Lira fall a political plot, says Erdogan

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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. 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.

In an interview with the newspaper Hurriyet, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak also said the government had no plans to seize foreign currency deposits or convert deposits to the Turkish lira.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that Turkey would prepare to trade with its key partners in local currencies so that it and its allies would not be dependent on the dollar.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect", he added, "will require us to start looking for new friends and allies".

The lira's plunge is one of the most serious economic crises that Erdogan has faced since coming to power in 2003 in the wake of a financial crisis in 2001 that brought the economy to near meltdown.

"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.

"The price of the food that I buy increases day by day, the fuel that I put in my vehicle to distribute lunches is more expensive, but I can not raise my prices from one day to the next", she said.

He added that businesses should "know that keeping this nation alive and standing isn't just our job, but also the job of industrialists, of merchants".

Relations between Turkey and the USA have been tense over a range of issues, from the Syrian conflict to the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

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Turkey and the US are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

"Our response to those who wage a trade war against the whole world and include our country in that would be heading towards new markets and new alliances", Mr. Erdogan said.

Washington earlier this month already imposed sanctions on senior Turkish officials over the Brunson case, angering Erdogan and prompting retaliatory measures by Ankara.

The United States sanctioned Turkey for imprisoning an American priest on bogus charges.

He indicated Turkey's relationship with Washington was imperiled.

Trump has described the pastor's detention as a "total disgrace" and urged Erdogan to free him "immediately".

As a result of US sanctions, any property or interest in property of both Turkish ministers within USA jurisdiction is blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

A Turkish delegation visited Washington for talks this week but left with no signs of a breakthrough.

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