Erdogan says crash of lira 'political plot' against Turkey

Zarif: Trump's jubilation over Turkish economic hardship 'shameful'

Erdogan Warned US That Turkey May Find 'New Friends'

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the crash of the Turkish lira, sparked by a bitter dispute with the United States, was a "political plot" against Turkey and warned Ankara would now seek new markets and partners.

"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for the Turkish lira".

Erdogan also hit back at United States authorities for convicting Mehmet Hakan Atilla, 47, deputy director general of Turkish lender Halkbank on charges of helping Iran evade United States sanctions on billions of dollars of oil proceeds.

The Trump administration followed through on its apparent threat, announcing on Friday it would double tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey to leverage Brunson's return. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"

The penalties also bar any U.S. transactions with the two men.

Turkey and the United States squabbled last week over Turkey's failure to free a USA pastor named Andrew Brunson from house arrest while he awaits his trial on terrorism charges. In response to Turkey's tightening embrace of Russia, Congress slapped a hold on delivery of F-35s to the Turkish air force, for fear that the Russians would be invited to examine the world's most advanced stealth warplane.

Without naming any country, Erdogan said that those - who stand against Turkey for the sake of small calculations - would pay the price.

"We know very well that the issue is not the dollar, the euro or gold".




"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

Erdoğan stressed that the Turkish economy has not come to the edge of an economic crisis, pointing to the increase in manufacturing, exports and tourism revenues.

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by United States forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s.

"I'm not aware of any prior administration using tariffs in this way, and there's a very simple reason: because they're an incredibly blunt instrument that often can have blowback on American workers and consumers as we've seen in the China context", said Ned Price, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who also served as a National Security Council spokesman during the Obama administration. Gulen denies the allegation.

The Turkish president was referring to American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is accused of ties to Erdogan's arch-nemesis, Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, and whose extradition the Turks have been demanding on the grounds that he organized the 2016 coup attempt against the Erdogan regime.

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump who is also representing Brunson's family, told talk-show host and political commentator Sean Hannity's radio program on Friday: "We're close to getting a resolution in that case".

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