The Turkish lira’s slide is not linked to a diplomatic row with Washington, and the country’s economic hardship has been exaggerated, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in an exclusive interview to Reuters.
Turkey will continue to purchase Iran’s natural gas, despite the US sanctions on Tehran, Erdogan noted while in New York attending the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Erdogan said in the interview, that it was impossible for Syrian peace efforts to continue with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, adding that the withdrawal of “radical groups” had already started within a newly-established demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib region.
Earlier the Turkish media reported that the Turkish and US presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump, held a short “on the go” meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
In March, US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. The economy of Turkey was further punished when Trump announced on August 10 his decision to double tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the country. In early September, Erdogan called for putting an end to the US dollar’s monopoly in global trade.
Relations between Ankara and Washington have worsened over the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey about two years ago on suspicion of ties to the movement founded by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accused of orchestrating the failed 2016 military coup. In late July, Brunson was released from a Turkish prison and placed under house arrest.