Turkey's Erdogan Calls On Turks To Dump Dollars, Euros

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai China. Aly Song Reuters  File

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai China. Aly Song Reuters File

The lira slid to a fresh record low against the US dollar.

The lira, which has been losing ground in recent days in part due to the US tensions, plunged as much as 20 percent on Friday to record low levels against the dollar.

The country's economy was already in trouble, but the lira's selloff was heavily compounded by Donald Trump's announcement that he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.

Trump stated in an inflammatory tweet that the Turkish lira was weak against "our very strong dollar", adding that "US relations with Turkey are not good at this time".

U.S. support for Kurdish rebel groups fighting Islamic State fighters in northern Syria.is another major difficulty, given Turkey's battle against a Kurdish insurgency in its own country. Turkey's energy minister announced on August 8 that Turkey will keep buying liquid natural gas from Iran in violation of USA sanctions.

He did not offer an explanation for the tariff hike, which raises the tariffs to 20 percent on aluminum and 50 percent on steel, though there are a couple of possibilities.

The White House said Mr Trump had authorised them under a section of United States trade law that allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

Turkey sent a delegation to Washington to discuss the trade crisis, but returned with no clear solution, sparking concerns of a widening rift between the nation and the US.

"Do not worry!" He said Turkey was not afraid of "threats" and added Turkey had "alternatives" for economic cooperation in many places "from Iran, to Russian Federation, to China and some European countries".

That indicates that people are buying dollars and euros, not selling them off - and that they're not finding buyers in lira, anyway.

Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the global Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product.

"Some countries have engaged in behavior that protects coup plotters and knows no laws or justice", he said.

Washington "must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical", he said in the opinion piece. "Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the USA that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

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

"It's very unfortunate that the Trump administration had to retaliate against Turkey for their continued refusal to release Pastor Brunson and other Americans being held in Turkish custody", Graham said.

Qassemi's remarks followed those of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who had said: "Trump's jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful".

Ankara blames for an attempted coup in 2016. Gulen denies the allegation.

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters. Two days later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Turkey that the "clock had run out" to release Brunson. He offered no further details.

Erdogan has blamed outside forces for trying to bring down Turkey's economy.

As the crisis has deepened Turkish consumers have faced sharply rising food, fuel and medicine prices.

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