Turkish lira plunges as Erdogan blames crash on 'political plot' against Ankara

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On Thursday Ergodan said Turkey will withstand the economic pressure.

It hit a record low after Trump announced he had authorised higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20% on aluminium and 50% on steel.

An important emerging market, Turkey borders Iran, Iraq and Syria and has been mostly pro-Western for decades. A delegation of Turkish officials held talks with their counterparts in Washington this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

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.

Turkey and the USA are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

The lira's free-fall was the result of a plot and did not reflect Turkey's economic fundamentals, he said.

Mr Erdogan appealed for calm and renewed a call on people to change foreign money into local lira.

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

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

"Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives".

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Last week, a Turkish delegation went to Washington and met USA counterparts but there was no breakthrough.

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Friday, Erdogan criticised the tensions with the U.S., saying a "failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies". It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system against Iran.

And he brushed off the issue of tariffs.

The president then told Turks not to be disheartened by the loss to the dollar.

The central bank has over the last weeks defied calls from markets for rate hikes to combat these problems, raising fears of interference from Erdogan who has repeatedly called for low interest rates. The US has refused to extradite Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania. Gulen denies the allegation.

After Brunson had been in jail for nearly 20 months, a court in July ordered him to be moved to house arrest.

Trump's tweet caused a further drop in the Turkish currency, which is now down 13 percent on the day. He offered no further details.

More evidence of how nervous investors are about Turkey's economy could be seen in the iShares MSCI Turkey exchange-traded fund, which plunged 18% and saw the most premarket trades ever, according to Bloomberg.

Erdogan enjoys the support of many Turks even though rents and food and fuel prices have all surged.

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