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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Tuesday to boycott U.S. electronic goods in response to what he says is a targeted economic war being waged against Turkey by the United States.
The diplomatic dispute between the two countries has helped spark an economic crisis in Turkey and push its currency, the lira, to record lows.
“If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere. In our own country we have Vestel,” Erdogan said.
He has called on people to exchange their U.S. dollars for lira in order to shore up the currency.
The lira has plunged 40 percent this year and saw drops of 16 percent Friday and another seven percent on Monday. It stabilized Tuesday with a rise of about five percent.
In a joint statement Tuesday, Turkish business groups called on the government to institute tighter monetary policy in order to combat the currency crisis. They also said Turkey should work to resolve the situation with the United States diplomatically while also improving relations with another major trading partner, the European Union.
The Turkish central bank has pledged to take “all necessary measures” to stabilize the country’s economy to make sure the banks have all the money they need. But world stock traders were dismayed the bank did not raise interest rates, which is what many economists believe is necessary to ease the crisis.
U.S. President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum exports last Friday, in part a response to Turkey refusing to release an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, whom Turkey accuses of espionage and has detained under house arrest pending his trial. Trump has called the preacher’s detention a “total disgrace.”
Brunson’s lawyer filed a new appeal Tuesday asking for the court to release the pastor from his house arrest and lift his travel ban.
If convicted, Brunson faces a prison term of 35 years.