Erdogan threatens US goods boycott
Turkey's president appeared to escalate a dispute with the United States that has helped foment a Turkish currency crisis, claiming on Tuesday that his country will boycott US-made electronic goods. Behind the scenes, however, diplomats resumed contact to ease tensions.
Addressing a conference of his ruling party faithful in the capital, Recep Tayyip Erdogan added fuel to the spat with the US, even as local business groups called on his government to settle it.
Investors seemed to look through the fiery rhetoric, pushing the lira off record lows on confirmation that Turkish and US government officials met on Monday.
"We will implement a boycott against America's electronic goods," Erdogan told the conference. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead of US-made iPhones, though it was unclear how he intended to enforce the boycott.
Behind the scenes, however, diplomatic dialogue appears to have resumed. US officials say National Security adviser John Bolton had met with the Turkish ambassador to Washington on Monday.
That helped ease the turmoil in financial markets, with the Turkish lira stabilising near record lows. It was up about 5 per cent on Tuesday, at about 6.52 per dollar, having fallen 42 per cent so far this year, with most of those losses coming in recent weeks.