, Middle East

Kuwaitis show solidarity with Turkey, buy Turkish lira

In show of support for sanctions-hit Turkey, Kuwaitis buy lira and plan vacations at prominent Turkish tourist destinations

Kuwaitis show solidarity with Turkey, buy Turkish lira

By Mohamed Abdulghaffar


A number of Kuwaiti citizens, by holidaying in Turkey or simply buying Turkish lira, are expressing their support for Turkey’s currency, which has been recently targeted by speculators amid a raft of newly-imposed U.S. sanctions.

At exchange offices throughout the country, Kuwaitis are purchasing Turkish lira as a means of showing support for Turkey’s economy.

Mohamed al-Samri, a Kuwaiti national, recently purchased Turkish lira in advance of an upcoming holiday in Turkey.

“This year, my visit will be of special importance,” al-Samri said, noting that he had already visited Turkey’s northeastern Trabzon province.

Mashaal al-Abdan, another Kuwaiti national, said that he, too, planned to help Turkey by investing in Turkish lira.

“Turkey will eventually overcome its current economic problems,” al-Abdan predicted.

Abu Hashem, a Syrian national who lives in Kuwait, said that he also had recently purchased lira.

“Under the current circumstances, we must stand with Turkey,” he said.

Mina Girgus, who works at a foreign-exchange bureau in Kuwait, said that demand for lira had recently increased and that many people -- depending on their budgets -- had opted to buy Turkish currency.

Girgus noted that people of various nationalities -- not only Kuwaitis -- were buying Turkish currency, prompting the lira’s value to rise early this week.

“Flights to Turkey are fully booked; it’s hard to make reservations,” Kemal Kebse, director of Saudi Arabia’s Flynas Airlines, said, adding that ticket prices had also increased due to rising demand.

Meanwhile, the Ummah Turk-Arab Cooperation Association has launched a solidarity campaign in a bid to show its support for Turkey.

In a statement, the association called on Arab companies -- and the Arab people -- to stand with Turkey. As part of the campaign, ten million people have been asked to buy Turkish lira, boycott U.S. products and avoid making dollar-denominated purchases.

The campaign also calls on businesses to transfer their funds from U.S. to Turkish banks and relocate their investments from the U.S. to Turkey.

On social media, Juman al-Harbesh, a Kuwaiti lawmaker, stated: “Besides being an obligation for the Muslim community, supporting the Turkish economy will also help restore balance to the region.”

“It is clear that those conspiring against Turkey were dealt a heavy blow by the country’s recent election [which resulted in the reelection of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan],” he said.

“The economic war [against Turkey] will not be able to achieve what the defeated [2016] coup could not accomplish,” al-Harbesh asserted.

Also speaking on social media, Faisal al-Muslim, a former Kuwaiti MP, said: “The economic war against Turkey has reached a new level. Should this war meet its objectives, all countries of the region -- and their people -- would be adversely affected.”

“We are obliged to defend the Muslim nation of Turkey and its people,” he added.

Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara

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