Erdogan vows to defy United States 'threats' after currency crash

Saul Bowman
August 13, 2018

Turkey on Friday "implored" U.S. President Donald Trump to return to the negotiating table on tariffs, saying the trade rift between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies should be resolved through dialogue.

Namely, within the tightening of economic measures, US President Donald Tramp chose to double customs duties on Turkish steel and aluminum, speeding up the fall of the Turkish currency, which lost 16 percent on the dollar on Friday.

Speaking in the north-eastern province of Rize, Erdogan said that dollars, euros and gold were now "the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of the economic war being waged against our country".

The lira tumbled 16 percent against the dollar on Friday.

The new duties on Turkey are double the level that Trump imposed in March on steel and aluminium imports from a range of countries. "Exit of funds from the Turkish financial markets can be an opportunity for the Egyptian economy as a competitive market in the same region".

Turkey's President Erdogan's speech next on tap.

Erdogan said those who plotted against Turkey in a failed coup attempt in July 2016 were now trying to target the country through its economy, and pledged to fight back.

But investors are concerned about the country's monetary policy.

The Trump administration threatened to impose additional sanctions on Turkey if it did not meet the deadline, Erdogan said.

"Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging", said Erdogan, who warned of "economic war".

In an opinion piece in the New York Times Friday, Erdogan wrote "failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

Turkey and the United States 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.

Although Erdogan struck a defiant tone, his foreign ministry called for diplomacy and dialogue to solve problems with Washington and Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said "we implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table".

Writing on Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had remained unusually silent until the lira crisis deepened, urged his fellow countrymen to take matters into their own hands.

Another source of frustration relates to the partnership between the United States and the Syrian branch of the P.K.K., a terrorist organization that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Turkish citizens since 1984. He was placed under house arrest due to health concerns last month and faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty. US stocks were also rattled.

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