Erdogan to boycott iPhones as Turkey's feud with U.S. escalates

15 Août, 2018, 07:50 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • America's Lengthening Enemies List

Behind the scenes, however, diplomats resumed contact to ease tensions. Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is opposed to raising interest rates to cool down the economy and support the currency, and has used his recent election victory to impose his unorthodox views on the country's central bank.

"We will boycott USA electronic products", Erdogan said.

Turkish currency tumbled low over deteriorating relations with the United States as President Donald Trump unexpectedly doubled metal tariffs against the Muslim state on Friday.

Behind the scenes, however, diplomatic dialogue appears to have resumed.

Investors fear the country's financial crisis could spread, with Mr Erdogan describing the crash as a "political plot" against Turkey.

The lira is down roughly 40 per cent his year, dropping 10 per cent of its value on yesterday alone.

Speaking at a press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Lavrov said: "I'm certain that with such abuse, the role of the American dollar as the world reserve currency will weaken and more countries, even not affected by the American sanctions, will get away from dollars".

After travelling to Turkey, Mr Lavrov said: "I am confident that the grave abuse of the role of the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency will result over time in the weakening and demise of its role".

The crisis in the lira, which has lost 45 percent of its value against the dollar so far this year, increases the cost of corporate debt, which stands at more than $220bn, much of it in the construction industry.

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Relations between Turkey and the United States have been soured by Brunson's detention, as well as diverging interests on Syria.

The United States is warning more economic pressures may be in store for Turkey if it refuses to release a jailed American pastor, a White House official said on Tuesday, in a dispute that has further strained relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. It was not clear when the court would consider the appeal.

The row over Brunson has compounded Turkish concerns over issues such as U.S. support for PKK-linked Kurdish fighters in Syria as well as Washington's alarm at Turkish plans to buy a Russian air defence system, which led this week to the United States suspending military sales to Turkey.

The financial regulatory body said violators could face two to five years in prison.

Turkey, one of NATO's most significant military powers, has provided Washington with logistical support for its military actions in the Middle East for years.

The pastor's imprisonment and then house arrest has caused one of the deepest rows between Turkey and the USA, two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. Erdoğan has insisted that Turkey remains committed to the principles of an open market economy but one option for the government is to try capital controls as a way of taking pressure off the lira.

Independent economists caution it would be hard to unseat the dollar as the top reserve currency as it is used widely in the global economy, for example to trade in oil and for commercial deals.

Local individuals and businesses sold an estimated US$50 million to US$60 million of foreign exchange on Tuesday morning, according to an Istanbul-based currency trader who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media. "Such policy can't be a basis for normal dialogue and it can't last long".

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