Erdogan vows action against 'economic terrorists' over lira plunge


President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States, which has imposed sanctions and raised tariffs against Ankara in a dispute about the detention of a USA evangelical pastor.

"We are together in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back. Can such a thing be accepted?"

Ankara has repeatedly said the Brunson case was up to the courts and a Turkish judge moved Brunson from jail to house arrest in July.

The lira currency, which has lost more than 40 percent against the USA dollar this year, pulled back from a record low of 7.24 earlier on Monday after the central bank pledged to provide liquidity, but it remained under selling pressure and its meltdown continued to rattle global markets.

Although the lira won a small respite on Tuesday, investors say measures taken by the Central Bank on Monday to ensure liquidity fail to address the root cause of lira weakness. But world stock traders were dismayed the bank did not raise interest rates, which is what many economists believe is necessary to ease the crisis.

The lira's worst day was Friday, when US President Donald Trump approved the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium, following Turkey's refusal to free a US pastor who has been in detention there for almost two years.

According to a statement released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the meeting focused on Brunson.

Trump urges Erdogan on Twitter to free him, describing his continuing detention as "a total disgrace".

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter late last month that his country "will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson".

Erdogan on Monday had said: "Turkey's economic dynamics are solid, strong and intact, and they will continue to be intact".

Levin argued that despite the official emphasis on the crisis with the USA "it has been clear for some time to anyone following Turkey that the government's political and economic mismanagement would have consequences".

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On Sunday, speaking to supporters in Trabzon on the Black Sea coast, Erdogan dismissed suggestions that Turkey was in a financial crisis like those seen in Asia two decades ago.

Erdogan said his government would offer further incentives to companies planning to invest in Turkey and said firms should not be put off by economic uncertainty. "This is called carrying out an operation against Turkey".

Tourists count their Turkish liras after exchanging foreign currency at a exchange shop in Istanbul, Aug. 13, 2018.

Erdogan renewed his call for Turks to sell dollars and buy lira to boost the currency, while telling business owners to not stockpile the American currency.

"I am specifically addressing our manufacturers: Do not rush to the banks to buy dollars". "Do not take a stance saying, "We are bankrupt, we are done, we should guarantee ourselves.' If you do that, that would be wrong".

On August 11 Erdogan warns that Ankara will look for "new friends and allies. unless the United States starts respecting Turkey's sovereignty". "We will be taking the necessary steps with our banks and banking watchdog in a speedy manner", he said.

Since coming to power in 2003 Erdogan has built his popularity on growth and transforming areas, especially in the conservative interior of the country, with newly-found wealth.

President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused "economic terrorists" of plotting to harm Turkey by spreading false reports and said they would face the full force of the law, as authorities launched investigations of those suspected of involvement.

Turkey is not isolated in feeling the pinch from Washington: Russia is also under U.S. sanctions.

"We have Vestel." It was unclear how Erdogan meant to enforce the boycott.