ANKARA Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at the United States for behaving like “wild wolves,” saying Ankara would pursue non-dollar transactions in trade with Russia and other countries.
“America behaves like wild wolves. Don’t believe them,” Erdogan said in an address to a business forum in Bishkek on Sunday during a visit to Kyrgyzstan.
He added that negotiations were underway between Turkey and Russia over using national currencies instead of the US dollar in bilateral trade ties.
The US has imposed punitive economic measures on both Ankara and Moscow.
“Using the dollar only damages us. We will not give up. We will be victorious,” Erdogan told the meeting, attended by Kyrgyz and Turkish businessmen as well as government officials.
Washington and Ankara are entangled in a dispute over an American pastor standing trial in Turkey over terror charges.
Pastor Andrew Brunson has been accused of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement, which Turkey blames for the 2016 failed military coup.
Brunson, who has already spent nearly two years behind bars in Turkey, has denied the charges, calling them shameful and disgusting.
If found guilty, he will face up to 35 years in jail. His imprisonment and then house arrest have caused one of the deepest rows between Turkey and the US.
Ties between NATO members Washington and Ankara hit a new low last month after the US took the dispute to the economic front, adopting a series of punitive measures against Turkey, including imposing sanctions on Turkish ministers and doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs, which have led to a sharp decline in Turkey’s currency, the lira.
On August 25, the Turkish president called on his nation to demonstrate commitment and determination as firm guarantees needed to combat attacks on Turkeys economy.
As we tackle attacks against the Turkish economy today, our biggest guarantee is the commitment and determination of every member of our people to take hold of their independence, nation, and future, Erdogan said.
Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Monday that recent unilateral steps taken by the United States to wage an economic war against Ankara are politically-motivated and could serve to ultimately bolster regional terrorism and the refugee crisis.
“These steps taken with political motivation will not only impact the global financial system but also global trade and regional stability,” Albayrak said at a joint news conference with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Paris.