Erdogan tells the United States to show respect or that his country finds new allies

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey's association with the United States could be in jeopardy as ties tighten, warning Ankara that it could start looking for new allies, in an opinion piece published in the New York Times on Saturday.

Relations between the two allies of NATO have fallen to their lowest point in decades on a number of issues, including the arrest of US pastor Andrew Brunson on charges related to terrorism, which caused the Turkish lira to reach record lows in front of to the dollar.

The lira faced fell 16 percent against the dollar on Friday, and US President Donald Trump said he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey in comments that contributed to a further drop in the currency.

In the New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk relations with Ankara, saying that otherwise his country would seek "new friends and allies."

"Unless the United States begins to respect the sovereignty of Turkey and demonstrates that it understands the dangers facing our nation, our association could be in danger," he wrote.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at the NATO summit in Brussels in July.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at the NATO summit in Brussels in July.


"Before it's too late, Washington must give up the misconception that our relationship can be asymmetric and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives," he said.

"If this trend of unilateralism and lack of respect is not reversed, it will be necessary for us to start looking for new friends and allies."

In a tweet, Trump announced the doubling of tariffs, in new punitive actions against Turkey, saying: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at the moment!"

Erdogan downplayed the currency crisis in a speech on Friday, advising Turks not to worry about fluctuating exchange rates.

He also said that Turkey had alternatives "from Iran, to Russia, to China and some European countries."

The arrest of US pastor Brunson since October 2016 has worsened already thin relations with Washington.

In the New York Times article, Erdogan said: "Attempting to compel my government to intervene in the judicial process is not in line with our Constitution or our shared democratic values."

Trump described Brunson's detention as a "total misfortune" and urged Erdogan to release him "immediately."