Erdogan says Turkey will defy economic threats

Irving Hamilton
August 19, 2018

Turkey's president said on Saturday his country will stand strong against an "attempted economic coup" amid heightened tensions with the United States.

"We will not surrender to those who present themselves as a strategic partner while at the same time trying to make us a strategic target", Erdogan said at a congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). At the congress, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected as head of the party.

Erdogan told thousands of supporters in Ankara that Turkey is "threatened by the economy, sanctions, foreign currency, interest rates and inflation", The Associated Press reported.

"We are telling them: we've seen your games, and we are challenging you".

TRT World's Oubai Shahbandar reports from Ankara.

Last week, US President Donald Trump said he had doubled the tariffs on aluminium and steel tariffs from Turkey, prompting Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on several US products.

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The Turkish lira has already lost about 30 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of August, when tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies soared unprecedentedly over the detention of Andrew Brunson, an American Christen pastor, in Turkey over terror-related charges.

The US pastor, who has already spent almost two years behind bars in Turkey, has denied the charges, calling them "shameful and disgusting".

The AK Party normally holds its grand congress once every three years.

The lira has nosedived against the dollar, dropping as much as 20 percent on one day last week.

In May 2017, the AK Party held an extraordinary congress following the historic approval of a raft of constitutional changes that April.

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