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Politics

Turkey's president threatens boycott of iPhones, other US electronics

Amid a diplomatic clash, Recep Tayyip Erdogan points to Samsung devices as an alternative.

Apple launches iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in Turkey's Ankara

US electronics like the iPhone may be banned in Turkey after the country's president declared a boycott Tuesday.

/ Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that his country will ban US electronics after a diplomatic feud pushed it into a currency crisis.

He specifically highlighted Apple, the Associated Press reports, saying Turkey would stop bringing in iPhones in favor of devices from South Korea's Samsung or Turkey's own Vestel.

"We will implement a boycott against America's electronic goods," he said. "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere. We have Vestel."

It's not clear how Erdogan would enforce the boycott, the AP noted.

President Erdogan Sworn In As Turkey's First Executive President

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that Turkey will stick to Samsung and Vestel if US products are banned.

/ Getty Images

A boycott would serve as retaliation against the US sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, as well as President Donald Trump's doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports last week, which resulted in a massive drop in the lira's value, according to Reuters.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton met with the Turkish ambassador to Washington on Monday, suggesting that diplomatic efforts are continuing, according to the AP.

Neither the White House, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

In April 2017, Turkey cut off Wikipedia as part of an effort to shut down opposition. The country blocked WikiLeaks the year before after it published 300,000 government emails and briefly stopped Twitter access after a deadly 2015 bombing.

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