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Turkey’s president wants the country to boycott US-based electronics makers

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President Erdogan Sworn In As Turkey’s First Executive President Photo by Stringer / Getty Images

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Apple and other US-based technology companies out this week in an effort to drum up support for a boycott of their products and a push to buy Turkish-made gadgets. “Every product that we buy in foreign currency from outside, we will produce them here and sell abroad,” Erdoğan said during a speech in Ankara. “We will boycott the electronics products of the U.S.”

He went on to specifically mention Apple and suggest that people could switch from the iPhone to Samsung products. “If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung,” he said. Erdoğan also mentioned Turkey’s own Vestel, which makes the Venus smartphones, among other devices, as an alternative. “We are going to produce enough for ourselves,” he said. “We have to serve better quality goods than we are importing from them.”

Turkey’s currency, the lira, has fallen to record lows recently, and it’s putting pressure on Erdoğan to improve the situation. At the same time, US president Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports, which is likely what led to Erdoğan’s outcry over US gadgets. As an aside, Erdoğan famously appeared on TV through FaceTime during Turkey’s military coup in 2016.