ANKARA, Turkey (ViaNews) – Following the tensions between both countries, Erdoğan said he wants to expand trade with China, Russia, Iran, Ukraine and wishes to trade in Turkish Liras. He goes even further by inviting the EU to do the same.
“Who does Mr. Trump think he is dealing with? This is Turkey! We are not your servants. We are 81 million honorable people.”
Erdoğan speech in his hometown, in Rize
What’s happening in Turkey
Turkey’s human rights violations and jailing of journalists over the last few years have been widely criticised by international organizations and countries. They believe freedom of press and freedom of speech isn’t being respected in Turkey. The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is now the unchallengeable ruler of the country, after winning the June 24 elections.
Ever since the elections and Erdoğan’s reelection, Turkey’s image abroad has worsened and international relations significantly deteriorated. Turkish lira is in constant devaluation yet the government prefers to blame international markets instead of than its own mistakes.
What Erdoğan says about Trump and about his country’s relation with the United States
Erdoğan spoke about Turkey-US relations in a recent opinion piece for The New York Times on 10 August 2018 where he stated his government concern regarding “American officials about their decision to train and equip the P.K.K.’s allies in Syria.” Moreover, that “American weapons ended up being used to target civilians and members of our security forces in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.”
He went on saying that tensions between the two countries worsened in recent weeks. Erdoğan’s stated that “the United States has taken a series of steps to escalate tensions with Turkey,” ever since the Turkish police arrested an American citizen and Pastor, Andrew Brunson, on charges of “aiding a terrorist organization.”
Erdoğan went on explaining that he requested President Trump to respect the ongoing judicial process regarding this issue in the various meeting and conversations both leaders had. Erdoğan accuses President Trump of “blatant threats against a friendly nation” while at the same time imposing “sanctions on several members of my cabinet.” Erdoğan classified this decision as “unacceptable, irrational and ultimately detrimental to our longstanding friendship.”
As reported by Bianet, an independent Turkish press agency, Erdoğan spoke at a county council meeting in his hometown, Rize, regarding the detained pastor Andrew Brunson and about the Turkish-US relations. The Turkish President said: “We have never tolerated and will not tolerate this belittling and humiliating show put on by the United States. Mr. Trump has been threatening Turkey about the release of Andrew Brunson and demanding the return of Andrew Brunson by 18.00 pm tomorrow. Who does Mr. Trump think he’s dealing with? This is Turkey! We are not your servants. We are 81 million honorable people”
“Our administration is working on measures. We can expand our trade volume with China, Russia, Iran, and Ukraine. We already have good relations with these countries. We’re planning to do business in Turkish lira. If there are European countries who got fed up with US dollar we can do business with them too. We refuse the system that declares war on the world economy and threatens with sanctions. We don’t care about the interest rate or the exchange rate, US dollar, or sanctions! We are a strong nation.”, Erdoğan stated.
On August 10, 2018, Donald Trump posted a tweet where he said to authorize “a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey, as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Aluminum is to rise to 20%, and Steel to 50%. “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time, ” said President Trump.
I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
Possible causes for instability in Turkey
Erdoğan is known for sticking to his guns and holding down firmly to his opinion, so the whole world is now waiting in anticipation to see this situation unfolding. Through the end of Erdoğan’s interview, the Turkish president says Turkey will look for new friends and allies if the United States fails to reverse the situation between the two countries which, in his words, is a “source of frustration”.
Turkey’s inability to keep good foreign relations has also had a negative impact on Turkish lira in the recent weeks and ever since Erdoğan took Office again and with new powers. The country’s currency, Turkish Lira, is dealing with a deep crisis and the country’s economic plan and the recent political instability isn’t helping.
The possible reasons for the Turkish financial crisis could be related to Erdoğan’s decision of appointing his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, as the head of the Finance Ministry. Also, Erdoğan’s control over the central bank while ignoring the advice of professional financial advisors might be intensifying the instability.