United States threatens more sanctions on Turkey over detained pastor

Randal Sanchez
August 17, 2018

The lira held steady during Albayrak's conference call but later weakened when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States was prepared to levy more sanctions on Turkey if detained American pastor Andrew Brunson was not freed.

The lira has rebounded sharply since hitting a record low of 7.24 against the dollar at the start of the week, recovering after the central bank took liquidity measures and curbed selling of the currency.

Pastor Andrew Brunson, a USA citizen who has resided in Turkey for over two decades, was arrested on terrorism and espionage charges as part of the Erdogan government's probe into 2016's failed military coup.

In a tweet later on Thursday, Trump said the United States "will pay nothing" for Brunson's release, "but we are cutting back on Turkey!"

Trump likely was referring to the increase in tariffs and sanctions he authorized last week - after which the Turkish economy took a tumble.

Turkey has responded by declaring that it will raise tariffs on a number of us imports, including cars, tobacco and spirits.

The country's currency, the lira, has fallen sharply against the USA dollar in recent weeks but rebounded after the aid announcement.

Mr Trump said: "They want to hold our wonderful pastor".

At least 38 people killed in Genoa bridge collapse, national anger grows
Buildings under the bridge were damaged in the collapse and there is concern that the rest of the bridge could fall, he said. A large section of the Morandi viaduct upon which the A10 motorway runs collapsed in Genoa , Italy, on August 14, 2018.

In response to Trump's tariffs, Turkish officials said they will impose a 50 percent tax on USA rice, 140 percent on spirits, 60 percent on tobacco and 120 percent on cars while increasing duties on a variety of other goods.

In return, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on American imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

Yurdakul said Turkey and Pakistan has very close, heartfelt relations. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest.

Qatar pledged $15 billion of investment in Turkey on Wednesday that a government source in Ankara said would be channeled into its banks and financial markets.

The Turkish ambassador added that Turkey needed to "keep this fire alive" by keeping high-level political ties and strengthening investments and trade.

Putting all the mathematics and statistics together, it concludes that there are 8.5 times more iPhone users worldwide than there are people in Turkey.

Mr Erdogan responded on Tuesday by announcing that his country will boycott US-made electronic goods such as iPhones and will buy Korean Samsung or Turkish-made Vestel instead.

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