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Erdogan Calls for Trade in National Currencies in Another Counter-Dollar Push

© AP Photo / Presidential Press Service/PoolTurkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an Iftar, the evening meal breaking the Ramadan fast, at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, May 19, 2018
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an Iftar, the evening meal breaking the Ramadan fast, at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, May 19, 2018 - Sputnik International
The Turkish president addressed other states amid concerns over the US having increased its customs duties earlier this year, which, as he remarked, prompted the whole world to look for ‘mechanisms’ for ‘defence’.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken out in favour of wider use of national currencies in trading with other countries.

‘We have to solve our problems ourselves. The use of the own currency in mutual payments is crucially important. There is no other way but to make use of our own national currencies. Otherwise we will continue to be under pressure from currency rates’, Erdogan pointed out, speaking to a gathering of the Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Greece's military Adm. Panagiotis Chinofotis salutes during the Turkish national anthem as the Greek, left, and Turkish flags wave at the Greek Defense Ministry in Athens on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 - Sputnik International
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According to him, as soon as the US increased customs duties, ‘the whole world started to search for some defence mechanisms’.

it is not the first time Erdogan has urged to stand up against the US dollar. back in September, he pointed out that the dependence of members of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS) on the dollar hampers their economic development. The CCTS, also known as the Turkic Council, includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. "I believe that intensifying trade [by clinching transactions] in [CCTS members'] national currencies is a necessary condition for their development," Erdogan stressed, referring to the "tough times" these countries are currently going through.

He previously urged Ankara "to gradually end the monopoly of the dollar once and for all by using local and national currency among us." 

In late March, Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium imports, initially exempting an array of countries from the new regulation. However, since 1 June, the decision has been in effect with regard to all the states, including the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

On 10 August, US President Donald Trump separately authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, up to 50 and 20 percent, respectively, which led to the Turkish lira falling to a historic low. Turkey responded with an announcement that it was raising levies on several types of US imports, including tobacco, alcohol and cars.

READ MORE: Turkish FM Says No Reason for Erdogan Not to Meet Saudi Crown Prince — Report

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