Khaleej Times

Erdogan: Turkey will not be cowed by US S&P cuts Turkey debt rating

- — AFP — AFP

ankara — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Saturday that his country would not be cowed by the United States, his latest broadside in the bitter feud between Ankara and Washington.

The two Nato members are at odds over Turkey’s detention of an American pastor, which has triggered a trade row and sent the local currency, the lira, into a tailspin.

“We will not surrender to those who present themselves as a strategic partner while at the same time trying to make us a strategic target,” Erdogan said at a congress of his ruling Justice and Developmen­t Party (AKP).

“Some people threaten us with economy, sanctions, foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates and inflation. We know your shenanigan­s and we will defy you.”

At the end of congress, delegates unanimousl­y re-elected Erdogan as head of the AKP, the state news agency Anadolu reported.

Last week, US President Donald Trump said he had doubled the tariffs on aluminium and steel tariffs from Turkey, prompting Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on several US products.

And Turkey on Friday threatened to respond in kind if Washington imposed further sanctions, while a court rejected another appeal to free pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held for almost two years on terror charges.

The lira has nosedived against WASHINGTON — Global ratings agency S&P on Friday cut Turkey’s debt grade for the second time in four months, moving it further into junk territory and predicting the country will go into recession next year. The agency downgraded the rating a notch to ‘B+’ and pointed to the weakening of the Turkish lira in the past two weeks, amid an overheatin­g economy and high debt levels. the dollar, dropping as much as 20 per cent on one day recently. It sunk to a low of well over seven to the dollar earlier last week but was trading at just over six to the dollar on Friday — a loss of 40 per cent since the start of the year.

 ?? — AFP ?? Women queue outside a Louis Vuitton store in Istanbul. The Turkish lira has nosedived against the dollar.
— AFP Women queue outside a Louis Vuitton store in Istanbul. The Turkish lira has nosedived against the dollar.

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