Trump doubles steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey as lira nosedives

The euro has dropped today after the Turkish lira ad Russian rouble plummeted

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.

"Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God".

The currency's drop - 40% so far this year - has become a gauge of fear over a country facing the fallout of years of debt-fuelled growth, global concern over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push to amass power, and a souring in relations with allies like the US.

"If there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks", he said during an address to supporters.

"There are historical and geopolitical reasons for limits with relations with Moscow, limits I think we've reached", said global relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University.

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday that he would hit Turkey with additional tariffs, as their national currency continues to drop.

Shares of Turkish steelmakers Kardemir Karabuk Demir Celik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS and Eregli Demir ve Celik Fabrikalari TAS plunged as much as 8 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively, after Trump's tweet.

President Trump ordered a doubling of USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey Friday, escalating a diplomatic spat with a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Erdogan downplayed the currency crisis in a speech on Friday, advising Turks not to be anxious over exchange rate fluctuations. "The dollar, the mollar, will not cut our path", said Erdogan, using a figure of speech he repeatedly uses to mock something.

Announcing that aluminium tariffs will rise to 20 per cent and steel tariffs to 50 per cent, Trump said on Twitter that U.S. relations with Turkey "are not good at this time", and seemed to gloat at the country's misfortunes.

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Indeed, through Thursday, the Turkish lira had lost 32 percent of its value against the dollar just since the beginning of the year.

Erdogan has further attempted to bolster the nation against this "economic war", calling for citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira as part of the "domestic and national struggle".

The US retaliated by issuing sanctions on two leading Turkish officials last week.

The US has demanded the release of Andrew Brunson and on Friday doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. For one, the 2016 detention of an American evangelical pastor named Andrew Brunson, has aggravated tensions.

The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to his countrymen's patriotism.

What's happening to Turkey's currency right now?

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. It did not disclose details, but suggests Turkey might gravitate further away from its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies toward cooperation with Russian Federation, whose relations with the West are at their lowest since the Cold War.

President Trump's discarding of the Iran nuclear deal is a point of contention, as well, as almost half of Turkey's oil imports come from Iran, meaning new sanctions against Iran come back and hurt the Turkish economy as well.

And it remains unclear if the bank would be willing to sharply lift rates, with analysts saying the nominally independent institution is under the influence of Erdogan, who wants low rates to keep growth humming.

After winning a June election with revamped powers, he tightened his control over the central bank and appointed his son-in-law Berat Albayrak to head a newly-empowered finance ministry.

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