Erdogan urges Turks to fight ‘economic war’ by US

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Ankara, Aug 26 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for joint efforts to “combat attacks on Turkey’s economy” amid its persistent row with the US.

“The commitment and determination of Turks is the guarantee needed to combat attacks on Turkey’s economy,” Erdogan said on Saturday in a statement released to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, Xinhua reported.

The historic battle saw Seljuk Turks defeat a Byzantine army and open up Anatolia for Turkish domination.

Turkey’s biggest safeguard is “the determination of our people to protect their independence, their motherland and their future,” Erdogan noted, drawing parallels between this military victory and the ongoing rift with the US over the detention of an American pastor in Turkey.

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Last week, a Turkish court rejected a renewed appeal for the release of the 50-year-old Andrew Brunson charged with espionage.

Following Turkey’s refusal to free the pastor, US President Donald Trump has doubled tariffs on Turkish aluminium and steel and threatened to expand trade sanctions.

In response, Ankara steeply hiked taxes on some US products including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

The Turkish lira has tumbled about 35 per cent since the start of this year, in what Erdogan called an “economic war” from the US.

–IANS

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