Turkish President Rails Against ‘War’ on Turkish Economy

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US President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, which pushed the Turkish lira to new historic lows against the dollar.

"The United States should know that the only result such sanctinos and pressure will bring... will be harming our relationship as allies", the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Reverberations spread through global financial markets, with European stock markets especially hit as investors took fright over banks' exposure to Turkey.

The United States is the world's biggest steel importer. The currency is currently down 13.5% against the USA dollar, after a brief 20% fall, resulting from a Trump tweet that declared, "Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%", and concluded: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

Erdogan is also upset at the protection U.S. coalition forces are providing the Kurds in Syria, against the invading Turkish army.

"It is making an operation against Turkey..."

"The last time I can remember a currency exploding into a similar acceleration of weakness to what we have seen in the past 24 hours is the Russian ruble crisis that transpired late in 2014", Jameel Ahmad, the head of currency strategy at FXTM, said.

Erdogan said high foreign exchange rates were the means used in plots against Turkey.

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President Donald Trump broke the news on social media that he authorized the doubling of existing steel and aluminum duties on imports from Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Saturday to defy United States "threats" over a detained pastor, showing no signs of concessions in a bitter row that has caused the Turkish lira to crash. "You impose sanctions on our Halkbank. and then you expect different treatment from Turkey?" said Erdogan, in a second speech in the same city.

Last week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice minister and interior minister for refusing to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been in custody since 2016 on charges of terrorism and espionage that Washington says are bogus.

The Turkish lira sank to a fresh record low of 7.24 to the dollar in early Asia Pacific trade, as investor worries over the state of the economy and deteriorating ties with the United States continued to drag down the currency.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to sell their gold and dollars to support the crumbling lira. Gulen has denied the allegation. "Nobody should try to make us fall into this trap, we won't be fooled by this plot, nobody should get excited".

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been at odds over a wide range of issues: diverging interests in Syria, Ankara's ambition to buy Russian defense systems and more recently the case of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor on trial in Turkey.

Turkish officials held talks in Washington this week, but there was no breakthrough.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 on charges of being an American spy and terrorist complicit in the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in the summer of 2016.

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