Apple has stopped sales in Turkey after the lira crashed 15% in a day. The country's currency crisis is so dire that people are buying upmarket electronic imports as investments.

Turks trying to buy an Apple product were sent error messages on Wednesday, after the Turkish currency plummeted in value the day before.

The currency fell back towards its record low on Wednesday after President Tayyip Erdogan defended recent rate cuts despite widespread criticism and calls for a reversal.

Since the beginning of last week, the lira has lost 22% of its value.

Goods priced in the local currency have seen an effective sharp discount compared to prices elsewhere, with retailers struggling to keep up with price adjustments amid the market turmoil.

A Turkish spokesman for Apple was not available.

The Turkish website for Apple stopped selling most products, with a "Not currently available" message. The local prices of phones and computers were 10% below the U.S. prices.

A sales representative at an Istanbul Apple store said that people think of electronics as an investment.

It's pretty weird with the economy but people flock to stores because they see it as a store of value. They know they can sell it for more than what they paid, the person said.

The best and worst times to buy.

A Turkish e-commerce company official said that customers were flocking to upscale import brands.

Black Friday sales and the start of new-year discounts are stoking fears that some consumer goods would not be available or face big price hikes.

Most marketplaces are asking their big sellers to keep the prices the same, at least during the discount week. The e- commerce official in Istanbul said that both the sellers and the marketplace need each other.

Caner, a graphic designer in Istanbul, said that it is the worst time to spend money, but there will be a better time. The prices are cheaper than they will be next week.

The shopkeepers in Istanbul were gloomy.

We are waiting for something. "What are we going to do?" asked the fishmonger. We live in a rented house with all the utilities. I don't know how to deal with it.

The hairdresser said he kept his shop lights off but still had an electricity bill.

The shop closes at night without a single customer, but the bill is 800 lira. He said it is impossible to not go crazy.


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