Erdogan slams US for preferring terrorists as partner

Aug 14, 2018, 04:54
Erdogan slams US for preferring terrorists as partner

The escalation came after Washington's ultimatum for Ankara to release and repatriate American pastor Andrew Brunson, detained in Turkey since 2016, lapsed on Wednesday, despite intense diplomatic engagement over the last week.

The sudden announcement turned a run on the Turkish lira into a rout; it crashed more than 18 percent to a new record low against the dollar.

The lira tumbled about 10 percent on Friday to another record low as investors worry about Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies and USA sanctions.

The White house said he had authorised the move under Section 232 of US trade law, which allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

Turkey also wants the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the coup attempt against Erdogan in which 250 people were killed. "Its aim is to force Turkey to surrender in every field from finance to politics, to make Turkey and the Turkish nation kneel down", Erdogan in Trabzon on Sunday.

The currency's drop - 41 percent so far this year - is a gauge of fear over a country coming to terms with years of high debt, worldwide concern over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push to amass power, and a souring in relations with allies like the U.S.

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Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by USA forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s.

Erdogan appealed to a crowd in the city of Bayburt to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to prop up the plunging currency.

But a key Republican ally of Trump, Sen.

The diplomatic dispute with the USA was one of the triggers that turned market jitters into a full-blown route this week.

Calling on Trump to act justly, he said: "We will act according to the worldwide law".

In addition to the Brunson case, Washington is seeking the release of three locally employed US embassy staff.

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Walters did not offer any explanation as to how U.S. national security is threatened by steel and aluminum imports from Turkey, which hosts a major United States military base.

Erdogan said his decision to sanction the U.S.in retaliation for American sanctions was to convey that Turkey "does not respond to threats".

US President Donald Trump had earlier announced doubling of the already substantial Section 232 steel tariffs on imports from Turkey to 50 per cent. The U.S. imported about 4,500 tons of aluminum bars, rods and profiles from the country in 2017, according to World Bank statistics.

The minister of trade, Ruhsar Pekcan, reacted to the news of the new sanctions in measured tones, pleading for a return to negotiations.

"The ATC implores the Trump Administration to reconsider this escalation of a trade war that is without winners and to resolve this dispute at the negotiating table", it said. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

European stocks closed sharply lower on Friday amid fears that problems in Turkey could infect other eurozone countries.

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