Trump Doubles Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum From Turkey

A vendor gets a five Euro bank note from a customer at the central market in Athens

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday the current level of the lira and fluctuations in the exchange rate could not be explained by logic, and its recent plunge showed a plot against Turkey.

Mr. Erdogan repeated his call for Turks to sell dollars and buy lira to shore up the currency, while telling business owners not to stock up on dollars.

"The traditional solutions as interest rates' hikes will not tackle this issue", Abu Basha explained, saying that the tLira's plummet has a very deep geopolitical dimension, which caused the Turkish currency to lose about 50% of its value in 2018.

Recent diplomatic engagements - first between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his USA counterpart Mike Pompeo in Singapore last Friday, followed by a visit by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and his entourage to Washington on Wednesday - seemed to have failed to resolve the deadlock.

The embattled lira tumbled 16% against the dollar on Friday, falling further when US President Donald Trump said he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey. He has denied the charges.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday accused the U.S. of exchanging its "strategic North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally with a pastor", remarks that questioned why Washington was seeking to free its citizens detained by Ankara, including Pastor Andrew Brunson who has become the eye of a diplomatic storm between the two nations.

The sides held talks in Washington this week but failed to resolve the spat.

Ties between Turkey and the USA started breaking down after a coup attempt in July 15, 2016, allegedly staged by Pastor Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in the United States under protection of the government as a U.S. citizen. "On Friday, some of his ministers took to Twitter with the hashtag "#kazanacagiz", meaning "we will win".

"Our response to those who wage a trade war against the whole world and include our country in that would be heading towards new markets and new alliances", Mr. Erdogan said.

In an op-ed published in New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk its relations with Ankara, saying otherwise it would look for "new friends and allies".

Washington "must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical", he said in the opinion piece. It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system against Iran.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by global rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement.

In retaliation, Turkey imposed additional tariffs worth 266.5 million USA dollars on US goods in June. Gulen has denied the allegation.

Brunson has been detained for the past 20 months on accusations that he supported groups the Turkish government deems terrorists.

"If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah", he said, appealing to his religious Muslim base.

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