Turkey's president calls for boycott of Apple products
Amid rising trade tensions with the United States and local economic catastrophe, Turkey's president has named Apple specifically as a boycott target.
President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced that the country will retaliate against U.S. tariffs with a national boycott of electronics products from U.S. companies, Apple included. The move is in retaliation for the U.S. move to raise tariffs on Turkish metal exports, as well as sanctions on a pair of Turkish ministers.
"We will impose a boycott on U.S. electronic products," Ergodan said. "If they have iPhones, there is Samsung on the other side, and we have our own Vestel here."
The move appears, at least for the time being, to have stabilized Turkey's currency, the lira, which has dropped 40 percent this year.
If Turkey follows through with the boycott, it would represent real-world consequences for the Trump Administration's confrontational trade policies, in a way that could serve to hurt an American company. While the administration has reportedly promised Apple that the iPhone itself will not be directly subject to tariffs, Turkey's move shows that Apple could suffer consequences regardless.
Apple's Turkish presence
Apple has a pair of Apple Stores in Istanbul, and has in recent years made its products and services available in Turkey. CEO Tim Cook has annually marked the holiday of Turkish Children's Day, sharing an Apple Pencil-drawn portrait by a Turkish child on his Twitter account this past April.
it isn't clear how much of Apple's business is in Turkey, nor what volume of sales are realized in the country.
The tension is a notable change from 2016, when Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, openly suggested that Apple should "move to Turkey," in order to escape the European Union and pay lower taxes.
Ergodan has used an iPhone, specifically FaceTime, to call into media outlets in the past.