Turkey's Erdogan vows to FIGHT against ‘currency PLOT’ after Trump gloats over lira crisis
Mr Erdogan pledged to fight back after US President Trump doubled punishing tariffs on the nation adding that those responsible “think they can destroy Turkey”.
The President denied Turkey is in a currency crisis and dismissed a plunge in the lira as “fluctuations,” which have nothing to do with economic fundamentals.
Speaking after US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium imports, Mr Erdogan described Friday’s 18 percent fall in the lira to a record low as the “missiles” of an economic war waged against Turkey.
Mr Erdogan said those who plotted against Turkey in a failed coup attempt in July 2016 were now trying to target the country through its economy, and pledged to fight back.
But he did not name any countries.
He said: “Those who can’t compete with us on the ground have brought online fictional currency plots that have nothing to with the realities of our country, production and real economy,”
“The country is neither crumbling, nor being destroyed or bankrupt or in a crisis,” he said, and added that the way out of the “currency plot” was to boost production and “minimise interest rates”.
It comes after US President Trump took to Twitter yesterday to boast about the value of the dollar against the lira.
He told his 57million followers: “I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!
“Aluminium will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent.
“Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”
The lira crashed days ago as tensions between the US and Turkey began to rise.
Turkish lira fell to an all-time low against the dollar yesterday, making it worth about 16 cents.
One dollar bought as much as 6.43 lira today, after slipping about 40 percent this year.
This came in the wake of sanctions imposed by Mr Trump for Turkey’s refusal to free pastor Andrew Brunson, who the nation detained on terror charges despite the insistence of the US he is innocent.
Sanctions had already been put in place when Turkey continued to trade with Iran regardless of a sanction on the country put in place by the American to halt their nuclear weapons programme.
When the lira crashed, Iran threatened Mr Trump and said that the “entire world would unite” and use “force” the US to scrap the sanctions.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “Trump’s jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its NATO ally Turkey is shameful.
“The US has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions and bullying or entire world will unite – beyond verbal condemnations – to force it to.”
Turkey has since accused Mr Trump of enforcing “economic terror” on the troubled nation.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said: “Economic terror is being created on the pretext of a pastor.”
He added: “We need to be in solidarity.
“We need to show clearly and categorically that the artificial jump in currency cannot take this country as hostage.”
President Trump’s sanctions saw the Turkish lira plummet to a dangerous low, causing a financial crisis that has also threatened to destroy Europe after it triggered concerns with banks in Spain, Italy and France.
Sterling also fell to 0.23 percent at $ 1.28.