Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

12 August, 2018, 10:53 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

That is two times the level announced earlier this year in March.

According to figures from the Turkish Government, for the period of 2002 to October 2017, Turkish direct investments in the United States reached $3.7 billion while US investments in Turkey amounted to $11.1 billion, second only to the Netherlands' 21.6 billion. "The dollar does not bind us", he told.

Although Turkey and the United States have been North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for more than 60 years, the USA "has repeatedly and consistently failed to understand and respect the Turkish people's concerns", Erdogan said in his opinion piece.

A plunge in the Turkish lira rocked global equities and emerging markets on Friday and fear of more turmoil sent investors scurrying for safety in assets like the yen and us government bonds. The currency is down about 40 percent so far this year.

Markets are deeply concerned over the direction of domestic economic policy under Erdogan with inflation at almost 16 percent but the central bank reluctant to raise rates in response.

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.

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by US forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.

The president's characteristic defiance in the face of a shaky economy has further unnerved investors.

The economic options include a central bank intervention by raising interest rates, although this would have a temporary effect, and Erdogan is famously hesitant to raise rates. His comments on interest rates - and his recent appointment of his son-in-law as finance minister - have heightened perceptions that the central bank is not independent.

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"I have full confidence in this government, I'm sure it will find a way out and reverse the trend", said Erdogan supporter Sabahattin. "Don't heed them. Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", Erdogan said.

The accelerated lira sell-off also deepened concerns about the exposure of banks to Turkey, particularly whether highly indebted companies would be able to pay back loans taken out in dollars and euros after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan Friday held telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing economic and trade issues as well as the Syria crisis.

Erdogan also warned that Turkey could start looking for new allies if Washington damaged its relations with Ankara.

The plunging Turkish lira is good news at least for British holidaymakers - they can now save at least £1 on a locally produced beer such as Efes in the popular resort of Bodrum compared with previous year.

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

Turkey has accused Andrew Craig Brunson of spying and "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member". With new Iran sanctions coming up, more Turkish banks could face US probing if they are doing business with the Islamic republic.

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

Marcus Chenevix, Middle East analyst at TS Lombard said that Turkey's economy is fragile. "Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging".

Turkey had made important progress with other countries, he said, naming Iran, Russia, China and "some European countries", Erdogan said, adding that increasing production, exports and employment was the best response to the country's challenges.

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