Turkish President Calls for Boycott of U.S. Electronics

August 14, 2018, 6:00 PM UTC

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country will boycott U.S. electronics Tuesday, as tensions between the nations mount.

Erdoğan specifically targeted the Apple iPhone, The Guardian reports, saying, “If they have iPhone, the other side has Samsung.”

“In our country there is Venus, Vestel,” Erdoğan added, naming Turkish smartphone brands.

Erdoğan’s announcement is ironic, considering the president and his ministers are often seen using iPhones, The New York Times reports. The Turkish leader even used Apple’s FaceTime to appeal to his supporters during the 2016 military coup.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have roots in the eastern European nation’s imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who Erdoğan argues was involved in the failed coup of 2016. Erdoğan has refused to release Brunson, prompting Trump to increase Turkey’s steel and aluminum tariffs Friday. His announcement sent the value of the Turkish lira into a weekend plummet.

Erdoğan continues to call for Turks to transfer U.S. dollars into lira. He also railed against U.S. foreign policy, saying, “They do not refrain from using the economy as a weapon against us, as they tried in the areas of diplomacy, military, or efforts for social and political instability,” according to The Guardian.