Turkey warms up to Russia, boycotts US electronics

World Today

A man checks foreign currency exchange rates outside a currency exchange shop in an Istanbul’s market, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally. . (AP Photo/Mucahid Yapici)

The diplomatic row between the United States and Turkey is heating up. The Turkish president is calling for his country to boycott electronics made by the U.S. This is in response to the latest U.S. decision to double tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Turkey. In the meantime, it looks like Turkey is warming up relations with Russia.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports.

In a speech on Tuesday, Turkey’s president stated his country would be taking action in response to U.S. sanctions imposed on Ankara.

“We will produce every product we are importing from abroad with foreign currency here and we will be the ones exporting these products,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “We will impose a boycott on U.S. electronic products. If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side.”

The move comes in retaliation to the U.S. announcement of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. The U.S. had initially sanctioned two Turkish ministers for the detention of an American pastor, and then added the tariffs.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said the U.S. had lost its credibility. He announced he would hold a teleconference with foreign investors on Thursday aiming to boost confidence in the Turkish lira which has lost more than 40 percent of its value this year.

The European Parliament Turkey Forum, a cross-party group, issued a statement supportive of Turkey, saying that “an economic destabilization of Turkey is in no one’s interest.”

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara where they both attended the 10th Ambassadors’ conference.

One key topic on the agenda for the two leaders was the Syrian conflict.

Turkish officials had recently indicated they would make the political effort to avoid a catastrophe in Idlib province- one of the largest remaining rebel held enclaves.

Lavrov pointed out terrorist groups in those regions were harassing Syrian and Russian positions. The Russian Foreign Minister also touched on the issue of the U.S. dollar and pointed out that he believes its role will decline in global trade.

Both Turkish and Russian officials have said they are open to trading in national currencies, and not the U.S. dollar, and that talks were underway.

Ahu Ozyurt discusses the latest developments on Turkey

To discuss the latest in the tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, the impact of the latest U.S. tariffs and the recent economic contractions for Turkey and the region, CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with freelance journalist Ahu Ozyurt.

Bulent Aliriza talks strong Turkey-Russia ties amid strained US relations

As U.S. and Turkey ties are tested relations between Moscow and Ankara could flourish. Bulent Aliriza is director and senior associate of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He spoke with CGTN’s Mike Walter about the state of U.S.-Turkey relations and the possible diplomatic opening for the Kremlin.