Erdogan tells Turks to buy crumbling lira as Trump turns the screws

Turkish delegation returns home after meeting in US

Turkish delegation returns home after meeting in US

U.S. President Donald Trump said he's authorized doubling some metals tariffs on Turkey, citing poor relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally amid an escalating conflict over its detention of an American pastor.

Turkey's currency sank to record lows on Friday amid panic about the country's economic health and souring relations with the United States.

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.

Waves from the crisis spread overseas, with investors selling off shares in European banks with large exposure to the Turkish economy.

USA channel CNN also said the White House "did not offer any explanation as to how US national security is threatened" in the statement made regarding the topic.

The sudden announcement turned a run on the Turkish lira into a rout; it crashed more than 18 percent to a new record low against the dollar.

President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has authorised the doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs "with respect to Turkey".

Trump intensified the alarm on financial markets with his new tweet doubling the tariffs, noting for good measure the lira was sliding "rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!".

In his tweet about the new tariffs, Trump said "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!". Financial upheaval there risks further destabilizing an already volatile region. "Hopefully we will overcome this disaster and we will also successfully overcome this economic war", Erdogan said.

In a statement, the White House said the president had authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs, citing national security concerns. The U.S. responded by filing a complaint against the country with the World Trade Organization. "Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

"Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent".

Tensions between the two countries flared up when the Donald Trump administration demanded the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, a request quickly denied by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

U.S. stocks fell Friday amid the geopolitical concerns that pushed the Turkish lira to the record low against the dollar. "If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah".

In many nations, including the USA and European Union states, the central bank is independent of government and no one can tell it what to do with interest rates.

Brunson was arrested in 2016 on charges that he had participated in a failed military coup against Erdogan, and had colluded with Kurdish militants.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on August 9 that the United States would define progress in relations with Turkey with Brunson's return to the United States.

Meanwhile, inflation in Turkey has hit 15%. "Don't heed them. Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", Erdogan said.

He added: "Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging".

"It's pretty remarkable how far the Trump administration is willing to go - putting at jeopardy the relationship with a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally over a preacher".

Erdogan enjoys the support of many Turks even though food, rent and fuel prices have all surged.

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