Turkish lira rallies as Ankara increases tariffs on USA imports

LEADING ARTICLEAugust 13 2018 5:00pm The Times Tantrum in Turkey Erdogan should end his spat with the West if he wants to avert a deeper crisis

LEADING ARTICLEAugust 13 2018 5:00pm The Times Tantrum in Turkey Erdogan should end his spat with the West if he wants to avert a deeper crisis

"Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released". US officials, including former US Ambassador to Turkey John R. Bass, similarly said the accusations have no merit.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his vice president Mike Pence have repeatedly called for the pastor's release and have sanctioned two Turkish ministers after a Turkish court moved him to house arrest after 21 months in prison.

The dispute with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner the United States, focused on a tit-for-tat tariff row and the detention in Turkey of a US pastor, helped turn the currency's steady decline into meltdown.

Ankara's latest move follows President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE's announcement last week that he will double tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey until it releases USA pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016.

Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced the package while meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday.

A court meanwhile rejected an appeal for the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson - whose detention for nearly two years sparked the crisis - leaving no immediate solution to the Turkey-US row in sight.

He was also charged with supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which was designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the U.S.

Lavrov held talks in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu days after the Turkish lira TRY= plummeted to an all-time low versus the United States dollar, while the Russian rouble RUB= lost almost 10 percent in just several days of August. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest.




Brunson, who has lived for two decades in Turkey, was arrested in 2016 and charged with having terrorist connections.

Businessmen holding US dollars stand in front of a currency exchange office in response to the call of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings to support the lira, in Ankara, Turkey Aug. 14, 2018.

The government announced the tariffs "under the principle of reciprocity", following sanctions imposed by Washington over the detention of an American pastor, which sent the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

When a recent Post editorial criticized the Turkish government for imprisoning Brunson, among other things, Turkey's ambassador to the U.S.

"We expect that Turkey will have to introduce deep fiscal and monetary tightening to stabilise the Turkish lira, which in turn will dampen economic activity further".

Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin added: "Turkey is not in favour of an economic war with anyone but when attacked. will take all necessary steps".

"We (also) have our Venus and Vestel", he said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on Wednesday and stood at 5.9350 at 0745 GMT in a move initially triggered by a Turkish court decision to release two Greek soldiers facing espionage charges.

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