Erdogan: Turkey to ‘Boycott’ US Electronic Goods
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkey would boycott U.S. electronic goods in retaliation for punitive sanctions by Washington against Ankara over the detention of an American pastor.
“We will boycott U.S. electronic goods,” Erdogan said in a televised speech, raising the stakes in a spat that has seen the Turkish lira plunge to record lows.
“If (the United States) have the iPhone, there’s Samsung on the other side,” he said, referring to U.S. giant Apple’s iconic phone and the top South Korean brand.
“We (also) have our Venus and Vestel,” he said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.
— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) August 14, 2018
Relations between the two NATO allies have plummeted in one of their worst crises in decades after the detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges, sending the Turkish lira into free fall against the dollar.
Erdogan has been repeatedly photographed with Apple products including the iPhone and iPad.
He also made his now famous speech on the night of the July 2016 failed coup calling citizens out into the street through Facetime, an iPhone app.
The lira’s plunge — which had been ongoing for weeks — was turned into a rout on Friday when U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that Washington was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey.
Turkish Airlines also announced on Twitter that it would join a campaign circulating on social media with a hashtag #ABDyeReklamVerme (don’t give ads to America).
“We, as the Turkish Airlines, stand by our state and our people. Necessary instructions on the issue have been issued to our agencies,” Yahya Ustun, spokesman for the country’s flag-carrier, wrote on Twitter.
Erdogan said Turkey was facing an “economic attack” and a “bigger, deeper operation” but showed no sign of making concessions to the United States.
“They don’t hesitate to use the economy as a weapon,” he said. “What do you want to do? What do you want to achieve,” he added, referring to the U.S.
Erdogan admitted the Turkish economy had problems — including a widening current account deficit and inflation of almost 16 percent but added: “Thanks to God, our economy is functioning like clockwork.”
Turkish president Erdogan calls for boycott of US electronic products as he says "If they have the iPhone, we have Venus and Vestel in our country" but meets criticism for his usage of Apple products. pic.twitter.com/zp7Ejoy41D
— Aylina Kılıç (@AylinaKilic) August 14, 2018