Erdogan vows to defy US 'threats' after currency crash

The euro has dropped today after the Turkish lira ad Russian rouble plummeted

The euro has dropped today after the Turkish lira ad Russian rouble plummeted

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is urging the Turkish people to exchange gold and hard currency into lira, after the currency hit a record low against the dollar today.

"You can never bring this nation in line with the language of threats", Erdogan told a crowd of supporters in the Turkish town of Unye on the Black Sea coast.

Erdogan said during an address to supporters: "Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks".

Erdogan blamed his country's economic downturn on the United States and other nations that he claims are waging "war" against his country.

A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as 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.

Trump made his unexpected announcement on Twitter from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as the Turkish currency, the lira, fell to all-time lows against the US dollar.

Turkey is at loggerheads with the U.S. in one of the worst spats in years over the almost two-year detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues.

Washington slapped sanctions on Turkey's interior and justice ministers this week, angering Ankara which responded with the tit-for-tat move, with Turkey saying they will freeze the assets of the U.S. "justice and interior ministers" last week.

The arrest of United States pastor Brunson since October 2016 has soured already delicate relations with Washington.

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And he brushed off the issue of tariffs.

"I'm not aware of any prior administration using tariffs in this way, and there's a very simple reason: because they're an incredibly blunt instrument that often can have blowback on American workers and consumers as we've seen in the China context", said Ned Price, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who also served as a National Security Council spokesman during the Obama administration. "Don't give. What we have is enough for us".

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".

"The markets have lost confidence in the triumvirate of President Erdogan, his son-in-law as finance minister and the Turkish Central Bank's ability to act as it needs to", said Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital.

To understand how all of these pieces fit together, we'll start with some basic facts about trade between the United States and Turkey. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he noted on Twitter. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

"Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now", he said. "We've stood with neighbors before, and will again now", he warned.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waded into the mounting row between Turkey and the United States, accusing Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

The latest escalation between Ankara and Washington was denounced by the Turkish press, with pro-government daily Sabah saying "the currency attack" was no different from the attempted coup of July 2016.

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