Turkish president says Ankara will boycott US electronic goods

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey would boycott US electronic goods in retaliation for punitive sanctions from Washington.

President Erdogan made announcement in a speech in the capital Ankara on Tuesday. “We will boycott US electronic goods.”

“We will produce every product we are importing from abroad with foreign currency here and we will be the ones exporting these products. We will impose a boycott on US electronic products. If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side.” the president said, referring to US giant Apple’s iconic phone and the top South Korean brand.

“We (also) have our Venus and Vestel,” Erdogan said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Erdogan said Turkey was facing an “economic attack” and a “bigger, deeper operation”.

“They don’t hesitate to use the economy as a weapon,” he said. “What do you want to do? What do you want to achieve?” he added, referring to the US.

Erdogan also told a conference in the capital Ankara on Monday that Turkish that the United States was seeking to stab Turkey “in the back”.

Relations between Washington and Ankara have taken a turn for the worse amid bitter dispute over the detention in Turkey of an American evangelical pastor on terrorism charges. The growing rift has also sent the Turkish lira into a tailspin.

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter late last month that his country “will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.” He also said on Friday that he had ordered to double US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Erdogan has called on Turks to help defend the country against the US-launched economic war against his nation. He also appealed to Turks to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to support the plunging currency.

In a separate development on Tuesday, Turkish Airlines also announced on Twitter that it would join a campaign circulating on social media with a hashtag #ABDyeReklamVerme (don’t give ads to America).

“We, as the Turkish Airlines, stand by our state and our people. Necessary instructions on the issue have been issued to our agencies,” Yahya Ustun, spokesman for the country’s flag-carrier, wrote on Twitter.

This comes as Ankara and Washington also disagree over their military interventions in the Syria war, Turkey’s plan to buy missile defense systems from Russia and the US conviction of a Turkish state bank executive on sanctions-busting charges in January.

Turkey also accused US-led West of supporting Kurdish militants as well as the alleged perpetrators of the failed coup in 2016.

IT