Turkey's president: US waging 'economic war' against Turkey


Turkey's president: US waging 'economic war' against Turkey

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the United States on the deterioration of bilateral relations and assured that Washington will lose a strategic partner if it continues with the threats and the imposition of sanctions.

A plunge in the Turkish lira rocked global equities and emerging markets on Friday and fear of more turmoil sent investors scurrying for safety in assets like the yen and US government bonds.

Turkey's currency crisis has lurched on to the global stage, denting European and U.S. stocks as fears of contagion rise. United States stocks were also rattled.

The Turkish lira has lost about 40 percent this year alone, largely over worries about Erdogan's influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and deteriorating ties with the United States.

It hit arecord low after Trump announced he had authorised higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20 percent on aluminum and 50 percent on steel.

Turkey's lira sank as low as 20 percent against the US dollar Friday before settling at a 15 percent drop.


On Friday Turkey made it clear Mr Erdogan had spoken on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the latest USA tariffs, with the two men "expressing pleasure" that relations were progressing "positively". "Without Turkish cooperation, US goals in Syria, Iran, Russia, and even Europe become more hard". Financial upheaval risks further destabilising an already volatile region.

"We are knowledgeable with justice and law", Erdogan said in his address in the Black Sea province of Ordu on Saturday.

Putting a 50 percent tariff on a foreign country's steel exports isn't the most conventional way to secure an imprisoned American's relief.

"They say we will not give this or that. This is Turkey", he said.

"Do not worry!" He said Turkey was not afraid of "threats" and added Turkey had "alternatives" for economic cooperation in many places "from Iran, to Russian Federation, to China and some European countries". Since some of Turkey's debt is in dollars, it's also making the country's financial situation worse.

Turkey and the USA are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey. You are exchanging your strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for a priest.


A meeting on Friday unveiling a new economic approach by Turkey's finance minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, did little to offer support for the free-falling lira as investors sought concrete steps such as an interest rate hike to restore confidence.

He once again called on Turks to sell dollars and euros to prop up the plunging national currency.

Mr. Erdogan says the coup was orchestrated from the United States, and specifically by a Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, from his self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.

Shares of Turkish steelmakers Kardemir Karabuk Demir Celik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS and Eregli Demir ve Celik Fabrikalari TAS plunged as much as 8 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively, after Trump's tweet.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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