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

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

President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks on Friday to sell their gold and US dollars to support the country's currency which plunged after US President Donald Trump escalated a feud with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey by doubling tariffs on metals imports.

Relations between Washington and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also have worsened because of the detention of three locally employed USA consular workers, trade matters and differences over Syria.

"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor", Mr Erdogan told supporters.

Turkey and the United States squabbled last week over Turkey's failure to free a USA pastor named Andrew Brunson from house arrest while he awaits his trial on terrorism charges. Erdogan has appealed to the people to convert their dollars to liras, saying Turkey is in the midst of an "economic war" with the West.

"Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%", President Trump wrote. While many of Turkey's challenges are specific to that country, there are certain characteristics - a heavy debt load following a prolonged, low U.S. interest-rate driven borrowing binge in dollars - broadly shared throughout emerging markets.

Mr Erdogan said although the nations had been allies for decades, Turkey "now has alternatives".

"Because this is the language they understand".

Erdogan said buying the lira was a patriotic duty for Turks, in what has become an "economic war" against foreign powers, most likely referring to the US.

The Turkish lira tumbled 16 per cent against the dollar on Friday.

US President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, adding to pressure its troubled economy amid a diplomatic row with Washington. I am calling on those in America again.

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Turkish officials insist the outcome of Brunson's case exclusively relies on the judiciary, a claim the USA has refused to buy in the light of Erdogan's earlier suggestions to swap him with Turkish opposition exiles residing in the US.

In an op-ed published in New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk its relations with Ankara, saying otherwise it would look for "new friends and allies".

The lira tumbled 13% in one day, to 6.51 per USA dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further shake global investors' confidence in the country. Ankara has detained Mr. Brunson for almost two years, accusing him of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Washington "must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical", he said in the opinion piece.

The new tariffs announced on Friday come as the United States increases pressure for the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in Turkish custody since 2016 on charges of espionage.

"The US and Turkey are breaking up".

Erdogan also yesterday held telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing economic and trade issues as well as the Syria crisis, the Turkish presidency said.

"We are gearing up for trade in national currencies with China, Russia, Iran, Ukraine, which account for the largest bilateral trade volume".

The latest escalation came as Turkey's Economy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law and a trusted lieutenant, unveiled what was touted as a new economic plan, pledging Central Bank independence, tighter budget discipline and sustainable and healthy growth.


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