Turkey doubles tariffs on some U.S. imports over economy "attacks"

Turkey Could Create A Larger Crisis Than Greece | Daniel Lacalle

Investors are anxious not only about Turkey's souring relations with the U.S., a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, but also Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and the country's high debt accumulated in foreign currencies.

The dispute between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - brought to a new intensity by Turkey's holding of an American pastor for two years - has raised questions over the future of their partnership and fanned fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey.

The latest moves follow President Erdogan's announcement that Turkey will boycott American electronic goods. "If [the US] has the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side", Erdogan was reported as saying.

It's unclear how such a boycott would work, and the State Department said it couldn't confirm "that that is actually going to happen", according to spokesperson Heather Nauert.

Turkey asked the U.S. to get a prisoner out of Israeli jail, which the USA did the next day, according to The Guardian.

The action led to a precipitous 20 percent fall in the value of the Turkish lira, which had already been declining for months, triggering a bout of inflation that has eviscerated the living standards of Turkish working people.

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

Turkey's lira fell sharply on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to double tariffs in retaliation for failing to release pastor Andrew Brunson.

Lavrov, alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, also declared, "We are at a turning point, without exaggeration, in world history" from dominance by a single power toward a multipolar environment. Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters as terrorists.

"We will boycott USA electronic goods", Erdogan said in a televised speech, raising the stakes in a spat that has seen the Turkish lira plunge to record lows.

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USA sanctions against Turkey recently sent the country's currency, the lira, into free fall.

While a defiant Mr Erdogan showed no signs of backing down in the stand-off with America, behind-the-scenes officials were attempting to resolve the dispute.

The tough message emerged a day after White House national security adviser John Bolton met privately with Turkish ambassador Serdar Kilic about the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. At the same time, Turkey has come to the verge of military confrontation with the U.S., which is utilizing as its main proxy ground force the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, an affiliate of the Turkish Kurdish PKK against which Ankara has waged a protracted and bloody counterinsurgency campaign.

"U.S. banks' total claims on Turkey amounted to just $38 [billion] at the end of March this year, not much more than claims on Finland", Pantheon's chief economist, Ian Shepherdson, wrote in a note.

Even more, Trump's direct reference to the Turkish lira sent the currency tumbling.

"There is a price we're paying for the period we're in", he said in a combative speech in Ankara.

None of this looks remotely sufficient to deal with the scale of the crisis, particularly given the paucity of Turkey's foreign currency and gold reserves - which are often used by central banks to fight off currency speculators.

President Erdogan said Turkey was taking measures to stabilise the economy, and should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

The second is that Erdogan would have to bury his hatchet with the United States, which remains the IMF's largest shareholder.

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