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Turkey calls for global resistance to US economic attacks

Sep 08 2018 13:37
Onur Ant, Bloomberg
A handout photo taken and released on August 13, 2

A handout photo taken and released on August 13, 2018 by the Turkish Presidential Press Service of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / KAYHAN OZER)

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Turkey’s finance chief said the imposition of sanctions by the US on the Middle East’s largest economy was politically motivated, and called on other nations to form a united front against such actions.

US President Donald Trump used sanctions and tariffs to sabotage the Turkish economy, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said in an opinion piece published on the website of Foreign Policy magazine. Apart from a short-term currency impact, Turkish economic fundamentals had proved resilient, he said.

The rallying cry from Turkey’s top economy official, who is also the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ratchets up the rhetoric between Ankara and Washington. The latest crisis erupted after the US slapped sanctions on members of the Turkish government over an American pastor held in Turkey on terrorism charges.

That triggered a run on the Turkish currency, while the associated turmoil saw lira assets, including government bonds, tank and consumer inflation spike.

“It is clearly in the interest of most countries to cooperate in resisting unilateral economic decisions by powerful actors that are motivated by narrowly defined national interests,” Albayrak wrote in an article titled “America Can’t Be Trusted to Run the Global Economy.” “By acting together with Turkey now, other countries can also help it create a common strategy to avoid artificial crises in the future.”

Echoing previous Turkish government commentary, Albayrak said the chaos in financial markets had nothing to do with economic fundamentals. To increase the country’s resilience against such shocks, Turkey will prioritise central bank independence and synchronising fiscal and monetary policy, he said.

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