Trump’s Jubilation over 'Economic Hardship' of Turkey ‘Shameful’: Iran’s FM

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Washington would pay for challenging Turkey all for the sake of "petty calculations".

The lira has lost about 40 percent this year, largely over worries about Erdogan's influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and deteriorating ties with the United States.

Relations between Turkey and the US have been tense over a range of issues, from the Syrian conflict to the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Washington had already imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers earlier this month and on Friday President Donald Trump announced a doubling of U.S. tariffs of Turkish steel and aluminium, saying, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" "You impose sanctions on our Halkbank ... and then you expect different treatment from Turkey?" said Mr Erdogan, in a second speech in the same city.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Bayburt, Turkey, on August 10, 2018. I am addressing the United States once again: it is a pity that you chose a pastor over your strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Trump administration threatened to impose additional sanctions on Turkey if it did not meet the deadline, Erdogan said.

Investors indicate that the sanctions are just the cherry on top to what's been a financial crisis in the making resulting from a number of the country's policies.

The central bank has over the last weeks defied calls from markets for rate hikes to combat these problems, raising fears of interference from Mr Erdogan, who has repeatedly called for low interest rates.

More news: Erdogan warns Trump: Turkey does not respond to threats

Without naming countries, Mr Erdogan said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara said was organised by a US-based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago.

"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

In response, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said on Friday that the US sanctions and pressure would only harm bilateral ties, and that Ankara would retaliate.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

No body, no state and no credit rating agency can threaten Turkey and Turkish people, he added.

"Hopefully we will overcome this disaster and we will also successfully overcome this economic war", Erdogan said.

Foreign Minister Zarif predicted that the world will finally rise up against the USA if Washington does not stop the policy of resort to "sanctions" and "bullying".

Trump's "jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful", he wrote. "The U.S. has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions & bullying or entire world will unite-beyond verbal condemnations-to force it to", Zarif wrote.

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