Erdogan says Turkey will defy economic threats

Image LEWIS TSE PUI LUNG  shutterstock

Turkey's president has said his country will stand strong against an "attempted economic coup" amid heightened tensions with the US.

Brunson, 50, was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.

Escalating tensions on trade between the United States and some of its largest trading partners had driven traders to sell emerging market currencies and take to the safety of the US currency.

Meanwhile, Erdogan told the AKP congress that Turkey would press on with and expand its cross-border military operations.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have repeatedly called for his release, while Erdogan has said the USA should respect Turkey's judicial process.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Dollar banknotes are seen in this photo illustration taken February 12, 2018. And while many global economists peg the currency's troubles to a combination of debt, inflation and Erdogan's vow to reject raising interest rates - a typical solution to these problems - Erdogan himself has found a ready villain: the U.S.

It said: "The downgrade reflects our expectation that the extreme volatility of the Turkish lira and the resulting projected sharp balance of payments adjustment will undermine Turkey's economy".

And Turkey on Friday threatened to respond in kind if Washington imposed further sanctions, while a court rejected another appeal to free pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held for nearly two years on terror charges.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its USA counterpart after data showing a surge in domestic inflation triggered increased bets on another Bank of Canada interest rate hike as soon as September.




The United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

Last Wednesday, in a tit-for-tat move, Ankara increased tariffs on several US-origin products including alcohol, tobacco products and cars. Turkey's dollar bonds fell, while the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish debt rose.

"Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released".

Erdogan has recently held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Erdogan has remained defiant, urging Turks to sell their gold and dollars for lira.

Turkey has repeatedly criticized the USA for not condemning the coup attempt two years ago.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

The almost two-year detention of Brunson, who is being held on terror charges, has soured relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and sent the lira tumbling.

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