Erdogan vows to defy US 'threats'

The lira went into free-fall sinking more than 10 percent

The lira went into free-fall sinking more than 10 percent

Washington has "upset" Turkey with its "unilateralism and disrespect", Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a rally.

The President had tweeted at Turkey's Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month to free Pastor Brunson, writing: "He has been held hostage far too long".

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, adding to the pressure on the nation's troubled economy amid a diplomatic row with Washington.

Trump stated in an inflammatory tweet that the Turkish lira was weak against "our very strong dollar", adding that "US relations with Turkey are not good at this time".

The United States is the biggest destination for Turkish steel exports, with 11 percent of the Turkish export volume. Turkey answered the March tariff announcement by placing its own tariffs on $267 million of US goods.

Earlier on Friday the lira plunged as much as 14 percent on as worries about Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening USA relations snowballed into a market panic that also hit shares of European banks.

All eyes will be on the lira when foreign exchange markets reopen on Monday after the weekend break.

Erdogan and Putin also voiced contentment regarding Turkey and Russia's ongoing cooperation in the energy and defence industry sectors, the source told CNBC.

"The aim of the operation is to make Turkey surrender in all areas, from finance to politics", said Erdogan on Sunday. We've stood with neighbors before, and will again now.

"We only bow before God".

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Erdogan renewed his call for Turks to sell dollars and buy lira to boost the currency, while telling business owners to not stockpile the American currency.

"Our response to those who wage a trade war against the whole world and include our country in that would be heading towards new markets and new alliances", Mr. Erdogan said. "Nevertheless, we implore President Trump to resume negotiations".

He appeared to indicate that the entire alliance between Turkey - which joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952 with strong American backing - and Washington was at stake.

"We might as well say goodbye to those who sacrifice their strategic partnership with a country of 81 million and an ally of over 50 years for some terrorist groups", Erdoğan said, referring to Washington's support for the PKK-affiliated groups in Syria, and its extrajudicial demands to release pastor Brunson, who was detained in October 7, 2016, for his links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the PKK.

Mr Erdogan has linked Gulen's fate to that of American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges for allegedly supporting a group that Ankara blames for the failed coup.

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

The Turkish strongman also lashed out at interest rates, denounced them as a "tool of exploitation" which should be kept as low as possible.

Brunson's confinement has been one of a series of issues tearing at the ties between the United States and Turkey, a fellow member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan called on the USA to return to the negotiating table.

"You arrest my Halkbank general deputy director?" Lindsay Graham of SC, said Trump's decision was retaliation against Turkey for not releasing Brunson.

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