President Donald Trump tweeted out that he doubled tariffs on steel and aluminum on Turkey as the two countries continue to fight over defense policy and the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkish dictator president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared that his country “will not lose the economic war” with America.

The White House stated that Trump only “authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs” on aluminum and steel on Turkey.

Erdoğan declared that Turkey will not lose this “war” against America even though the lira continues to fall. From Hürriyet Daily News:

“Those who have dollars, euros or gold under their pillows [savings at home] should go and exchange them with the [Turkish] lira. This is a national struggle. This will be my nation’s response to those who have declared an economic war,” he added.

While the Turkish Lira continued to tumble, Erdoğan also addressed locals during his first trip to his hometown in the Black Sea province of Rize following the June 24 elections late Aug. 9.

“We will work a lot and we will try to make our country more modern with all of its 81 provinces, God willing. Just know that we are better than yesterday now, and tomorrow we will be better than today. Don’t worry,” Erdoğan said.

“There are various campaigns. Don’t care about them. And don’t forget that if they have their dollars, we have our people and our God … I want your patience and ardour,” said Erdoğan, as the Turkish currency lost more than 35 percent value against the greenback since the end of last year.

CNBC described the conflict between America and Turkey on defense:

Bipartisan members of Congress and the Trump administration have objected to Turkey’s plan to acquire a Russian missile defense system. A deal for Turkey to receive Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets went through in June, despite congressional opposition to the transaction related to the Russian-made missile system.

Lawmakers are worried that the missile defense system could expose weaknesses in the U.S.-made aircraft. They fear that Turkey could share those vulnerabilities with Russia, among other concerns.

When the Senate voted overwhelmingly this year to block the jet sales to Turkey, members also raised concerns about Brunson’s detention. Turkey has held the evangelical pastor since 2016 and alleged that he was involved in a failed coup attempt that year. He has denied the charges.

On August 1, the Trump administration passed sanctions against Turkish minister of justice and minister of interior over the imprisonment of Brunson.


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