Turkey lira crashes as Donald Trump piles on pressure

12 August, 2018, 16:56 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Screen Shot 2018 08 10

Speaking after US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports, Erdogan described Friday's 18 percent fall in the lira to a record low as the "missiles" of an economic war waged against Turkey, Reuters said.

Erdogan promised supporters that Turkey was taking the necessary precautions to protect its economy but added "the most important thing is breaking the hands firing these weapons".

Mr Erdogan has linked Gulen's fate to that of American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges for allegedly supporting a group that Ankara blames for the failed coup.

On March 1, Trump had announced global tariffs of 10 percent on all aluminum to the USA and 25 percent on all steel imports.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a more-than two-week low against its USA counterpart as geopolitical risk rattled global financial markets, offsetting stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data.

"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor.

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

"Interest rates should be kept to a minimum because they are a tool of exploitation that makes the poor poorer and the rich richer", he said.

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that Washington might completely lose Ankara as an ally.

The lira, which had traded at 4 to the dollar as late as April, was being quoted at more than 7 to the dollar at one point Friday before rebounding to about 6.4.


Relations between the US and Turkey have deteriorated further this week as US President Donald Trump raised tariffs against Turkish aluminium to 20% and to 50% in terms of steel. "You prefer a pastor to a strategic ally of yours in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

Erdogan Friday held telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing economic and trade issues as well as the Syria crisis.

Erdogan had raised eyebrows Thursday when he appeared to invoke divine intervention, saying: "If they have dollars, we have our people, we have our right and we have Allah!"

"There is zero credibility in the Central Bank of Turkey and zero credibility in Turkish policy making".

I hope we can soon get Pastor Brunson and other Americans released in a win-win fashion for both the USA and Turkey."Trump's move to double tariffs on Turkey was even praised by one of the president's most frequent Democratic critics".

Mr Erdogan also wrote in the New York Times that unless the United States changed course, Turkey would look for new friends and allies. "Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

The main concern is that European lenders, which have been looking to emerging markets as rich sources of growth, may get squeezed by turmoil breaking out in both Turkey and Russian Federation, as the U.S. ratchets up sanctions.

"We will not lose the economic war", state-run TRT Haber TV quoted Erdogan as saying, according to Agence France-Presse.

On Friday Turkey made it clear Erdogan had spoken on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the latest United States tariffs, with the two men "expressing pleasure" that relations were progressing "positively".

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