Turkey calls US ‘wild wolves’, vows to abandon dollar in trade

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the opening ceremony for the newly built Serahsi Mosque in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, shake hands during the opening ceremony for the newly built Serahsi Mosque in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center left, and Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, right, speak during the opening ceremony for the newly built Serahsi Mosque in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, right, greet each other after they both received honorary doctorates from Manas University in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. (Presidential Press Service via AP)
Updated 02 September 2018

Turkey calls US ‘wild wolves’, vows to abandon dollar in trade

BISHKEK: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed Ankara would pursue non-dollar transactions in trade with Russia and other countries, accusing the US of behaving like “wild wolves.”
Both Turkey and Russia are reeling from punitive economic measures imposed by Washington.
“America behaves like wild wolves. Don’t believe them,” Erdogan told a business forum during a visit to Kyrgyzstan, in comments translated into Kyrgyz.
He said his country was in negotiations with Russia over non-dollar trade.
“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.
Ties between NATO members Washington and Ankara hit a new low last month as US President Donald Trump announced steep new tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum in response to the detention of an American pastor in Turkey.
The Turkish lira shed a quarter of its value last month as the trade war with the US ratcheted up.
Russia meanwhile saw its ruble tumble to two-year lows in August after the US announced fresh sanctions in connection with a nerve agent poisoning incident in the British city of Salisbury.
Erdogan has also used the visit to ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan to demand the Central Asian country of six million people relinquish all ties to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric and educator Ankara accuses of fomenting a coup in 2016.
Speaking Sunday, Erdogan said Turkish businesses should invest in Kyrgyzstan but “may face barriers from FETO,” the term Ankara uses to describe the network of people and institutions linked to Gulen.
The refusal of the United States to extradite 77-year-old Gulen to face trial in Turkey is one of several sore points that have plagued a once-strong bilateral relationship.
Gulen, whose Hizmet movement has led to the creation of schools in dozens of countries including Kyrgyzstan has always denied any links to the 2016 coup attempt.
Since July 2016, over 55,000 people have been arrested over coup links in Turkey, while more than 140,000 public sector employees have been sacked or suspended.


Security conference told of ‘Iranian menace’ to shipping in the Gulf

Updated 22 October 2019

Security conference told of ‘Iranian menace’ to shipping in the Gulf

  • “Aviation and maritime security are at the top of the policy agenda in the region,” says Bahraini FM
  • Pompeo warned of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program

MANAMA: Delegates from more than 60 countries including Saudi Arabia met in Bahrain on Monday to discuss maritime security after attacks on tankers in the Gulf and Saudi oil installations, widely blamed on Iran.

“Aviation and maritime security are at the top of the policy agenda in the region,” Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa told the conference. “We must take a collective stand ... to take the necessary steps to protect our nations from rogue states.”

In a message to delegates, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

“This meeting comes at a critical moment in history,” he said. “The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, whether by air or sea, poses a serious threat to international peace and security.

“Together, we must all be committed to taking the necessary actions to stop countries that continue to pursue WMD at great risk to all of us.”

Countries taking part in the conference, including Israel, belong to the Maritime and Aviation Security Working Group, created in February during a Middle East conference in Warsaw.

“The meeting is an occasion to exchange views on how to deal with the Iranian menace and to guarantee freedom of navigation,” Bahrain’s foreign ministry said.

After the tanker attacks, the US formed a naval coalition to protect navigation. Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, joined in August, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE followed in September. The UK and Australia are the other main Western partners.