Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Erdogan vows to defy US 'threats' after currency crash

Erdogan vows to defy US 'threats' after currency crash

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected "threatening language" of the U.S. administration.

Trump made the 50 percent steel tariff official with a presidential proclamation Friday evening.

The currency slid almost 8 percent in relation to the dollar to a record low of 6.59 shortly after Trump announced the increase on metals duties on Twitter.

Erdoğan had warned Saturday that Turkey would start looking for new friends if the US continued with its unilateral actions against a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, in a diplomatic row that has sent Ankara and Washington relations to a new low.

Also on Friday, relations between the United States and Turkey have worsened over the fundamentalist Muslim-majority country's detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested by authorities during a post-military coup attempt in 2016.

Relations used to be based on strategic interests, but more recently, they've been dominated by discord over alliances in Syria's civil war, Ankara's strengthening ties with Moscow, and its uneasy position within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Mr Erdogan had on Saturday described interest rates as a "tool of exploitation", in remarks that may not be warmly welcomed by the markets.

He also said it was a pity that Washington chose Brunson over Turkey, its partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and in an opinion piece published in the New York Times, he warned the United States that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

Analysts say that while Washington's sanctions against Ankara sparked the immediate crisis, Turkey's economy has been risking trouble for a while due to high inflation and the weak lira.

"Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks". You can not bring [Turkish] people to their knees by using a threatening language.

"We will only do what justice demands", Efe quoted Erdogan as saying during a rally in the northern province of Ordu.

Turning to the economic effects of the diplomatic row, Mr Erdogan said: "If they have the dollar, we have Allah". Immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future.

And in the New York Times?

In 2017, 19 billion dollars worth of goods were traded between the USA and Turkey. He said this during a speech in the town of Unye (Turkey).

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

What are the other issues of disagreement?

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak - who is Erdogan's son-in-law - was scheduled later on Friday to outline a "new economic model". "Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now", Erdogan told supporters.

Meanwhile, Ankara is wanting the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who is blamed by Mr Erdogan for masterminding the 2016 coup.

But analysts say that while there may be losses at some banks, Turkey's economic problems do not pose a big threat to Europe or other big economies like the United States.

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