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Turkish PM Threatens to 'Choke' Foreign Speculators

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to thousands of his supporters who greeted the prime minister at Istanbul airport on his return from a North African tour.
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to thousands of his supporters who greeted the prime minister at Istanbul airport on his return from a North African tour.

Turkey faced fresh turmoil on Monday, as the lira weakened against the dollar and trading in the Istanbul stock market was delayed following a glitch.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned on Sunday that he would "choke" financial market speculators.

Erdogan cautioned "those who attempt to sink the bourse" and vowed that speculators that are growing rich off "the sweat of the people" will "collapse."

"If we catch your speculation, we will choke you. No matter who you are, we will choke you," he said.

(Read More: Turkey's Rulers Show They're No Good With a Crisis)

Meanwhile, the Istanbul stock market announced that trading had been delayed on Monday due to a technical fault. When markets opened an hour late, stocks were down 1.80 percent at 76,916.

The lira fell 0.6 percent against the dollar after a warning from ratings agency Moody's which said the on-going anti-government protests were increasingly credit negative.

Moody's said the demonstrations posed a threat to investment and tourism in the nation.

(Read More: The Biggest Carry Trades)

Erdogan blamed a "high-interest-rate lobby" for causing volatility in financial markets and vowed to stop them as he urged Turks to put their money in state not private banks

Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank said the protests in Turkey had damaged the nation's prospects of another upgrade to investment grade rating. The country is rated investment grade by both Moody's and Fitch, while Standard & Poor's rates it one notch below investment grade.

(Read More: Emerging Markets See Biggest Exodus Since 2011)

"Turkey can wave goodbye to that third investment grade rating as long as demonstrators remain on the streets and Turkey remains polarized… on going events are credit negative," he said.

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave

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