Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Turkey's president threatens boycott of iPhones, other United States electronics

Turkey's president threatens boycott of iPhones, other United States electronics

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of a USA evangelical pastor in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will boycott electronic products made in the U.S. amid an escalating diplomatic feud with the Trump administration that has helped trigger a currency meltdown in Turkey.

"If [people currently] have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side", President Recep Erdogan said in a speech at a Symposium in Ankara, the country's capital city. We will impose a boycott on United States electronic products.

Turkey is in the throes of a full-blown currency crisis, with the Turkish lira losing almost 45 percent of its value since the start of the year.

Two Turkish business lobbies and the heads of two banks increased pressure on the government and central bank to act to stem a slide that saw the lira lose more than a quarter of its value in less than two weeks.

The lira's weakness has rippled through global markets. On Tuesday, the Indian rupee hit a record low as a result of the economic issues in Turkey.

The Bank of Korea also said that the South Korean economy is strong enough to prevent external risks from spreading to the local market.

Erdogan signaled he was not looking to offer concessions to the United States or financial markets.

On Monday, Erdogan said that spreading false news about the economy was treason and recent US actions were a stab in the back against Ankara. He also urged manufacturers not to rush to buy dollars.

Turkey also accused US-led West of supporting Kurdish militants as well as the alleged perpetrators of the failed coup in 2016. On Tuesday Turkey announced a boycott on USA electronics in response.

The Turkish lira has nosedived in value in the past week over concerns about Erdogan's economic policies and after the United States slapped sanctions on Turkey angered by the continued detention of an American pastor.

"This is no longer a dispute between the bureaucracies of the two countries".

"We view the policy of sanctions as unlawful and illegitimate, driven mostly by a desire to dominate everywhere and in everything, dictate policies and call shots in global affairs", Lavrov said. "In our country we have Venus and Vestel", he said, referring to a Turkish-made phone made by electronics manufacturer Vestel.

The bank released a statement Monday saying it would "provide all the liquidity the banks need".

While Erdogan didn't address their concerns in his speech, he said Turks have already begun converting foreign exchange into Turkish lira because it would be tantamount to "surrendering" if they did otherwise. "I believe in my nation", Erdogan vowed, the New York Times reported.

Interestingly, both Ankara and Washington designate the PKK as "terrorist". On July 25 he is moved to house arrest.

Brunson, important to Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence as a Christian known in the evangelical community, then went on to become the stated reason for U.S. sanctions on Turkey that tanked its economy. Ankara says the decision is up to the courts. Turkey's state-run news agency and US officials say US National Security adviser John Bolton had met with the Turkish ambassador to Washington on Monday.

Worryingly, the lira's weakness is starting to affect the rest of the world as well.

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