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The White House cited national security grounds as the means by which Mr Trump had authorised a 50% steel tariff and 20% aluminium tariff on Turkey.

Earlier on Friday, Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling USA tariffs on Turkish aluminium and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Turkey remains at loggerheads with the United States in one of the worst spats between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in years over the detention for the last two years of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues. He added, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

Trump intensified the alarm on financial markets with a new tweet on the Turkey row.

Concerns over Turkish President Erdogan's tight grip on the countries monetary policy, failed plans to release an American citizen held in Turkey, and shifts in global power prompted the continued plunge of the Turkish economy. This will be my people's response to those who have waged an economic war against us'.

That indicates that people are buying dollars and euros, not selling them off - and that they're not finding buyers in lira, anyway.

'This is a national, domestic battle.

Erdogan on Friday called on Turks to support their struggling currency. The lira fell further as Erdogan spoke.

Without naming countries, Erdogan said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara says was organized by a USA -based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago to a new executive presidency.

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The ZAR appears to have plummeted just as the Turkish Lira took another leg lower around about the time USA markets opened for trade. The lira slid to a fresh record low against the US dollar.

Turkish media covered the latest tensions between Ankara and Washington, with pro-government daily Sabah saying on its front page: "the currency attack" was no different from the July 2016 coup attempt.

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods had been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that "the US runs the risk of losing Turkey" as an ally.

A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey August 2, 2018.

Investors piled into "safe" government debt, with German yields hitting three-week lows and the yield on the benchmark USA 10-year Treasury note falling to 2.88822 percent. That turned into a rout on Friday, with the lira diving more than 18 percent on the day and more than 40 percent this year to a new record low after Trump took steps to punish Turkey in a wide-ranging dispute.

Erdogan retaliated last weekend with sanctions of his own against the American counterparts of the sanctioned Turkish ministers. As the currency drops, Turkish companies and households with debt in foreign currencies see their debts expand. The lack of central-bank action to support the currency is also spooking investors and Erdogan's previous comment that interest rates are the "mother and father of all evil" hasn't helped.

Coupled with an inflation rate of almost 16 percent, that could cause a lot of damage to the local economy.

"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor", Erdogan said in the Black Sea town of Unye. "On some days, I end the day with a loss".

Turkey is a major emerging market economy with $466 billion in foreign debt (about 78 percent in US dollars and about 18 percent in euros), or 52.9 percent of gross domestic product.


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