US

Turkey to boycott US electronics – including iPhone

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will boycott electronic products made in the US amid an escalating diplomatic feud with the Trump administration that has contributed to a currency meltdown in Turkey.

The move comes after the US imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the continued detention of an American pastor on terror-related charges.

President Donald Trump has also compounded the country's economic crisis by doubling steel and aluminium tariffs to 50% and 20% respectively.

Mr Erdogan suggested Turkey would stop procuring US-made iPhones and buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel devices instead.

He said: "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere. We have Vestel."

It is unclear how the Turkish leader plans to implement the boycott.

Image: It is unclear how the Turkish president plans to enforce the boycott

In addition, Turkey's national airline and its main telecoms firm announced they would halt advertising in the US media.

"We as Turkish Airlines are taking our place alongside our state and people," senior vice president for media relations Yahya Ustun tweeted.

Hamdi Ates, corporate communications director at Turk Telekom, posted a similar message on Twitter.

The fallout has been sparked by a number of issues – including Turkey's detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson – while Ankara has demanded the extradition of a Turkish cleric who is blamed by Mr Erdogan for masterminding the failed 2016 coup against him.

Turkish Airlines
Image: Turkish Airlines has announced an advertising boycott in the US media

The US has also been irritated by Turkey's decision to buy a Russian missile defence system earlier this year, while Ankara has hit out at Washington's backing of Kurdish rebels in Syria. Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters as terrorists.

Mr Erdogan also renewed a call for Turks to convert their dollars into the Turkish lira, to help strengthen the country's currency which has lost 40% in value this year.

The lira was around 6.55 to the dollar on Tuesday, up 6% on the previous day after the central bank freed up cash for banks, and a slight recovery from a record low of 7.23 on Sunday.

While a defiant Mr Erdogan showed no signs of backing down in the stand-off with America, there have been behind-the-scenes attempts to resolve the dispute.

Turkey's ambassador to Washington, Serdar Kilic, held talks with US national security adviser John Bolton during a meeting which Ankara said was arranged by the White House.

Investors fear the country's financial crisis could spread, with Mr Erdogan describing the crash as a "political plot" against Turkey.

More from Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Concerns about a Turkey-driven contagion in other economies, particularly emerging markets, sparked a global sell-off on Monday.

But there were healthy recoveries in Asian and European stocks on Tuesday, though the Indian rupee hit a record low of 70 to the dollar.

Original Article

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