NEWS NATIONAL NEWS        13/01/2019

Trump threatens to “devastate Turkey economically”

American President Trump threatened Turkey on Sunday with tough economic sanctions if it attacks Kurdish forces in Syria after American troops withdraw from the country in the coming months. Trump tweeted ““Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds” and suggested that there would be a 20-mile safe zone around the group after American forces leave. He added in a follow-up tweet “Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.”

 

Trump’s tweet represented a public threat towards Turkey, a NATO ally, over the Kurds and seemed to offer a blanket of protection for the group of American-backed militias that the Turkish government sees as terrorists. Trump’s earlier announcement of a pull-out of American soldiers from Syria within 30 days late last month without guaranteeing safety for the Kurds, who have helped American forces fight the Islamic State, had received sharp international criticism. However, this last tweet has threatened to put an end to the efforts of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s attempt to reach a deal with Turkey to protect the Kurds. Trump’s tweets have added to the confusion over American policy in the region.

 

Turkey, which has said it is planning an assault on Islamic State and Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria, contends that the Kurdish fighters in Syria are part of a front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is leading a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. Two top administration officials, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, resigned, and Trump later agreed to give the military about four months to withdraw. A week ago, the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the withdrawal was conditional, insinuating that American troops could potentially be on the ground even longer.

 

Following Trump’s tweet, the Turkish lira lost 3% in value against the US dollar



Turkey’s net minimum wage has been raised 26.05% to TL 2,020 (USD 381) as of 01.01.2019       Migration communication helpline 157 available for foreigners in Turkey       Read our homepage articles on developments in the Turkish economy       Turkey’s annual inflation rate drops to 9.26% in September 2019       Turkey’s unemployment rate increases to 14% in August 2019       Read our BUSINESS section for latest sectoral and corporate news       Turkey’s population is 82,003,882 as of 2018 yearend       Number of foreigners visiting Turkey in 2018 increases by 21.8% to 39.5 million       Turkey’s private sector foreign debt is USD 225.8 billion as of 2018 yearend       Turkey’s economy contracted by 2.6% in the first quarter of 2019       Turkey shows surplus of USD 538 million in its 12 month rolling current account balance in June 2019