It appears Turkey’s crisis with United States has just gotten a lot worse. Relations between the two countries had already been thawing, as US had slapped heavy tariffs on exports, causing Turkey to slide down a near ongoing financial crisis, with the Turkish lira slumping to record low levels. The financial crisis was bound to create a reaction among the Turkish people and we have seen this reaction in a near-fatal incident yesterday where an unidentified gunman fired six shots at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Turkish capital, striking a guard booth but causing no injuries.
While the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the incident and declared the attack is being investigated thoroughly, this attack is a clear indication of the frustration pent up in Turkey due to the financial crisis which has hit the Turkish people badly, and that relations with US will worsen. Unfortunately, while the Turkish government has managed to lift the currency devaluation from its worse levels, the Turkish lira is still extremely low, and this incident may further cause a deterioration in its value.
For Pakistan, this crisis serves as one of the first tests for the new government to take a stance on its foreign policy, and it should not be a difficult decision. With our own increasingly hostile relations with the United States, it seems natural to side with our fellow Muslim country, with which Pakistan has always shared relatively good relations. On the lighter side, the Turkish lira equals to PKR 19 rupees currently, almost a record low considering that in June the lira equalled PKR 30. If nothing else, this should prove as an excellent opportunity for Pakistani to buy liras and enjoy a vacation at Turkey, which is more affordable now than ever. As a side effect, it will help support a fellow Muslim country’s currency in a time of crisis.