U.S. threatens further retaliation against Turkey over pastor

The Latest: Turkey court rejects release of US pastor | Miami Herald

The Latest: Turkey court rejects release of US pastor | Miami Herald

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will not "surrender" to the United States under the sanctions imposed by the U.S. over the detention of an American pastor, accusing Washington of launching an "attempted economic coup" against Ankara. "The Europeans will maintain the existing objections to certain Erdogan policies and continue to voice their concerns, but that won't stop them from developing pragmatic cooperation with Turkey", he said.

On August 10, President Donald Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling USA tariffs on Turkish aluminium and steel imports. Erdogan previously suggested a swap in which Brunson is released in exchange for Gulen, though USA officials have said Turkey must present convincing evidence for any extradition proceeding to be considered. He also said on Friday that he had ordered to double USA tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated power over the central bank, and pushed for it to refrain from raising interest rates to support the currency, as experts say it should.

Turkey and the US are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on two government ministers for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

The United States has already imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

Ankara has retaliated by steeply hiking tariffs on some US products.

It estimates Turkey's short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion - the highest in emerging markets. "Would the amount of Turkey's debts decrease?"

"Do you think the lira will gain against the dollar if Brunson is released?" "Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the USA administration's deliberate attacks on our economy", the country's vice president, Fuat Oktay, said in a pair of tweets.

Trump added: "We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!"

It has lost almost 40 per cent of its value against the greenback this year, hit by both the diplomatic rift and investor alarm about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

According to the Middle East Eye, officials in Ankara are willing to concede to U.S. demands for the freedom of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical preacher accused of playing a role in the attempted coup there in 2016.

In a tweet on Thursday, Trump urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor".

Turkey's currency remains steady against the dollar despite an apparent threat of possible new sanctions by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The White House stance appeared to give Turkish authorities little incentive to work for the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges and whose case Turkish officials have said was a matter for the courts.

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