RPT-Turkey is a 'target of economic war', Erdogan says


Wider concerns about President Erdogan's expanding powers, especially over monetary policy, have taken chunks out of the value of lira this year.

The Turkish lira dropped as much as 18 per cent at one point after Mr Trump's announcement - the biggest one-day fall since a 2001 financial crisis in the country.

Investors have become increasingly concerned with the faltering Turkish economy, its central bank's willingness to respond to the downturn and the impact it could have on global financial markets, according to multiple reports. USA stocks were also rattled.

The collapsing Turkish lira, which has lost about 70% of its value Vs USD this year largely over worries about Erdogan's wider control of the economy has marked an time lows YTD.

In a tweet, Trump cited the decline in Turkish currency as justification for increasing tariffs to 50 percent on Turkish steel and 20 percent on Turkish aluminum.

"Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives", he said.

In the New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk relations with Ankara, saying his country would otherwise look for "new friends and allies".

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President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he had authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey.

One of the triggers of the turmoil has been a standoff with the USA over a detained American pastor that Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, has put on trial for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago.

The Ministry issued a statement asserting that Turkey, as it determines and implements its own trade policy in compliance with the WTO, expects other member countries to comply with worldwide rules.

Trump added that the Turkish currency Lira "slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

Turkey's president on Saturday blamed the country's economic downturn on the United States and other nations that he claims are waging "war" against his country.

In the wake of Trump's decision to impose higher tariffs, the three major US indexes ended Friday with losses of around 0.7 percent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling almost 200 points.

Washington and Ankara are at odds over the detention of USA evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges in Turkey.

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Lira tested an all-time low of 6.95 in value against the Dollars, in a sign of a further economic crisis. "During this period, Turkey has set records in its exports, production and employment", Erdogan said.

Turkish officials insist the outcome of Brunson's case exclusively relies on the judiciary, a claim the USA has refused to buy in the light of Erdogan's earlier suggestions to swap him with Turkish opposition exiles residing in the US.

One of the hard issues affecting U.S.

Erdogan said high foreign exchange rates were being used as a weapon against Turkey.

He is clearly angry that the United States has not taken more action against the Gulenist movement and what he said was a failure "to unequivocally condemn" the 2016 coup attempt. The U.S. exported $9.75 billion worth of goods-mostly cotton, scrap iron, steel, civilian aircraft parts, coal, and petroleum gases-to Turkey, and imported $9.42 billion worth of goods from them.

Writing on Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

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But Israel released that woman last month, and pastor Andrew Brunson of North Carolina remains in a Turkish prison. He said: "If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out".