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

Shares regain footing as lira roars out of routMore

The Turkish government has doubled its retaliatory tariffs on American cars to 120% and on alcoholic drinks to 140%, according to a notice published Wednesday.

Erdoğan has accused the USA of waging economic war against his country and has vowed not to back down.

It was unclear how he planned to enforce such a boycott. "If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side, and we have our own Vestel here", he said, referring to the Turkish electronics company, whose shares rose 5 percent.

Asked how U.S. President Donald Trump's administration would react to any such Turkish boycott, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders replied during Tuesday afternoon's briefing, "I certainly don't have a policy announcement on that at this point". But Sanders declined to say how the US government plans to apply more pressure on Ankara, which repeatedly has ignored calls from Trump and others to free Christian pastor Andrew Brunson.

On Tuesday the lira recovered some ground, trading at 6.3300 to the dollar at 1947 GMT, up some nine percent from the previous day's close and having earlier touched 6.2995.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkey would boycott United States electronic goods in retaliation for punitive sanctions by Washington against Ankara over the detention of an American pastor. Brunson has lived in Turkey for 23 years, but his case has been taken up as a cause for the USA government.

Turkey has meanwhile resisted pressure to release Brunson - who has been held for two years and is now under house arrest - with officials warning it could face further sanctions. On July 25, Brunson was placed under house arrest after nearly two years in a Turkish jail.

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The punitive measures are in response to Turkey's detention of US-born Christian evangelical pastor, Andrew Brunson, who is charged with espionage and terrorism allegations following the failed 2016 coup d'état attempt.

Erdogan has reacted to the financial instability by blaming foreign powers, in particularly the USA, a long-time North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, which he says is waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm Turkey.

Under the decree, Turkey will also raise tariffs to around 100 percent on imports of some other products.

Leading Turkish business groups have warned that tighter monetary policy is needed to stabilise the Turkish lira and disputes should be resolved via diplomacy, Hurriyet Daily News has reported.

The lira had already rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure global investors.

"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 worldwide affairs", Lavrov said.

Optimism about better relations with the European Union after a Turkish court released two Greek soldiers pending trial and a banking watchdog's step to limit foreign exchange swap transactions have also helped the lira.

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