Turkey says will respond if U.S. imposes more sanctions

17 August, 2018, 17:59 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Turkey denies American pastor’s appeal decides to hit the US with tariffs instead

Erdoğan's claim that the United States is using "the economy as a weapon" is a response to sanctions imposed on high-ranking Turkish justice officials this month in response to the continued detention of Pastor Brunson. A senior U.S. official told CNN that in exchange for Turkey's release of Brunson, Israel agreed to release Ebru Ozkan, a 27-year-old Turkish woman held in Israel on suspicion of aiding Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at Turkey, saying Washington will pay "nothing" to Ankara for the release of a detained American pastor.

The announcement follows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call for a boycott of USA electronics, including Apple's iPhones to counter Trump's actions to ramp up pressure on Turkey to release Brunson. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded the US extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who denies Turkish allegations that he engineered a failed 2016 coup.

The Turkish lira hit a record low of 7.24 to the USA dollar this week, down 40 per cent this year, as investors fretted over Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and the dispute with the United States. Investors also fret over Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

The lira has lost almost 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his refusal to raise interest rates despite high inflation.

FILE - U.S. Charge d'Affaires Jeffrey Hovenier talks to members of the media after visiting U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held under house arrest in Izmir, Turkey, Aug. 14, 2018.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier criticized Turkey's move to impose tariffs on some USA goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

More news: Parker Solar Probe launches from Cape Canaveral

The Turkish lira built upon Wednesday's gains, when Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkey.

Ankara stood by Doha after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar past year, accusing it of financing terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

The lira rebounded some 8 per cent on Tuesday, helped by news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure global investors.

Inflation in the state is at a 14-year high in Turkey, at close to 16%, but the country's central bank - which is under the control of Erdogan - refuses to raise interest rates, a simple mechanism for bringing down rampant inflation.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump hailed Brunson as a "great patriot hostage" lashing at Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian pastor".

In another high-profile case, a Turkish court freed Taner Kilic, the local chair of Amnesty International, a researcher from the rights group said.

In response, Erdogan launched a boycott of United States electrical products and sharply raised tariffs on other U.S. imports.

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