kalerkantho


Erdogan says Turkey economy under attack as Trump doubles tariffs

Aljazeera   

11 August, 2018 08:05 AM



Erdogan says Turkey economy under attack as Trump doubles tariffs

Turkey became the fastest-growing country in the world last year, with an economic growth rate of 7.4 percent, according to the government [AP]

A- A A+

US President Donald Trump has announced a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, piling economic pressure on the NATO ally after its currency went into a tail-spin.

Trump's announcement on Friday came hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out against a shadowy international "interest rate lobby" which, he suggested, was "campaigning" to harm Turkey's economy, after the lira fell more than 14 percent overnight.

The Turkish currency extended its losses following Trump's statement, dropping as much as 20 percent amid growing worries about worsening relations with the US.

Washington has been pushing Ankara to release an American pastor, who is being held on terrorism charges.

Earlier this week, Erdogan ordered the asset freeze of two US officials in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over the detention of an Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson.

Since the start of the year, the lira has more than 30 percent of its value against the US dollar, with the currency tumbling even faster after the country's June presidential election which saw Erdogan re-elected with expanded power.

On Friday, Erdogan renewed a call for Turks to exchange gold and dollars into liras, framing the country's currency crisis as a "national battle" against economic enemies.

"The dollar cannot block our path," Erdogan said during a speech in the Black Sea city of Rize. 

"However, I say it once again from here. If there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks," he told the crowd.

Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants cheap credit from banks to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing.

But in a defiant tone, the president brushed aside concerns, telling the roaring supporters not to worry. 

"There are several campaigns being carried out [against Turkey]. Do not heed them," Erdogan said.

"If they have their dollars, we have our people, our God. Know this: We are better than yesterday, we will be even better tomorrow. Have no doubts about it," he added.

Despite the turmoil, Turkey became the fastest-growing country in the world last year, with an economic growth rate of 7.4 percent, according to the government. 


Comments

TALK OF THE TOWN