The United States’ sanctions resulted in the Turkish lira reaching a new low, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening the US for the sanctions. Erdogan said, “Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives.Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.’
In a rally, Erdogan also appealed to his religiously conservatist voting base, saying: If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah. It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor. I am calling on those in America again. Shame on you, shame on you. You are exchanging your strategic partner in Nato for a priest,’ alluding to the imprisoned American pastor, who is being held in prison with terrorism charges related to the failed coup in 2015.
The US has had a rocky relationship with Turkey over the last few years, with Erdogan asking for the extradition of Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of masterminding the coup attempt, and the US claiming that they were not provided with sufficient evidence to support the case of his involvement.