Turkey Escalates Feud With U.S. By Increasing Tariffs on American Imports

Turkey Escalates Feud With U.S. By Increasing Tariffs on American Imports

Turkey Escalates Feud With U.S. By Increasing Tariffs on American Imports

It was unclear how the Turkish leader planned to implement the boycott.

"If (the United States) have the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side", he said, referring to USA giant Apple's iconic phone and the top South Korean brand. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, although it was unclear how he meant to enforce the boycott.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures prior to delivering a speech in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

Turkey doubled tariffs on USA passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco amid increased tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Ankara's imprisonment of a pastor and other diplomatic issues.

Turkey's ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic held talks with United States national security advisor John Bolton in a meeting which Ankara said was arranged by the White House.

Neither the White House, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

Most economists say Erdogan should raise interest rates to support the Turkish lira, but Erdogan wants to keep rates low to support growth.

The lira was around 6.55 to the dollar on Tuesday, up 6% on the previous day after the central bank freed up cash for banks, and a slight recovery from a record low of 7.23 on Sunday.

Ferit Temur, an Ankara-based policy analyst on Russian Federation and Eurasia, also said Erdogan's speech demanding the U.S. abandon its hostile policy towards Turkey and threatening to form new alliances with the East was "a routine, weak political act".

Brunson's lawyer said on Tuesday he had launched a fresh appeal to a Turkish court for the pastor's release.

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The Turkish unit had been under pressure for weeks over growing concerns about the health of the economy but the currency slumped on Friday and Monday, when US President Donald Trump announced Washington was ramping up aluminium and steel tariffs.

Evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson is standing trial in Turkey over terrorism charges.

The Turkish currency has lost about 40 percent of its value this year against the US dollar.

Lavrov, alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, also declared, "We are at a turning point, without exaggeration, in world history" from dominance by a single power toward a multipolar environment.

Other issues dividing the NATO allies are the USA failure to extradite FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, and U.S. support for the YPG, the Syrian arm of the PKK terrorist organisation.

"They will likely just give warm words to Turkey, looking to exploit the situation and stir things up for the USA and the West", said Timothy Ash, senior strategist at BlueBay Asset Management.

The business groups also urged diplomatic efforts with the United States and an improvement in relations with the European Union, which is Turkey's major trading partner.

"If we postpone our investments, if we convert our currency to foreign exchange because there's danger, then we will have given in to the enemy", he said.

The appeal document seen by Reuters said the court should halt any unlawful political interventions and lift judicial control provisions imposed on Andrew Brunson.

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