Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will boycott electronic products made in the United States amid an escalating diplomatic feud with the Trump administration that has helped trigger a currency meltdown in Turkey.
The Trump regime imposed financial sanctions over the weekend against two Turkish government officials, and doubled steel tariffs to 50 per cent and aluminium tariffs to 20 per cent in retaliation for the pastor's detention.
The latest attack on the economy showed that the dollar is no longer a "trustworthy" currency and is instead being used as a tool for political punishment, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said at a conference in Ankara he as attending alongside Erdogan.
The crisis has sent the Turkish currency into free fall since Friday.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is visiting Ankara, branded the USA sanctions an illegitimate policy at a news conference on Tuesday.
Turkey sought to face down the USA and currency traders as its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reportedly received support from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
What's happening to Turkey's currency? The Turkish lira has lost more than 45 percent of its value since 2017.
While Erdogan didn't address their concerns in his speech, he said Turks have already begun converting foreign exchange into Turkish lira because it would be tantamount to "surrendering" if they did otherwise. Amid calls to "burn" the dollars, the group headed to a bank branch where they converted the money, it said.
The lira had already rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure global investors.
On Friday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry (MFA) said Turkey would retaliate against the raising of steel and aluminium tariffs by the USA administration.
Why all this fuss over a pastor?
"In our own country we have Vestel", said Erdogan.
But the U.S. insists Andrew Brunson, a long-time Turkish resident who ran the tiny Izmir Resurrection Church, is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention".
"The president has a great deal of frustration on the fact that Pastor Brunson has not been released as well as the fact that other U.S. citizens and employees of diplomatic facilities have not been released", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told a briefing. American pastor Andrew Brunson is being held on terrorism charges in Turkey, facing up to 35 years in prison for his alleged role in a failed coup in 2016.
The State Department warned Turkey in June that its plan to purchase these planes could be hurt if it continued with its plan to also buy Russian S-400 missiles. On Tuesday, one dollar was worth 7.2 lira.
"Believe me, if we divert our money to foreign currency. then we will be in the position of having surrendered to the devil", Erdogan said.