US seeking to stab Turkey 'in the back': Erdogan
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the US of seeking to stab Turkey "in the back", over a diplomatic row sparked by the detention of an American pastor that has sent the lira into a tailspin.
Erdogan made the moments at a conference in the capital Ankara on Monday, amid a bitter dispute between the two NATO allies over a string of issues from a pastor's detention on terror charges to the war in Syria.
"You act on one side as a strategic partner but on the other you fire bullets into the foot of your strategic partner," Erdogan said.
"We are together in NATO and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back. Can such a thing be accepted?"
The dispute has severely hit the Turkish currency which has been in the free fall since Friday.
Erdogan said Turkey was facing an "economic siege" from hostile powers, slamming the lira's downward movement as an "attack against our country".
On Friday, US President Donald Trump said he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey.
But Erdogan advised Turks not to worry.
"It is not at all like we sank and we are finished. The dynamics of the Turkish economy are solid, strong and sound and will continue to be so."
Radical and robust
On Monday, Turkey Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced a new economic plan to help rescue the plunging lira.
"From Monday morning onwards our institutions will take the necessary steps and will share the announcements with the market," Albayrak told Hurriyet newspaper.
"We will be taking the necessary steps with our banks and banking watchdog in a speedy manner."
Albayrak - who is Erdogan's son-in-law - said Turkey will not intervene in dollar-denominated bank accounts, according to Reuters.
But the economic programme for Turkey will be radical and robust, making the necessary steps to help halt the fall of the lira - which has lost nearly half of its value in 2018 - and help sustain economic growth.
"We will be entering a strong period in terms of fiscal policies," he said.
Banks that will be supported by the government include small and medium sized enterprises.