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Police put down mass protests sparked by plummeting currency — Analysis

Istanbul has seen scenes of police in full-riot gear trying to subdue protests as people demonstrate against the fall record of the Turkish lira.

Officers wearing helmets and carrying shields are seen cordoning off streets in Istanbul, while police in lighter gear infiltrated the crowds and forcefully dragged away some protesters, in footage from RT’s Ruptly video agency.

There was a massive police presence as people flooded the streets of the Turkish city on Wednesday, decrying the government’s handling of the financial crisis. Many took part in protests but many others gathered at gas stations because of the rising cost of fuel. In panic, many more people bought US dollars. Other people bought electronic products and others stopped buying the goods due to rising inflation.

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The turmoil comes as a result of the drop in the Turkish lira to record lows, losing as much as 45% of its value this year – around half of which occurred this week. The Turkish lira lost 15% to the US dollar Tuesday and recovered as much as 7 percent Wednesday. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended the rate cuts – part of his government’s “Economic war for independence.”

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