Turkish President Calls for Boycott of U.S. Electronics Including the iPhone


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, center, using an iPhone in Istanbul in May. He urged his country on Tuesday not to buy American products, saying, “If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung” as an alternative.CreditLefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, sought to fend off a coup attempt two years ago, he appealed to his supporters via FaceTime, the Apple video chat app.

On Tuesday, though, he turned against Apple, delivering a nationalist broadside in calling for a boycott of American electronics products, the latest salvo in a widening dispute between Washington and Ankara.

The tension between the two countries initially centered on the detention of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, but it has since expanded considerably, heightening trade tensions and raising fears about the possible effects on other emerging markets.

The clash has coincided with a worsening economic crisis in Turkey. The country’s currency, the lira, has fallen sharply, dropping more than 25 percent in the past week to a record low, though it recovered somewhat on Tuesday. Inflation, meanwhile, is accelerating and investors — fearful of mismanagement as Mr. Erdogan takes an increasingly active role in the economy — have sold off Turkish debt.

as he battled the coup attempt, Mr. Erdogan used FaceTime to call for his supporters to take to the streets.

His speech on Tuesday nevertheless largely reiterated many of the nationalist remarks he has made in recent days, seeking to rally support against American sanctions and other pressure.

about how Turkey’s economic crisis is testing the limits of Mr. Erdogan’s authoritarian approach.]

He then repeated his call for Turks to trade in their dollars for lira, to help shore up the currency. “Exchanging the dollar immediately to protect the honor of the Turkish lira, this would be the best answer,” he said.

Though Turkey is a relatively small economy in the global context, investors have been fearful of the wider consequences of an economic crisis there. Analysts have voiced concern that worsening conditions in the country could force traders to pull money from emerging markets and noted that European banks have investments in Turkey that could be at risk.

Mr. Erdogan’s heavy involvement in managing the country’s economy, which has resulted in the appointment of a relative as a key minister and the erosion of the independence of the central bank, has added to the concerns.

Many in Turkey, however, have stood by him.

One barber shop in the northern Turkish province of Ordu responded to United States sanctions imposed over the detention of the American pastor by refusing to carry out haircuts that residents associate with the United States.

“We do not do American shaves,” a sign outside the hair salon read, referring to a common hairstyle in Turkey in which the neck is trimmed closely, but hair at the top of the head is kept longer.