Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned his country would boycott electronic goods from the United States in retaliation for recent sanctions imposed by Washington over the detention of an American pastor.The Turkish president has repeatedly been photographed while using Apple products such as iPhones and iPads. And he made his now famous speech on the night of the July 2016 failed coup calling citizens out into the streets through Facetime, an iPhone app.
But in a televised speech on Tuesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t want to be reminded of that while announcing a move to shun US electronic goods in the future.
“We will boycott electronic goods from the United States,” the president said, raising the stakes in a spat with Washington following the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges.
“If the US has the iPhone, there’s Samsung on the other side,” Erdogan said, referring to the top South Korean smartphone maker.
“And we also have our Venus and Vestel,” he said, with regards to Turkey’s own domestic brands.
Heading off an attack
His remarks came after the lira’s plunge had turned into a rout toward the end of last week after US President Donald Trump announced the doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.
Erdogan said Turkey was facing an economic attack and a “bigger, deeper operation” to hurt the domestic economy as he showed no sign of making concessions to the United States.
“They don’t hesitate to use the economy as a weapon,” the president commented, referring to the US.
Erdogan admitted that his country had problems such as a widening current account deficit and inflation of almost 16 percent. But “thanks to God, our economy is functioning like clockwork,” he maintained.
hg/tr (AFP, dpa)