Washington, Ankara Trade Threats over New Sanctions

Washington, Ankara Trade Threats over New Sanctions

Washington, Ankara Trade Threats over New Sanctions

Turkey's battered lira weakened 5 percent on Friday after a Turkish court rejected an American pastor's appeal for release, drawing a stiff rebuke from President Donald Trump who said the United States would not take the detention "sitting down".

Brunson, an Evangelical pastor residing in the coastal province of Izmir, is standing trial in Turkey over terrorism charges.

Turkey has been hit by a currency crisis fuelled by a heated row with the United States.

The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, rebounded slightly over the last three days but on Friday it lost over five percent of its value around 1250 GMT.

But according to Middle East Eye, Turkish diplomats said they could release Brunson anyway, subject to further concessions from the USA which could soothe diplomatic tensions and helping alleviate the diplomatic and economic crisis.

"Turkey has been a problem for a long time", Trump said to reporters as he left the White House.

On the first day Trump threatened Turkey with sanctions for the treatment of Brunson, Vice President Mike Pence gave a prayer at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in which he said "to believers across America, I say a pray for pastor Brunson".




The latest U.S. announcement came after Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sought to soothe markets during an unprecedented teleconference on Thursday with hundreds of foreign investors from the United States, Europe to Asia.

US authorities have rebuffed efforts by Turkey for the extradition of Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Underscoring the ties between the countries, Sheikh Tamim was the first foreign leader to phone President Erdogan during the failed coup in Turkey in 2016. Turkey and Qatar - which is also a very close U.S. ally - have become close economic and political partners in recent times. His transfer to house arrest came after Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assist in Brunson's release, Israeli and U.S. officials told CNN at the time.

On Monday, the central bank said it would provide all the liquidity Turkish banks needed, as it seeks to keep money flowing in the financial system.

"Certainly the president has a great deal of frustration on the fact that Pastor Brunson has not been released as well as the fact that other USA citizens and employees of diplomatic facilities have not been released, and we're going to continue to call on Turkey to do the right thing and release those individuals", she said.

Earlier on Friday, a Turkish court rejected another appeal to free United States pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention has sparked a major crisis in Ankara's ties with Washington, his lawyer said. Turkey, for its part, denounced the "economic war" and said it would find "new friends and allies". Ratings agency Standard & Poor's is also scheduled to release a review of Turkey's sovereign credit rating after the market close on Friday.

This, in turn, means that 41.09 million projected smartphone users in Turkey till past year out of which 7.15 million of them use iPhones.

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