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Turkish VP fires back at Trump over threats to destroy nation’s economy

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Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay, said his country would not be cowed by threats, in Ankara’s first and muted response to President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy Turkey’s economy.

“Our message to the international community is clear. Turkey is not a country that will be moved by threats,” Oktay said on Tuesday in Ankara.

President Recep Erdogan is on an official visit to Serbia and there has been no further reaction from his administration.

On Monday, the U.S. president threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey,” if it took steps that are “off limits” in its planned incursion into north-eastern Syria.

In 2018, the NATO allies imposed tit-for-tat sanctions on each other’s ministers, as well as tariffs on imports over the detention of a pastor.

The row escalated a currency crisis in Turkey, with the lira losing more than 40 per cent of its value against the dollar.

The Turkish lira, which fell steeply to 5.84 against the U.S. dollar on Monday, was trading at around 5.82 after Tuesday’s opening.

Some U.S. troops have started withdrawing from areas in north-eastern Syria along Turkey’s border, U.S.-backed Kurdish forces said, as Washington paved the way for a Turkish incursion.

Syrian ally Iran said it was opposed to the planned incursion, its Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif , told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu onphone, the Foreign Ministry in Tehran said on Tuesday.

Zarif said Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty must be respected.

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