The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has threatened a boycott of US electronics in response to tensions over a US citizen imprisoned in Turkey.
A couple of years ago Erdogan arrested a bunch of people after an apparent attempted coup and American Pastor Andrew Brunson was among them. He has been locked up since then and US President Donald Trump recently decided to increase the pressure on Erdogan to let him go, sanctioning a couple of politicians and increasing some tariffs, resulting in big falls in the value of the Turkish currency.
Multiple media have reported Erdogan as saying the following at a press conference. “We will implement a boycott against America’s electronic goods. If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side and we have our own telephone brands. We are going to produce enough for ourselves. We have to serve better quality goods than we are importing from them.”
Yeah, good luck with that Recep. These threats seem to have been largely discounted but they do illustrate once more how easily US companies such as Apple can become collateral damage when politicians use trade as a diplomatic weapon. If we assume Erdogan wasn’t just drunk, he was probably chest-beating because that has proven to be the language Trump understands.
It’s quite possible that Brunson is merely a proxy for Trump to have a go at Turkey, which seems to be chummy with perennial US antagonist Russia. “We view the policy of sanctions as unlawful and illegitimate, driven mostly by a desire to dominate everywhere and in everything, dictate policies and call shots in international affairs,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.