Erdogan warns Turkey’s partnership with US ‘in jeopardy’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 10, 2018 pledged that Turkey would prevail in an "economic war" after the lira crashed to historic lows over Ankara's strains with Washington. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 11 August 2018
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Erdogan warns Turkey’s partnership with US ‘in jeopardy’

  • The embattled lira tumbled 16 percent against the dollar on Friday
  • The arrest of US pastor Brunson since October 2016 has soured already deeply delicate relations with Washington

ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s partnership with the United States may be in jeopardy as ties strain, warning Ankara could start looking for new allies, in an op-ed published in the New York Times on Saturday.
Relations between the two NATO allies have sunk to their lowest point in decades over a number of issues including the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges, prompting the Turkish lira to hit record lows against the dollar.
The embattled lira tumbled 16 percent against the dollar on Friday, with US President Donald Trump saying he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey in comments that contributed to the currency’s further slide.
In the New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk relations with Ankara, saying otherwise his country would look for “new friends and allies.”
“Unless the United States starts respecting Turkey’s sovereignty and proves that it understands the dangers that our nation faces, our partnership could be in jeopardy,” he wrote.
“Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives,” he said.
“Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.”
In a tweet, Trump announced the doubling of the tariffs — in new punitive actions against Turkey, saying: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!“
Erdogan downplayed the currency crisis in a speech on Friday, advising Turks not to be worried over exchange rate fluctuations.
He also said Turkey had alternatives “from Iran, to Russia, to China and some European countries.”
The arrest of US pastor Brunson since October 2016 has soured already deeply delicate relations with Washington.
In the New York Times article, Erdogan said: “Attempting to force my government to intervene in the judicial process is not in line with our Constitution or our shared democratic values.”
Trump has described Brunson’s detention as a “total disgrace” and urged Erdogan to free him “immediately.”


Hamas unveils Iran-funded homes for former Israel prisoners

Updated 52 min 11 sec ago
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Hamas unveils Iran-funded homes for former Israel prisoners

  • Hamas officials say the program is a first of its kind to be funded by Iran
  • The prisoners ministry says the project will give away 26 apartments in a new building to 125 former prisoners

GAZA CITY: Hamas said Thursday it had allocated new homes funded by Iran in Gaza to former Palestinian prisoners who had been held in Israeli jails.
The prisoners ministry said 26 apartments in a new building in southern Gaza had been given out in a lottery between 125 former Palestinian prisoners.
Officials from Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip, said the program was the first of its kind funded by Iran.
A second building will be constructed in northern Gaza, the ministry said, adding the project aimed to “reduce the suffering of our freed prisoners.”
Iran has long been a strong backer of Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad, providing them with funds, weapons and training.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.
Israel regards Iran as its main enemy, accusing of seeking the destruction of the Jewish state though its support for militant groups such as Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.