Monday, 20 August, 2018

Erdogan says crash of lira ‘political plot’ against Turkey

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Ellis Copeland | 13 August, 2018, 00:18

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the lira's drop is a "political plot" against Ankara, and his country will begin to seek for new partners.

"Don't heed them. Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", Erdogan said.

The president, who has consolidated unprecedented power through a series of referendums, advised Turks to show solidarity by converting any stashed-away gold or foreign currency to Turkish lira in a bid to wage a "war of independence" against America.

Last week, the U.S.

As the currency continued to fall, United States President Donald Trump announced on Friday he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally before admitting that relations between Washington and Ankara were "not very good". He has denied the charges.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned the USA that it risked losing a "strategic partner" due to demands made by the U.S. government that Turkey release an American pastor who was arrested on terrorism charges.

A delegation led by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal failed to secure a deal last Wednesday in talks in Washington on a number of issues including Mr Brunson.

Erdogan appeared to indicate that the entire alliance between Turkey - which joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952 with strong American backing - and Washington was at stake.

"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor", Erdogan said in the Black Sea town of Unye. He threatened the USA with an "Ottoman slap" if they continue to stand in the way of the Turkish incursion into northwest Syria.

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"Hopefully we will overcome this disaster and we will also successfully overcome this economic war", Erdogan said.

He also said it was a pity that Washington chose Brunson over Turkey, its partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and in an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the United States that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

"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". It is host to an X-band radar, a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system again Iran.

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

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members are at odds on a number of issues - how to fight the Islamic State group, Ankara's plans to buy Russian missile defence systems, and how to punish the alleged plotters of a failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

Turkey also warned there would be retaliation against the US' imposition of the tariffs. Gulen denies the allegation. "We care about the law, the language of the law", he said about the USA policy during a rally in the Black Sea city of Ordu hit by floods that harmed hundreds of homes and businesses.

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

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.

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