Turkey's president: US waging 'economic war' against Turkey


Speaking to supporters in the Black Sea province of Rize late on Thursday, Erdogan brushed off concerns over the currency as campaigns against Turkey.

Analysts say that while Washington's sanctions against Ankara sparked the immediate crisis, Turkey's economy has been risking trouble for a while due to high inflation and the weak lira.

On Friday, before Trump's tweet, Erdogan had tried to stem the sell-off by appealing to Turkish citizens to exchange any dollars, euros or gold for lira to help the currency. "Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging", said Erdogan, who warned of "economic war".

A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the US, which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

The announcement pushed the weakening Turkish lira down further on a day when it had already hit a record low against the dollar, but Mr Erdogan remained defiant.

Relations between the two nations are in turmoil, over issues ranging from differing policies on Syria to United States evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is now being held in Turkey on terrorism charges.

As the lira tumbled in value - with no breakthrough in sight in the impasse with the USA, sparked by the jailing of American pastor Andrew Brunson - the government has remained sanguine with few comments aimed at rallying markets.

He appeared to blame foreigners for trying to hurt Turkey, saying: "This will be my people's response against those waging an economic war against us".

Ties between the countries have been strained as Washington has urged Ankara to release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being held under house arrest on terrorism charges.

But Erdogan vowed there would be no easing of the law in Brunson's case, saying: "We have not made concessions on justice so far, and we will never make any".

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And he brushed off the issue of tariffs.

Javad Zarif said there was no meeting planned with U.S. officials including his counterpart Mike Pompeo at the United Nations General Assembly, the semi-official news agency Tasnim reported on Saturday. "Don't give. What we have is enough for us".

USA channel CNN also said the White House "did not offer any explanation as to how US national security is threatened" in the statement made regarding the topic.

A meeting on Friday unveiling a new economic approach by Turkey's finance minister, Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, did little to offer support for the free-falling lira as investors sought concrete steps such as an interest rate increase to restore confidence.

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he wrote.

"We are once again facing a political, underhand plot".

Against the dollar, the lira has lost 35 percent of its value this year, and Donald Trump announced new higher tariffs for Turkey amidst the tensions.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waded into the mounting row between Turkey and the United States, accusing Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

Ankara wants the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.