Erdogan says Turkey has become 'target of economic war'

Erdogan says Turkey has become 'target of economic war'

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday criticized the USA, saying Turkey will say "bye bye" to those, who prefer terrorists to their strategic partner.

President Donald Trump broke the news on social media that he authorized the doubling of existing steel and aluminum duties on imports from Turkey. The sides held talks in Washington last week but failed to resolve the spat. "This is a national, domestic battle", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

Turkey has arrested an American pastor and put him on trial for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago.

On Friday, Turkey's currency, the Lira, fell as much as 14%, causing the global financial markets to shudder.

Turkey will "never accept the order, which declares war against the whole world", through the threats of sanctions, he said, referring to the U.S.

In a separate opinion piece in the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the White House, warning that Washington might completely lose them as an ally.

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"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.

Erdogan promised supporters that Turkey was taking the necessary precautions to protect its economy but added, "The most important thing is breaking the hands firing these weapons". It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system against Iran.

The United States has increasingly used economic sanctions against foes such as Iran or North Korea but it is highly unusual for an administration to impose import tariffs over political or judicial issues with other countries.

"Interest rates should be kept to a minimum because they are a tool of exploitation that makes the poor poorer and the rich richer", he said. Ankara probably intends to use the other prisoners as bargaining chips for other policy objectives: to encourage the United States to back off from supporting the Kurdish Democratic Union Party and People's Protection Units in Syria; to reduce the fine against state-owned Halkbank for violating USA sanctions against Iran; and to arrange early release for the bank's vice president, who was recently convicted in US federal court for facilitating the sanctions violations. The US has refused to extradite Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania. Gulen has denied the allegation.

After nearly 20 months in a Turkish jail, Brunson was moved to house arrest in July by a court. He offered no further details. Negotiations failed to achieve the desired results, prompting the Turkish government to try more aggressive tactics, regardless of their costs to the country's economy and worldwide standing.

Erdogan enjoys the support of many Turks even though rents and food and fuel prices have all surged.

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