The recent performance of President Donald Trump shows very clearly that he is "out to get" Turkey and is now dishing out everything in his arsenal.
Trump wants the release of pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on charges of espionage, cooperating with the coup plotters on July 15, 2016 and also for links with the secessionist PKK terrorist organization. So he seems to be prepared to risk the collapse of bilateral ties not only by imposing sanctions against Turkish officials but also by toying around with the Turkish lira and ruining the value of our currency.
The sanctions against the ministers of a friend and ally are incredible and unprecedented. The attempt to manipulate the markets and ruin the value of the Turkish lira is simply an act of enmity that will have serious repercussions.
This week, as Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak was announcing short-term and medium-term measures to revamp the structure of our economy and thus bolster the Turkish lira, President Trump tweeted his decision to slap new customs charges on Turkish steel and aluminum imports because the Turkish lira had lost value and added that Turkish-American relations are not good.
This was a clear act of sabotage by the American president. It hastened the depreciation of the lira against the dollar and it was clear that the issue was no longer about any pastor, but it was an act to try to bring President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to his knees.
The Turkish economy is resilient yet it has its flaws. There are structural problems which have to be addressed and that is exactly what Albayrak is trying to do. But nothing justifies the speedy downward slide of the Turkish lira against the dollar and the euro at this point in time. It shows the White House is lining up all its instruments and weapons to hurt Turkey.
The American president may be a good businessman, although some Americans might not agree, but it is clear he is a poor statesman and politician. You cannot hurt an ally and a friend like this and hope to get away with it. When it comes to Turkey and challenging a statesman like Erdoğan you should think twice before embarking on a war of attrition.
The Turkish people did not turn against Erdoğan with the fall of the Turkish currency against the dollar; on the contrary they have rallied around him. Yet the wave of anti-Americanism and negative feelings against Trump is now at a peak among the Turkish people.
The Turks see very clearly that they do not have a friend across the Atlantic; rather we have a leader in the White House who is toying around with our well-being and pockets. His actions are making us poor and are hurting our economy. We have lived through such hard times before and even in the worst of conditions we have survived and prevailed. We will do so again.
However, what we will never forget is the enmity displayed by the people who called themselves our friends and allies. We stood by them in Korea, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, in Bosnia, in Somalia, during 9/11 and now in Afghanistan. But you will not find us there in any future crisis because you have shown you are no longer our friend or ally.
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