Turkey Warns the USA about Danger of Losing Strategic Partner


Speaking after U.S. President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports, Erdogan described Friday's 18 percent fall in the lira to a record low as the "missiles" of an economic war waged against Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected "threatening language" of the USA administration.

The lira's plunge is one of the most serious economic crises that Erdogan has faced since coming to power in 2003 in the wake of a financial crisis in 2001 that brought the economy to near meltdown.

Bank shares across Europe fell and the euro slipped to its lowest since July 2017 as the Financial Times quoted sources as saying the European Central Bank was concerned about European lenders' exposure to Turkey.

Canada's main stock index also fell on Friday.

However, no one had ever anticipated such a situation, with the Turkish lira depreciated against the dollar by about 40% only within 2 months, whereas the devaluation on an annual basis was over 80%.

The lira tumbled 16 percent against the dollar on Friday. At the same time, the USA froze the sale of 100 F-35s to Turkey, despite their co-operation for their manufacturing and production since 2008.

Erdogan promised supporters that Turkey was taking the necessary precautions to protect its economy but added "the most important thing is breaking the hands firing these weapons". Financial upheaval there risks further destabilising an already volatile region.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be doubling existing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey.

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Javad Zarif said there was no meeting planned with USA officials including his counterpart Mike Pompeo at the United Nations General Assembly, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported on Saturday.

Turkey will "never accept the order, which declares war against the whole world", through the threats of sanctions, he said, referring to the U.S. It is unclear how that would justify higher tariffs on Turkey but not other countries.

Since then, its relationship with Turkey, the sixth-largest steel importer to the United States, has deteriorated, prompting Ankara to send a delegation this week to Washington to meet with both the State and Treasury Departments.

In relation to this latter dispute, Turkey's continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed 21 months ago in a widespread crackdown over a failed coup in Turkey, has increase hostility between the nations.

He wrote and Washington's unilateral actions against Turkey undermine American interests and force Ankara to search for new allies.

Ankara blames for an attempted coup in 2016.

The lira's slide came after a US delegation from Washington, D.C., left Turkey without making progress toward the release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor detained by Erdoğan's government since 2016. And under Turkey's new executive presidential system, Erdogan pretty much calls all the shots.

In what appears to be a diplomatic riposte, Turkey later said Mr Erdogan had held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss economic ties.

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