Erdogan says Turkey to boycott US electronic goods

14 August, 2018, 19:11 | Author: Brooke Harris
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkey would boycott United States electronic goods like the iPhone in retaliation for punitive sanctions from Washington, as the Turkish lira finally clawed back some ground after going into a tailspin over the tensions.

The dispute between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - brought to a new intensity by Turkey's holding of an American pastor for two years - has raised questions over the future of their partnership and fanned fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey.

Days later, the USA imposed sanctions against Turkey's interior and justice ministers using legislation drawn up to punish foreign officials following the death of a lawyer in Russian jail.

'If (the United States) have the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side, ' he said, referring to U.S. giant Apple's iconic phone and the top South Korean brand.

'We (also) have our Venus and Vestel, ' he said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.

European stocks fell on Monday, with a pan-European index of shares down 0.3 percent and the banking stock index as much as 2.6 percent lower.

He also made his now famous speech on the night of the July 2016 failed coup calling citizens out into the street through Facetime, an iPhone app.

President Erdogan, meanwhile, dismissed the suggestion that Turkey was in a financial crisis, saying the lira's drop was the result of a plot.

The sliding currency, down more than 40 per cent since the start of the year, "has piled stress on Turkish companies that are saddled with unhedged dollar- and euro-denominated debt and raised fears that the country could struggle to meet its large external financing needs", he said. "Necessary instructions on the issue have been issued to our agencies", Yahya Ustun, spokesman for the country's flag-carrier, wrote on Twitter.

He said that Russian Federation and Turkey have set a goal to switch to national currencies in mutual trade.

President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused "economic terrorists" of plotting to harm Turkey by spreading false reports and said they would face the full force of the law, as authorities launched investigations of those suspected of involvement.

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"What you want to see is tight monetary policy, a tight fiscal policy and a recognition that there might be some short-term economic pain - but without it there's just no credibility of promises to restabilise things", said Craig Botham, Emerging Markets Economist at Schroders. "With God's permission we will overcome this", he added.

Erdogan admitted the Turkish economy had problems - including a widening current account deficit and inflation of nearly 16 percent but added: 'Thanks to God, our economy is functioning like clockwork'.

The lira led losses among global peers after the nation's first steps to bolster the financial system were seen by some analysts as insufficient to protect markets in times of distress.

After free-falling on Monday, Turkey's already troubled lira began showing signs of stabilizing on Tuesday, climbing 5 percent.

The lira lost 20% of its value versus the dollar on Friday.

Turkey's lira currency has been falling steadily for the previous year because of a clearly stated view by Mr. Erdogan that interest rates are "evil", and because he has been controlling Turkey's central bank consistent with that belief.

Traders said news that Finance Minister Berat Albayrak will hold a conference call with up to 1,000 investors to discuss the economy might also have helped support the currency.

The fall, shared by other parts of the world, ... came as Turkey's lira fell sharply in value over the last week, after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped heavy tariffs on Turkish steel exports.

Meanwhile, at the White House in Washington, US National Security Adviser John Bolton met Serdar Kilic, Turkey's ambassador to the US.

The Turkish leader expressed that they were going to produce enough for themselves.


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