US Threatens Further Turkey Sanctions if Pastor Not Freed Soon
Aug 18, 2018, 01:16
Turkey's battered lira weakened 5 percent on Friday after a Turkish court rejected a U.S. Christian pastor's appeal for release, a day after the United Stateswarned of further sanctions unless Ankara hands over the detained minister.
Brunson, from North Carolina, is under house arrest as his trial on terrorism charges continues.
Brunson has now found himself in the middle of a diplomatic spat between the two countries, with US President Donald Trump authorizing new tariffs on steel an aluminium last week to put pressure on Ankara. "We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly".
"They have not proven to be a good friend", Trump said of Turkey during the Cabinet meeting.
"The Brunson case is a rallying call for evangelicals within the Republican base because you have a Christian pastor being held in a Muslim-majority country", Amanda Sloat of Brookings Institution told the newspaper.
Turkey responded by increasing tariffs on imports from the United States including cars, alcoholic drinks and leaf tobacco - and the lira recovered slightly.
Turkey has sought to persuade the United States to spare Turkey's state-owned Halkbank from a threatened fine for allegedly helping Iran evade USA sanctions.
Turkey says Brunson has ties to political groups responsible for the 2016 attempted coup of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey and the USA are now experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish Cabinet ministers for not releasing Brunson.
"It is a shame", Erdogan said in a speech on Saturday. To eliminate the possibility of Democrats taking control of Congress, Trump wants to bring out a larger number of evangelical voters by securing Brunson's release, the Financial Times said.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday afternoon that Chinese and US negotiators are drawing up a road map for their trade talks next week. The Treasury Department earlier this month levied sanctions on two senior Turkish officials in retaliation for Brunson's continued detention.
Erdogan has remained defiant in the face of the crisis with Washington, saying Turkey could turn to new alternative markets.
But Washington's move has sent Turkey's financial markets into a tailspin: the Turkish lira plummeted more than 18 per cent at one point last Friday to a record low against the USA dollar.
Investors are concerned that Turkey has amassed high levels of foreign debt to fuel growth in recent years.
Turkey, in turn, criticized the prosecution in the US of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top official at Turkey's state-controlled Halkbank who was convicted of helping Iran avoid USA sanctions.
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But many experts say those are neither irrevocable nor serious steps that could show the country is honest about denuclearization. But they did not agree on details, which will be further discussed through working-level talks, the ministry said.
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At the same time, Mueller's team continues to press the president's legal team for an interview with the commander in chief. Giuliani said he and Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, had told the president: "This would be a very bad thing to do now".
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Erdogan says Turkey will boycott U.S. electronics, lira steadies
The United States is also considering a fine against Turkey's state-owned Halkbank for allegedly helping Iran evade USA sanctions. USA national security adviser John Bolton on Monday met Turkey's ambassador to the United States to discuss Brunson's detention.
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Rather, it authorizes the policies under which funding will be set by the appropriations committees and then voted on by Congress. To curb the impacts, the USA government will providing funding to allow businesses to pay for the technology they must replace.
Erdogan slams US for preferring terrorists as partner
Erdogan appealed to a crowd in the city of Bayburt to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to prop up the plunging currency. European stocks closed sharply lower on Friday amid fears that problems in Turkey could infect other eurozone countries.
Erdogan: Lira crash political plot against Ankara
Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency. All eyes will be on the lira when foreign exchange markets reopen on Monday after the weekend break.
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The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes, snuff and chewing tobacco, although there may be restrictions on those in some areas. The rule will be part of leases, and residents will be required to sign amendments agreeing to abide by the ban.