Turkey ignores USA deadline to release pastor, lira plunges

Turkey ignores USA deadline to release pastor, lira plunges

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters that the top USA diplomat in Turkey would visit Brunson later Tuesday.

The Turkish government doubled its tariffs on imports of American cars and alcoholic beverages to 120 and 140 percent, respectively, CNN reported. Tariffs were also boosted for cosmetics, rice and coal.

In addition to its decision to ramp up tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminium, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on two top officials in Erdogan's cabinet earlier this month as part of its efforts to pressure Ankara into freeing Brunson.

Investors are anxious not only about Turkey's souring relations with the United States, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, but also Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and the country's high debt accumulated in foreign currencies.

"Turkey and specifically President Erdogan have treated Brunson, who we know to be a very good person and a strong Christian whose done nothing wrong, very unfairly, very badly", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly described the dispute with the United States with as an "economic war" that Ankara will win.

"We will boycott U.S. electronic goods", Erdogan said in a televised speech, raising the stakes in a spat that has seen the Turkish lira plunge to record lows.

Turkey's finance chief tried to reassure thousands of global investors on a conference call Thursday, in which he pledged to fix the economic troubles that have seen the country spiral into a currency crisis.

Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the tariffs on certain products were increased "within the framework of the principle of reciprocity in retaliation for the deliberate economic attacks by the United States".

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This has meant that commerce, even between two countries that don't use the dollar as their currency, tends to be conducted, at least in some roundabout way, in dollars.

Since January, the Turkish lira has lost more than 34 per cent of its value against the dollar, pushing up the price of everyday items.

"If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side".

Private NTV quoted Albayrak as reassuring investors' that Turkey's banks are "healthy and strong" and that fighting inflation, implementing structural reforms and strict monetary policy remained a priority.

Sanders also criticized Turkey's imposition of tariffs on some USA goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

Greenwald was interviewed for an August 10, 2018 article by The Atlantic Council entitled "Trump Extends Feud with Turkey: Now What?".

Although he was released to home detention, Brunson faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted on both counts at the end of his ongoing trial.

Turkish authorities have called on their citizens to sell their foreign currency in order to bolster the lira.

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