Turkey to 'boycott' US electronics, says Erdogan

Turkey to 'boycott' US electronics, says Erdogan
2 min read
14 August, 2018
The Turkish president told supporters they could turn to Samsungs, rather than iPhones, and other goods made by non-US firms.
Erdogan is a longtime iPhone user [Getty]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would boycott US electronic goods after Washington announced punitive sanctions over the detention of an American pastor.

"We will boycott US electronic goods," Erdogan said in a televised speech, raising the stakes in a spat that has seen the Turkish lira plunge to record lows. 

"If (the United States) have the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side," he said, referring to US giant Apple's iconic phone and the top South Korean brand. 

"We (also) have our Venus and Vestel," he said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.

Relations between the two NATO allies have plummeted after the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges. 

Erdogan has been repeatedly photographed with Apple products including the iPhone and iPad. 

He also made his now famous speech on the night of the July 2016 failed coup calling citizens out into the street through Facetime, an iPhone app.

The lira's slide - which had been ongoing for weeks - nosedived on Friday when US President Donald Trump tweeted that Washington was doubling aluminum and steel tarrifs for Turkey. 

Erdogan said Turkey was facing an "economic attack" and a "bigger, deeper operation" but showed no sign of making concessions to the United States. 

A delegation led by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal failed to secure a deal last Wednesday in talks in Washington on a number of issues including Brunson.

The Brunson case is just one of many bones of contention between Turkey and the US, ranging from Syria to Ankara's increasingly cosy relationship with Moscow. 

Erdogan admitted in remarks on Tuesday that the Turkish economy had problems - including a widening current account deficit and inflation of almost 16 percent.

Since Erdogan first took power - then as prime minister in 2003 - the lira has lost nearly 70 percent of its value. It is now trading at 6.58 to the US dollar. 

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