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Turkey's Erdogan calls on Turks to buy lira for 'national battle'
11 August 2018, 11:29 | Joann Bryant
A vendor gets a five Euro bank note from a customer at the central market in Athens Greece
Without naming countries, Erdogan said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara says was organised by a US -based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago. The lira slid to a fresh record low against the US dollar.
In a tweet, he said he was imposing duties of 20 per cent on Turkish aluminium and 50 per cent on steel.
New York Magazine criticized Trump's move in an article titled "Why Trump's Turkey Tariffs Are Worrying Investors", which said Trump announced he would double his country's metal tariffs on Turkey "despite the fact that he has no good reason for doing so".
On Friday, the Turkish currency plunged to another record low amid concerns over Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies and a diplomatic row with the United States that has led to sanctions. On Friday, Trump announced he would double aluminum and steel tariffs on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.
On Friday afternoon Erdogan dug in again, calling for citizens to convert out of dollars and gold and buy the lira to help fight a "national struggle".
On Friday, as the Lira plunged and the USA imposed its higher sanctions on Turkey, Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone.
Relations between Washington and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also have worsened because of the detention of three locally employed USA consular workers, trade matters and differences over Syria. The lowest exchange rate is 6.64 against the greenback set on Friday.
Friday's decision is another salvo in a growing dispute between Turkey and the U.S.
The collision results from inflexibility over two policies, the first being Erdogan's firm belief (against conventional economic theory) that high interest rates cause, rather than curb, inflation.
Markets are deeply concerned over the direction of domestic economic policy under Erdogan with inflation at almost 16 percent but the central bank reluctant to raise rates in response.
Deteriorating ties between the USA and Turkey - both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members - have also alarmed investors.
That had already added $40 million to the cost of a Plains All American crude oil pipeline that will use steel supplied by a Greek company, Plains executives said.
Earlier this week, a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no movement on the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey on terrorism charges.
The trouble is that for all of Albayrak's talk of Central Bank independence, Erdogan is fiercely opposed to any interest rate hikes, which are widely seen as necessary to stem the bleeding.
A statement from the Kremlin said the two leaders discussed economic and trade ties.
Erdogan, whose typical defiance in the face of the crisis has further unnerved investors, appealed to Turks' patriotism and urged support for their free-falling currency.
But Carsten Hesse, analyst at Berenberg bank in London, says that an economic downturn in Turkey would have limited impact on Europe or other major economies. But since adopting increased powers, Erdogan appears to have greater control over the bank as well.
'If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah, ' he said. At one point, it was down as much as 19 percent on the day, before rallying a bit to bring it to "only" a 13.7 percent loss.
Erdogan and his newly appointed finance minister, Berat Albayrak, are due to speak at 2 p.m. local time Friday.
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