Disgruntled by US, Erdogan implies alliance with 'other friends'

Clay Curtis
August 12, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the United States on the deterioration of bilateral relations and assured that Washington will lose a strategic partner if it continues with the threats and the imposition of sanctions.

Reminding the world of the time when Turkey rushed to America's help whenever necessary, during the past six decades, Erdogan recounted Turkish contribution in defusing the Korean and Cuba missile crises, and sending troops to Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks.

Stocks in the USA and Europe skidded Friday as investors anxious about the financial stability of Turkey and how it might affect the global banking system.

The penalties also bar any United States transactions with the two men.

U.S. stocks fell Friday amid the geopolitical concerns that pushed the Turkish lira to the record low against the dollar.

In a Twitter post on August 10, the US president also referenced the rapid decline of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally's national currency against "our very strong dollar".

The latest escalation came as Turkey's Economy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law and a trusted lieutenant, unveiled what was touted as a new economic plan, pledging Central Bank independence, tighter budget discipline and sustainable and healthy growth. -Turkish relationship, a deterioration made worse by Turkey's worsening human rights record and increased cooperation with Russian Federation and Iran in Syria. Financial upheaval risks further destabilising an already volatile region.

Without naming countries, Erdogan said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara says was organised by a US-based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago.

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Trump tweeted that he had authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs "with respect to Turkey".

"If they have the dollar, we have Allah", he said.

"It's very unfortunate that the Trump administration had to retaliate against Turkey for their continued refusal to release Pastor Brunson and other Americans being held in Turkish custody", Graham said.

Turkey's currency crisis spilled loudly on to the global stage Friday as other markets, including USA stocks, took at hit from concern about financial contagion to other countries and banks.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a more-than two-week low against its USA counterpart as geopolitical risk rattled global financial markets, offsetting stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data.

"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for the Turkish lira".

"This will be the response to those who have declared an economic war", he said, blaming Turkey's woes on what he described as an "interest rate lobby" seeking to push the country to higher rates.

This came in the wake of sanctions imposed by Mr Trump for Turkey's refusal to free pastor Andrew Brunson, who the nation detained on terror charges despite the insistence of the USA he is innocent. The US has refused to extradite Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump tweeted Friday morning. And under Turkey's new executive presidential system, Erdogan pretty much calls all the shots.

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