By Mehmet Tosun and Ilkay Guder
Currency manipulations aim to cast doubt on Turkey's strong and solid economy, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
Speaking at Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Erdogan said: “They try to cast doubt on Turkey’s strong and solid economy via currency manipulations,” without elaborating.
Defying the attacks targeting Turkish economy, Erdogan said Turkey is resolved to establish independence in economy, mainly in the defense industry.
The president pointed out that dependence on dollar in international trade had become a bigger problem.
“We need to gradually end the monopoly of the dollar once and for all by using local and national currency among us," Erdogan said.
Political tensions between Ankara and Washington had sparked worries in markets in August after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to use economic pressure over an American pastor who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.
The Turkish lira has been losing its value against the U.S. dollar past several weeks after the U.S. president doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.
Referring to the S-400 agreement with Russia, Erdogan said that "some are disturbed by this“, adding that Turkey does not need permission from anyone to guard its territory.
Last December, Turkey announced it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by early 2020. This April both parties agreed on early delivery of the systems.
The S-400 is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system, with the ability to carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed a bill prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 jets, citing the S-400 purchase as well as Turkey’s detention of U.S. citizens.
Invest in Kyrgyzstan
Speaking about economic relations with Kyrgyzstan, Erdogan said they were eyeing a foreign trade volume of $1 billion.
The current foreign trade volume stands at almost $500 million, he said, urging Turkish businesspeople to invest in Kyrgyzstan.
“Firstly, I call on Turkish businessmen, Kyrgyzstan is a friend and brother country. Prioritize this country in your investments,” Erdogan said.
He added that investment in the Kyrgyz market would also appeal to Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, which are members of the Eurasian Customs Union.
Erdogan said that strong relations between the two countries also need a stronger cooperation in the fields of education, development, culture and tourism.
He recalled that since 1993 the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) had established schools and hospitals in the country.
FETO 'serious threat
"The FETO terror network is a serious threat not only to our country but also to every country in which it exists," he said.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Erdogan said if no measures are taken against the terrorist organization, the destruction it causes to the state and society will increase.
"We do not want any of our brothers to suffer the pain and distress we suffered," he said.
Erdogan said that Turkey does not want members of the terrorist organization who "exploited the good intentions" of Turkish people for years to move freely in brotherly countries.