Monday, 15 October, 2018

Erdogan warns Trump Ankara may seek ‘new friends’

US President Donald Trump US President Donald Trump
Elsie Buchanan | 12 August, 2018, 22:04

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey will respond to trade wars by seeking new alliances and heading to new markets, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to double the tariff on Turkish steel and aluminum.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", he said, noting that the relationship between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states "could be in jeopardy" unless the USA changes course.

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

After nearly 20 months in a Turkish jail, Mr Brunson was moved to house arrest last month by a court.

Washington in response sanctioned two Turkish ministers and Trump on Friday announced it was doubling the tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Turkey, saying relations with Ankara were "not good at this time".

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

Erdogan also warned that Turkey could start looking for new allies if Washington damaged its relations with Ankara.

"Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent".

Erdogan called on Turks to support the struggling Turkish lira by exchanging any foreign currency and gold, saying Turkey faced "an economic war".

Everton complete triple deadline day signings as Bernard joins Barcelona duo
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is appealing for calm as the country's currency plunges, urging people to change foreign money into local lira. In the past, Trump has threatened to impose trade barriers on countries that deliberately push down the value of their currencies, so as to make their goods cheaper for American consumers (and thus, more competitive than the wares of USA manufacturers). "This is Turkey", he said. In the article, he said that Washington used 5,000 trucks and 2,000 cargo planes to deliver weapons to the Syrian branch of an "armed group that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Turkish citizens since 1984 and that is designated a terrorist group by the U.S".

Late on Friday, the rand was trading at more than R14 to the dollar, its worst point since a credit downgrade in November.

Erdogan downplayed the currency crisis in a speech on Friday, advising Turks not to be anxious over exchange rate fluctuations.

The US this month imposed sanctions on two ministers over the pastor's detention, and talks to resolve the issue in Washington last week ended without result.

Lira tested an all-time low of 6.95 in value against the United States dollars, in a sign of a further economic crisis.

Turkey said it would respond to the new USA tariff action "without delay" and warned the move would further harm relations between the two countries.

Last Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Mike Pompeo met in Singapore on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers' meeting.

Erdogan had on Friday held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss economic and trade issues as well as the Syria crisis.

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