Turks divided over President Erdogan calls for U.S. electronics boycott
admin • August 15, 2018 • 2086
iPhone 7 smartphone | REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Turks expressed differing opinions on Tuesday (August 14) after President Tayyip Erdogancalled on the nation to boycott electronic products from the United States, particularly iPhones, retaliating in a dispute with Washington that has helped drive the lira to record lows.
Hours after Erdogan‘s call, iPhone user Ayse Orga bought a new phone for herself at a bazaar selling electronics. Shopkeeper Umit Yilmaz voiced support for Orga.
“I have a 16-year-old daughter. Take her iPhone away from her, if you can,” Yilmaz said.
Another shopkeeper, Arif Simsek disagreed.
“We fully support this decision. We supported him with our lives on July 15 and now we will support him with our goods,” Simsek said, referring to the failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The lira has lost more than 40 percent this year and crashed to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar early on Monday (August 13), hit by worries over Erdogan‘s calls for lower interest rates and worsening ties with the United States.
The weakness of the Turkish currency has rippled through global markets. Its drop of as much as 18 percent on Friday (August 10) hit U.S. and European stocks as investors fretted about banks’ exposure to Turkey.
Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency. — Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday (October 24) criticised Turkey for its military incursion into Syria, saying it had put the U.S. and its allies in a “very terrible situation”.
Last week, Esper said he would press NATO allies “to take collective and individual diplomatic and economic measures in response” to Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria, even as critics have pointed out that U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision enabled the Turkish offensive. Earlier this month, Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing its troops from northeastern Syria, clearing the way for Turkish troops to launch an offensive against Kurdish fighters in the area.
“There was not a possibility that we were going to start a war with a NATO ally,” Esper said.
Speaking at an event organised in Brussels by the German Marshall Fund think tank, the Defense Secretary urged Ankara to demonstrate that it was still a “responsible” NATO ally.
The American pullout from northeastern Syria has raised concern that it could allow a resurgence of Islamic State militants.
Esper said he already talked to his British and French counterparts and that the U.S. was still committed to continue the fight against Islamic State militants. He was expected to discuss the topic further at a meeting of NATO defence ministers later in the day. (Reuters)
(Production: Christian Levaux, Jorrit Donner-Wittkopf)
Kurdish forces are continuing to withdraw in northeast Syria but Turkey will resume its military assault there once a U.S.-brokered ceasefire expires if promises given by Washington are not kept, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday (October 22).
Speaking ahead of an official visit to Russia, Erdogan also said he would discuss with Russian President Vladimir Putin how a Syrian constitutional committee that is due to meet in late October can make concrete progress.
“We will also find the opportunity to the steps to be taken to end the presence of the PKK/PYD/YPG in areas where the regime elements are. Separately, we will discuss what we can do for the constitutional committee to work in a healthy way and to put forth concrete work,” he added
A five-day pause in Turkey’s cross-border military offensive to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG fighters from the border area expires at 10 pm (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.
“The withdrawal is continuing at the moment. According to the information I have received from my defense minister, around 700-800 (YPG fighters) have already withdrawn and the rest is around 1200-1300. They are continuing to withdraw,” Erdogan said.
Turkey says Kurdish YPG militia forces must leave a “safe zone” it wants to establish along its border with northeast Syria. Ankara views the YPG as terrorists with links to Kurdish insurgents operating in southeast Turkey. (Reuters)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Ankara on Thursday (October 17) as part of Washington’s efforts to convince Turkey to halt its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria.
Turkey’s week-long assault has created a new humanitarian crisis in Syria with 160,000 civilians taking flight, a security alert over thousands of Islamic State fighters abandoned in Kurdish jails, and a political maelstrom at home for Trump.
Trump has been accused of abandoning Kurdish fighters, who were Washington’s main partners in the battle to dismantle Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria, by withdrawing troops from the border as Turkey launched its offensive on Oct. 9.
Following a phone call with Erdogan, who has rejected calls for ceasefire or mediation, Trump dispatched top aides including Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara for emergency talks to try to persuade Turkey to halt the offensive. (Reuters)
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