Earlier this week, the White House announced that it would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum production, while President Donald Trump tweeted that US-Turkish bilateral relations were “not good at this time.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned of far-reaching consequences in the event the United States continues to disrespect Ankara, according to his op-ed in the New York Times.
“Unless the United States starts respecting Turkey’s sovereignty and proves that it understands the dangers that our nation faces, our partnership could be in jeopardy,” he warned.
Erdogan demanded that Washington should “give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives.”
“Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies. You can never bring this nation in line with the language of threats,” Erdogan underscored.
The remarks echoed those made by Erdogan during a provincial meeting of his ruling AK Party in the Black Sea coastal town of Rize earlier this week.
During the speech, he specifically expressed regret over the fact that America “chooses a pastor” over its “strategic partner in NATO.”
Separately, Erdogan addressed the issue of the Turkish lira nosediving to a record low, urging citizens to shore up the national currency.
“If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out. If there are euros, take these out. Immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future. Because this is the language they understand,” he pointed out.
Erdogan’s remarks came after US President Donald Trump tweeted that he had authorized a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey, also praising “the very strong dollar” and referring to the Turkish lira’s collapse.
The exchange rate of the Turkish lira has, meanwhile, plummeted more than 16 percent against the US dollar, reaching an all-time low following Trump’s announcement.
Washington earlier imposed sanctions against Turkey’s Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu for participating in the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, suspected of being connected to the movement of Fethullah Gulen who is in turn accused of orchestrating the 2016 failed military coup in Turkey.