Mr Trump first announced he would withdraw US forces from Syria back in December but warned the US military would continue to hit Islamic State (ISIS) fighters there. The two NATO allies have been at loggerheads over US backing for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that is waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil. A diplomatic crisis last year, when Mr Trump imposed sanctions on two of President Tayyip Erdogan’s ministers and raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports, helped push the Turkish lira to a record low in August. Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: “Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds.

“Create 20 mile safe zone…Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.”

The President did not specify how the Turkish economy would be impacted.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Trump should respect Washington’s alliance with Ankara.

Mr Kalin wrote on Twitter: “Mr @realDonaldTrump It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the US terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG.

“Terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda.”

The lira, which lost nearly 30 percent of its value against the dollar last year, eased to 5.49 against the US currency from a close of 5.45 on Friday upon hearing the news.

As of 11:15 GMT, the currency had pulled back up to 5.52.

In Turkey, the Trump administration had imposed tough tariffs on steel and aluminium.

In response, President Erdogan hit goods imported from the United States with heavy tariffs, with extra duties on products including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

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Fears of Turkey sliding into recession for the first time in a decade were heightened in December after weak economic data for the third quarter was released.

The economy contracted on a quarterly basis by 1.1 percent in the three months from July to September as the crippling effects of soaring interest rates and a lira crisis began to take their toll.

Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute revealed the construction sector slumped by 5.3 percent, while household consumption fell to 1.1 percent growth compared to 6.4 percent from the previous quarter.

A recession is defined by economists as gross domestic product (GDP) falling for two consecutive quarters.

Source
Daily Express :: City and Business Feed
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