Samsung smartphones get more expensive in Turkey after Erdoğan’s call

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AFP PHOTO

South Korean electronics company Samsung has increased the prices of some of its smartphone models sold in Turkey following a recent call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Turks to choose Samsung instead of iPhone, the NTV news website reported on Friday.

In response to a currency crisis caused by US sanctions imposed on Turkey over the detention of an American evangelical pastor, Erdoğan said last Tuesday that Turkey would boycott electronics from the US.

“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.

Shortly after Erdoğan’s call, Samsung increased the price of its smartphone models sold in Turkey by 10 to 15 percent. The price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which was introduced last week, remained unchanged.

The previous price of the Samsun Galaxy S9 was TL 4,899, the Samsung Note 8 TL 5,499 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+ TL 5,699. These phones are now being sold for TL 5,349, TL 6,149 and TL 6,199, respectively.

Another brand, Vestel, also increased its smartphone prices shortly after Erdoğan’s call last week.

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.

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