Erdogan blames "plot against Turkey" for plunging lira

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President Trump said Friday the USA will double tariffs on steel and aluminum for Turkey, noting the relationship between the two states "are not good at this time!".

Turkey's presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, also said Saturday that Washington risked losing Ankara as an ally if U.S. policies against Turkey continued. "You are exchanging your strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for a priest".

On July 26, Trump announced that he would hit Turkey with "large sanctions" if it continued to hold Brunson, adding "This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!"

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey will respond to trade wars by seeking new alliances and heading to new markets, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to double the tariff on Turkish steel and aluminum.

Erdogan has downplayed the currency crisis, urging Turks to convert any stashed-away gold or foreign currency into lira, thereby waging a "war of independence" against America.

"Interest rates should be kept to a minimum because they are a tool of exploitation that makes the poor poorer and the rich richer", he said.

And he brushed off the tariffs.

The diplomatic spat sent the lira down 16% against the dollar on Friday.

They are threatening us and they are trying to put us on our knees. "Don't give. What we have is enough for us".

A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday, when its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the USA, which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

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

Talking in a meeting in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, Erdogan said the current fluctuations in the exchange rate could not be explained by logic.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies". "Threats, sanctions and bullying against Turkey will not work", he said.

Trump's "jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful", Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Trump's jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful.

"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", he stated. "We´ve stood with neighbours before, and will again now", he warned.

In an article in the New York Times, Erdoğan said Trump's sanctions against Turkey over the Brunson's detention were "unacceptable, irrational and ultimately detrimental to our longstanding friendship".

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan listens to supporters after prayers Friday in Bayburt, Turkey.

Brunson was arrested in 2016 on charges that he had participated in a failed military coup against Erdogan, and had colluded with Kurdish militants.

"President Erdogan's strengthened powers under the new presidential system have made it increasingly uncertain whether policymakers will be able to act to stabilize the economy", William Jackson, the chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London, said.