President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed Turkey will boycott U.S. electronic goods in retaliation to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to double tariffs on aluminum and steel on Turkey amid a deepening crisis between the two sides over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
“We will boycott American electronic goods. If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side. We have Vestel Venüs in our country. We will adopt these measures,” Erdoğan said on Aug. 14, speaking at a congress marking the 17th anniversary of the founding of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Erdoğan’s decision to boycott American electronic goods comes at a time of already fragile relations between Ankara and Washington and the rapid fall of the Turkish Lira against the U.S. dollar.
Erdoğan only named Apple Inc.’s iPhone, without giving further detail on the length and implementation of the boycott. Instead, he mentioned South Korea’s Samsung and Turkey’s own Vestel that produce Venüs smartphones and other electronic devices.
Speaking about the ongoing economic crisis at home, he reiterated that the current fluctuations in the lira had no economic basis but was a reflection of a “global campaign led by the Trump administration.”
“There is an open economic attack on Turkey. These things used to be done covertly and in a more sophisticated way in the past. Now they are doing it directly,” he said, adding that Turkey’s future actions will depend on two approaches that are economic and political.
In the face of the global economic campaign, Turkey is taking its own measures to address its own problems in the current account deficit, interest rates and inflation rates, the president said.
“We have taken and we will take more measures to this end. I will have some more contacts on this issue in the coming days,” he added.
But besides the economic measures, he said, keeping Turkey’s “political stance strong” was more important.
“They should understand what we have done and what we will do. We will be self-sufficient. We will produce what we do not have. We will export all the products that we purchase by producing better versions,” Erdoğan said.
He called on businesspeople and industrialists to “not slow down on production,” but to instead “produce more.”
“We will produce more, we will export more. [Factories] need to be open: Produce, produce and produce. Export, export and export. And we will provide more jobs. We will put in more effort,” he vowed.
“If we stop production in a wait-and-see approach, and hamper production, postpone investments by saying let us see the future first, or direct our money to foreign currency by saying there is a danger, then we will kneel down before our enemy,” he said.
He also urged Turkish citizens to exchange theirs dollars to liras in what he called a bid to “fight against plots.”
Erdoğan has been calling the latest economic dispute an attack “which has no economic explanation.”
“I see that our citizens are buying liras and exchanging dollars in banks. This will be the best answer to protect the honor of the lira,” he said.__Hurriyet