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Turks destroy iPhones to protest US sanctions

Turkish President Erdogan holding an iPhone [Getty file photo]

Date of publication: 17 August, 2018

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In one video , a man collects iPhones from youths squatting in front of a Turkish flag, lays the devices on the ground and pounds them with a sledgehammer.

A number of Turks are responding to their president’s call to boycott American electronic goods by posting videos in which they smash iPhones with bats, hammers and other blunt instruments.

In one video , a man collects iPhones from several youths squatting in front of a Turkish flag, lays the devices on the ground and pounds them with a sledgehammer.

“For the motherland!” he says at one point.

In another video, a boy pours a plastic bottle of Coca Cola into a toilet in a show of repugnance for US goods.

American products remain widely used in Turkey, which is locked in a dispute with Washington over an American pastor being tried in a Turkish court and other issues.

The two countries have also imposed tariffs on each other’s goods.

This comes as Turkey sought to reassure investors rattled by US sanctions-fuelled crash of the Turkish lira, insisting the country would emerge stronger.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressed hundreds of foreign investors from the United States, Europe and Asia via a conference call in a bid to soothe the markets.

The lira has clawed back some ground over the last two days - after losing almost a quarter of its value on Friday and Monday - but economists are warning that Turkey must urgently address its economic imbalances to avoid more troubles ahead.

"Turkey will emerge stronger from these (currency) fluctuations," Albayrak was quoted by state-run TRT television as saying during the conference call. 

Albayrak rejected seeking a bailout from the IMF, an option never seen as likely given that Erdogan often boasts of paying off Turkey's past IMF debts in May 2013.

The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, held onto its gains during Albayrak's discussion, trading at 5.7 against the greenback.

"We will turn this crisis into an opportunity," said Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin after a cabinet meeting chaired by the president, saying measures taken so far had helped bring about a "rapid improvement process" over the last two days.

The latest came after Qatar, backed by Erdogan during the Saudi-led embargoes on the emirate in 2017, on Wednesday pledged to channel $15 billion direct investment into Turkey, a sign of burgeoning ties between the two countries. 

Analysts say Turkey is also likely to seek a more dynamic economic relationship with China and Russia, with whom ties have warmed considerably in recent years.

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