Speaking to reporters after attending Friday prayers in Istanbul, Erdogan said he deeply appreciated the on going campaign calling for the conversion of foreign exchange to Turkish lira, which swept like wildfire across the country after he urged people to convert their savings to lira and gold in a bid to save Turkish markets from the recent currency volatility in global markets.

“I deeply thank my people on behalf of our country,” the president said.” But is it enough? I believe my people should give more weight to this campaign,” he added.

Referring to the initiatives taken to boost the use of local currencies in foreign trade, Erdogan recalled discussions on local currency-based trade with Iran, Russia and China.

“I think we can remove the risk of currency volatility from our markets by taking these kinds of steps with countries with whom we have large foreign trade volume,” he added.

Erdogan’s remarks came just after China’s foreign exchange trade watchdog announced that direct trading between China’s renminbi (yuan) and Turkey’s lira will start on Sunday.

Also on Thursday, ICBC Turkey, the first Chinese bank active in Turkey, announced it had become the first bank to use the money swap agreement signed by both countries’ central banks to boost trade in local currencies.

Anadolu Agency