Ankara and Washington will overcome the current “turbulent period” in their relations through their strategic partnership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said late Wednesday.
"Our strategic partnership, which has gone through difficulties so many times, will overcome this turbulent period," Erdoğan said during his address at the Ninth TurkeyInvestment Conference held by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK) in New York.
Erdoğan said disagreements with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on issues such as the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the fight against terrorism, Jerusalem, Syria and sanctions "test Turkish-American relations".
He said some circles in the Trump administration assume they can resolve differences with Turkey through threats, pressure and blackmail.
He questioned why the U.S. is protecting FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen, his former ally, adding: “Are we not strategic partners?”
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen are accused of orchestrating the failed coup of July 15, 2016.
INVESTMENTS IN US EXCEED $4.6 BILLION
Erdoğan said the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the U.S. was above $20 billion in 2017. He said Turkey's exports to the U.S. totalled $8.7 billion and imports totalled $12 billion.
"As of today, Turkish firms' investments in the U.S. exceed $4.6 billion," he added.
Erdoğan said his AKP government views the future of political and economic relations with the U.S. with hope despite Washington imposing sanctions and doubling tariffs on Turkish aluminium and steel imports.
He said there are no winners in trade wars and each unilateral decision will be met with retaliation.
Erdoğan said Turkey will continue to strengthen the investment environment without compromising the rules of the free market economy.
"We will continue to make the necessary legal arrangements for attracting more direct investments and for international investors to invest safely in our country," he added.