'Turkey's partnership with U.S. 'in jeopardy'

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai China. Aly Song Reuters  File

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged its citizens to sell foreign currency to support the Lira, which has lost its value.

Speaking to supporters in the Black Sea province of Rize late on Thursday, Erdogan brushed off concerns over the currency as campaigns against Turkey. "You are exchanging your strategic partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for a priest".

"Shame on you, shame on you", he said in remarks directly addressed to Washington.

"However, I say it once again from here, if there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks".

Erdogan blamed his country's economic downturn on the USA and other nations that he claims are waging "war" against his country.

On Friday, the lira sank to a fresh record low, falling as much as 17 percent at one point, prompting calls from investors for central bank action to shore up the lira.

Trump announced the punitive doubling of steel tariffs, which were imposed in protest over the detention of Andrew Brunson, a pastor, who was arrested on terrorism charges after the attempted coup against Erdogan in 2016, saying: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

"It's very unfortunate that the Trump administration had to retaliate against Turkey for their continued refusal to release Pastor Brunson and other Americans being held in Turkish custody", Graham said.

Erdogan appeared unworried by the punitive measures imposed by the U.S., saying Turkey could turn to other partners and again terming the crisis an "economic war". Immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future. The managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Michael Singh, reported that, "Although Pastor Brunson's case is the most visible of bilateral irritants at the moment, tensions in the US-Turkey relationship are manifold and have been accumulating for years".

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"They tell us to release the priest by Wednesday 6:00 pm, otherwise the sanctions will begin", said Erdogan, adding Turkey was not a country to agree to such requests.

"If some of these vulnerabilities crystalize they could tip the economy into a full blown crisis", said its economist Yasemin Engin. "Don't give. What we have is enough for us".

The White House said the new sanctions would take effect from August 13.

The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to his countrymen's patriotism.

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

To understand how all of these pieces fit together, we'll start with some basic facts about trade between the United States and Turkey.

In his tweet about the new tariffs, Trump said "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!". "We've stood with neighbors before, and will again now", he warned.

He has said Turkey's economy remains strong, noting a 7.4 percent growth rate in the first three months of this year.

Writing on Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

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