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

Monday, 13 Aug, 2018

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the us that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

The lira tumbled 14 percent in one day, to 6.51 a dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further erode global investors' confidence in the country. But invoking national security is the only way to square Trump's policy with US law and WTO rules.

In relation to this latter dispute, Turkey's continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed 21 months ago in a widespread crackdown over a failed coup in Turkey, has increase hostility between the nations.

The US has repeatedly demanded the release of American and threatened sanctions against Ankara.

After inconclusive talks this week on solving the spat, Mr Trump took advantage of Turkey's turmoil to turn the screws on the country.

Mr Trump intensified his spat with Turkey by imposing the higher tariffs, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

The US president revealed the action on Friday as he noted how the Turkish lira "slides rapidly downward" against the "very strong" US dollar.

He indicated Turkey's relationship with Washington was imperiled.

In March, the United States had imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum for imports from a variety of countries. "Without Turkish cooperation, USA goals in Syria, Iran, Russia, and even Europe become more hard". The lira fell further after Mr Trump's tweet.

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It did not disclose details, but suggests Turkey might gravitate further away from its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies towards co-operation with Russian Federation, whose relations with the West are at their lowest since the Cold War. Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies,"Mr Erdogan said".

Meanwhile, markets are deeply concerned over the direction of economic policy under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with inflation at almost 16%, but the central bank reluctant to raise rates in response.

Erdogan said high foreign exchange rates were the means used in plots against Turkey.

But experts argue that the central bank should instead raise interest rates to ease inflation and to support the currency.

Economic experts believe the sharp fall of the lira is mainly because of concerns about the government's economic policies.

Regarding the situation of the Turkish currency, Erdogan once again called on his fellow citizens to back the lira, which depreciated 18 percent on Friday, by selling their dollars and euros.

"This is a national, domestic battle".

"This will be the response to those who have declared an economic war", he said, blaming Turkey's woes on what he described as an "interest rate lobby" seeking to push the country to higher rates.

But Erdogan downplayed the currency crisis, advising Turks to show solidarity by converting any stashed-away gold or foreign currency to Turkish lira in a bid to wage a "war of independence" against America.