WhatFinger

How much pain is Erdogan willing to inflict on the Turkish people in order to continue holding Andrew Brunson as a political prisoner?

Turkey: Oh yeah? Well, we’ll boycott U.S. electronics then!


By —— Bio and Archives--August 15, 2018

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Turkey: Oh yeah? Well, we’ll boycott U.S. electronics then!
Let’s see. On the one hand, we have the Turkish lira cratering and the Turkish economy in collapse while its financial institutions struggle to maintain stability. On the other hand we have the prospect that one country might force its people to buy Samsung tablets instead of iPhones.

I think America will survive.

But for whatever reason, perhaps nothing more than sheer pride, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is that determined to do anything other than release Pastor Andrew Brunson, lest the world see that Donald Trump can push him around. So . . . a lame boycott threat. That’ll teach ’em!

For the record, Trump is very much pushing Erdogan around, and Turks are paying a very high price not only for his intransigence on the matter of Pastor Brunson but also for his insistence on command-and-control of the currency and much else within the Turkish economic system.

But Apple has to be quaking in its boots right about now!

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkey would boycott U.S. electronic goods, the latest move in escalating jousting between Ankara and Washington that has sent the Turkish lira to record lows.

The boycott, which Mr. Erdogan announced in a speech celebrating the 17th anniversary of his ruling party, is part of a wider campaign Turkey has launched to retaliate against U.S. sanctions, and which has spread to places from the advertising market to beauty parlors.

“We are going to enforce a boycott on U.S. electronic goods,” Mr. Erdogan said. “If they have iPhones, there is also Samsung,” he said, referring to the South Korean cellphone maker.

Turkey and the U.S. are locked in a bitter dispute over the fate of an American pastor. The White House has vowed to pile pressure on Turkey until the Presbyterian minister, Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges and as much as 35 years in prison, had been allowed to return home.

Turkish authorities say justice must run its course and have slammed tariffs that the U.S. introduced this week on some Turkish imports as an “act of economic war.”

Well. That’s because it is an economic war. And it’s working. The lira is down 40 percent and confidence in the currency has never been lower.

Ironically, there’s an interesting idea out there for how Erdogan could more smartly counter Trump’s maneuvers. That is to give up his own personal control of the Turkish currency and peg it instead to a more stable world currency like, say, the U.S. dollar? It’s not an unheard-of idea and it would be easy for Erdogan to do it.

 

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But Erdogan doesn’t want to do it. He uses manipulation of the currency as part of his strategy to maintain and consolidate political control over the country. Pegging the lira to the dollar would be beneficial to the Turkish people but contrary to Erdogan’s personal power obsession. He won’t do it, no matter how much pain he has to inflict on his people as a result.

And just how much pain is he willing to inflict on the Turkish people in order to continue holding Andrew Brunson as a political prisoner? I guess we’ll find out, because at least the moment Erdogan isn’t backing down, and Trump sure as hell isn’t backing down.

Now: If Erdogan ends up running to the International Monetary Fund for a rescue – when he could have just released Brunson and ended all the U.S. sanctions – how the IMF responds will speak volumes about them.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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