Lira extends retreat as Turkey heads toward a financial crisis

A vendor gets a five Euro bank note from a customer at the central market in Athens

The Turkish lira has been targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump himself, and Turkey has prepared an action plan to soothe its volatility against the dollar, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said late Sunday.

In a tweet, he said he was imposing duties of 20 per cent on Turkish aluminium and 50 per cent on steel.

Turkey's row with the United States has further weighed on the lira.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday criticized the USA, saying Turkey will say "goodbye" to those, who prefer terrorists as their strategic partner.

The Turkish stock market has also fallen 17%, while government borrowing costs have risen to 18% a year, according to Andrew Walker, the BBC World Service economics correspondent.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by global rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement. "We will be taking the necessary steps with our banks and banking watchdog in a speedy manner", he said. Since then U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have called for his release, while Ankara says the decision is up to the courts.

The currency has lost more than 45 percent of its value this year, largely over worries about Erdogan's influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates in the face of high inflation and worsening ties with the United States.

Turkey and the US are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

Turkey's currency dropped some 16 percent to new record lows against the dollar on Friday.

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Trump administration officials said the tariffs were meant to boost the domestic steel and aluminum industry.

"President Trump's refusal to accommodate Turkey is a remarkable departure from previous policy practices", said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors, who added that he would be gauging the extent of a spillover into other emerging markets and European banks.

On Saturday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the USA that it could lose a "strategic partner", declaring a rally: "We only bow before God".

"It's still the case that the euro and Australian dollar are most readily in the firing line, given concerns over euro zone exposure to Turkey and the Aussie's status as the market's preferred EM/risk proxy", NAB's Attrill said of the impact of the falling lira on Group-of-10 currencies. Gulen has denied the allegation.

The case of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical Christian, is one of a series of disputes that lies at the heart of deteriorating ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 on charges of being an American spy and terrorist complicit in the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in the summer of 2016.

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters.

Last week, a Turkish delegation went to Washington and met with US counterparts, but there was no breakthrough.

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