Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that his country is ready to trade with partner nations using national currencies.
“We are preparing to carry out trade in national currencies with China, Russia, Iran, and Ukraine, which account for the bulk of bilateral trade. If European countries want to get rid of the pressure of the dollar, we are ready to create a similar system with them,” said the Turkish leader during a meeting in the Turkish city of Rize.
Earlier, Erdogan asked the citizens of the country to sell their dollars and euros in order to support the lira. The Turkish national currency has experienced a sharp drop since US President Donald Trump announced sanctions against Turkey.
Speaking of his disagreement with Washington, Erdogan referred to it as a “currency plan,” saying that those who provoke fluctuations in the value of the lira “think they can destroy Turkey.”
Still, according to the head of state, Ankara does not intend to tolerate an economic war being declared, especially as several countries are pressured by the threat of imposing sanctions.
“In the world, there is not a politician or country that can succeed in maintaining a hostile policy towards Turkey,” Erdogan said, promising that anyone who causes suffering to the Turkish people will pay for it sooner or later.
While Turkey remains a NATO member, the inertia of its Atlanticist relationship with the US through this organization has not been enough to alleviate the disputes between the two states that have been mounting since the failed 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.
Another point of contention is the fact that the US supports the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group recognized as a terrorist organization by both Washington and Ankara. The PKK seek the separation of what they consider Kurdistan from the Turkish state.
These and other points of contention between Turkey and Washington are likely to continue to compel Ankara to, as Erdogan recently said, “look for new friends and allies.”