Aug 14 2018

Erdoğan vows boycott on U.S. goods, upping ante in crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey will boycott U.S. electronic goods in response to a doubling of taxes on Turkish steel imposed by Washington last week.

“If they have IPhones, the other side have Samsungs,” Erdoğan said in a speech on Tuesday. “For every product we buy with foreign exchange, we will produce a better one and sell it abroad.

“We will implement a boycott on American electronic products", he said, without providing further details.

Erdoğan spoke after hopes for a resolution to a diplomatic crisis with the United States were raised by a meeting between Serdar Kilic, Turkey’s ambassador to Washington, and U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, late on Monday. The spat, over the internment of U.S. citizens, has escalated after Erdoğan refused to release from custody a U.S. pastor and 14 other Americans charged with terrorism unless the United States aceded to Turkey's own demands, which have included the release of a Turkish banker jailed by a New York court for breaking sanctions on Iran..

The Turkish president slammed Trump, saying Turkey was under economic attack and the campaign was part of a wider policy targeting countries from Russia to Europe, Iran to China.

The lira, which has extended losses this year to more than 40 percent amid the crisis, raising fears of a complete financial meltdown, was up 5 percent at 6.54 per dollar at 12:30 p.m. in Istanbul, paring earlier gains. It had strengthened to as high as 6.42 against the U.S. currency earlier in the day.

Erdoğan said that the lira’s depreciation was artificial, declaring that the economy was strong, Turkish banks stable and the government steadfast.