Turkey’s Erdogan stands by opposition to high interest rates

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai China. Aly Song Reuters  File

Washington in response sanctioned two Turkish ministers, and Trump on Friday announced the United States was doubling tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Turkey, saying relations with Ankara were "not good at this time". While some are anxious that making an enemy out of Turkey will only result in grave consequences, others seem to have no qualms about walking away from America's alliance with the nation.

On Aug. 10, the lira sank to a fresh record low, falling as much as 17 percent at one point, prompting calls from investors for central bank action to shore up the currency.

The president, who has consolidated unprecedented power through a series of referendums, advised Turks to show solidarity by converting any stashed-away gold or foreign currency to Turkish lira in a bid to wage a "war of independence" against America.

"The progress that we want to be made is to have Pastor Brunson return home", she added.

The lira's plunge is one of the most serious economic crises that Erdogan has faced since coming to power in 2003 in the wake of a financial crisis in 2001 that brought the economy to near meltdown.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned on Saturday the exploitation of interest rates "that makes the poor poorer and the rich richer". "You should know that to keep this nation standing is. also the manufacturers' duty".

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The two governments have been at odds over a wide range of topics - from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey's ambition to buy Russian defence systems, and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned the USA that it risked losing a "strategic partner" due to demands made by the U.S. government that Turkey release an American pastor who was arrested on terrorism charges. "Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives".

"We can only say "good-bye" to anyone who sacrifices its strategic partnership and a half century alliance with a country of 81 million for the sake of relations with terror groups", he said.

"You dare to sacrifice 81-million Turkey for a priest who is linked to terror groups?", he stressed. Trump has described his detention as a "total disgrace" and urged Erdogan to free him immediately.

Last week, a Turkish delegation went to Washington and met USA counterparts but there was no breakthrough. In particular, were already imposed personal sanctions on the Turkish Ministers of justice and internal Affairs.

But analysts say that while there may be losses at some banks, Turkey's economic problems do not pose a big threat to Europe or other big economies like the United States.

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