Erdogan says lira crash 'political plot' against Turkey

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Erdogan's remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

President Erdogan urged his people in a counter-tweet: "Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Saturday to defy USA "threats" over a detained pastor, showing no signs of concessions in a bitter row that has caused the Turkish lira to crash.

Additionally, on Friday President Donald Trump tweeted that he is increasing tariffs on USA imports of Turkish of steel and aluminum.

Turkey's trade ministry said the tariffs were against World Trade Organisation rules. 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!"

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The penalties also bar any United States transactions with the two men. The sanctions target Turkey's minister of justice and minister of interior, whom the White House said played leading roles in the arrest and detention of 50-year-old Brunson. He has denied the charges.

A delegation led by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal failed to secure a deal last Wednesday in talks in Washington on a number of issues including Brunson.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times on Friday, Erdogan said Turkey's partnership with the United States could be in jeopardy unless Washington "starts respecting Turkey's sovereignty".

He said Turkey's response was not going to be based on "reciprocity", adding: "Those who commit a crime will pay a price". "Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging", said Erdogan, who warned of "economic war".

Erdogan framed Turkey's currency crisis as a "national battle" against economic enemies, namely the USA, saying 'if they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah'.

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A Financial Times report said the European Central Bank was anxious that Turkish citizens would start defaulting on their loans.

"If you pressure us through the dollar, we will look for other ways to carry out our works", he said.

The Turkish president was referring to American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is accused of ties to Erdogan's arch-nemesis, Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, and whose extradition the Turks have been demanding on the grounds that he organized the 2016 coup attempt against the Erdogan regime.

"We've stood with neighbors before, and will again now", Zarif wrote on his official Twitter account.

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