Turkey's finance chief: Action plan ready to ease markets

by Ben Pena August 13, 2018, 2:23
Turkey's finance chief: Action plan ready to ease markets

The Russian rouble dropped to its weakest since late 2016 after Washington said it would impose fresh sanctions on Moscow, while the Turkish lira plumbed a record low in the wake of a diplomatic rift with the United States.

In Trabzon, Erdogan confirmed media reports that Washington gave Onal's delegation a deadline for the release of Brunson.

"We have seen your play and we challenge you", he added, referring to the fluctuation of the Turkish Lira against the dollar.

"I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

ISTANBUL-Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he stands by his opposition to high interest rates, amid sharp declines in the value of the lira, saying the currency's weakness doesn't reflect the country's economic realities.

On Sunday, he said the lira's free-fall was the result of a plot and did not reflect Turkey's economic fundamentals.

And he brushed off the tariffs. Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies,"Mr Erdogan said".

Alex Dryden, global markets strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management, said Erdogan showed no signs of changing course Friday, and investors are losing hope that Turkey's government has the knowledge or independence needed to deal with the country's financial problems.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the United States that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

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"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he wrote.

The US is the biggest destination for Turkish steel exports with 11 per cent of the Turkish export volume.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, accused Washington of an "addiction to sanctions and bullying".

According to Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, "The administration seems to be willing to accept a scenario in which Turkey - as the economic crisis escalates and the nationalist rhetoric we've heard come out of Erdogan escalates - that Turkey is no longer a strategic ally".

"The US has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions (and) bullying or the entire world will unite beyond verbal condemnations to force it to". We are once again facing a political, underhand plot.

Iran has also suffered a major tumbling of its currency this year partly over the reimposition of USA sanctions after Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal.

Erdogan on Friday appealed for calm and called on people to change foreign money into local lira.

Erdogan vowed there would be no easing of the law in Brunson's case: "We have not made concessions on justice so far, and we will never make any", he said.

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