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Turkey: US won't achieve aims through sanctions

15 August 2018
Turkey: US won't achieve aims through sanctions

Turkey's president appeared to escalate a dispute with the United States that has helped foment a Turkish currency crisis, claiming Tuesday that his country will boycott US-made electronic goods. Investors are also anxious about the effects of the dispute between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

"We will impose a boycott on USA electronic products", Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech. "If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side, and we have our own Vestel here", he said, referring to a Turkish electronics firm.

'We (also) have our Venus and Vestel, ' he said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.

Emerging market stocks lost 2.11 percent.

The White House did not respond directly to questions about Erdogan's threat, or possible retaliatory measures.

Mr Erdogan has presided over soaring inflation and borrowing levels, but insists the lira's plight is the result of a "campaign" led by foreign powers. Erdogan has encouraged his citizens to sell any American dollars they have to buy local currency, but the lira continues to slide.

Erdoğan has accused the U.S. of stabbing Turkey in the back, the government has announced a crackdown on those on social media spreading fake news about the crisis and the central bank has eased financing requirements for Turkish banks.

The drop in the lira was sparked by USA sanctions against Turkey, economic conditions in the country, and a strong dollar that is pulling foreign investment out of Turkey and back to the United States.

The move comes after the U.S. imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the continued detention of an American pastor on terror-related charges, and President Donald Trump compounded the country's economic crisis by doubling steel and aluminium tariffs to 50% and 20%, respectively.

The Turkish leader had already said the USA risks pushing a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member to seek allies elsewhere. "That doesn't mean you like it or want it". "It's very worrying when you see the prices go up week by week", the 46-year-old said. The value of the Turkish currency has been falling for some time, with a more than 40-percent drop this year, ... and South Korea's central bank said Tuesday that it is keeping close tabs on the financial market to check for further possible fallout from the currency crisis in Turkey.

The Turkish Central Bank has attempted to shore up the lira by promising to provide the necessary liquidity to banks and to maintain financial stability. "We go through the list of options they have to stop this: it involves rate hikes, getting the International Monetary Fund involved and restoring market confidence in the lira". But most of those reports are done, and Sandven, of US Bank, said stocks may spend the next two months wavering.

Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak expressed gratitude to Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier for his criticism of the US sanctions against Turkey.

The Turkish lira has stabilised on Tuesday morning after over a week of big losses.

Brunson has already denied the charges, calling them "shameful and disgusting".

"America and Trump are hurting ordinary [Turkish] people", Turkes said.

However, severe changes in the value of the currency calmed Tuesday after news that USA national security adviser John Bolton had met with the Turkish ambassador to Washington Monday.