Erdogan tells US: Turkey will find new friends

The lira went into free-fall sinking more than 10 percent

A new bout of selling Friday on increased strains with the USA forced the lira over six against the United States dollar for the first time, with the currency at one point shredding a quarter of its value in a single day.

Bank shares across Europe fell and the euro slipped to its lowest since July 2017 as the Financial Times quoted sources as saying the European Central Bank was concerned about European lenders' exposure to Turkey. Turkey's energy minister announced on August 8 that Turkey will keep buying liquid natural gas from Iran in violation of USA sanctions.

The new tariffs announced on Friday come as the USA increases pressure for the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been in Turkish custody since 2016 on charges of espionage.

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. -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 there risks further destabilising an already volatile region.

Meanwhile, new Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, also the president's son-in-law, previewed a new economic program for the country. On Friday, Trump announced he would double aluminum and steel tariffs on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

The White House said Mr Trump had authorised them under a section of U.S. trade law that allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

Trump's "jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful", he wrote.

The Turkish delegation met with the State Department's No. 2 official, John Sullivan, on Wednesday to address friction between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

"The plunge in the lira which began in May now looks certain to push the Turkish economy into recession and it may well trigger a banking crisis", said Andrew Kenningham, chief global economist at Capital Economics. "We think that Erdogan needs to act now if he does not want Turkey to develop into a mini-Venezuela (worst case scenario)".

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Erdoğan attempted to downplay economic concerns by telling Turks "not to worry", telling supporters they were in an "economic war" and to convert their dollars and "gold under the pillow" into lira. "This is a national, domestic battle", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

The Turkish president took aim at the U.S. in his address, claiming "some countries have engaged in behaviour that protects coup plotters and knows no laws or justice". "This will be my people's response to those who have waged an economic war against us".

"At a time when evil continues to lurk around the world, unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States, our ally of decades, will only serve to undermine American interests and security", Erdogan said in the article.

Washington "must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical", he said in the opinion piece.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

Turkey also warned there would be retaliation against the US' imposition of the tariffs.

USA stocks fell Friday amid the geopolitical concerns that pushed the Turkish lira to the record low against the dollar. It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system against Iran. "It is a national fight", he said.

On Saturday, Erdoğan said it was a pity the United States was choosing Brunson over its strategic North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally. Gulen denies the allegation. But Israel released that woman last month, and pastor Andrew Brunson of North Carolina remains in a Turkish prison.

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