Turkey's Erdogan calls on Turks to buy lira for 'national battle'

Thomson branded summer holiday brochures

Thomson branded summer holiday brochures

President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to exchange gold and hard currency into lira on Friday as part of a "national battle" against economic enemies he said have irreparably ruptured ties with Ankara.

Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the worldwide Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product.

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is doubling tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey amid heightened tensions between the two nations. Trump said on Twitter. U.S. President Donald Trump introduced a round of sanctions on August 1, preventing the Turkish justice an interior ministries from doing business with U.S. businesses.

Mr Erdogan held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately after the tariffs announcement, and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is expected in Turkey on Monday.

Turkey's currency sank to record lows on Friday amid panic about the country's economic health and souring relations with the United States.

He seems to see Turkey's collapsing currency not as an existential threat to their economy they are trying to forestall, but rather as something they actively want to try to make their exports more competitive. "Don't worry", Erdogan told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

US President Donald Trump says he's just authorised the doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs "with respect to Turkey".

"The dollar can not block our path".

On Friday afternoon Erdogan dug in again, calling for citizens to convert out of dollars and gold and buy the lira to help fight a "national struggle".

The lira has now lost over a third of its value against both the dollar and the euro this year, with the currency battered by both concerns over domestic economic policy and the political situation.

Turkey's currency plunged to more than six and a half lira against the dollar, a fall of about 20 percent, overnight and into Friday after a Turkish delegation returned from talks in Washington on Thursday with no apparent solutions to the row. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened on July 26 to impose sanctions on Turkey if the pastor is not set free and allowed to return to the United States.

"I would say we would define progress as Pastor Brunson being brought home", Nauert said.

One of the triggers of the turmoil has been a standoff with the US over a detained American pastor that Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, has put on trial for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago.

"If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah, " he said. The White House said he had authorized them under Section 232 of USA trade law, which allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has vowed to execute Turkey's new economic model together with "all national and worldwide stakeholders", while stressing that a "decisive" approach and the Central Bank's independence would be maintained.

The day saw the lira plunge as much as 18% at one point, the biggest one-day drop since Turkey's 2001 financial crisis.

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