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How forex market became a gambling house in Turkey

Thousands of Turks, eager to make quick money, have acquired big losses in leveraged transactions at the foreign exchange market, leading the authorities to intervene.
A board showing the currency exchange rates of the U.S. dollar and the Euro against Turkish lira is on display at a currency exchange office in central Istanbul, Turkey January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX2YN8E
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The ads promoting foreign exchange trading have proved to be too irresistible for many Turks over the past several years. Tantalized by the prospect of “turning $1,000 into $1 million,” tens of thousands of greenhorns put all their money into leveraged transactions only to end up flat on their backs.

Leveraged transactions on the foreign exchange market (forex) multiply earnings, but they can also deepen losses, especially for individual investors unversed in financial markets who tend to take high risks in the hope of making quick money. Until recently, the maximum leverage ratio on foreign exchange trading in Turkey was as high as 100:1, which led aspiring millionaires to turn the market into a virtual casino.

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