Erdogan says crash of lira ‘political plot’ against Turkey

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President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks on Friday to sell their gold and US dollars to support the country's currency which plunged after US President Donald Trump escalated a feud with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey by doubling tariffs on metals imports.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was responding to a drop in the value of the Turkish currency, the lira, against the US dollar following the imposition of sanctions and tariffs by the United States in the past two weeks.

All eyes will be on the lira when foreign exchange markets reopen on Monday after the weekend pause. "Nobody should try to make us fall into this trap, we won't be fooled by this plot, nobody should get excited". With God's permission we will overcome this'.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday criticized the US, saying Turkey will say "goodbye" to those, who prefer terrorists as their strategic partner.

"We are never accepting this order which declared economic war to the entire world and which held countries to ransom through sanction threats", he added, referring to the United States administration.

"Some close the doors and some others open new ones", added Erdogan, who has built closer ties over the last years with countries from Latin America, Africa to Asia.

"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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday slammed the crash of the lira amid a widening spat with the United States as a "political plot" and said his country would instead seek new markets and new allies.

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that Turkey would prepare to trade with its key partners in local currencies so that it and its allies would not be dependent on the dollar.

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In a tweet, he said he was imposing duties of 20 per cent on Turkish aluminium and 50 per cent on steel.

His comments on interest rates - and his recent appointment of his son-in-law as Finance Minister - have heightened perceptions that the central bank is not independent.

Earlier, Erdogan had stood by his opposition to high interest rates, saying they were an instrument of exploitation and that Turkey was not going to fall into this trap.

The United States is the world's biggest steel importer.

Erdogan repeated his call for Turks to sell dollars and buy lira to shore up the currency, while telling business owners not to stock up on dollars.

"You arrest my Halkbank general deputy director?"

The Turkish currency has been a casualty of a deepening crisis spurred by the administration's growth-at-all-costs agenda and a worsening spat with the USA, which sanctioned Turkey over the detention of an American priest.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by worldwide rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement.

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