Turkish president blasts U.S. for playing “games” on economy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called bluff on the Trump administration for threatening his country with sanctions.

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The statements come amid rocky relations between Turkey and the United States over the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been detained for two years.

“Some are threatening us with economy, sanctions, exchange rates, interests and inflation. We see your game and we challenge it,” Erdogan said Saturday at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) sixth grand congress. “Turkey did not and will not surrender to those which try to make Turkey as a strategic target.”

Brunson was arrested on charges of terrorism and support of a group held responsible for an attempted coup of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Aug. 10, President Donald Trump doubled U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports. In retaliation, Turkey fired backwith tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol, cosmetics.

Prior to Trump’s tariff announcement, the Turkish lira fell to its lowest point ever against the U.S. dollar, dropping by over 11 percent in value to nearly six lira per dollar.

On Tuesday, Erdogan announced a boycott on U.S. electronic products in Turkey.

“They were not able to make us collapse and they will never be. If they have their dollars, we have our God. We will walk toward the future together with firm steps,” Erdo─čan said about what he described as an “economic attack” on Turkey and its currency.

The president also reshuffled his top management during the congressional meeting Saturday, held at the capitol city of Ankara.

“God willing, we will give the world a different message with our congress that we convene for the first time under the new system,” Erdogan said.

By Susan McFarland