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Erdogan slams United States for preferring terrorists as partner

12 August 2018

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamdi Aksoy on Friday said in a statement that Trump's decision, which disregards World Trade Organization rules, "cannot be associated with seriousness expected from a state".

Calling on the US, Erdogan said: "It is a shame".

Erdogan's remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Trump said he would double the steel and aluminum tariff rate for Turkey.

Erdogan appeared unworried by the punitive measures imposed by the U.S., saying Turkey could turn to other partners and again terming the crisis an "economic war".

Trump's "jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful", he wrote.

The new duties on Turkey are double the level Mr Trump imposed in March on steel and aluminium imports from a range of countries.

'Aluminum will now be 20 per cent and Steel 50 per cent. The White House said the newly imposed sanctions would take effect from August 13.

Turkish currency has lost about 40 percent of its value in the past year.

The lira, Trump noted on Twitter, "slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

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Reverberations spread through global markets, with European stock markets especially hit as investors took fright over banks' exposure to Turkey.

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

The Turkish lira TRYTOM=D3 has always been falling on worries about Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States.

Erdogan is also upset at the protection U.S. coalition forces are providing the Kurds in Syria, against the invading Turkish army.

Ankara wants the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.

Last week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice minister and interior minister for refusing to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been in custody since 2016 on charges of terrorism and espionage that Washington says are bogus. He denies the charges.

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters.

Turkish officials held talks in Washington this week but there was no breakthrough.

"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor", Erdogan said in the Black Sea town of Unye.

"We implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table", Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said.

Erdogan slams United States for preferring terrorists as partner