Erdogan warns U.S. risks losing Turkey as strategic partner

Jermaine Castillo
August 13, 2018

Erdogan appeared to indicate that the entire alliance between Turkey - which joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952 with strong American backing - and Washington was at stake.

The pastor has been accused of links to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for the attempted coup, along with ties to the banned Kurdish militant group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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"The entire Turkish public is against USA policies that disregard Turkey's legitimate security demands".

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The central bank raised interest rates to support the lira in an emergency move in May, but it did not tighten monetary policy at its last meeting.

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods had been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that "the US runs the risk of losing Turkey" as an ally. However, investors fear that the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing.

Unprecedented punitive sanctions declared by the U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on two Turkish ministers over the detention of an American pastor, as well as doubling tariffs on steel and aluminum, have worsened relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to their lowest over decades. But since adopting increased powers, Erdogan appears to have greater control over the bank as well.

"There was some hope that maybe they'd step back from the brink and you'd see a re-establishment of central bank independence", he said. "This is a domestic and national struggle".

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Asked about the likelihood of a meeting with USA officials, including Pompeo, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Zarif said: "No, no such meeting is planned.

Earlier today, Erdogan described the Turkish economy as "under attack", and urged Turks to buy the lira. He says higher interest rates lead to higher inflation, the opposite of what standard economic theory says.

The currency drop is particularly painful for Turkey because the country finances a lot of its economic growth with foreign money. Debt and borrowing in foreign currencies has private companies over-leveraged and frozen, hoping that restructuring will save the businesses.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks took a smaller loss of 4.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,686.80. While some are anxious that making an enemy out of Turkey will only result in grave consequences, others seem to have no qualms about walking away from America's alliance with the nation.

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This day, the spokesman of the Turkish government, Ibrahim Kalin, assured that these actions will not be able to bring down their country, but will isolate the United States even more in the worldwide context.

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