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Turkey's Economy Is Struggling, And That's Partly On The US

The Turkish currency is struggling, and part of the reason is a diplomatic dispute with the U.S.
Posted at 7:44 PM, Aug 15, 2018

Turkey's sliding into a deep economic crisis as its currency plunges in value. The situation is not only creating a potential regional crisis, but it's also deepening a rift between Turkey and the U.S. Right now, Turkey's currency is weaker against the dollar than it has ever been.

Part of the reason is underlying economic issues such as rampant inflation and poor economic management. 

But another reason is because of the U.S. Specifically, President Donald Trump's threats to double the steel and aluminum tariffs on the country. This follows U.S. sanctions against Turkey's ministers of justice and interior over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

The U.S. has demanded Turkey release Brunson, who is accused of supporting a 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Turkey's response has been defiant. Erdogan said Trump's tariffs were a "stab in the back" and called for a ban on U.S. electronics. Turkish airlines and telecom firms also halted all advertising in U.S. media. 

This is all the latest in deteriorating relations between the U.S. and its NATO ally Turkey. Earlier this year, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said U.S.-Turkish relations were at a "crisis point" over how the nations were dealing with Syria.

That's because the U.S.' main ally on the ground in Syria is the Kurdish YPG, a group Turkey considers a terrorist organization.

This breakdown in relations is notable because it's pushing Turkey closer to the U.S.' rival, Russia. 

In December, Turkey agreed to buy Russian-made air defense systems for $2.5 billion. After this latest row with the sanctions and tariffs, President Erdogan told supporters that his country would seek out new allies if the U.S. decided to cut ties.