Erdogan to ban US electronics in spat while lira plunges
Showing no signs of backing down in a standoff with the US, Erdogan suggested Turkey would stop procuring US-made iPhones and buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel instead.
It was unclear how he intended to enforce the boycott.
Erdogan also renewed a call for Turks to convert their dollars into lira, to help strengthen the currency.
The Turkish lira has nosedived in value in the past week over concerns about Erdogan’s economic policies and after the US slapped sanctions on Turkey, angered by the continued detention of an American pastor.
Turkey’s influential business groups have called on the government to implement tighter monetary policy to help overcome the currency crisis. In a joint statement issued yesterday, the industrialists’ group Tusiad and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges also called for diplomatic efforts to resolve the spat with the US and improve relations with the EU, Turkey’s major trading partner.
The business groups also urged the drawing up of a road map to reduce inflation.
The lira plunged against the dollar and other currencies in the past week, sparked by concerns over Erdogan’s economic policies and a dispute with the US over the detention of an American pastor, who is on trial on espionage and terror-related charges.
The currency has stabilised near record lows as investors gauge the government’s next move to avoid a full-blown financial crisis.
The lira has been hit by concerns over Erdogan’s economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the US, a Nato ally.
The lira was around 6.55 per dollar yesterday, up 6% from the previous day, when the central bank freed up cash for banks. It remains not far from the record low of 7.23 per dollar hit on Sunday.
The currency has plummeted over the past week, accelerating a months-long decline that has seen it drop 45% this year.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the finance chief is set to address hundreds of foreign investors tomorrow. -AP