Erdogan to Trump: Shame on You, Shame on You

Greek lieutenant Aggelos Mitretodis and noncommissioned officer Dimitros Kouklatzis were arrested in Turkey

Greek lieutenant Aggelos Mitretodis and noncommissioned officer Dimitros Kouklatzis were arrested in Turkey

The currency's drop - 40 percent so far this year - has become a gauge of fear over a country facing the fallout of years of debt-fueled growth, global concern over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push to amass power, and a souring in relations with allies like the U.S.

The United States is the biggest destination for Turkish steel exports with 11 percent of the Turkish export volume.

Donald Trump tweeted: "I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! During this period, Turkey has set records in its exports, production and employment", Erdogan said.

Turkey has detained Mr Brunson for almost two years, accusing him of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Tensions have risen between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Ankara's detention of an evangelical pastor alongside other diplomatic issues.

It could impose capital controls on forex transfers or even call on the International Monetary Fund for bailout help, although economists regard the former an extreme measure with only marginal probability and the latter unlikely given one of Erdogan's proudest achievements was paying off all of Turkey's International Monetary Fund debt in 2013.

He was speaking at a rally in the Black Sea town of Unye. "You are exchanging your strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for a priest".

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that Washington might completely lose Ankara as an ally. You can not bring [Turkish] people to their knees by using a threatening language.

But Erdogan vowed there would be no easing of the law in Brunson's case, saying: "We have not made concessions on justice so far, and we will never make any".

Economist Chad Bown, who specializes in trade issues, said Turkey accounted for just over four percent of U.S. steel imports in 2017, but a very small fraction of the aluminum brought into the country.

He added: "If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out".

The lira sell-off has deepened concern particularly about whether over-indebted companies will be able to pay back loans taken out in euros and dollars after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Erdogan. Immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future.

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And in the New York Times?

Erdogan had on Friday held a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss economic and trade issues as well as the Syria crisis.

"Unless the United States starts respecting Turkey's sovereignty and proves that it understands the dangers our nation faces, our partnership could be in jeopardy", he wrote.

In what appears to be a diplomatic riposte, Turkey later said Erdoğan had held a phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss economic ties, suggesting it might gravitate further away from its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies toward cooperation with Russia, whose relations with the west are at their lowest since the cold war.

The US retaliated by issuing sanctions on two leading Turkish officials last week.

He is clearly angry that the USA has not taken more action against the Gulenist movement and what he said was a failure "to unequivocally condemn" the 2016 coup attempt.

The US and Turkey have been in stand-off over the detention of a US pastor who Ankara claims has links with the US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

At the U.N. General Assembly past year, Trump called Erdogan a "friend" who got "very high marks" for how he runs the country.

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

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

"And I think the U.S. is taking measures to undermine Erdogan and bring about a regime change" he added.

American evangelicals have pressed Mr Trump for action on Pastor Brunson, who was held in prison for nearly two years but was recently moved to house arrest.

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