Trump puts pressure on Turkey by doubling down on tariffs

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The US president revealed the action on Friday as he noted how the Turkish lira "slides rapidly downward" against the "very strong" US dollar.

Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the worldwide Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product.

On Friday, President Trump announced that he will double America's metal tariffs on Turkey - despite the fact that he has no good reason for doing so. Trump said in an early Friday morning post on Twitter. Turkish officials held talks in Washington this week but there was no breakthrough.

Without naming countries, Erdogan said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara says was organized by a USA -based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago to a new executive presidency.

Concerns were intensified on Friday by a report in the Financial Times that the supervisory wing of the European Central Bank had over the past week begun to look more closely at eurozone lenders' exposure to Turkey.

Erdogan, whose typical defiance in the face of the crisis has further unnerved investors, appealed to Turks' patriotism and urged support for their free-falling currency.

"We will not lose the economic war", state-run TRT Haber TV quoted Erdogan as saying, according to Agence France-Presse.

As President Erdogan continues to exert an iron grip on the government, economy, and people of Turkey, and the specter of a Turkish debt crisis continues to loom, the country's economy and currency are apt to remain under heavy pressure. In his speech in the northeastern city of Bayburt, Erdogan added that he would decisively defend the country against economic attacks. He said this would be Turkey's response "to those who wage economic war against us".

Erdogan called on Turks to not be concerned about exchange rate movements, mockingly declaring "the dollar, the mollar will not cut our path".

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Now at a new record low, Turkey's currency has lost more than 40% this year.

In 2016, when the dollar began to rise, the Grand Bazaar said it had chose to accept rent in lira to support the Turkish economy.

Russia's dollar-traded RTS index plunged over three percent, Brazil Bovespa index was losing 2.3 percent, and the Turkish Borsa Istanbul index saw a 5.4 percent sell-off.

The currency turbulence coincides with the most bitter dispute with the United States since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which so far shows no sign of abating.

'However, I say it once again from here.

"This is a domestic and national struggle".

The lira plunged as much as 14 per cent on Friday, as worries about Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening US relations snowballed into a market panic.

"If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah", he said, as the lira continued to fall. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls.

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