President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan remained defiant over the sliding lira and vowed Turkey will not be brought to its knees with economic manipulations after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey amid a diplomatic row.
Speaking in the northern Gümüşhane province, Erdoğan said the conflict between the two NATO allies can only be resolved through negotiations and dialogue, reiterating the country will not bow to U.S. pressure on the Turkish currency.
Erdoğan recalled that the economy had grown by 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
"We won't allow anyone to deter us from our goals... Despite the attacks conducted via the currency rate, we will continue to grow in the second quarter and end 2018 with a record rate," he said.
The Turkish leader also hailed economic ties with Russia, saying as many as 6 million Russians tourists would visit Turkey this year.
"Of course these relations, these contacts make us stronger," he said.
Trump's announcement came days after a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no progress on the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey on terrorism charges.
However, the White House later clarified that Trump's announcement "authorized the preparation of documents" to raise the tariffs. That means it likely will take some time to implement.
Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK, listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey, and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül for not releasing Brunson.
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