Erdogan says crash of lira 'political plot' against Turkey

'Our Relations Are Not Good!' Trump Targets Turkey with New Sanctions over Brunson's Detainment

Tensions soar as US imposes tariffs against Turkey as the lira continues to plummet

"The aim of the operation is to make Turkey surrender in all areas, from finance to politics", Erdogan told ruling party members in the Black Sea city of Trabzon.

The Trump administration followed through on its apparent threat, announcing on Friday it would double tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey to leverage Brunson's return.

"We are once again facing a political, underhand plot".

Tensions have been mounting between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Ankara's detention of several Americans and other diplomatic issues.

In a statement the White House clarified that Trump had authorized the preparation of documents to raise steel and aluminum tariffs.

'Aluminum will now be 20 per cent and Steel 50 per cent.

"We can only say "good-bye" to anyone who sacrifices its strategic partnership and a half century alliance with a country of 81 million for the sake of relations with terror groups", Erdogan said.

In a statement the White House clarified that Trump had authorized the preparation of documents to raise steel and aluminum tariffs through his authority under Section 232 of USA trade law.

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Mr Erdogan has linked Gulen's fate to that of American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges for allegedly supporting a group that Ankara blames for the failed coup.

The euro slid sharply against the dollar after the announcement as it was reported that the European Central Bank was concerned about the performance of the lira and the impact it was having on European financial institutions.

The lira dropped by over 11 percent in value in one day on Friday morning to almost six lira per dollar.

"The last time I can remember a currency exploding into a similar acceleration of weakness to what we have seen in the past 24 hours is the Russian ruble crisis that transpired late in 2014", Jameel Ahmad, the head of currency strategy at FXTM, said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday accused the United States of exchanging its "strategic North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally with a pastor", remarks that questioned why Washington was seeking to free its citizens detained by Ankara, including Pastor Andrew Brunson who has become the eye of a diplomatic storm between the two nations.

Erdogan has further attempted to bolster the nation against this "economic war", calling for citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira as part of the "domestic and national struggle".

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by USA forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s.

The new duties on Turkey are double the level that Trump imposed in March on steel and aluminium imports from a range of countries.

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