Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States in response to a currency crisis caused by US sanctions imposed over the detention of an American evangelical pastor, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.
“We will boycott American electronic goods. They may have iPhone, but there’s always Samsung. We have our Venüs Vestel. We will put that into practice so they can understand what we do and what we can do,” Erdoğan said at a symposium organized by the pro-government SETA think tank in Ankara.
“We will be self-sufficient. We will produce what we do not have. We will produce better products than those we buy from the outside, and will service them outside. This nation is capable of doing it,” Erdoğan added.
Reiterating his call on people to exchange their dollars for Turkish lira, President Erdoğan said: “You are Turks. You will walk with Turkish lira.”
Turkey has been facing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision to put American pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.
Following the court ruling US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey if Brunson were not freed.
After imposing economic sanctions on two Turkish ministers on Aug. 1 for their role in the detention of evangelical pastor Brunson, Trump on Aug. 10 ramped up his sanctions on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.