Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Erdogan says lira crash 'political plot' against Turkey

Erdogan says lira crash 'political plot' against Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the crash of the Turkish lira, sparked by a bitter dispute with the United States, was a "political plot" against Turkey and warned Ankara would now seek new markets and partners.

President Erdogan urged his people in a counter-tweet: "Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks".

Erdogan is also upset at the protection USA coalition forces are providing the Kurds in Syria, against the invading Turkish army.

The Trump administration followed through on its apparent threat, announcing on Friday it would double tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey to leverage Brunson's return.

The Turkish Trade Ministry called the move "illegal", pointing to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

"We can only say "good-bye" to anyone who sacrifices its strategic partnership and a half century alliance with a country of 81 million for the sake of relations with terror groups", Erdogan said. United States stocks were also rattled.

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.

The latest escalation between Ankara and Washington was denounced by the Turkish press, with pro-government daily Sabah saying "the currency attack" was no different from the attempted coup of July 2016.

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He said Turkey's response was not going to be based on "reciprocity", adding: "Those who commit a crime will pay a price".

"We know very well that the issue is not the dollar, the euro or gold".

A Turkish delegation returned from a meeting with Trump administration officials in Washington on Thursday with no apparent progress on a conflict over an American pastor who has been detained in Turkey for almost two years.

"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

"If you pressure us through the dollar, we will look for other ways to carry out our works", he said. "Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

Erdoğan stressed that the Turkish economy has not come to the edge of an economic crisis, pointing to the increase in manufacturing, exports and tourism revenues. Gulen has denied the allegation.

"We've stood with neighbors before, and will again now", Zarif wrote on his official Twitter account. "The U.S. has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions & bullying or entire world will unite - beyond verbal condemnations - to force it to".

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