Finance

Erdogan says lira crash 'political plot' against Turkey

Erdogan says lira crash 'political plot' against Turkey

Compounding the lira's agony, President Donald Trump said he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, noting that relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies were "not very good". This is called carrying out an operation against Turkey", he said.

Turkey was hit by a financial shockwave this past week as the lira nosedived 14 percent Friday over concerns about the government's economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States.

The president, who has consolidated unprecedented power through a series of referendums, advised Turks to show solidarity by converting any stashed-away gold or foreign currency to Turkish lira in a bid to wage a "war of independence" against America.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect", he added, "will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

President Tayyip Erdogan denied on Saturday that Turkey is in a currency crisis, dismissing a plunge in the lira as "fluctuations" which have nothing to do with economic fundamentals.

The lira tumbled 14 percent in one day, to 6.51 a dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further erode worldwide investors' confidence in the country. "If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out".

"I am specifically addressing our manufacturers: Do not rush to the banks to buy dollars".

He added that businesses should "know that keeping this nation alive and standing isn't just our job, but also the job of industrialists, of merchants".

The new tariff threat targeting Ankara comes as bilateral tensions have risen over the detention and trial in Turkey of US pastor Andrew Brunson, 50.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit back at U.S. "threats" on Saturday, as a diplomatic rift between Ankara and Washington over a jailed American pastor widens.

The United States is the world's biggest steel importer.

Last week, the United States government imposed economic sanctions against two Turkish ministers involved in Brunson's arrest. "Some close the doors and some others open new ones".

"We can only say "good-bye" to anyone who sacrifices its strategic partnership and a half century alliance with a country of 81 million for the sake of relations with terror groups", he said. Trump tweeted Friday that the U.S. -Turkey ties "are not good at this time!". Trump has described his detention as a "total disgrace" and urged Erdogan to free him immediately.

The U.S. responded by slapping sanctions on Turkey and threatening more.

The two sides seemed to have failed to resolve the deadlock though bilateral talks in Washington earlier this week during the visit of a Turkish delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and made up of officials from Turkey's justice, finance and foreign ministries.