Arrogant Erdogan Not Worried About US Economic Sanctions

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned the United States that it risked losing a "strategic partner" due to demands made by the USA government that Turkey release an American pastor who was arrested on terrorism charges.

"Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging", said Erdogan, who warned of "economic war".

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by worldwide rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement.

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!"

US President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, which pushed the Turkish lira to new historic lows against the dollar.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Bayburt, Turkey, on August 10, 2018.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in his Black Sea hometown of Rize on Saturday.

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he wrote.

"Those who challenge a country like Turkey for the sake of petty calculations will pay a price both in our region and in their own politics", the Turkish leader said.

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The lira has always been falling on worries about Mr Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States.

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.

Turkish officials insist the outcome of Brunson's case exclusively relies on the judiciary, a claim the United States has refused to buy in the light of Erdogan's earlier suggestions to swap him with Turkish opposition exiles residing in the US. Turkish authorities said that Washington used 5,000 trucks and 2,000 cargo planes to deliver weapons to the P.Y.D./Y.P.G in recent years, which Ankara sees as the direct undermining of its government.

In response to Turkey's tightening embrace of Russia, Congress slapped a hold on delivery of F-35s to the Turkish air force, for fear that the Russians would be invited to examine the world's most advanced stealth warplane.

A delegation from Turkey's Ministry of Foreign affairs travelled this week to the United States to attempt, to no avail, to reduce tensions between the two countries.

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Friday, Erdogan criticized the tensions with the USA, saying a "failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

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

Turkey is facing a deepening economic crisis, as the Lira fell sharply by about 22% in Friday's early morning trading.

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