Trump attacks Turkey, vows to pay 'nothing' for U.S. pastor's release

Trump attacks Turkey, vows to pay 'nothing' for U.S. pastor's release

Trump attacks Turkey, vows to pay 'nothing' for U.S. pastor's release

The White House said Wednesday that the United States "won't forget" how Turkey treated Andrew Brunson, the detained American pastor, after a court rejected his appeal for release.

President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports to the United States last week prompting Turkey, which says it will not bow to threats, to raise tariffs on USA cars, alcohol and tobacco by the same amount on Wednesday.

The US has threatened to levy more sanctions on Turkey if Ankara does not release an American Christian evangelical pastor held on terrorism charges. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded the US extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who denies Turkish allegations that he engineered a failed 2016 coup.

The high-level conversation comes as Turkey shows signs of a rapprochement with European countries amid an on-going trade and diplomatic spat with the United States that triggered a Turkish currency crisis.

The lira lost strength after Mnuchin's remarks.

"They are squeezing lira liquidity out of the system now and pushing interest rates higher", said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.

Yurdakul said Turkey and Pakistan has very close, heartfelt relations.

On Wednesday, Turkey rejected pastor Andrew Craig Brunson's appeal to be released from custody, and slapped additional tariffs on USA imports.


Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter the increases were being done "within the framework of the principle of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious economic attacks by the United States".

The recent rebound in the Turkish currency came after Qatar announced a $15 billion support package and the country's banking regulator moved to limit the amount of the local currency banks can swap for foreign currencies with counterparts.

She added that even if pastor Andrew Brunson was released, tariffs would remain in place on steel. "We are not expecting any fines on Halkbank for sure", he said. Brunson, who Turkish officials say had links to a failed 2016 coup, is being held under house arrest.

Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Turkey, which promoted Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on some U.S. products.

Measures to restrict the amount of currency that can be exchanged with foreign banks were also said to be boosting the currency.

In reality, a number of issues have come between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, not least Turkey's plan to purchase the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft weapons system.

Erdogan has called for a boycott of USA electronic goods and Turkish media have given extensive coverage to anti-U.S. protests, including videos on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.

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