‘If they have dollar, we have our Allah’: Erdogan

11 August, 2018, 20:35 | Author: Dave Hampton
  • President Trump’s sanctions saw the Turkish lira plummet to a dangerous low

The Trump administration's original move in March to raise tariffs on most steel and aluminum imports was proposed to safeguard USA jobs against overseas rivals.

"Their currency, the Turkish lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong dollar!" In addition to the steep drop in the Turkish Lira, which effectively reduces the impact of the tariffs, the US has so far been unsuccessful in persuading Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to release USA pastor Andrew Brunson.

The Turkish foreign ministry hit back at Trump's comments, saying that the "only result will be harming our relationship" and vowing unspecified retaliation.

Trump's announcement saw the Turkish lira drop even further, crashing to a 19 percent daily loss against the greenback.

Reuters Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, listens during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, U.K., May 15, 2018.

The lira tumbled about 10 per cent on Friday to another record low as investors worry about Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies and U.S. sanctions.

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The Turkish lira hit a record low of 6.24 per dollar on Friday, before recovering to 5.92 _ still down a whopping 7 per cent on the day.

"This is a domestic and national struggle", Erdoğan said, according to The Associated Press.

Despite mounting pressure to reassure investors, president Erdogan yesterday remained defiant, stating that Turkey would prevail in an "economic war" while calling on Turks not to panic or "bow in front of economic threats".

Erdogan, whose typical defiance in the face of the crisis has further unnerved investors, appealed to Turks' patriotism and urged support for their free-falling currency. Trump said in an early morning post on Twitter.

Turkey also wants the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the coup attempt against Erdogan in which 250 people were killed.

The lira's plunge has featured remarkably little on Turkish television channels and newspapers - most of which after recent ownership changes are loyal to the government - with media focusing instead on recent flooding by the Black Sea.

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The currency slid almost 8 percent in relation to the dollar to a record low of 6.59 shortly after Trump announced the increase on metals duties on Twitter. 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 US manufacturers).

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by USA forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s and a close ally of the United States.

Federal prosecutors accused Atilla of conspiring with gold trader Reza Zarrab and others to elude USA sanctions using fraudulent gold and food transactions. On Friday, he said the country had to take steps in answer "to those who have waged an economic war against us". An IMF offer will come with strings attached - strings that Erdogan may find a violation of sovereignty - including demands to rein in the country's runaway inflation with higher interest rates. "Don't worry", Erdogan told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

"If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah, " he said.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak - who is Erdogan's son-in-law - was scheduled later on Friday to outline a 'new economic model'.

What's happening to Turkey's currency right now?

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