Baku protesters burn US dollars in solidarity with Turkey
Representatives of the Baku Council of War Veterans and the National Movement of Ottoman Revival gathered to burn US dollars in front of the Turkish Embassy in the capital of Azerbaijan.
The protest action was organised in a show of solidarity with Turkey. The participants chanted ‘Long live Turkey, long live Erdogan!’ and ‘Down with dollars!’ among others. On closer inspection, the notes turned out to be colour photocopies.
The action was in response to a similar burning of US notes at a livestock market in the Turkish city of Anatolia, after the Turkish lira plummeted to a historic low against the dollar. This happened against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between the US and Turkey, namely Ankara’s refusal to release US pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested on charges of espionage. Washington reacted with sanctions against the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Minister of Justice of Turkey.
As for Baku, the local action was met with sarcasm. Many Azerbaijani social network and online forum users spoke out against the protesters:
“Well, what to say? another cheap show-off. Our ‘patriots’ have only one thing on their mind: to burn, to kill, to destroy, but not to create. You see, they want to raise the economy of Turkey. You should think about your own country instead.”
“If Americans would give them a couple of hundred, they would all run to their embassy and wave the stars-and-stripes flags.”
“I suggest sending all dollars to me as protest. I also hate them and will convert them into pounds.”
Meanwhile, many Baku residents, learning about the depreciation of the lira, rushed to exchange offices to buy dollars in reserve. Taught by the bitter experience of two prior devaluations, they fear that the US currency could increase sharply.