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Erdogan says Turkey will boycott U.S. electronics, lira steadies

[su_label type=”info”]SMA News – Agencies [/su_label][su_spacer size=”10″] President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States, retaliating in a row with Washington that helped drive the lira to record lows.
The lira has lost more than 40 percent this year and crashed to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar early on Monday, hit by worries over Erdogan’s calls for lower interest rates and worsening ties with the United States.
The lira’s weakness has rippled through global markets. Its drop of as much as 18 percent on Friday hit European and U.S. stocks as investors fretted about banks’ exposure to Turkey.
On Tuesday the lira recovered some ground, trading at 6.5300 to the dollar at 1334 GMT, up around five percent on the day.
It was supported by news of a planned conference call in which the finance minister will seek to reassure investors concerned by Erdogan’s control of the economy and his resistance to interest rate hikes to tackle double-digit inflation.
Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency.
“Together with our people, we will stand decisively against the dollar, forex prices, inflation and interest rates. We will protect our economic independence by being tight-knit together,” he told members of his AK Party in a speech.
The United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of a U.S. evangelical pastor in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports.
It was unclear whether Erdogan’s call was widely heeded, but a Turkish news agency said traders in Istanbul’s historic Eminonu district converted $100,000 into lira on Tuesday.
Chanting “Damn America”, they unfurled a banner saying “we will win the economic war”, Demiroren agency said. Amid calls to “burn” the dollars, the group headed to a bank branch where they converted the money, it said.
Erogan also said Turkey was boycotting U.S. electronic products. “If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side, and we have our own Vestel here,” he said, referring to the Turkish electronics company, whose shares rose five percent.

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