Turkey to Boycott US Electronics in an Attempt to Strengthen Lira

Published August 15th, 2018 - 07:00 GMT
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States. (AFP)
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States. (AFP)

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States, retaliating in a row with Washington that helped drive the lira to record lows.

The lira has lost more than 40 percent this year and crashed to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar on Monday, hit by worries over Erdogan's calls for lower borrowing costs and by worsening ties with the United States, its NATO ally.

The lira's weakness has rippled through global markets. Its drop of as much as 18 percent on Friday hit European and U.S. stocks as investors fretted about banks' exposure to Turkey.

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On Tuesday the lira recovered some ground, trading at 6.3300 to the dollar at 1947 GMT, up some nine percent from the previous day's close and having earlier touched 6.2995.

It was supported by news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure investors concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate hikes to tackle double-digit inflation.
Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency.

"Together with our people, we will stand decisively against the dollar, forex prices, inflation and interest rates. We will protect our economic independence by being tight-knit together," he told members of his AK Party in a speech.

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports.


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