Turkish lira weakens as corruption row intensifies

ISTANBUL Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:02am EST

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ISTANBUL Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira weakened early on Tuesday after new voice recordings - which the government said were fake - appeared on the Internet purporting to be fresh revelations in a government corruption scandal.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's office said the recordings posted on YouTube late on Monday, supposedly of Erdogan telling his son to dispose of large sums of money on the day the graft scandal erupted, were fake and "completely untrue".

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) called on the government to resign over the recordings.

The lira traded at 2.2214 against the dollar by 0613 GMT, weaker than 2.1750 late on Monday.

"Even though the prime minister's office denied the recordings late last night, calls for resignation from opposition parties caused a deterioration in risk perception," HSBC strategist Fatih Keresteci said in a note to clients.

The corruption scandal, which erupted on Dec. 17 with the detention of businessmen close to Erdogan and the sons of three ministers, has spiralled into one of the biggest challenges of his 11-year rule.

Social media and video-sharing sites have been awash with leaked recordings presented as evidence of wrongdoing. As with the latest recordings, Reuters has been unable to verify their authenticity. (Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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