After the USA imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers and amid growing domestic pressure from businesses and banks to contain a currency crisis, Erdogan said he wouldn't back down in the face of the economic attack against his country. Singling out the iPhone, he suggested Turks buy Samsung Electronics Co. or locally made Venus Vestel smartphones instead.
Bloomberg News noted that Vestel's phones use American-made components, so it might have trouble rising to Erdogan's challenge over the long term, but in the short term, the company's stock rose nine percent after Erdogan's speech.
Turkish business groups are begging President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make amends with the U.S.in an effort to save the Turkish economy, the Financial Times reported.
Erdogan's call for a boycott of USA products comes after the Trump administration increased metals tariffs on Turkey as part of a campaign to pressure Ankara to release the United States citizen, pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces charges of terrorism.
It's unclear what the US trying to achieve by targeting an ally with whom it worked together in places including Somalia, Afghanistan and Kosovo.
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Turkish government officials are concerned, but the country's tourists have taken advantage of the plunging currency to snap up luxury goods at stores such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
Although relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Erdogan have stabilised since they spiralled into crisis when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in 2015, the Kremlin can offer little to ease Turkey's current economic woes.
He also said tangible and effective reforms will be the most important part of Turkey's economic policy in the coming period.
Experts have blamed the sharp slide in the lira on fears the country is descending into an economic crisis.
While Erdogan didn't address their concerns in his speech, he said Turks have already begun converting foreign exchange into Turkish lira because it would be tantamount to "surrendering" if they did otherwise.
Brunson's lawyer said on Tuesday he had launched a fresh appeal to a Turkish court for the pastor's release.
Asian stocks sagged on Wednesday, failing to track Wall Street's gains and with the dollar near a 13-month high as concerns about Turkey's financial crisis weighed on investor appetite, despite the lira's move away from an all-time low. On Tuesday, one dollar was worth 7.2 lira.
On Monday, the Turkish central bank introduced several measures to help, including cutting the reserves that banks are required to hold at the central bank, thereby freeing up money for lending.