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Turkey says Trump tariff move will harm ties, vows retaliation

14 August 2018

High level meetings in Washington between USA and Turkish officials ended this week without an apparent resolution.

Earlier this month, the US slapped sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over Brunson's imprisonment. Trump tweeted. "Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%.

Erdogan appealed to a crowd in the city of Bayburt to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to prop up the plunging currency.

"Nevertheless, we implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table - this can and should be resolved through dialogue and cooperation".

Experts have been questioning the real intention of USA tariffs, which are based on Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a domestic legislation that justifies the imposition of duties over national security concerns.

The moves stem from Trump's frustration over a detained American pastor held by Turkey on what USA officials say are bogus charges, two sources with knowledge of the President's mind-set tell CNN.

Speaking in the northeastern province of Gumushane, Erdogan repeated his call to sell dollars to support the lira. The shared currency sank as much as 1.2 percent to the weakest in more than a year after a Financial Times report that the European Central Bank raised concern about the region's banks' exposure to Turkey.

Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey on July 25, 2018.

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A meeting Friday unveiling a new economic approach by Turkey's finance minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, did little to offer support for the free-falling lira as investors sought concrete steps such as an interest rate hike to restore confidence.

"One of our principles will be ensuring the full independence of monetary policy", Abayrak said as he outlined his ministry's "new economic model".

"We will say bye bye to those, who sacrifice their strategic partnership and alliance with a country of 81 million people on the altar of their relations with terror organisations", he said.

The currency drop is particularly painful for Turkey because the country finances a lot of its economic growth with foreign money.

Coupled with an inflation rate of almost 16 percent, that could cause severe damage to the local economy.

"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. The entire Turkish public is against United States policies that disregard Turkey's legitimate security demands.

Washington has demanded the pastor's release and last month imposed financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers.

Turkey says Trump tariff move will harm ties, vows retaliation