Turkey's Erdogan vows to defy USA 'threats' amid economic war


Turkey's Erdogan vows to defy USA 'threats' amid economic war

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he added.

Photo American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Announcing that aluminium tariffs will rise to 20 per cent and steel tariffs to 50 per cent, Trump said on Twitter that United States relations with Turkey "are not good at this time", and seemed to gloat at the country's misfortunes.

"You can never bring this nation in line with the language of threats", Mr Erdogan told supporters in the Turkish town of Unye on the Black Sea coast.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: "Trump's jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful".

Turkey said it would respond to the new USA tariff action "without delay" and warned the move would further harm relations between the two countries. But Erdogan said Turks should not be alarmed by exchange rate movements. As a result he's pushed Turkey's central bank to keep interest rates low, threatening its independence and preventing it from shoring up the lira.

But experts argue that the central bank should instead raise interest rates to ease inflation and to support the currency.

ISTANBUL, Aug 11 (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan denied on Saturday that Turkey is in a currency crisis, dismissing a plunge in the lira as "fluctuations" which have nothing to do with economic fundamentals.

Mr Erdogan said the U.S. had "repeatedly and consistently failed to understand and respect the Turkish people's concerns". "Threats, sanctions and bullying against Turkey will not work", he said.

On Friday, the euro sagged to a 13-month low against the dollar, down 0.7 per cent to $1.1450, after the Financial Times reported that the European Central Bank was anxious about possible losses at eurozone banks operating in Turkey.

Ankara had already taken measures to respond and would continue doing so, he added.

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Friday, Erdogan criticized the tensions with the USA, saying a "failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies". Speaking in the northeastern province of Gumushane, Erdogan said, "Apparently, those who believe they can force us to capitulate don't know [our] people at all".

Turkey's currency slumped to a new record low as Donald Trump compounded the country's economic crisis by doubling steel and aluminium tariffs.

Erdogan noted that Ankara has no intention of tolerating the situation when an economic war had been declared against the whole world, with pressure exerted on some countries, which are threatened with sanctions.

On Friday, Mr Erdogan also held a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the pair discussing economic ties between their two countries.

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.

Relations between the two nations are in turmoil, over issues ranging from differing policies on Syria to United States evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is now being held in Turkey on terrorism charges.