Turkish president Erdogan rails against US tariffs in media offensive
Turkish president Tayipp Erdogan today hit back at US President Donald Trump, saying it was "wrong" to double tariffs on Turkish metal imports.
The country is in the midst of a deepening economic crisis as Turkish lira sank as much as 18 per cent against the dollar, its biggest fall since 2001. Relations between the two nations are in turmoil, over issues ranging from differing policies on Syria to US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is currently being held in Turkey on terrorism charges.
"You can never bring this nation in line with the language of threats," Erdogan told a crowd of supporters in Turkey.
"I am once again calling on those in America: It is a pity that you choose a pastor over your strategic partner in Nato," he said.
The news comes as Erdogan warned the US that Turkey will seek "new friends and allies" in an editorial published in the New York Times today, urging them to respect Turkish sovereignty "before it's too late".
The Turkish president repeated his call for Turks to support the lira by converting any dollars or euros they own into the national currency. In doing this, he said, "we fight this war of independence…This is the language they understand".
In a separate opinion piece in the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogans spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Turkeys efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods have been dismissed by the White House, warning that Washington might completely lose them as an ally.
“The US runs the risk of losing Turkey as a whole," he wrote. "The entire Turkish public is against US policies that disregard Turkeys legitimate security demands."
"Threats, sanctions and bullying against Turkey will not work."