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NEW YORK, Aug 11 (APP):Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the United States to stop unilateralism and start respecting his country and its sovereignty, as President Donald Trump slapped new tariffs on Turkey that sent its currency into free fall.
In an op-ed published in the New York Times on Saturday, the Turkish leader warned Washington not to risk relations with Ankara, saying Turkey would otherwise look for new friends and allies.
Relations between the two NATO allies have dipped to their lowest point in decades over a number of issues, including the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges.
“Unless the United States starts respecting Turkey’s sovereignty and proves that it understands the dangers that our nation faces, our partnership could be in jeopardy,” the Turkish president stated.
“Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives,” he said.
“Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.”
In his op-ed, President Erdogan reminded Trump about what Turkey has done for US, and Washington’s failure to understand its concerns.
“Over the years, Turkey rushed to America’s help whenever necessary. Our military servicemen and servicewomen shed blood together in Korea. In 1962, the Kennedy administration was able to get the Soviets to remove missiles from Cuba by removing Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, when Washington counted on its friends and allies to strike back against evil, we sent our troops to Afghanistan to help accomplish the NATO mission there,” Erdogan wrote.
“Yet the United States has repeatedly and consistently failed to understand and respect the Turkish people’s concerns. And in recent years, our partnership has been tested by disagreements. Unfortunately, our efforts to reverse this dangerous trend proved futile.”
In a tweet, Trump announced the doubling of the tariffs in new punitive actions against Turkey, saying: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time.”
The White House said the new sanctions would take effect from August 13.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waded into the intensifying dispute between Ankara and Washington on Saturday, accusing the US of an “addiction to sanctions and bullying”.
Trump’s “jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its NATO ally Turkey is shameful”, Zarif wrote on Twitter.
“The US has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions [and] bullying or the entire world will unite – beyond verbal condemnations – to force it to,” he warned.
“We’ve stood with neighbours before and will again now.”