Turkey is a 'target of economic war', Erdogan says

Turkish delegation returns home after meeting in US

It hit arecord low after Trump announced he had authorised higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20 percent on aluminum and 50 percent on steel.

The country's economy was already in trouble, but the lira's selloff was heavily compounded by Donald Trump's announcement that he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his newly appointed finance minister, Berat Albayrak, are due to speak at 2 p.m. local time Friday.

This came in the wake of sanctions imposed by Mr Trump for Turkey's refusal to free pastor Andrew Brunson, who the nation detained on terror charges despite the insistence of the USA he is innocent.

A new bout of selling Friday on increased strains with the United States forced the lira over six against the dollar for the first time, with the currency at one point shredding a quarter of its value in a single day. Trump tweeted out on Friday.

It could impose capital controls on forex transfers or even call on the International Monetary Fund for bailout help, although economists regard the former an extreme measure with only marginal probability and the latter unlikely given one of Erdogan's proudest achievements was paying off all of Turkey's International Monetary Fund debt in 2013.

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"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for the Turkish lira".

"This is a domestic and national struggle", Erdoğan said, according to The Associated Press.

Erdogan has downplayed the currency crisis, urging Turks to convert any stashed-away gold or foreign currency into lira, thereby waging a "war of independence" against America. The lira fell further after Trump's tweet.

"President Erdogan's strengthened powers under the new presidential system have made it increasingly uncertain whether policymakers will be able to act to stabilize the economy", William Jackson, the chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London, said.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and other media reports quote Erdogan as making the comment to a group of worshippers following traditional Muslim Friday prayers during a visit to the northern city of Bayburt.

Turkey's sovereign dollar-denominated bonds tumbled with many issues trading at record lows. The lira slid to a fresh record low against the US dollar.

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In addition to the Brunson case, Washington is seeking the release of three locally employed USA embassy staff. "If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah".

"We doubt Turkey is ready to limit its fiscal flexibility right now".

"Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives", he said.

Turkey said it would respond to the new US tariff action "without delay" and warned the move would further harm relations between the two countries. Conservative evangelical Protestants are a key constituency at home for U.S. President Donald Trump.

The new duties on Turkey are double the level Mr Trump imposed in March on steel and aluminium imports from a range of countries. Turkey's energy minister announced on August 8 that Turkey will keep buying liquid natural gas from Iran in violation of US sanctions. Rate increases are the central bank's main tool to support the currency and fight inflation.

It's an awkward triangle, given that Turkey is a Nato member, Russian Federation is Nato's number one threat and the organisation is obliged to defend any member that is attacked.

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He said, the "unlawful act, which was done without the knowledge of the Presidency, is condemnable and completely unacceptable". Daura has since been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the State Security Service until further notice.

Turkey has detained Mr Brunson for almost two years, accusing him of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls.

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