Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Turkey to launch action plan to avert financial collapse

Turkey to launch action plan to avert financial collapse

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Bayburt, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.

It said it would support steel and aluminium exporters on all global platforms, and the USA remained an important trade partner.

Turkey has drafted an action plan and will start implementing it on Monday morning to ease investor concerns, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Sunday, after the lira plunged to a fresh record low in early Asia Pacific trade.

Still, he went on to state Turkey acted on its own in the past despite USA objections, such as in its invasions of Northern Cyprus in 1974 and Afrin this year in Syrian Kurdistan.

And the Brunson case is just one of many bones of contention between Turkey and the United States, ranging from Syria to Ankara's increasingly cosy relationship with Moscow. According to figures from the Turkish Government, for the period of 2002 to October 2017, Turkish direct investments in the United States reached $3.7 billion while US investments in Turkey amounted to $11.1 billion, second only to the Netherlands' 21.6 billion.

While the numbers tell one story, trade relations and politics tell another. Relations between the United States and Turkey have been weakening for several reasons.

Turkish media covered the latest tensions between Ankara and Washington, with pro-government daily Sabah saying on its front page that "the currency attack" was no different from the attempted July 2016 coup. The pastor was accused of supporting terrorism; the pastor denies any involvement.

Turkey remains at loggerheads with the United States in one of the worst spats in years over the almost two-year detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues. He is suffering greatly.

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President Trump called Brunson an "innocent man of faith" who should be released immediately.

The lira's decline caps a week of political news that's unnerved investors, as the USA ramped up sanctions on Turkey and Russian Federation and as the United Kingdom fretted over a so-called no-deal Brexit. "Threats, sanctions and bullying against Turkey will not work", he said.

The US has demanded the release of Andrew Brunson and on Friday doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

In a tweet, Trump announced the doubling of the tariffs in new punitive actions against Turkey, saying: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

President Trump's sanctions saw the Turkish lira plummet to a unsafe low, causing a financial crisis that has also threatened to destroy Europe after it triggered concerns with banks in Spain, Italy and France.

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members are at odds on a number of issues - how to fight the Islamic State group, Ankara's plans to buy Russian missile defence systems, and how to punish the alleged plotters of a failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

He has said Turkey's economy remains strong, noting a 7.4 percent growth rate in the first three months of this year.

President Trump's discarding of the Iran nuclear deal is a point of contention, as well, as almost half of Turkey's oil imports come from Iran, meaning new sanctions against Iran come back and hurt the Turkish economy as well.

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