STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Turkey's Erdogan defiant in the face of US tariffs, sanction threats

Turkey's president lashed out at the US during a defiant speech Sunday, as the lira crumbled further followi...

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 2:04 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 2:04 PM

Turkey's president lashed out at the US during a defiant speech Sunday, as the lira crumbled further following President Donald Trump's approval of higher tariffs and the threat of sanctions over an imprisoned pastor.

In the speech to supporters in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country would not acquiesce to US pressure, and that the Trump administration's actions were threatening the two countries' longstanding alliance.

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Economic policy

Economy and economic indicators

Embargoes and sanctions

International relations

International relations and national security

International trade

International trade law

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

North America

Political Figures - Intl

Political Figures - US

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Tariffs and customs

The Americas

Trade and development

Trade regulation and policy

Turkey

United States

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

US federal government

White House

Currencies

Money, banknotes and coins

Andrew Brunson

Misc people

2016 Turkey military coup

Coups and attempted coups

Unrest, conflicts and war

"I want them to know that we will not surrender. We will keep producing and we will keep increasing exports," he said. "We will not give in... if you come at us with your dollars then we will find other ways to do business... The US is sacrificing its 81-million-strong ally Turkey for a pastor with links with terrorists."

Erdogan was referring to Andrew Brunson, a American evangelical pastor who Turkey accuses of helping to plot a 2016 coup attempt against the Turkish president. US officials maintain there is no credible evidence against Brunson, and the Trump administration has negotiated for weeks to secure his release.

On Friday, Trump approved a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey and warned that US relations with the country "are not good at this time." It was not immediately clear when the tariffs are due to take effect.

'Slaves to the dollar'

In his remarks Sunday, Erdogan said the US gave Turkey a deadline of last Wednesday to release Brunson or face further sanctions.

In revealing details of negotiations held between the two NATO allies, Erdogan said: "They are going to make us slaves to the dollar. Foreign exchange, interests... so what? They (US) said, 'if you don't release the pastor by 6 p.m. on Wednesday we will start sanctions.' They are going to sanction our interior and justice minister."

The United States slapped sanctions against Turkey's interior and justice ministers earlier this month, in response to Brunson's detention. Turkey responded by ordering the freezing of assets related to the US "justice and interior" secretaries.

The US State Department declined to comment on Turkey's allegations of a Wednesday deadline on the release of the American pastor.

In a New York Times opinion piece Friday, Erdogan said the decision to impose further sanctions "was unacceptable, irrational and ultimately detrimental to our longstanding friendship."

Held for two years

Brunson was arrested in Turkey in 2016 as the government launched a crackdown against perceived enemies in the wake of a failed military coup.

He was formally indicted in March on charges of espionage and having links to terrorist organizations. The charges against Brunson include supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party as well as the Gulen Movement, which Turkey says orchestrated the coup attempt.

He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. His trial is set to resume in October.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) says that the charges are not legitimate and that Brunson was arrested primarily because of his Christian faith. US officials, including US Ambassador to Turkey John R. Bass, similarly said the accusations have no merit.

Shifting allegiances?

In his speech Sunday Erdogan, repeated his accusation that the imposition of further tariffs by the US is tantamount to "economic warfare," and warned that the US stance could see a geopolitical shift in the NATO member's alliances.

Referencing Trump's imposition of tariffs on a host of global trading partners, including the EU, Canada and China, Erdogan said that it could force the country "towards new markets and new alliances."

"Our response to those who wage a trade war against the whole world and include our country to that would be heading towards new markets and new alliances. Look at this, they increase tariffs on metal and steel. We are a member of World Trade Organization. This is not among the rules of World Trade Organization."

The remarks were a reiteration of Friday's Times op-ed, in which Erdogan said that the US' "failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies."

In an opinion piece Sunday, CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd wrote that Turkey's being a NATO member "hasn't stopped (Erdogan) from cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and buying defense assets from him (a US sanctions violation) or voicing contentment over Russia and Turkey's ongoing cooperation in the energy and defense industry sectors during a conveniently timed phone call on Friday.

"Erdogan is likely trying to publicly signal he could go over to the dark side, aka the anti-NATO, Putin side. We should also expect Turkey to draw even closer to Iran."

Freefall

The dispute has caused the lira to go into freefall, with the Turkish currency losing a fifth of its value to the dollar in the last week. The currency had already been underperforming before the current spat -- it has dropped almost 40% against the dollar this year.

On Friday, Erdogan urged the Turkish people to exchange dollars and euros for lira in order to defend the currency.

However, the currency fell again Monday as fears deepened about the country's ability to deal with a crisis that has rattled markets around the world, dropping as much as 11% against the dollar in morning trading in Asia.

Investors are anxious about the political clash with the United States intensified and the Turkish government's lack of measures to tackle the problems plaguing its economy.

Erdogan is ignoring calls to increase interest rates, but economists are warning that if confidence isn't restored quickly, Turkey could lurch into a recession and debt crisis requiring a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

"Investors are clearly concerned that Turkey's government won't act (or allow the central bank to act) to shore up the currency, and fears are mounting that this could result in a crisis in Turkey's banking sector," William Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at research firm Capital Economics, wrote in a note to clients Friday.

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
40° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 33°
Kokomo
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 26°
Rensselaer
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Fowler
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Williamsport
Few Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 31°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
37° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Delphi
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 34°
Logansport
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 32°
Fair Weather Continues
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350970

Reported Deaths: 5973
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion47763893
Lake30007480
Allen20256333
Elkhart18510245
St. Joseph18319243
Hamilton14971181
Vanderburgh10862134
Tippecanoe991133
Porter915392
Johnson7484177
Hendricks7143163
Vigo6580105
Monroe591453
Madison5732125
Clark564884
Delaware5434108
LaPorte5171104
Kosciusko501846
Howard400578
Bartholomew367565
Warrick360574
Wayne355192
Floyd348878
Marshall333949
Cass319132
Grant315652
Hancock307762
Noble284750
Boone274656
Henry272141
Dubois262934
Jackson255237
Morgan251845
Dearborn249733
Gibson217033
Shelby212861
Knox207722
DeKalb204438
Clinton202224
Lawrence200549
Wabash190623
Miami188118
Adams187424
Daviess174246
Montgomery167029
Jasper165015
Ripley164521
Fayette163837
Steuben163016
Harrison162024
LaGrange156533
Whitley156516
Huntington147211
White147024
Putnam142530
Wells142533
Decatur141846
Randolph139524
Clay138026
Jefferson137618
Posey133620
Scott124024
Greene117954
Jay113315
Sullivan109018
Jennings102415
Starke100828
Spencer9578
Fulton94219
Fountain9228
Perry88021
Washington8789
Franklin79528
Carroll79313
Orange74428
Vermillion72810
Owen71410
Parke6796
Tipton66527
Blackford62715
Rush6278
Newton62113
Pike57421
Pulaski48020
Benton4423
Brown3995
Martin3896
Crawford3421
Union2972
Switzerland2765
Warren2763
Ohio2477
Unassigned0285

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events