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Apple Reportedly Halts Sales in Turkey as Lira Tumbles

Apple reportedly stops selling products in Turkey as the nation's currency goes into free fall.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report has apparently halted sales in Turkey after the nation's lira tumbled more than 15%.

Apple's Turkish website stopped sales of most products, displaying a "Not currently available" message, Reuters reported.

The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The local prices of phones and computers were some 10% below U.S. prices following the sudden depreciation in the lira. Retailers struggled to keep up with price adjustments, the Associated Press reported.

The currency's tumble was sparked by worries over broader fallout for the economy after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended recent sharp rate cuts despite widespread criticism and calls for a reversal.

The lira has lost 43% of its value this year and more than 22% since the beginning of last week alone.

The Turkish lira is suffering its longest losing streak in 20 years, prompting the central bank to say the currency’s slide was “completely detached from economic fundamentals," according to Bloomberg.

Contrary to traditional economic theory, Erdogan argues that high interest rates cause inflation.

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The lira's meltdown coincides with Black Friday sales and the start of new-year discounting, prompting concern that some consumer goods would not be available or prices would spike, AP reported.

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Erdogan has maintained that the aggressive interest rate cuts will boost jobs, exports and growth and paradoxically stem soaring inflation and a currency meltdown.

He has declared himself an “enemy” of high borrowing costs, portraying his economic policies as “an economic war of independence” during a late-night televised address to the nation, AP reported. 

“Either we were going to give up on investments, production, growth and employment by keeping to the understanding that has prevailed in our country for years, or we were going to engage in a historic struggle in line with our priorities,” Erdogan said. “As always, we preferred the struggle.”

Last month Apple said that it had opened its third store in Turkey.

Apple shares at last check were down 0.5% to $160.64.

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