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Erdogan warns Trump Ankara may seek ‘new friends’

12 Août 2018

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that Washington might completely lose Ankara as an ally.

"As he stated, the President has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey", said White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters. Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. That is two times the level announced earlier this year in March.

The US is the biggest destination for Turkish steel exports, at 11% of the Turkish export volume.

In 2017, 19 billion dollars worth of goods were traded between the USA and Turkey.

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. The dramatic drop in a single day was preceded by a slide in the currency through the year on the heels of a series of negative events.

Last week, he called on Turks to convert their foreign currency and gold into Turkish lira to help the currency.

The lira has now lost over a third of its value against both the dollar and the euro this year, with the currency battered by both concerns over domestic economic policy and the political situation.

The Turkish lira plunged on Friday, raising questions about the country's financial stability, as investors anxious about the president's unorthodox economic policies and a dispute with the United States that has led to sanctions.

"The entire Turkish public is against US policies that disregard Turkey's legitimate security demands".

Axios reported that the Turkey is trying to lessen their dependence on Russian Federation, and the increased sanctions will make their goal more challenging to reach.

The president's characteristic defiance in the face of a shaky economy has further unnerved investors.

The latest escalation came as Turkey's Economy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law and a trusted lieutenant, unveiled what was touted as a new economic plan, pledging Central Bank independence, tighter budget discipline and sustainable and healthy growth.

Not everyone in Turkey shared Erdogan's confidence.

The dollar rose as exposure to Turkey could impact European banks and spark a domino effect throughout Europe as people begin to pull out of those banks and into the USA, said Gregan Anderson, macroeconomic strategist at brokerage Bulltick LLC.

"Those who have dollars, euros or gold under their pillows should go and exchange them into [Turkish] lira".

"If some of these vulnerabilities crystalise they could tip the economy into a full blown crisis", said its economist Yasemin Engin.

In the New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk its relations with Ankara, saying it would look for "new friends and allies". The entire Turkish public is against US policies that disregard Turkey's legitimate security demands.

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK - listed as a terrorist group by both the USA and Turkey - and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, July 25, 2018.

"Also completely underestimated is Turkey's capacity to effectively shut down everything that happens in Brussels if they want to, because Brussels works on consensus and nothing, literally nothing happens without consensus", he said. He added that the country will continue to enjoy good economic relations with several major nations.

Erdogan warns Trump Ankara may seek ‘new friends’