The Wall Street Journal: Turkey increasingly aligns with Russia as U.S. sanctions sour relations with West

The Wall Street Journal: Turkey increasingly aligns with Russia as U.S. sanctions sour relations with West

ISTANBUL—President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey stepped up his attacks on the U.S. on Tuesday, calling for a boycott of Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +0.42%   iPhones and other U.S. electronic goods, while his foreign minister joined his Russian counterpart in criticizing Western sanctions.

Turkey, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, has been caught between the West and Russia. This week, officials in Ankara were leaning decidedly toward Moscow.

In recent weeks, Turkey and Russia have been the targets of U.S. sanctions while their currencies, the lira and the ruble, have dropped against the dollar. Erdogan’s boycott is part of a wider campaign Turkey has launched to retaliate against the U.S. measures.

The lira, already hit by investor concerns over Turkey’s financial stability, has hit a series of record lows since Aug. 1, when the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey for not freeing a U.S. pastor facing terrorism charges.

New tariffs the U.S. introduced on some Turkish imports on Monday have raised concerns of a full-blown trade war.

Attending a conference with Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, in Ankara on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey lashed out against Western sanctions.

“This era when we are being bullied must end,” Cavusoglu said.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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