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President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks on Friday to exchange gold and dollars into lira, with the country's currency in free fall after President Donald Trump turned the screws on Ankara by doubling tariffs on metals imports.

In announcing 20 percent tariffs on aluminum and 50 percent tariffs on steel, Trump said "the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

The president has declared that American importers' reliance on foreign metals poses a national security risk to the U.S., and he also has increased the cost of these imports on Japan, Turkey and members of the European Union, the paper reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is appealing for calm as the country's currency plunges, urging people to change foreign money into local lira.

Mr Trump has castigated Turkey for detaining American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial for terrorism charges for allegedly associating with plotters of the failed 2016 coup against Mr Erdogan.

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have sunk to their lowest point in decades over a string of issues including the detention of United States pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges, prompting the lira to hit record lows against the dollar.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: "Trump's jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful".

On Friday, they also had to also factor in Turkey's economic crisis.

Turkey's president yesterday blamed the country's economic downturn on the United States and other nations that he claims are waging "war" against his country.

That turned into a rout on Friday, with the lira diving more than 18 per cent on the day and more than 40 per cent this year to a new record low after Trump took steps to punish Turkey in a wide-ranging dispute.


But Erdogan said Turks should not be alarmed by exchange rate movements.

After nearly 20 months in a Turkish jail, Brunson was moved to house arrest in July by a court.

"Also completely underestimated is Turkey's capacity to effectively shut down everything that happens in Brussels if they want to, because Brussels works on consensus and nothing, literally nothing happens without consensus", he said.

On Friday afternoon Erdogan dug in again, calling for citizens to convert out of dollars and gold and buy the lira to help fight a "national struggle". The plunge in the value of the currency coupled with an inflation rate of almost 16% could cause a lot of damage to Turkey's economy.

USA channel CNN also said the White House "did not offer any explanation as to how US national security is threatened" in the statement made regarding the topic.

"The US and Turkey are breaking up".

"If they have their dollars, we have our people, our God". It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system against Iran.

"Look at what we were 16 years ago and look at us now", he said.

Erdogan and Putin also voiced contentment regarding Turkey and Russia's ongoing cooperation in the energy and defence industry sectors, the source told CNBC. Since then Trump and his vice president Mike Pence have repeatedly called for his release while Ankara said the decision was up to the courts.


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