Erdogan accuses US of seeking to stab Turkey ‘in the back’

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech to Turkish ambassadors Monday. (AP)
Updated 14 August 2018
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Erdogan accuses US of seeking to stab Turkey ‘in the back’

  • The dispute has severely hit the Turkish currency which has been in free fall since Friday
  • Erdogan blasted the “economic terror” on social media, vowing that the judiciary had taken necessary measures to punish so-called speculators

ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused the US of seeking to stab Turkey “in the back” over a diplomatic row sparked by the detention of an American pastor that has sent the lira into a tailspin.
“You act on one side as a strategic partner but on the other you fire bullets into the foot of your strategic partner,” Erdogan told a conference in the capital Ankara.
“We are together in NATO and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back. Can such a thing be accepted?” Erdogan asked.
Turkey and the US, two NATO allies, have been locked in bitter disputes over a string of issues from a pastor’s detention on terror charges to the war in Syria. The dispute has severely hit the Turkish currency which has been in free fall since Friday.
Erdogan said Turkey was facing an “economic siege,” slamming the currency movements as an “attack against our country.”
US President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey.
But Erdogan advised Turks not to worry.
“It is not at all like we sank and we are finished. The dynamics of the Turkish economy are solid, strong and sound and will continue to be so.”
Erdogan also blasted the “economic terror” on social media, vowing that the judiciary had taken necessary measures to punish so-called speculators.
The Interior Ministry launched an investigation into 346 social media accounts on grounds of “provocative sharings on social media,” the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.


Gaza staff at UN agency for Palestinians strike over job cuts

Updated 9 min 16 sec ago
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Gaza staff at UN agency for Palestinians strike over job cuts

  • The one-day strike closed more than 250 UNRWA schools in Gaza, as well as medical centers and food aid distribution points
  • The United States has traditionally been UNRWA’s largest funder, providing around $350 million a year

GAZA CITY: Staff at the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees went on strike in the Gaza Strip on Monday to protest against job losses and US funding cuts.
The one-day strike closed more than 250 UNRWA schools in Gaza, as well as medical centers and food aid distribution points.
The United States has traditionally been UNRWA’s largest funder, providing around $350 million (300 million euros) a year.
But President Donald Trump has cut all support, sparking a funding crisis.
More than 250 jobs have been cut in Gaza and the West Bank so far, while hundreds of full-time roles have become part-time.
The refugee agency’s labor union is demanding the job cuts be reversed and its leaders say the strike could be the first of a number of measures.
A small protest took place outside the agency’s Gaza headquarters.
“The strike comes in light of the (UNRWA) administration’s lack of responsiveness to the demands of the employees’ union and their insistence on not solving their problems,” Amal Al-Batsh, deputy head of the union, said in a statement.
UNRWA says the funding deficit caused by the Trump administration’s withdrawal of support is so severe cuts are unavoidable.
Around 13,000 people work for the agency in Gaza, where more than two-thirds of the roughly two million residents are eligible for aid.
UNRWA says more than 200,000 Palestinians attend its schools in the strip.