Turkish Finance Minister: U.S. Tariffs Could Encourage Terrorism

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak speaks during a presentation to announce his economic policy in Istanbul, Turkey August 10, 2018. (Murad Sezer/Reuters)

Turkey’s finance minister warned on Monday that U.S. tariffs on Turkish products could catalyze terrorism in the region and exacerbate the Syrian refugee crisis.

“These steps taken with political motivation will not only impact the global financial system but also global trade and regional stability,” Minister Berat Albayrak said at a press conference after a meeting in Paris with the French minister of the economy, Bruno Le Maire. “With the damage [the steps] will cause to regional stability, they will unfortunately contribute to chaotic problems that feed terrorism and also the refugee crisis.”

The Turkish lira plummeted to a record low after President TrumpÆs announcement earlier this month that he will double tariffs on aluminum and steel from Turkey, to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

“The language of threats and blackmail cannot be used against this nation,” Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan remarked about the tariff hike at the time. “Those who assume they can bring us to our knees through economic manipulations don’t know our nation at all.”

The U.S. has scuffled with Turkey over a number of issues in recent months, including policy on Syria, as well as Turkey’s collaring of American Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being detained on espionage and terrorism charges.

Monday’s meeting between the French and Turkish finance ministers featured an agreement to combat economic and national-security decisions by the American government that they view as threatening.

“The moves by the U.S. are isolating it from its allies; the dollar is losing its status as a global trade tool,” said Albayrak, who is also President Erdogan’s son-in-law.

He added that Turkey would like to enter a new phase in its relationship with the European Union, emphasizing trade.

IN THE NEWS: ‘[WATCH] Trade War Threatens U.S. Economy’ 

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Trump Can’t Cry ‘No Fair’

If I may jump in, I take Charlie’s point and I think he’s largely correct. I also think David is correct. There’s not that much of a contradiction in that because I think to some extent they’re talking about different things. And this reflects a larger frustration I have with many of the ... Read More